I knew a little about Pearl Harbor. Like when it happened. What happened. Where it happened. But most of my World War II reading has been from the Jewish perspective, so I found visiting Pearl Harbor to be sobering and fascinating.
The two museum complexes are detailed and interesting – and give a detailed view of what happened when. After going through the museums, I felt like I had a good understanding of the event – including the fact that the planes were picked up on radar, but when reported by the servicemen who saw them on the screen, were ignored by their commanders. (Has to be a devotional there somewhere.)
At this point, you cannot go on to the memorial itself because of an oil leak (think I have that right), but you can take a boat ride around the memorial. (The brown structure in front is part of the sunken Arizona. The memorial will be open again in March.
On Sunday afternoon between church and going to another church, we headed up to Nuuanu Pali Lookout, an Hawaiian State Park. (Pali means cliff.) The lookout looks out (got that?) over the northeast coast of Oahu. Specifically over Kāneʻohe, Kāneʻohe Bay, and Kailua.
The day we were there was cloudy and rain started coming down as we took in the view which is why there are spots on the pictures. (I always am more concerned about my camera than I am me when I get caught in the rain.)
The area has a lot of history … and a lot of visitors. Even on this rainy afternoon, a lot of people were walking around, taking pictures, admiring the view, and dodging raindrops.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of blog posts about places I’ve visited while speaking at conferences. And I always feel kind of funny because I talk about the scenery, but not the people. That’s because it’s hard to talk about the people. I don’t have permission to post their pictures, and I don’t want to break any confidences by talking about questions they asked or challenges they have in their ministry.
And part of this trip was ministry.
The conference was at Calvary chapel, Pearl Harbor, a fairly large church located in a strip mall. I met so many friendly leaders.
And the music during the opening was appropriately Hawaiian! Such fun.
The next morning we were able to attend the service at Hawaii Kai. (I love saying Hawaii Kai!) Good service and more friendly people.
In fact, afterwards, one of the men took us out to lunch at the Maona Cafe – a popular breakfast place in Hawaii Kai. He told us that there is always a wait. I had a super delicious strawberry waffle and good conversation.
That afternoon we visited two Awana clubs in two different areas and once again, I had the opportunity to meet great people. (I took a lot of pictures but can’t post them because of privacy restrictions.)
But here is the Game Square for one of the churches.
One night we drove through Wakiki – which is a part of Honolulu best known for its beaches. But Wakiki is also an area of city lights, upscale stores – think Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
The night we drove through the area, the roads were semi-empty because some of them were blocked off for a festival. However, the sidewalks were packed with people. I mean, we kind of wondered how they could walk there were so many of them. You can’t really tell from the video because a lot of the people were back off the sidewalks a little – but one corner must’ve had 500 people standing on it.
I didn’t get a great picture since I took it out of the car window at night – but the red and blue building is the Aloha Tower which is actually a lighthouse that can be seen 15 miles from shore, an iconic symbol of Hawaii.
Some people say that like the Statue of Liberty welcomes people on the East Coast, so the Aloha Tower welcomes people into Hawaii.
The tower was built in 1926 and up into the 60s was the tallest building on the islands. Now, it is being redeveloped by the Hawaii Pacific University as a residence hall.
(Ok, interesting sidenote – Honolulu ranks seventh as US cities with most high rises.)
During World War II, the military protected the tower and in fact, painted it in camouflage colors and turned off the light so it could not be seen. Finally, in the late 40s it was sandblasted back to its original color.
One of the iconic trees in the Hawaii landscape, is the monkey pod tree. The branches stretch forever (so it seems).
But remember how I’ve been saying that I’m only seeing alien birds? Well, some people are saying that monkey pod trees are alien (or invasive) plants and even though they’ve been there years and years and years … some are making an effort to get rid of them. Honolulu itself is saying “no more invasive plants.” However, no one is cutting them down, just not replacing ones that die. Other people see them vital to Hawaii’s scenery and don’t want them touched.
I have no idea. I am just the messenger of something I’ve read in several places.
For now, they’re happily growing on the Hawaiian Islands
Here is one we saw. Even before I knew anything about the monkey pod tree, this tree(s) caught my attention and I took its picture.
The night we went over to the resort area, we ate a very cool restaurant called the Monkey Pod Kitchen. We ate on the patio as spotted doves danced around our feet and looked for handouts.
And we ate watermelon pizza. Truly. The pizza was good! I’d get it again!