Monday, March 22, 2010

Grandpa Shows Grandson Maui

My grandson that is 6 years old and born on Maui, finds nothing more fun than to get his 2 year old sister all riled up.

Since I had to work Saturday, as soon as he got his homework out of the way, I took him adventuring on Maui.

Having grown up on Maui, there are few places I can go that are new to me except maybe a subdivision or Hotel, I have to try to think from my grandson's point of view.

So we took a ride up country through Kula and stopped at Sun Yet Sen park on the way to Ulupalakua.

Sun Yet Sen was instrumental in the overthrow of the Chinese dynasty in the 1800's.
He was an educated Physician that grew up in the Keokea area and in later years made around six trips between Maui & China.

The park isn't really fancy, but my grandson enjoyed the Chinese Lions and the walk. The peach trees are blooming and the loquat fruit was everywhere on our trip, so snacks were in abundance.

We continued on to Ulupalakua and stopped in at the store to relax and munch an ice cream. I would like to have spent more time looking over their inventory.

While having our ice cream, my grandson was surprisingly interested in the farm's history and having done many radio and feed truck instrument jobs for them in the past, we had lots to talk about.

We took a quick run up in the rain to hit the bathroom and look around the Ulupalakua Tasting Room and I even bought a bottle for a friend.

Next stop was past Ulupalakua to the Kanaio area where my friend allowed me to take my grandson to explore their land, including a Lava Tube.

He was a bit reluctant to go down inside, but thanks to my trusty LED flashlight he went. It's not very far, but does get dark and damp. Very interesting look to the walls that hardened as the Lava flowed. It looked smooth but was actually rough and sharp.

After leaving the Lava tube we checked out the unusual plants and found a dead deer, turning out to be a real pest on Maui.

We left Kanaio and passed Ulupalakua and despite so many more sites and possible places to stop, my grandson was all tuckered out and dozed on and off the rest of the ride home.

It's difficult to find places interesting that you have seen so many times before, but take a 6 year old along and it's amazing how you can see things through another's eyes and think about them differently.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maui's Small Business Fold One By One. The Strawberry Lady and My Grandson

As we see many Small Businesses folding up and either For Rent or Lease signs taking their place and in many cases Real Estate agencies posting signs to sell the properties, it's a great time to get super deals on Maui Real Estate, especially Commercial Long term.

One place close to my heart was a small Family Farm up in Omaopio, just below Kula. There was an old Japanese lady that ran a Strawberry stand with the Strawberries growing behind her.

My Grandson and I enjoyed stopping and buying a basket of her Strawberries or home-made Jam and munching away. In fact, I was luck if I got any. It was always a great adventure.

The other month I noticed a For Sale sign on the property and recently noticed the stand was gone. I never knew the ladies name and what the circumstances are behind the sale, but I assume that with her age and maybe a lack of family or family willing to continue on, she has chosen to retire.

Here are a few picks of My grandson enjoying his favorite snack.

The Stand is gone, but the Strawberries are still growing!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Comunity At Work For Community

I ran across this site called Kiva. It purpose seems to be around collecting micro loans from many people and then a set of members will discuss each loan and decide if they will issue it. They then track it's progress and document including filming the person or business they lent the money to.

The thing about this lending institute is they operate with small independent people such as farmers and such in various places where these people only need loans of as small as $25.00 to get them started in business and they repay the loans. It gives them a chance most institutes won't give them. Living on an island in a fairly small community such as Maui, where every time you turn around there is another For Sale or For Rent sign on a recently vacated business, it's easy to see how hard it is for the Small Business to stay in Business, let alone create a new business. I've embedded a video from their site and it might explain it better. I have to run off to my job now anyways.

A side note, Maui's AKAKU public cable access television studios is holding a meeting next Tuesday, March 16th to discuss renting out extra rooms of their office space for Small Businesses or Non-Profits and are even looking at a shared use basis. Some interesting arrangements could be made and developed that night. For more on that go to AKAKU.

A Fistful Of Dollars: The Story of a Loan from Kieran Ball on Vimeo.