Friday, March 25, 2016

Talking Story #SOL16 Day 26

"We're just talking story." Pualani's words will forever live in my mind. Of the many kind folks I've met in Hawaii, Pualani stands as the best storyteller. "That's how the kids learn," she told me.  Yes it is.

We all learn from stories, so as we set out for our tour of the north shore of Oahu we listened. We talked stories. And through our stories we learned.

Among the first stories Pualani wanted to talk is the story of Pearl Harbor and the circumstances that gave context to that infamous moment in history. Pualani tested our knowledge of history, including our awareness of Matthew Perry's  role in forcing Japan to open in 1853. This event set the stage for the attack. 

Throughout our tour, Pualini fed us the stories of Hawaii. We learned about the history of pineapple growing and visited the Dole plantation.
Pualini wanted to make sure we tasted all the flavors of Hawaii, so she shared pineapple sprinkled with Li Hing Mui powder and insisted we try some. We can buy it at Costco if we want some Hawaiian flavor at home. 

Agriculture played a major theme in our day with Pualini, and we quite enjoyed learning about growing apple bananas and papayas at a small farm where Daniel taught us about crop rotation and the challenges facing Hawaiian agriculture.
Between each stop along our journey, Pualina talked stories. She especially enjoyed sharing about King Kamehameha, who built a home at the highest point on Oahu. Did you know Iolani Palance, which King Kamehameha built, had indoor plumbing, a toilet, and electricity before the White House?

Pualani did not limit her stories to history; she told us about her family's role in protecting the north shore, the homeless issue facing Hawaii, and poverty as an ever present threat. 
On our journey, we saw amazing scenery. However, rain did accompany us much of the day. Still, the stories enhanced the journey.
At one point in the afternoon, Pualina asked if anyone neede the charger. That's a first: a tour guide who offered to charge phones!

Pualina, story talker extraordinaire, made my heart sing when she turned to me and said, "Ms. Funk, I have a lot of books in my bag that I think will interest you." She had been pulling books out one by one throughout the day and using them to support her stories. 
All roads lead to paradise, as we noted by a sign at the macadamia nut farm we visited, and all great journeys are filled with talking stories.


  1. Oh, I love this! I posted about storytelling, too, and I hadn't even seen this first. Wonderful that you were able to find a good storyteller to guide you through the day. Beautiful pictures!

    1. Storytelling seems an appropriate topic given the goal of SOL, yes? The storytelling was the best part of the tour. We had thought about renting a car and touring the North Shore on our own, but we would have missed the stories!