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This website chronicles our trip around the world in 2006. It has lots of photos, videos and stories. We invite you to come in, relax and enjoy the scenery.

~Lee and Sachi LeFever

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What Are You?

By: leelefever on November 7, 2005 - 10:28am

That question is something I've only heard in Hawaii.  In Seattle and other places on the mainland, people tread lightly in discussing race, nationality or ethnicity.  I could not imagine meeting someone in Seattle and asking "What are you?"

Not so in Hawaii. Hawaiians (which I'm using to mean people from the state, not just by heritage) have no problem asking, quite bluntly "What are you?", meaning what ethnicity, or race.  To outsiders, it seems pretty odd.

Hawaii is a big melting pot of many races and nationalities. Of course you have your Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Philipino, Vietnamese, but what's interesting is that Portuguese is mixed in as well.  The Portuguese settled in Hawaii starting in the early 1800's.  Most left the islands off the coast of Portugal and worked in sugar cane fields in Hawaii.

With the melting pot comes a lot of mixing of races, which is very normal and expected in Hawaii (Sachi is half-japanese).  "Hoppa" "Hapa" is the word that usually connotes a mixed race person.

 Below is census data about Hawaii's racial makeup based on US Census data.  I think it's particularly interesting that 21.4% of the population is two or more races.


Race:                                             Population      Percent

White, Caucasian                              294,102          24.3%

Black, African American                      2,003             1.8%

American Indian/ Alaska Native            3,535             0.3%

Asian                                              503,868          41.6%

Hawaii Native / Pacific Islander            113,539          9.4%

Other Race                                      15,147           1.3%

Two or More Races                           259,343          21.4%

Hispanic or Latino                             88,699            7.2%

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By: leelefever on November 6, 2005 - 4:45pm


There are a few spots on Oahu that are close to Honolulu, but don't really get the tourist traffic. One of the local favorites is called Sandy Beach, or "Sandys". 

If I could paint a picture of what a Hawaiian beach should look like, it would look a lot like Sandys.  Fine light colored sand, palm trees, ocean in 5 shades of blue, crashing waves, surfers, boogie boarders, skim boarders, tan bodies and the smell of cooking food in the air.

At the same time Sandy's makes me feel very haole.  Walking down the beach, I felt like people had to squint from the reflection off my lily-white skin.  I'm sure the local boys picked me out as a tourist.


 The surfable waves break out on a reef, but the shore break is ridden by the boogie boarders and body surfers.  I've never seen waves break on the shore the way they do at Sandys.  The stack up 4-6 feet high and crash on bare sand, which makes for pretty hardcore body surfing.  I got pulled over the falls a few times and held against bottom- and I was only there taking pictures.


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Sushi Gluttony

By: leelefever on November 5, 2005 - 7:12pm

I would say that I've eaten more raw food than cooked food in all my trips to Hawaii, and I think that is a very good thing. Hawaii knows good  sushi.


Poke is usually raw tuna in a marinade of something like sesame oil and other garnishes.  It doesn't look great, but the spicy version below is da grinds (I'll write it, but not speak it).


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Honolulu from Diamond Head

By: leelefever on November 5, 2005 - 9:31am

Honolulu from Diamond Head, originally uploaded by Lee LeFever.

This is one of those real time posts... We are on Diamond Head as I write this. So fun...:-)

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Samples of Hawaiian Pidgin

By: leelefever on November 5, 2005 - 12:24am

I’m sitting here with Sachi’s family and we’re talking about Hawaiian Pidgin, which is a local language that is part English with an influence of other languages. Pidgin came from workers who spoke different languages needing a common way to communicate.  Here are some favorites:


Broke Da Mouth -- This tastes really good; As in “Aunty Lottie’s chicken when broke da mouth.


Ono Kine Grinds -- A flavorful kind of food; tasty; As in “I’m hungry, where can we get some ono kine grinds?


How’s It? -- How are your doing?  As in “Hey Braddah,  how’s it?”


Bum Bye -- Soon or later-on.  As in “You betta clean up dat mess, bum bye, you gone get it.


All Pau – All done, finished. As in “I went to help, but he was all pau.”


Shoots Brah – In agreement, confirmed.  As in “Let’s meet at da beach”… “Shoots brah”.


What, Like Beef? – Do you want to fight? As in a situation where two met meet in a bar, one says the other “What, like beef?”


I Stay Come, You Stay Go – I’ll stay here if you’re coming this way. As in “Da movie’s over and I need a ride- I stay come, you stay go?


Deep Kim Chee – In big trouble.  As in “You know da guy down da street? He didn’t pay his taxes, now he’s in deep kim chee”.


She One Tita – A Large and Imposing Woman.  As in “Oh, she one tita, I bet she could kick my butt.

If you want more, see Full On Pidgin.

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Maunawili Falls

By: leelefever on November 4, 2005 - 6:23pm

We took a trip back to Sachi's teen years and went up to Maunawili Falls, which is on the other side of the mountains from Honolulu, across the Nu'uanu Pali. We stopped at the lookout and took this panoramic shot.


The falls are at the end of a 1.5 mile trail into the jungly mountain forests. The trail itself was pretty treacherous with the mud that was like lubricant.  I swear, if you could straighten out the trail and take out the roots, you could take a running start and slide all the way to the falls.


The water was yoo-hoo colored from the recent rain. It's supposed to be green and a little more pretty.  It didn't stop me from getting in and jumping off a few times.  Some locals came gave me the run-down on the rocks, or more specifically, avoiding the rocks.


Apparently, this made me an honorary local.

Updated: You can watch a video of the jump.

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A Little Window

By: leelefever on November 3, 2005 - 7:01pm
There are sometimes moments that capture the essence of our relationship.  This is one…


We were walking through the airport to catch the flight to Hawaii and stopped to get coffee.  As we proceeded to the gate, I complained about my coffee being hot in my hand.  She started to stop, but I insisted that we move on.  I mentioned the coffee again and she stopped in her tracks.


I said “Ahh, don’t worry about it, I’m just bitchin’”

Her reply “I’m a problem-solver, you can’t just bitch


She then took the thermal sleeve off her cup and put it on mine.  Problem solved.

Looking back, that was a seminal moment.  Sachi is a problem solver and, behind the scenes, is always looking out for me. Half the time I don’t even realize it, but she does make my life easier.  I don’t know how I ever managed without her.

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I am Haole

By: leelefever on November 2, 2005 - 10:55pm


One of the first things I learned a while back, being a white guy from the mainland in Hawaii, was that I am a "Haole", which generally means white foreigner. Some might even say I'm a "dumb haole".  As in "Look at that dumb haole try to surf".

 (I just told Sachi I'm writing about being a dumb haole and she begs to differ and says I'm not a dumb haole)

Anyway, one of the cardinal rules of being a haole is to not try to sound Hawaiian or speak pidgin.  The basic idea is that it is very obvious when we try and only serves to make us look foolish. So, you won't hear me say that something was so good that it "broke a mout", or is "da grinds brah". I'm not sure I can pull it off.

Apparently there is even a very nuanced way to throw the shaka sign (thumb and pinky out).  We haoles should proceed with caution when using this hand signal as it, again, can be a sure fire way to express our haoleness.

Of course though, all this being said, I've had nothing but a good time with locals.  They love to have a good time and love to live the aloha lifestyle. How can blame them.

We took a little walk today near Sachi's house, on a beach called "Kahala Beach"...


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Off We Go

By: leelefever on November 2, 2005 - 8:44am

Off We Go, originally uploaded by Lee LeFever.

Aloha my friends.

Practice Time: Hawaii

By: leelefever on November 1, 2005 - 9:21pm

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