Archive for April, 2007

All the World’s a Carnival!

Rotating carnival ballsI’ve got a great word for our Hawaiian vocabulary word of the day: “p?ka k?niwala” which means amusement park or carnival.

Why is this such a great word? Well, Homespun Honolulu is a participant this week in the Carnival of Cities so it seemed like an appropriate time to add Carnival to our list of vocabulary words.

This is a first for me and I’m happy to be part of something so neat like this. I wanted to share it with everyone and let you guys know how to get there and see all of it.

While most carnivals have a start and end, this carnival is an Internet carnival and goes on 24/7! The best part is you don’t have to leave the house, pay for tickets or stand in line — you just need to sit back, click the links and read.

Each week, there are cities that participate and I decided to share the Lighthouses for the 8th Edition of the Carnival of Cities which carries the title of Global Village.

All of you bloggers out there can do this too. Just blog about your city or something going on in your city and submit the story for consideration. You can go here for the instructions and other information.

Cities and their stories can be truly fascinating. This gives a fresh idea of what’s going on in the world beyond our own borders! Rest your mouse on the addresses of the cities listed below and you will see the names of their stories at the end of the web address in your status bar.

Here are the links to the stories included in this week’s Carnival of Cities:

American Cities

European Cities

Asian Cities

Australian Cities

Enjoy this trip around the world and happy reading!

Christ is Risen!

Such is the victory cry of Orthodox Christians all over the world just after midnight on Easter morning. Christ’s victory over death and the key of the Christian faith everywhere is worth singing about. The Orthodox Community of Hawaii, better known as the “Church of the Iveron Icon of the Theotokos” is no exception.

Located at 931 Hausten Street, just a block away from University Avenue, this little mission parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) goes all the way through Lent and Holy Week commemorating and celebrating just like its mainland brethren and its ruling diocese on Geary Street in San Francisco.

Many of you are saying, “Huh?” Yes, on occasion the Orthodox Church has been called the best kept secret. They don’t proselytize, they just are. “In Hawaii?” Surprise! Actually, one of the first Orthodox services held in Hawaii was by Russian Clergy who disembarked for the service from a ship temporarily in port while passing the islands. That was a very, very long time ago. Hawaii was not a State, not a territory and not Christian.

Parish in purple.

The lenten period begins with the tables, icon stands and even the music stands draped in purple. The clergy’s vestments are as well. It stays this way for all of lent until Palm Sunday when the covers, and the Priest’s vestments, are changed to green for that day.

Basket of palm leaves tied to pussy willow branches with purple ribbon.An interesting thing about the Russian Orthodox Church is that something is different about those palm leaves, as you can see. In Russia there are no palm leaves. The only thing in bloom at this time of year is pussy willows. So, that’s what they used to commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. The tradition in Honolulu, and in San Francisco, is to have both palm leaves and pussy willows since there is access to both!

After Palm Sunday, the colors are changed to black for Holy Week.

HolyFridayOn Great and Holy Friday (aka Good Friday) the icon of the body of Christ is surrounded by flowers and venerated by the faithful during morning and evening services.

In addition to the usual services for Great and Holy Friday, the parish in Honolulu, in the typical Hawaiian style of ethnic blending, has seen fit to incorporate a couple of services from the Greek Orthodox tradition. One of those is the service of Lamentations which is done on Friday evening as well.

On Saturday night in anticipation of the midnight Resurrection service, people crowd into the small little parish and wait. Prayers are read and hymns are sung repeating the tragic events just one more time before the triumph. Because of the global time difference Honolulu is probably one of, if not THE, last places to celebrate the Holy Resurrection. The Church is in darkness and and all lights are extinguished.

A single candle light emerges Father leads the procession around outside the church.from the altar and is passed back to all the faithful who are now holding candles awaiting the flame to come their way. In Jerusalem several hours before, the Holy Fire presented itself in great glory.

Father, now vested in white, leads the procession of candle-holding parishioners around outside in a procession as he and the faithful sing,

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling down death by death
and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

Inside, the covers have now all been changed to white. The service of the Resurrection is completed and is followed by Divine Liturgy.

Hawaiian BibleOn Sunday morning, the parishioners return to Church for Agape Vespers which includes the reading of the appropriate gospels in a variety of languages.

This year, the parish in Honolulu read the gospels in Slavonic, English, Chinese, German and, you got it, Hawaiian! The Reader of the parish made sure of that!

Here is our Hawaiian vocabulary word, or Word, for this past weekend: Na ‘Euanelio Hemolele, the inscription on Icon stand with Resurrection Icon and basket of blessed eggsthe book seen here, means The Holy Gospel. But, I know you knew that!

After the Agape Vespers (agape is Greek for love) the little Russian parish celebrates at its Agape Picnic. They celebrate with all of the meat, eggs, dairy products and non-lenten cuisine you can possibly handle!

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Russian: Khristos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese!

WANTED! Dead or Alive!

Tokay geckoIsn’t he incredible?  No, he’s not a painted work of art like the Geckos in Paradise and he’s not in the zoo… he’s in your back yard!  He may be in paradise but he’s an uninvited and unwelcome guest.  This photo was taken by Richard Ling and the larger version can be seen at

I have to admit, he is beautiful… as reptiles go, but, this little bugger bites!  We don’t have reptiles that bite.  Nobody told this gecko that we don’t do that here.  We also don’t need another predator to further threaten our endangered birds.  He likes to steal eggs.  

This little reptile is the target of the Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC) to stop it before it procreates and covers the island.  This species is NOT indigenous to Hawaii and is an invader who probably got here via the illegal smuggling of animals and got in under the radar of the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s quarantine station.

I know we asked the Geico gecko to move over for our reptilian works of art, but I think we need to call him back from vacation.  I wonder if Geico offers coverage for gecko infestation.  

In all seriousness, be aware and program this number into your cell phones!  If you hear him or see him, call 643-PEST!  Don’t mess around with admiring him.  He is aggressive and his bite is difficult to dislodge.  Here is the flyer.  He may be up to a foot long, he is loud, and I’ll wager he moves pretty quickly!  

Pinwheels Pinpoint a Good Cause

Lawn with pinwheelsOn April 1st, last Sunday, 4,000 pinwheels were placed on the lawn of the state Capitol to mark the beginning of the prevention of child abuse month. These colorful lawn ornaments were placed there to represent the 4,000 child abuse cases on record in the state.

This cute and appropriate array of colorful toys was the combined effort of Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii, HMSA (Hawaii Medical Service Association), Foster Realty and the State of Hawaii Department of Health.

Some of the pinwheels, 20 of them to be exact, were larger than the others. Unfortunately, by this past Wednesday, only three days later, those 20 bigger pinwheels were gone. They were just children’s toys but someone decided to “borrow” them. Maybe they thought they would be great for Easter. Who knows? The culprit was probably unaware of the purpose of the pinwheels.

Endless pinwheels along the lawn of the state Capitol

While I was taking these pictures, a lady pulled up, got out of her car and asked me what those pretty pinwheels were for. I knew why they were there but anyone else would have been inclined to ask the same question. I have to admit that the signage was poor and the purpose was not clearly stated anywhere.

Plumeria tree branchSo, picking those pinwheels probably meant nothing more to the picker than picking a couple of plumerias from a tree along the side of the road. The person was probably thinking, “They’ve been here for three days and the wind is only going to blow them away anyway.”

Opposite lawn of the state Capitol

The idea was a good one and very colorful. It remains a question as to how many people were moved or how much awareness was raised by this display, but the lawn of our state Capitol never looked so festive!

We’ll Leave the Light On for You!

View of Aloha Tower from Fort Street

What is the fascination with lighthouses? Why do artists like Thomas Kinkade paint them all the time? Are they silent sentinels? Are they watchdogs that watch over the coastlines while we sleep? Are they lines of protection that keep passers by from crashing into our skylines? Are they places that harbor the romantic passion of lovers separated by distance or loss? Perhaps they are all of these things.

I have to say that I am going to take the stand that, for our purposes here, Pyramid Rock and Ka’ena Point lighthouses don’t make the cut to be included here or acknowledged for anything more than the light they give. I will only mention them in passing since they are either inaccessible, not worth seeing or both.

Pyramid Rock is a light fixed on top of a rock on a military base so it doesn’t count because not only is it nearly impossible to get to, there is no “house.”

Ka’ena Point has fallen due to coastline erosion and has been replaced by a light on top of a stick. Sorry, I have an attitude about Ka’ena Point because it is part of my old stomping ground as I was growing up. It is the part of the island that is, I feel, ignored and neglected by government officials.Closer view of Aloha Tower

Even the Coast Guard is now guilty of this same lack of interest in replacing/restoring one of its own lighthouses to its original glory.

Anyway, the Ka’ena Point lighthouse is no longer worth the trip unless you want to see the fallen over lighthouse now covered with graffiti; or, unless you want to see the light-on-a-stick which certainly interferes with any romantic sensibilities about lighthouses.

I will only deal here with places of interest that have significant meaning and/or give us something to talk about.

We’ll begin with Aloha Tower as it tops our pictorial story. I never even thought of Aloha Tower as being a lighthouse. I always considered it just a giant clock, and that’s only when I even paid any attention to it at all.

Aloha Tower and entry to the marketplaceIt used to stand as a solitary sentinel but now it has become the focal point for one of Honolulu’s newer, tourist-attracting shopping centers.

Some people will remember it as one of the fly-by photos during the opening sequence of the old TV show, “Hawaii 5-0.” Yes, it has been here that long… longer!

We’ll talk about Aloha Tower Marketplace in another post. I promise.

Did I say, “I promise?”

It seems to get me in trouble when I promise things.

Here we are back at Makapu’u Point so we can get up there and get pictures of the lighthouse.

Some time back I promised readers that I would get pictures of those abandoned bunkers left over from WW II.

WW II bunker from Makapu'uTrying to be good to my word, I did indeed run up to the top to take pictures of these things that cannot be seen from the street below (including the lighthouse of course).

I need to note here that if you think you see anything in the waters surrounding this area, you probably do. This is a place people go to whale watch and there were whales in the water that day.

On this day that I went up to get these photos, a gentleman was standing calmly with his camera as he stood overlooking the lighthouse and the water below. He said he was watching a mother and baby humpback whale and he tried to point out a flipper emerging from the water, but I didn’t see it.

Back to my promise…

Read the rest of this entry »