A Different Kind of Island

Picture courtesy of Mojo, taken on our penultimate day in Maui

The Acupuncuturist told me yesterday that I was not being present.

The A: Girl! You, your head is still in Maui!

JoJo: I could’ve told you that. I miss that place. I just don’t want to be here.

The A: This city is wonderful; there are lots of museums, restaurants, and plenty of culture. Take advantage of it. Do something every week. I bet you those people on Maui would give anything to have what you have and live in NYC. This is the center of the universe! (twinkle in his eye)

JoJo (laments): I know. I love NYC. This is my home, where I grew up. I need to fall in love with it again. But it’s such a rat race!

The A: You know, Manhattan is an island. (smiles) Bring some of that aloha back here.

JoJo: Yeah. (pause) With millions of crazy people living on it!!!!!!! Grrr…

Went back to work today. It’s definitely the most direct way to get over the lingering jet lag that I’m still trying to hang on to. I’m spoiled, I know. I’ve been off for three weeks and had 5 days since returning to the mainland to readjust.

Isn’t it funny how even if we’ve got it good, we are still never happy? Jeez. Need to reflect more on that ever elusive state of happiness. I know it doesn’t have to be elusive. We humans just choose to make it that way. I need to also keep working on being present. I don’t know what it is. Everyone feels a bit depressed after returning from a great trip. I just feel like I got the wind knocked out of me in a way that I’ve never felt from other trips I’ve taken in the past.

Maui III: Piko

The Navel, The Center


I was drawn to this necklace when I first saw it on the road to Hana.
Carved out of cow bone, the artist explained that this symbol is the piko.
The navel connects us to the source of life; it is the center.

It reminds me of my spirituality.
I have learned to trust my gut, to trust myself.
I am beginning to feel the connection between my mind & body & spirit.

I am still patiently learning how to be unafraid of my emotions.

Maui II: Mojo

All the pictures on my camera are of Mojo. He was so happy in Maui, discovering new types of flora, walking over and around lava formations, and trying all sorts of tropical fruits like papaya, chico, calamansi that are familiar to Filipinos.

Here’s a beast of an avocado that we got from a tree that grows in the backyard of my aunt’s mother’s house. It was big, creamy, and so sweet. It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen and tasted here on the mainland. The guacamole we could make with this avocado would be out of this world! The papayas we ate grew in the backyard of my uncle’s house. We would pick the ripe ones and eat them. They were the sweetest papayas I’ve ever tasted…not the ones that taste awful. I liken them to tasting like armpits.

Mojo already looks relaxed on our first day on the island. We couldn’t believe this was the beach by the airport! We could hear and see the airplanes as they took off.

He did get a little stressed at the luau, when he thought he had to dance a hula on stage in front of the entire audience. He prepared himself by drinking two mai tai’s at a time.

Mojo and his shakas in front of a cresting wave about to crash on the shore in Nahiku along the Hana Highway. And below, our curiosity led us into a lava tube. Doesn’t he fit right in and look like a geologist? He just needs a headlamp and a pick and he’s all set.
We’ll have to wait till he downloads his photos since his has lots of pictures of me. What a team!

Maui I

Maui is beautiful! It’s my second day back and the shot of cold weather coming out of JFK just reminded me how much happier I am when it is warm outside.

Mom, Mojo, and I had a fantastic time staying with our family and visiting the island. We decided not to travel to the other islands and in the end, it was good decision. At the start of our trip, we thought we had plenty of time to see and do all the things we wanted. After a few days, we realized that we could only accomplish 1/3 of what we set out to do especially since I tried to surf every day and we spent quality time with our family over breakfast and dinner every day.

More stories and pics to come…look for a pic of me on a surfboard…if you’re lucky, I’ll post the video! Come back and check again. In the meantime, here’s a bit to whet your appetite.

JanJan & I on New Year’s Eve. It is Filipino custom to pop firecrackers on Dec 31. I stuck with the itty bitty sparklers since the bigger, noisier firecrackers scare me. :)

Our first day on the island, we still had to get our bearings, adjust to the time difference, and shop for some necessities. We took a detour and stopped by Kanaha Beach, in Kahalui. This beach is right next to the airport (can you believe it?) and a perfect spot for beginner windsurfers.

We were treated by my family to a luau at the Marriott Hotel in Wailea. In the background is Molokini, the partly submergered crater, and further back is another island, Kaho’olawe.

Finally, a shot of my aunt and uncle (with a shaka) who were our fantastic hosts during our stay. They approve of Mojo and are thrilled that he was able to eat all the Filipino food they served him, especially since we had rice for breakfast. It is typical for Filipinos to eat rice three times a day. :)