Spirit of aloha

We're driving back from Kapaa to Hanalei. Hanalei has become more self-sufficient in the seven years since we last visited, but there are still a few things it doesn't have, like a drug store and an ATM that's attached to an actual bank (I don't trust stand-alone kiosks). We had already passed one hitchhiker. He was only a boy, by the look of him, but we tend not to pick up guys. Hopefully he got a ride quickly.

We're well outside Kapaa in the middle of not much, where you can actually drive at 50 m.p.h. We see a slender young woman standing at an intersection. She has actually picked a good spot—shaded, with a right-turn lane—but of course all the cars are zooming by. We don't see her soon enough to pull over safely. But we decide that we are going to do a mizvah. I told you I wasn't going to forget the homeless girl any time soon. We turn around at the next opportunity, not far down the road, and go back. She is still looking for a lift.

She is delightful company on the ride back to Hanalei. She tells us she has been on the island for 15 years and lives west of Hanalei, where the road winds along the coast through a heavily wooded area across several one-lane bridges. She works on environmental projects, and she solves the mystery of the tall grass-like plant that lined the road—cane grass. Sweetie had thought it looked like sugar cane. Apparently it's a bit of a pesky weed in these parts. She also tells us about some markets, and points out a stand coming into Hanalei where someone sells locally grown avocados for 50 cents—on the honour system!

We pull over at our turn to let her out. She is going to do some shopping in Hanalei before continuing to her home. She gives us two beautiful ripe apple bananas, which she says she picked herself. It's a perfect gift for us (we love them), and we are very grateful.

Those bananas go perfectly with lunch. They are sweet and wonderful!

Our rider spoke of the "spirit of aloha"—islanders helping each other out. We have so much. We need to make sure that spirit is in us when we go back home.

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