Q&A with Pua and Joshua
Puali`ili`imaikalani Rossi-Fukino and Joshua Fukino met in 2001 and married in March 2009. This is their love story, told in Q&A.
For Kaua`i: What attracted you to each other?
PUA: We were both students at KCC. Joshua was volunteering in the weight room. He was very patient, nice and sweet, and both my friend and I agreed he had the best smile on campus. I learned quickly that his goals and values are very similar to mine.
JOSHUA: I found out she danced hula and she was a local girl, Hawaiian, and I just knew she was really beautiful and wanted to get to know her better.
FK: Tell about your first date
PUA: It took awhile. He lived on one side the island and I lived on another. Our first official date happened about two months after we met. First we went to Duke’s, planning to be alone, but it happened that a lot of our friends were there, so I’d say our first official date was on Valentine’s day. I’d never seen a Polihale sunset, so after school, we picked up food at the Pacific Pizza Deli and went out there.
FK: Did you kiss on the first date?
PUA: I made him wait quite some time. He thought he was going to get one early on, but I made him wait,
JOSHUA: I can verify it.
FK: When did you start thinking about marriage?
JOSHUA: Early on. We were both in the Hawaiian Studies Performing Arts Club, and for Christmas, we went to Koke`e to make ornaments ad wreaths. She went out into the woods with slippers on to pick up some maile. She brought it to me, showed me how to make a little lei. I kind of knew — this girl was for me. She was wearing pink slippers on the trail and picking maile.
FK: Tell about your wedding.
PUA: Our ceremony was unique. We met at KCC and both work there. There’s a lo`i kalo and we got married in the taro field. Everybody thought we were crazy — and it was beautiful. We had a really great reception at Smith’s Tropical Paradise.
FK: Did you marry your soul mate?
JOSHUA: I feel like I did.
PUA: Yeah, definitely. everybody said it’s going to be hard, and it’s challenging merging finances and saying, “I do,” but I never regret it.
FK: How would you express a token of your love today?
PUA: Wow, that’s a hard one, so many things I would want to say. I always knew I’d meet someone and fall in love and get married, but never thought I’d find someone as happy as I am. It’s love, support — everything I do, he’s there, whether hula performance, helping, he’s 110 percent supportive of everything I do and I don’t think I could have met someone more perfectly suited for me. I feel as if I’m the lucky one.
JOSHUA: You were very lucky. I guess for me I want to tell her I’m going to say “I do” every single day and it wasn’t just on our weeding day. I say it every day. We’re going to have our challenges and I may not even like you very much but at the end of the day, I’m going to say, “I do.” I know it is a commitment. in my heart I will always keep saying it to myself and hopefully out loud.
FK: How do you nurture the love?
PUA: One of the big things with us is we’re each other’s best friend. Every day he tells me he loves me, every day he’s letting me know.
JOSHUA: I guess what I would say is have fun, try and find ways of having fun — plus at work, we talk to each other a lot and we ca sit down in Starbuck’s and have a laugh and just talk to each other. We’ve been together 10 years and still have jokes.
FK: Do you think about having children?
PUA: We definitely want children. We both come from parents that love each other. My parents still together after 35 years, his after 36 years. We know what it means to be family, have loving parents, feel the love. We have so much love between us, it would be silly not to share that love.
We don’t have kids yet but we do have a dog. we were really lucky, already had the wedding planned and the date set and bought a house before the marriage. Unfortunately, my grandma passed away and I was sad, Joshua said why not get dog. He worked at night and I’d bring Liko home with me and he started spending nights with me. So when we got married, my father scolded Joshua. He said, “First you took my daughter — now you’re taking the dog!”