By Corky Mau
Locals advise on how to visit and help
Should you vacation in Maui? Simple question, no simple answer. Residents displaced by summer wildfires need hotels and condos for housing. And Maui needs tourist dollars.
The island’s destruction is personal. My family resides on Oahu. My extended ohana and longtime friends live on Maui. All my loved ones are safe. They mobilized in the relief efforts, collected supplies for the “kanaka Costcos” set up in Maui churches, cooked and delivered food, and fought small fires.
To the kanaka maoli (native Hawaiians), Maui is not Disneyland. It’s not a place to come for two weeks of golf and beach time. It’s an ancestral home, a sacred place. Everyone feels the pain, even those who left for the mainland.
Ana Manzano Fairbairn was born in Lahaina and graduated from Baldwin High School. She’s been in Sacramento since 2010 and belongs to the Ohana Dance Group in Pocket. Her father still lives on Maui.
“I’m not kanaka, but I support their beliefs. It’s kuleana to care for and protect the community where I was born,” Fairbairn says. “I have conflicted feelings about what to say to mainlanders. If they decide to travel, I hope they take the time to educate themselves about the history of the islands before they board the plane. Come with the best of intentions and a pure heart. Reallocate some vacation funds towards relief efforts.”
Similar thoughts come from Serge Jaimes-Vigaray, owner of Stay Rooted Kava, a beverage business. He shares aloha with the Elk Grove community. You can find him Fridays at A Seat at the Table Books, where he reads Hawaiian stories to children.
He graduated from Lahainaluna High School. His mother and other family members lost homes and jobs to the fires. He says, “Physically, they’re OK. But spiritually, they’re hurting. Their lives have been upended. It’s heartbreaking to see my old neighborhood is only ashes now.”
Jaimes-Vigaray believes longtime residents should join the rebuilding discussions. Elected officials should prevent land grabs. He says, “I don’t want the area to be filled with high-rise resorts. Lahaina should be an affordable, residential community that honors the kanakas and their history.”
If you visit Maui, don’t enter the disaster zones. Don’t fly a drone or snorkel near Lahaina to take photos. Be respectful, kind and sensitive. Respect the aina and leave only your footprints in the sand. Return the aloha spirit in every way possible.
You can support Hawaii from Sacramento. Purchase Maui products online, send donations to Hawaii-based groups such as Maui Rapid Response and Maui Strong Hawaii Community Foundation. Monies go directly to Maui organizations.
ARTS & CRAFTS
The Elks Lodge hosts its fall Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Local artists and craft vendors are inside and outside the lodge. Food is available for purchase. For information, email Pam Zanze at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRUNK OR TREAT
Bring the kids to Device Brewing Company’s classic car show Thursday, Oct. 26, from 4–8 p.m. Car owners will hand out Halloween treats. The event takes place in the Promenade Shopping Center parking lot on Windbridge Drive.
Corky Mau can be reached at email@example.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.