By Virginia Beck
Recent events have altered the landscape of our beautiful island and our sister island, the Big Island of Hawai’i. It is tempting to feel overwhelmed by the scope of the changes and fall into fear, especially if you are a visitor. There is no need of it. There are plenty of safe, visitor friendly beaches, valleys and resorts all over the island.
Major renovations are happening in Haʻena and Hanalei. Some of them have been in the planning for years, awaiting funding and more community input. The beaches and parking lots were overwhelmed, and new, expanded projects will provide upgraded facilities. Now we will be able to do a lot of this sooner.
The roads and bridges will be rebuilt to modern and safer standards. The prior highway was built over a horse and wagon track. It was modern once, but contemporary engineering and technology will do it better, building for the future, for safer, still awe-inspiring driving with spectacular views.
Most of the Big Island is at no risk from the Kilauea Volcano eruption in May. The hazards are confined to one area of the island.
People have lived here for more than a thousand years, and these islands have always been sculpted by the tremendous powers of nature. We are perched on top of huge mountains slowly eroding under the forces of wind, waves and rain. The beauty of Kauaʻi was created by millions of years of this pounding and pummeling, and much remains. Especially our glorious foliage and flowers.
The heavy rains on Kaua‘i from April 14 to 15, which created a record shattering flood in an isolated area of our island, did change things, especially for the North Shore. It was a rare event, the amount of rain that fell on the island in a 24-hour period. An unofficial rain gage at Waipa showed nearly 50 inches of rain (the USGS gage broke at 27.5 inches), which if true, would set a national record, and would mean it was the 8th rainiest day ever recorded worldwide.
However, our people are the most amazing community of earth, matched only by the communities of other islands. They have risen to the challenge, and shared and donated and contributed their labor to restore normalcy and livability.
Kauaʻi is run by love, not by fear. The people are the best part of the scenery, though the magnificence of Waiʻaleʻale, Kokeʻe and Hanalei Bay are still beautiful. A massive community effort supported by heavy equipment moved tons of driftwood that were flushed down Wailua River and ended up on the beaches and at the beautiful lagoon at Lydgate. The beaches of the Eastside remain lovely and useable.
Aloha and Kokua (help) are part of the safety net that weaves people into relationships. Our activity guides are wise and friendly. There are still lots of tours, activities and adventures waiting in store. And restaurants too. Make sure you spend freely in the town of Hanalei, to help those businesses to recover.
I managed to get caught up in kokua, and wound up getting fabulous Christmas and Birthday gifts for a number of friends by buying now, instead of later. I would have bought them eventually.
I was so caught up in this effort that I accidentally had to splurge the most wonderful necklace, made by a single mom of five children. Oh well! What a great excuse!
You can also share in kokua, a Hawaiian tradition, through Malama Kauaʻi ( a Kauaʻi stewardship program,) or the Kauaʻi Flood Relief Fund at the Hawaiʻi Community Fund.
Make Kauaʻi great for everyone. Aloha makes us all great.
- Virginia Beck, NP and Certified Trager® Practitioner, offers Wellness Consultation, Trager Psychophysical Integration and teaches Malama Birth Training classes. She can be reached at 635-5618.9