Hawai’i: Ka’u and Plans


I’m writing almost as much about this one week we spent in Hawai’i as I did for a month in Vietnam!

But there’s a point. It’s not just the intense feeling of being back home. The memories. Bear with me here.

My mom was playing on the Kona-side of the island with Micah and Mack while Moxie, Mikey and I went around the rest of the island.

After Honoka’a, Laupahoehoe and Hilo, we mosied down to Kalapana.


Kalapana represents a pivotal place in my life.

Back when I was 14 years old, it was the largest black sand beach on the Big Island. It was awesome.

There was going to be a party at Kalapana and I wanted to go, badly enough that I lied to my (really strict) parents and told them I was spending the night at a friend’s house. Well, long story short, I got busted and Mom and Dad drove up to Kalpana at like, 2 in the morning and drove me home.


Well, Rotary had been offering me a scholarship to go and study in Japan for a year. I had been on the fence about it until then; after I got caught at the party, there didn’t seem to be much choice: off to Japan it was for me.

In retrospect – with the clarity of 20/20 hindsight vision – I think it was a massive miscommunication between my parents and I. I was positive they wanted me to go because I kept getting into trouble. But I think now that they thought I wanted to go or something along those lines.

A sliding door

That was a sliding door moment for me. Remember that movie, “Sliding Doors”? It was basically about these two scenarios – what happens when a girl misses her train, because she doesn’t get through the train’s sliding doors in time – and what happens in the other scenario, when she actually makes it through the doors and has a whole different story trajectory.

Kalapana was my sliding door.

Not long after the party, Kilauea started erupting in the direction of Kalapana and wiped out the beach, created long stretches of new land. All hardened lava at this point.


I was getting this massive gut feeling to go to Ka’u.

Ka’u now is where the best coffee is grown. It’s a sleepy district on the southern part of the Big Island, full of farms.

So we went down and checked out a coffee farm (which also grew macadamia nuts), then headed over to the black sand beach close by.

Moxie being Moxie, insisted on swimming some. The waves were high, so we said, sure, hang out in the tide pool! And of course I got my camera out.

She is so ridiculously cute, isn't she?!!

Moxie frolicked in the water after that, and I was talking with Mikey, just relaxing. When it seemed clear that Moxie was done, we called her over and we were walking back over the lava rocks to the beach. Thinking this was a rock in the water, I almost stepped on him:

Yeah. A huge, wild green sea turtle just hanging out in the tide pools.

Honestly, it felt like we had seen a unicorn or something.

It was that magical.

I started wondering how much land cost there – and I was stunned that we can actually afford to buy. It’s a fraction of what land costs on the Lost Coast.

What else? Smooth roads. Two major airports nearby. A tourist industry close by. Which means that our original idea of having a training center that was by and for disability – along with a farm-to-table type of agricultural enterprise – might be pretty easy to implement there.


Right?! I mean this is huge. But it’s not, not really. We are not thinking of moving tomorrow or anything, but we are definitely interested in a slow move over there. We want to start by figuring out where to buy land. Build connections and figure out what the need is in the farming and disability communities.

We very much want to remain on the Lost Coast. We belong here in a way that we have never felt before, and we love it deeply, dearly.

But Hawai’i also calls and is also a place we can belong. In the long term, over a slow move, it seems like a very good place to transition to. We can start a business, Mikey can go back to school if he wants to (I can too!). It’s easy. It makes sense. At this point in my life, I love things that are easy and make sense to me.

So, we’ll see.

is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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