March/April Issue

Saturday
Jun292013

“Danger: You Could Die Here in Paradise”

From Debra Rienstra

I know that important things have been happening in the news this week, but I don’t care because: I’m in Hawaii. Been here for almost two weeks with my wonderful partner, Ron, celebrating 25 years of marriage. We are giving ourselves a much-needed and extravagant rest from life on the mainland, literally and figuratively.

“Wow, it’s true, isn’t it?” That was my reaction as we strolled through the grounds of the hotel where we stayed the first night. The fragrant plumeria, the warm temperatures, the swaying palms—exactly what one would expect from a tropical paradise. (For those of you who need to know: we’re on the Big Island, Kona side.)

A couple nights later, we went to a fantastic luau, which fully delivered on all the tropes: shimmy-hip dancers, tiki torches, imu-cooked pig, the whole bit. And it was surprisingly uncheesy: the musicians and dancers were all total professionals and, as Ron put it, “never missed a mark.” Incidentally, here’s a note to file under the heading “missionary success”: the lovely emcee announced that she would offer a traditional Hawaiian blessing before the meal, and she proceeded to sing the Doxology—in Hawaiian. For those of you keeping score, that’s a seventeenth-century English text translated into Hawaiian in the nineteenth century, sung to a sixteenth century Genevan hymn tune. Very cool.  

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