nothing like 100 percent hawaiian pineapple! history || born and raised | experiences | my path
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born and raised.

Puunene Sugar Mill As far as I have traveled and as time moves on I will always treasure being born and raised in Hawaii.

I was born and raised on the Island of Maui, where the saying is "Maui No Ka Oi" translated Maui is the Best. Not many people can say that they were born and raised in paradise. I thank the Lord for all that he has given me in this life. Not only the opportunity to be raised in a diverse community but to be a member of a loving and close family that I treasure each day of my life.

Hawaii is a special place. Built on the traditions of the Native Polynesians, the Hawaiian Monarchy, the missionaries, and the cultures of the sugar plantation era, Hawaii is a place where everyone can coexist and share each other's cultural values. Growing up, I had friends from all types of cultures from Filipino to Chinese to Japanese to Caucasian to German to Mexican to Vietnamese to African American. We all grew up together knowing our ancestors rich history in the Islands.

1993 Mailem Family Picture Many cultures worked in the Sugar Plantations, which many do not exist today. In the plantations, the workers came up with their own language called 'Pidgin English' in order to communicate with each other. This language and being forced to work with each other built a bridge between cultures that we take for granted today.

Today, that collaboration of cultures is part of the "Aloha Spirit." The people of Hawaii through the generations have built the "Aloha Spirit" through kindness, openness, and generosity. We are proud of our history and traditions that transcends through every "local." It is the smiles and the willingness to share our warm hearts and aloha with everyone. It's a sense of belonging and the feeling of being a part of the ohana or family.

I would not be here today if it was not for my family. I treasure all of the memories of my family and growing up with my mother, father, two older sisters, and my grandmother. I have learned my foundations of life through each person. Both of my parents wanted only the best for my sisters and myself. I remember my parents enrolling my two sisters in hula, as for me I passed on that but did learn how to play the guitar. It's these things that helped us to be open to new things and endeavors.

laurie's graduation 2000 My parents sacrificed a lot to get three kids through college. All of us, attended and graduated from mainland universities. My oldest sister, Lilibeth graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors in Architectural Engineering, while my other sister, Laurie graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a Bachelor's in Psychology. And I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor's in Studio Art. We all achieved our goals of having a degree and each of us thank our parents for helping and supporting us. Even through the challenges of moving away and the struggles of exams and projects they guided us.

As time moves on and as I continue on this journey, I am proud of my history both the accomplishments and the failures, and of my family the good times and the bad times. They are a part of my life that I will forever treasure in my heart. As the sun sets each day, I thank the Lord for all that he has given me.

a hui hou malama pono.

copyright 2009 | a dalance design.