On TA ideas abound on Oahu. I suggest considering stepping beyond your comfort zone and giving back to the island and the people. You may gain insight or learn something totally new.
I had an evening that slightly impacted my perspective on life and no I didn't go to Roxy's in Kailua.. The story doesn't involve drinking or anything fancy and unusual. The story is rather bland and boring, but the interaction memorable even for one who volunteers as often as possible.
I took a friend to a Chinese restaurant as a break from his hard work. After dinner, I asked for containers for the left overs. My dinner guest was perplexed as we would not have time to eat them.
Driving back, I said, "Let's go meet some homeless people.". Yes, food for the homeless! We passed one, but he didn't look hungry. Found a second in a make shift box. His name was Mark.
Mark had made a man cave out of a few boxes not far from the road. I walked up to him as he sat on an old gym like mat reading a Robert Ludlum book listening to classical music.
I asked if he knew anyone who was hungry as I thought this the best way to pay him respect. The McDonalds bag I noticed in front of him indicated he had food. His response was that of a kind gentleman, perhaps in his 40's. I'm not good on age. He thanked me and said that he was getting full. He also shared with me that he was fortunate. More fortunate than most he was proud to say.
We continued to talk and he told me of two people who needed food worse than him. It was emotional the way he suggested I should give some to Grace. He pointed toward a building that was about 100 yards away. She was supposedly tucked inside a passage way. Another lady in need, whom he called Locks, was sometimes to be found around by a bank.
He shared with me that he takes upon himself to help and protect Grace. "She needs more help than most," he said. "Grace has so little compared to me," he continued, "I'm sure she'll want the food. Don't expert her to say much."
At that point he asked my name. He was reaching out for friendship in his way. As he said that he was glad to meet me, Mark stuck out his hand.
I think my friend was a little surprised yet he took it all in.
I then drove to the hallway that was more like a small, crowded vestibule. Grace's talk made no sense. It scared me a little like the first time a guy asks a girl to dinner. No communication really occurred between us. Even my cynical self was moved almost to tears as I offered her the container of food.
As crazy as it seems in that moment I was incredibly humbled as if serving royalty. Grace reached out and accepted my gesture of kindness and shimmied into her temporary home. There was no thank you. None was needed. It was clear that it was appreciated, but her social skills were closer to an unsophisticated aboriginal lady than a civilized American.
I left. I was moved. My friend was incredibly moved. I felt my world and paradigm shifting, but for the life of me I'm not sure what the shift means.
This isn't a social or political message. It is a chance to travel with impact. People can argue that I did nothing more than the feeding of birds at a restaurant increasing the problem. I'm not saying what is right or wrong. I'm only saying that we can make a positive impact when we travel.
Having worked food programs before it is different going to them and extending kindness
Next, i want to spend a weekend or week being homeless in Hawaii. I may just do it.
As I finish this piece flying over California in civilized comfort I feel positive that all of us can gain and give when we travel. Consider giving back when in Hawaii. Imagin what a 1/2 day of helping could do to the island and the world.