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The Meaning of Aloha

"And wherever [the native Hawaiian] went he said 'Aloha' in meeting or in parting. 'Aloha' was a recognition of life in another. If there was life there was mana, goodness and wisdom, and if there was goodness and wisdom there was a god-quality.

       One had to recognize the 'god of life' in another before saying 'Aloha,'
         but this was easy. Life was everywhere-- in the trees, the flowers,
       the ocean, the fish, the birds, the pili grass, the rainbow, the rock--in all
  the world was life--was god--was Aloha. Aloha in its gaiety, joy, happiness, abundance.

     Because of Aloha, one gave without thought of return; because of Aloha, one
     had mana. Aloha had its own mana. It never left the giver but flowed freely and
     continuously between giver and receiver. 'Aloha' could not be thoughtlessly or
     indiscriminately spoken, for it carried its own power. No Hawaiian could greet
     another with 'Aloha' unless he felt it in his own heart. If he felt anger or hate
              in his heart he had to cleanse himself before he said


         Helena G. Allen, The Betrayal of Liliuokalani, Last Queen of Hawaii,
                1838-1917. (Mutual Publishing: Honolulu, 1982)

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Maui Facts

Known as the Valley Isle, Maui is the 2nd largest island in the Hawaiian chain.

Maui is known for long stretches of beautiful beaches and the landmark Haleakala Crater, the House of the Sun.

Maui is also the breeding ground for the Humpback Whale, who winters here before returning to Alaska.

Maui is approximately 48 miles (76.8km) long and 26 miles (41.6km) wide, totaling 728 square miles.

Maui County includes the islands of Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai.

There are actually 132 Hawaiian Islands, atolls, shoals and reefs!

The newest Hawaiian Island, not yet to the surface, is Loihi, located southwest of the Big Island of Hawaii.

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Lahaina Facts & History

Lahaina Harbor once provided a safe haven for whaling fleets and sail-powered freighters. At one time the Carthaginian, the only authentically restored brig in the world, was located there, however has since been taken out to open water and sunk..providing divers with a wonderful opportunity. Atlantis Submarines also circles the wreck as part of their underwater tour.

Also in the Lahaina Harbor area is the Fort on the Canal, the old Courthouse and the banyan tree.

The Fort was built in 1831 out of coral blocks that were hewn by hand. Once covering an area of about one acre, with 20 foot walls, now all that remains is a small section of the southwest corner.

The Courthouse, built in 1859, years after the Fort had been destroyed, functioned as a custom house, a post office, a collector's office, an office for the Governor, a police office and a courtroom. The Courthouse is presently home to the Lahaina Arts Society and the Lahaina Visitor Center, operated by the LahainaTown Action Committee, a non-profit organization that sponsors cultural and promotional events in Lahaina.

The Banyan Tree, the oldest in the state of Hawaii, came from India in 1873. At the time, it was only eight feet tall. Now the tree stands about 50 feet in height, spans approximately 200 feet in length, and shades nearly two-thirds of an acre.

The oldest surviving building in Lahaina, the Baldwin Home was built in 1834 with coral, stone and wood. The home of Rev. Dwight Baldwin was not only a center for missionary activity, but a medical office as well. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation, which is responsible for preserving the historic sites of Lahaina, maintains the home as a museum.

The Prison, located on the corner of Wainee and Prison streets, was built in 1851 out of the coral blocks from the Fort. Most of the prisoners were either deserters or drunks. The prison grounds are currently used for town meetings and other functions.

The Wainee Cemetery was Hawaii's first Christian graveyard. Established in 1823, this cemetery is the burial site of many Hawaiian royalty, including King Kaumualii, the last king of Kauai; Hoapili, Kamehameha's best friend; Kekauonohi, queen of Kamehameha II; Princess Nahienaena, the sister of Kamehameha II and III; and Liliha, a granddaughter of King Kahekili, who is reputed to be the father of Kamehameha. This site is very sacred to the Hawaiians.

The Maria Lanakila Church, located on the corner of Wainee and Dickenson streets, is a replica of a Catholic church built on the site in 1858. Maui's first Catholic church, a much smaller structure, was established here in 1856.

The Wo Hing Temple, the fraternal hall of the local Wo Hing Society, which is a chapter of the centuries-old Chee Kung Tong, was originally built in 1912 and served a the social center for the Chinese who had migrated to work in the sugar cane fields. Restored in 1983, the Wo Hing Temple is now a museum that showcases the history of the Chinese in Lahaina. Movies taken by Thomas Edison when he visited Hawaii in 1898 and 1903 are also shown.

The Jodo Mission, near Mala Wharf, boasts the largest Buddha outside of Japan and, for that reason, is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Lahaina. The grounds of the church are used for the annual Obon celebration and community functions.

On the grounds of the oldest school west of the Rockies, Lahainaluna High School, the Hale Pai, or printing house, was founded in 1831 by Protestant missionaries. Restored in 1982, visitors are welcome every day except Sunday.

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Maui Weather

Maui precipitation offers something for everyone...from rain forest to desert conditions! Kihei typically receives 13 inches (all during the winter), while Hana is drenched with 90 inches per year and mountain areas may get over 400 inches!

Weather and Surf info available at: 244-8934, then enter either 1520 for a Maui weather report or 1521 for Maui surf information. These hotlines are just a local phone call away!

Average Temperature: Winter months - 71 degrees; Summer months - 78 degrees.

Highest Recorded Temperature: Kahului Airport - 96 degrees, Kihei - 98 degrees.

Lowest Recorded Temparature: Kahului - 48 degrees, Haleakala - 14 degrees.

Trade Winds: These nearly constant breezes keep the humidity down and the heat tolerable. Coming from the northeast at about 5-15 miles per hour, they naturally cool and clear the air.

Kona Winds: Come in the opposite direction of the trade winds and usually forecast bad weather. Local residents are so in touch with their surroundings they can usually smell and feel the change these winds bring.

VOG: Volcanic activity on the Big Island of Hawaii creates a hazy type of weather condition. It only rarely affects Maui and you'll probably only know it's vog if someone tells you. If it looks smokey, but there's no fire, it's probably VOG.

Rainbows are plentiful here, but be on the look out for ghostly moonbows at night!

TSUNAMI WARNING SIRENS: The tsunami warning sirens are tested on the first Monday of each month at noon. You don't need be alarmed unless the sirens go off at some other time! When a rare tidal wave or hurricane is on the way, turn on the radio or television.

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Sugar Cane

Sugar cane begins with a 12 inch long "slip" cut from a stalk of cane that is machine inserted into the earth.

The sugar cane then receives irrigation and fertilization, but not much else in the way of  human attention beyond that while it is growing, and is ready for harvest in 24 months.

A single cane stalk can produce three crops. Then the field is replanted with new slips.

An acre of land can yield over 90 tons of cane or 12.5 tons of raw sugar.

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Sugarcane Burning

After a cane field burn, especially on calm days, there will be lots of smoke in the air. Tradewinds will clear it out by the following day. Cane field burning is used to clear debris and excess leaves from the cane. It does not "cook" or prepare the cane in any way.

The cane burning must be carefully scheduled to take advantage of favorable winds and weather conditions. The sugar companies have teams that coordinate within the company and communicate to the public. Often announcements of planned harvests are made on the radio. Use the information and take another route if at all possible. Avoid breathing the smoke if you can!

While these huge sugarcane fires are amazing and sometimes beg to be photographed, bystanders can get in the way. It is NOT safe to stop near a burn and it is foolish to even get close. Fires are carefully watched, but a sudden wind shift can direct smoke or flames in any direction. The smoke can be dense enough to disorient anyone and the dry fields burn quickly.

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Driving on Maui

Get used to hearing directions with the terms mauka (toward the mountain) or makai (toward the sea) rather than north and south. (Example: Alio Street is mauka of Front Street)

Don't honk. It is considered poor manners to honk your horn in traffic on Maui. You don't honk in Paradise!

Right turns at stop lights and stop signs are permitted after first stopping.

Avoid driving in the bike lanes on Maui. Confused drivers often assume they're additional traffic lanes!

When exploring the beautiful beaches just a few feet from the pavement in places like Olowalu and Kihei, use extreme caution. I wish I had a dollar for every car I've seen stuck in what looked like trustworthy sand. And, it's often tricky getting back onto the road again due to the sometimes heavy traffic flow in these areas.

Look for the red and yellow markers in the shape of Hawaiian warriors along the roads. They mark historical landmarks and points of interest.

When you see a whale, pull over carefully to the side of the road. Don't just jam on your brakes...unless you have great insurance coverage! Every whale season we see dozens on traffic accidents caused by visitors who sight their first whale and go immediately for the brakes.

Do not ride the brakes going down Haleakala. Try downshifting, by using a lower gear, well before the car gets going too fast and you burn up the brakes!

Traffic is often heavy and we tend to drive somewhat aggressively here; you'll be driving like a local in no time!

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Whale Watching

Maui, among other things, is known as the breeding ground of the Humpback Whale. Visitors coming here in the Winter months have a rare opportunity to glimpse the Humpbacks frolicking during their annual stay in our waters.

No one is quite positive as to where the whales have been before arriving here. Some of them appear from the northeast, as though they've come straight from their feeding grounds off Alaska, while others arrive from the south.

Our Humpback visitors appear in Maui waters from the middle of November through May, seeking refuge from the forbidding weather of their northern habitat.

They come to Maui waters to mate and give birth to their young, and their annual migration north begins in April and by June most of our Humpback friends have left the area.

Whale watching on Maui is acknowledged to be some of the best in the world. Don't miss the opportunity to view our Humpback Whales and their young by taking the ultimate Maui whale watching cruise with "Pride of Maui". Give them a call: Toll Free (877) TO-PRIDE | Local (808) 242-0955.

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Maui's Special Days

In addition to the Federal and religious holidays that are always celebrated on the mainland United States, Hawaii has quite a few additional holidays and fun events:

Whale Watching Season: Late November through April

Prince Kuhio Day:March 26*

Maui Taro Festival (Hana): March 29-31

Upcountry Fair (Makawao): June 8-9

King Kamehameha Day: June 11*

Makawao Rodeo & Fourth of July Parade, O-bon Dances (Jodo Missions): July thru August

Hawaii Admission Day: 3rd Friday in August*

Maui Onion Festival: August 2-4

Maui Writers Conference: August 30-Sept 2

Taste of Lahaina: September 13-15

Maui County Fair: Last weekend in September

Aloha Festivals: October 6-15

Halloween in Lahaina: October 31

First Night (New Years Eve): December 31

*State & County offices, banks, and schools are closed.

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Hana Points of Interest

Hana Eating Places

Distance & Travel Time from Hana Town: (Approximate)

Churches in Hana

Other Island Churches

Assembly of God--Lahaina, Kahului, Kula
Catholic--Lahaina, Kihei

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