Monday, June 30, 2014

The all-embracing spirit of Aloha

Puna, a place on the Big Island of Hawaii, has always had a colorful reputation because of its "Punatics." It is quite difficult for me to describe what a "Punatic" is but there's something to be said when people no longer grimace when they hear someone called a  "Punatic." 

So when a  stark naked woman decided to create mayhem near a grade school in Puna, very few were shocked. They simply shook their heads and said, "She didn't mean harm, she was just being a Punatic."

These days to be called a "punatic" can be a badge of honor. Afterall, some people are even proud to be considered as renegades from mainstream lifestyles.

The people of Puna have been so good at being Punatics that the other day they inaugurated a landing pad in Kalapana that was built for visiting extra-terrestials.  I suspect that  E.T. scouts among Punatics played a huge role in making possible the "Hawaii Star Visitor Sanctuary," as the landing pad is called. You see, the spirit of Aloha does not discriminate. Aloha is all-inclusive and  all-embracing --  even to those from other galaxies. Please see related link below.

"Women of the Womb" chant to open communication during the launch of the Hawaii Star Visitor Sanctuary in Kalapana, Big Island, Hawaii. Photo credit: Hawaii Tribune Herald

Last Saturday, Punatics were at it again -- spreading Aloha -- this time among fellow Punatics.

Community organizations in Puna got together and distributed school supplies to keikis (children). The Neighborhood Place of Puna, a local organization,  spearheaded the project which aims to "provide basic and essential school supplies to East Hawaii's at-risk children so that they can begin the school year ready to learn."

Other local groups readily helped. Among those were the Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset, Puna Lions, Men of Paa,  Kamehameha Schools, Bay Clinic, United Way, HOPE Services Hawaii, Kua O Kala Charter School, and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

It took the whole morning to service the long line of parents and children but the palpable camaraderie among volunteers and the smiles on kids' faces were all worth the time and effort. 

Here are some photos I took of the event. Most of them are unedited and untouched.  I apologize for cutting off heads, torsos and appendages and for skewed and dark pictures.

The Neighborhood Place of Puna spearheaded the supplies distribution project

Members of the Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset

Those crayons look so yummy!


Some brought refreshments

Hawaii County District 4 council candidates Auntie Maddie Green and Auntie Emilie Naeole  in a tete-a-tete.


Pahoa Rotarian Jane Gibson in action

Puna Councilman Greggor Ilagan and former Pahoa Rotary Club President Alan Lakritz "shaka-ing"

Men of Paa in action

Incoming Pahoa Rotary Club President Craig Watkins and active community volunteer Ralph Boyea taking a break

Related links:
Posted with Aloha
- By Ariel Murphy