Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, food, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, holidays, home, Music, Parenting, photography, Religion, travel

My Grandchildren’s Fahu

I am a very fortunate mother. I say that because I have been blessed with a very loving and caring daughter. Many people want a son as their first child, but I believe it is better to have a daughter first. This is a tribute to all loving and caring daughters everywhere, but especially to my own. She was raised in the South Pacific Island of Tonga and is the eldest of four children.

My daughter was born after a very long hard labor, but when I first saw her cute little face, all of the pain and misery left. She actually was a honeymoon baby, born nine months and two days after we were married.

Over the years, we have become best of friends, and at times I feel that she is more of a mother than I am. I had a very troubled childhood and tumultuous teenage years. Perhaps my daughter learned from my mistakes, but she has never been any trouble and has always been there to lift me up.

I am eternally grateful that the Lord saw fit to bless me with such a beautiful and thoughtful daughter. I see the trouble other daughters cause in their family, including myself, and know the Lord was watching out for me when he sent this special spirit to our family.

The saddest day I remember is when my daughter left me to go to university. It took me a long time to get over and her absence was literally painful. But, I knew she had to find her own path and future. Her caring nature carried over into a career. She chose to be a nurse, and I have heard from several of her patients who remark about her loving character. Now she is a Nurse Practitioner and she is a doctor to many, including me.

My daughter and her husband have been blessed with their own beautiful daughter, who is also a sweet and devoted child that bring all of us many smiles and so much joy.

Daughter, I love you so much, more than I ever thought I could love another human being. I am so happy to call you my daughter and hopeful for the mother that I am becoming through you and with you. Thank you for helping me in times of need. I can never repay you for all that you have done for me.

For always and forever, you are the biggest part of my heart.

My daughter’s new daughter
How precious and sweet
Beautifully perfect
From her head to her feet

Ten tiny fingers
And ten tiny toes
All dressed up in lace
With a cute button nose

I look at her face
And I see her bright smile
I have to admit
Takes me back quite awhile

I remember the day
Brought my own daughter home
More precious than anything
I’d ever known

Our daughters are the most precious of our treasures, the dearest possessions of our homes and the objects of our most watchful love.
~ Margaret E. Sangster

A daughter is beauty at its finest.
Heart of an angel, soul so pure, and sweet.
Daughters are one of God’s most precious gifts that he has bestowed upon the world.
Angels in Heaven do not compare to thine beauty, and grace my ever so beautiful, and lovely daughter.


Seeing you at birth brought more joy to me
than all the money in the world could ever do.
You are morning, bright, and shining,
you are noon, you reside at the highest point in my heart,
you are the dew kissed night.
You are my daughter, heart, and soul.
~anonlymous

Art by Ruth Kongaika

So, you may wonder why I entitled this post as “My Grandchildren’s Fahu”. In the Kingdom of Tonga, the eldest sister in a family is revered and given many responsibilities as well as many rewards. https://www.mercyworld.org/_uploads/_ckpg/files/mirc/brief/SenolitaVakata.pdf
This document explains so much about the culture of the Fahu.

Liana has already taken upon herself the “burden” of being our family doctor. Whenever we are sick, she is right there to make sure we get the best care. She will stay up all night with us until she is sure we will be alright. If she really wanted to, she could ask any of her brothers for one of their children (although I’m pretty sure she won’t). She also asks them to take responsibilities by preparing food or giving money for a family member and they oblige willingly. I’m so glad that my sons respect their sister and help her when they can. Although we don’t live in Tonga any more, Liana is a very good example of service to the whole family.

My grandchildren’s fahu,
Liana Olivia Kinikini



Beauty, Cultures, food, Grandchildren, Hawaii, holidays, home, Music, Parenting, photography, Religion, travel, Uncategorized

Intercultural Marriage Significance

I  married a man of a different race and culture when it was not an acceptable thing to do. I do not regret my decision, but that choice has come with interesting and surprising consequences. It took many years for us to get used to each other’s customs and traditions. It has been quite an adventure for both of us.

The children that resulted from this union have struggled to find their own identities. Because I was doing most of the raising, since my husband’s occupation demanded that he travel quite a bit, the children mostly spoke my language and only one child is fluent in his father’s language.

I believe our children have tried to choose the best from each culture. They can also change back and forth between cultures in different circumstances to suit their desires. We have learned as parents what form of discipline worked and what did not since his culture and mine had very different opinions in this regard.

As the mother of these wonderful children that I feel very blessed to have, I have not tried to push my own culture on them. I can see the good points of both cultures and brought those to their attention. I cannot lie that at times I have been a bit sad that they chose their father’s side over mine, but I tried not to let them know that.

My children are very open minded to other cultures and loving towards all kind people. They are all outgoing and have become good citizens of our communities. We lived in my husband’s country for 13 years and now live in my country. This has given our children the foundation they need to really know who they are and develop their own families from there.

When we got married, I was very curious what our children would look like. I have blue eyes and blondish hair and my husband has a darker complexion with black hair and brown eyes. Each of our children drew their looks and characteristics from both of us. Then when our grandchildren came along, I was happy to see the variety in personality and appearance. We have a couple of blue-eyed granddaughters with light hair.

Tau’olunga by one of our granddaughters
Three of our granddaughters – Dancing Queens

A few of my grandchildren are visiting Tonga this summer. I hope they can feel the spirit of the Tongan people and love and respect they show to others. Most of them were born in Polynesian, but now they all live in the United States. I love the freedoms we enjoy in America, but a bit of respect and true love for others is waning. Aloha!

Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, home, Parenting, photography, Religion, travel

Made it to Number Ten!

Some people ask me why I only have four children. That is especially true in Polynesian Cultures and also in our church’s culture. Truly I feel blessed to have the four I do have, but some of our friends have many more children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren than we do. Not to feel sorry for myself or just in case you are thinking “why does this grandma think she is qualified to have a Grandma Blog”, since she only has 12 grandchildren?

After our first two children we born, we were told that we could not have any more. That was disheartening for my husband and I. After many doctor visits, prayers, and blessings, we were told we could have maybe one more. That is when we had our third son. What a blessing he has been to us. We call him our “Saturday’s Warrior” baby (it is a musical). When it came time for him to have what would be his first and only son, we were ecstatic. I even had a dream and was told that the new baby’s name would be Joseph. When I told my son and his wife about my dream, they were surprised because that is the name they had already chosen!

Joseph James (after his maternal grandfather) was a healthy cute baby. He was adored by his big sisters and of course me. As he grew, he reminded me so much of when his father was younger. We still lived in Hawaii then and were so happy to visit with the family often. Jojo, as we called him adored his grandma and she loved spending time with him and the girls.He was very clever and would tolerate grandma taking fun pictures of him.

Joseph was born the same day that my mother passed away. It was a bitter-sweet day and I like to think that they passed along the way.

Jojo had an affinity for pacifiers. He could not be without several during the day and night.

Jojo and his pacifiers!
Be sure to have a supply of pacifiers on hand!
Cultures, food, Hawaii, travel

So You Want to Get Married in Hawaii

To be lawfully wedded in Hawaii you must get a marriage license from the authorized agent.

The legal age for getting married is 18 years for both female and male. If you are younger than that, you will need consent from your parents.

No U.S. citizenship or Hawaii State residency are required. No proxy is allowed – both the husband and wife must physically appear in front of a marriage license agent in order to apply.

Photo Identifications are required. The fee for obtaining a license is $60 in cash. The license is good throughout the state of Hawaii. Licenses are only valid for thirty days.

You can apply for and obtain your marriage license at:

Department of Health
1250 Punchbowl Street
Room 101
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808-586-4544

It may take two to three weeks for all the paperwork to be finished so keep that in mind.

The most popular wedding venue on Oahu is the Waialae Beach Park. Only a ten-minute drive from Waikiki, it is very secluded and private.

Other venues that are popular include The Turtle Bay Resort and Waimea Bay, both on the North Shore. The Paradise Cove is a private location for more than twenty guests.

Chapels can be scheduled at Central Union, First Christian, Princess Lagoon Chapel and Primarrie Church.

There are also several other locations that are perfect for you wedding on the others islands, including Kauai, Maui and the Big Island.

Most of the time, the weather is great in Hawaii, but there actually seasons – the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season is usually from April to October and the rainy season is usually from November to March. The best months for weather are generally in April, May September and October.

If you have a wedding during the holiday months (middle of December to Middle of April), you may find that the expenses for the wedding will be more expensive.

Summer is often very hot and humid and most people on the island head to the beaches to cool off. The temperature varies only about 15 degrees and usually stays within the 70 and 80 range.

Before heading off for Hawaii, you should decide how much money you need to budget for your wedding. Do you want just a wedding ceremony or do you want to treat guests to formal dining or a luau.

It is usually less expensive to have your wedding on Oahu since there is more competition. You could get hitched on Oahu and then escape to another island for your honeymoon.

Think of all the expenses that come with wedding, including the minister, photographer, limousine services, flowers, catering, wedding singer, tuxedos, etc. Many places offer wedding packages which can be quite a deal.

If budget is not a problem, you may want to avoid all the stress and hire a wedding planner in Hawaii. Many hotels offer this service to make your day extra special. Write down all the particulars you prefer before calling a wedding planner.

http://hubpages.com/hub/So-You-Want-to-Get-Married-in-Hawaii

Beauty, Cultures, Hawaii, holidays, travel

Honeymoon Getaways in Hawaii

Hawaii does offer a lot for couples celebrating their honeymoon. There are several venues that cater to them. It is definitely a place to suit your own tastes and fulfil all your dreams.

You can choose to go to a secret hideway where you can get away from the busy hustle and bustle and relax in private. Or, you can enjoy a romantic new adventure together by joining in on a luau and enjoy the sites and sounds of the city.

There are a few particular places I wish to highlight that are wonderful for honeymooners.

The first one is very close to where I live. When we have guests, we often take them there to eat, swim or stay, if they prefer. It is located on the North Shore of Oahu and it is called the Turtle Bay Resort. It is definitely one of the most romantic places on earth! They even have wedding packages, which include limosine, Pikake Suite, oceanfront deluxe guestroom and all the rest.

Not only do they have an outstanding website. Every guest room at the Turtle Bay boasts a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. They have so many fun activities going on all the time. You can enjoy a massage, a spa, a dip in their relaxing well-landscaped pools, walk along their beaches which are five miles long, or enjoy watching the surfers catch waves closeby. There are several restaurants available with first class dining. If that is not enough, they have many trails you can hike as well as horse back riding, helicopter tours and get this – segway trail rides.

You don’t have to just believe me, check it out for yourself. I promise you will not be disappointed. It is literally one of my favorite places to go.

Another special location is set near tropical rain forests, closeby active volcanoes and white sand beaches. The Fairmont Orchid is on the Big Island on the Kohala Coast. They offer bugalows which are designed especially for honeymooners.

You can enjoy a waterfall massage, get cozy in the spa or watch sea turtles nearby. They also have tennis, golfing, and plenty of water sports available. You can check it out at at fairmont.com/orchid. During certain times of the year you can actually see the snow atop Mauna Kea – yes snow in Hawaii.

Maui is known as the island that couples will return to time after time to remember their heavenly honeymoon and often renew their vows.

At the Royal Lahaina Resort, you can honeymoon in a beachside cottage, or stay in an elegant room in the 12-story Lahaina Kai Tower.

They have five-star service and offer swimming, snorkeling, golf, tennis or fine dining. The resort is near Lahaina town which is well known for intriguing art galleries and shops.

They also offer wedding packages. If you want to be treated royally, this is the place for you.

Whichever hotel you decide to spend in for your honeymoon in Hawaii, be sure to indulge in chocolate covered macadamia nuts, enjoy the fragrance of the many tropical exotic flowers, enjoy the tradewinds and the soft sand beaches.

Be sure to write down your feelings, and take plenty of pictures.

If you have plenty of time to spend on your honeymoon, you can explore the six unique islands of Hawaii.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Honeymoon-Getaways-in-Hawaii

Cultures, Hawaii, home, travel, Uncategorized

Moving from the US Mainland to Hawaii

http://hubpages.com/hub/Suggestions-for-Moving-from-the-US-Mainland-to-Hawaii

So, you are moving to Hawaii. Lucky you! Beautiful scenery, temperate weather, and beaches! Living in Paradise has some perks, and also some extra costs. You will be better prepared and assimilate faster into the community if you are aware of a few things.

Hawaii is a group of islands in the middle of the huge Pacific Ocean. It is the 50th state to join the United States. The more that you learn about the history of Hawaii, the better you can understand those around you. If you show a love and respect for the culture and especially the land (‘aina), you will have a much more positive experience.

Try to learn a few basic Hawaiian words and their meanings. The population is so diverse, but for the most part they speak in English and pidgin (a mixture of dialects). Most of the people who live in Hawaii share the aloha spirit, but you may find that a few are quite resentful of the way Hawaii became a state. Most of all, do not be judgmental and try to learn all you can from the people.

You will find that because the weather is fairly good all year round, the insects love it too. In order to avoid infestations by termites, cockroaches, mosquitos and other creatures, you will need to spray or put out baits on a regular basis. It is better to control them than to get rid of them.

The moist salty air is perfect for rusting just about everything. Vehicles and appliances seem to suffer the most. There is rust spray available that you can use to slow down the process. Also, mold and mildew can form quite easily especially in places where it is warm and moist like the kitchen and bathrooms. It takes extra effort to keep this under control unless you have an air conditioner going all the time. This can be harmful to your health if the mold is allowed to grow.

Also, food items seem to go bad quicker unless they are stored well inside of plastic air-tight containers. You can also keep many things in the refrigerator or freezer that you may not have in the mainland.

When there is no breeze, it can become quite hot and humid. Be sure to purchase enough fans or air conditioners to make your family comfortable. With the use of electricity comes a higher bill also, so think about cost-effective appliances.

Traffic on the island of Oahu can become very frustrating, especially close to Honolulu. Also, there is only one main road going to the North Shore of Oahu, so it can also be totally cut off if there is an accident or an electricity pole falls down on the road.

It is wonderful to have sandy beaches and palm trees close by. But, as I said, living in Paradise does come with a cost. In fact, prices in Hawaii are some of the highest in the nation. The cost of gasoline, groceries and clothes can be quite expensive. There are Walmarts, Costco and Sam’s Clubs where you can get the best deals. The cost of housing can be two or three times as much as on the mainland. It is also usually smaller than what most people on the mainland are used to.

Funny though, even with all the pros and cons of Hawaii, people who have lived in and loved the islands of Hawaii do not want to leave, or hope to move back soon. We have been living here for almost twenty years now and really love it. I have learned many lessons the hard way, so I thought writing this hub may help someone that is moving here have an easier time.

There is so much to see and do in Hawaii. Hiking, swimming, golfing, cruising and gardening are just a few things that can be done almost year round. Because of this, you probably will not want for visiting family and friends from the mainland while you live in Hawaii.

Cultures, travel

Musings of a Norwegian Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl

When we lived in Arizona, I frequently visited the library. One day I discovered a book named “Fatu Hiva”, the first book written by Thor Heyerdahl ( October 6, 1914 in Larvik, Norway, Died April 18, 2002) I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. His way of using words to described his thoughts and feelings impressed me. Here are a few of them:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Musings-of-a-Norwegian-Adventurer-Thor-Heyerdahl