I have been lucky enough to call Maui my home for twenty years. I grew up on another, much colder island in the North Atlantic Ocean, and traveled the world for four years, but never have I felt so much love for a place as I do for Maui. It is the place where my children were born and are being raised. It is an island I work hard to protect and respect and is a place so full of beauty and rich with culture that it has a pulse of its own.
I have to believe, and it is one reason why I create The Mauimama, that once we know better, we do better. In life, in parenting, in how we relate to each other and how we take care of ourselves and our world around us.
The Hawaiian islands have a root culture that is one of the most beautiful, strong, sustainable orientated cultures the world has ever seen. Hawaii is the only place that has ALOHA and was fully sustainable for thousands of years with deep practices and belief and social systems. However, if you study the history and culture of the islands, which I highly recommend if you live here, you will learn a lot about how this culture has been desecrated and at times almost wiped out.
Each Mauimama issue is different. In this issue I want to shine a light on Maui’s rich culture and the adversity it is facing today; specifically, adversity from the diverted water flow from East Maui. This affects not only nature, but the way of life for many families who have practiced a sustainable way of living for generations (see page 7). And the adversity to our cultural practitioners of birth (midwives), who will be criminalized if the Hawaii Senate Bill SB1312 is passed (see page 18).
It takes courage to stand up for what you believe is right. I feel the time has come that manawahine (see page 6) rise up in larger numbers and get involved to help steer our community forward. On May 29th we have the opportunity to walk in solidarity to support the restoration of water flow to East Maui (see page 12 and back cover). Water is life. And when women get together in large numbers it can be very powerful.
We can also sign petitions (see page 5), write to our senators (again see page 18), write to publications asking questions (see page 23) and know that in doing so we are creating a better world for our children and our community. We can stand up for ourselves and our neighbors. We have a voice that can be heard. We are mothers and we are busy mothering (happy Mother’s Day by the way), but we can show our children that women can be strong and involved and when we come together in large numbers we can move mountains.
Image Credit: Kyra Glover Kaalekahi