Under the azure skies and swaying coconut palms all is not well. There is an increasing drug problem among the youth. Not just marijuana, but also meth "ice" as they call it. Drugs find their way over on inter-island flights from Honolulu, which in turn come from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Marijuana "grows all over the island" according to the locals.
In the evenings, it is not uncommon to find young and old alike sitting at the beach drinking. It seems that most people, after being on the island for awhile, begin to take on a slower pace and develop an affinity for relaxing in this way.
Speaking of sitting at the beach, we had a nice time barbecuing steaks with some of the locals. Steve is playing some original music he wrote, laced with Hawaiian style praise to his creator. He has a great voice and the music was uniquely beautiful.
There are those who work, and many jobs are outside in the sun and humidity. Mozart and I noticed that our Mahi Mahi burgers, bought at a local food stand, were very salty. "Hawaiian food is known to be salty," says our friend Sheryl. "Most likely it evolved that way because people sweat a lot working in the humidity here."
Another problem is Hawaii's 50th anniversary of statehood celebration this year. Apparently not everyone is joining the party. Hawaiian sovereignty groups complain that the U.S. government forced the issue. They want to take their islands back. But most people are happy about statehood, saying that Hawaii would have been taken over by Japan or China, if the U.S. hadn't been there.
Back at the barbecue, the sun is slowly sinking.
I walked out toward the water to see the sunset.
Watching the water slap against the black rocks, I thought of Kauai's problems and felt compelled to pray. For the youth...for the churches...for God's touch on this island.
And then someone called out that sea turtles were feeding along the jetty.
Mozart grabbed his camera and managed to capture about 16 photos. This was more difficult than it sounds. One has to wait until the turtle comes up for a breath of air. And when you're standing in pitch darkness, leaning over the water, trying not to fall off the jetty—one can botch a shot. Below are the two that came out.
Coming soon: Road to Waimea Canyon and the dirt bikers...