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A Delicate Balance

Opinion by Clare Mawae

Recently, I watched those that I love, respect and care about protest the yacht Safari Explorer come to our shores. As a business owner and a resident of Molokai, I consistently seek the balance with how I conduct business. Change is always scary and the fear of the future is no different but as I reflect on the past decade, it is hard to dismiss the economic hardships, which continue to burn a huge scar into the hearts of people worldwide.
Small businesses have and continue to struggle for survival over the past decade and 2012 is not looking much better. Unemployment is rising, state and federal programs are being cut back, the safety of government job whether state or federal still hangs in the balance and the small business scrapes the pennies to make it through another month.
On Oct. 25, the Safari Explorer came to the shores of Molokai for a blessing of the boat. Six years of planning with many discussions with local elders/kupuna, businesses and individuals were done with a process considered right that would help kick start a spluttering Molokai economic engine. Molokai had surely suffered with the knocks that the people had taken over the decade of change. To so many in the community the yacht is a blessing because of the opportunities that it can create to not just those twenty businesses immediately involved but to the expansion of jobs and to other branch out effects that commerce can bring to the community. No one project can benefit the entire community instantly but as time passes the next person benefits along with creative ideas and entrepreneurial startups.
We can go back and forth, on what is the right protocol but pointing fingers is not the answer.  A solution is present along with constructive talk and discussion. Please bear in mind that commerce and keeping a healthy economic cycle is an important component to keeping our community alive. If grant money runs out and welfare, state and federal programs were taken away, would the opinions shift?
The common ground that both protestors and supporters of this new venture is the saying “no cruise ships” as that would surely offset the balance of economics, rural and cultural beauty that Molokai holds. No locally owned business on Molokai can handle huge numbers but this venture brings a balance that is sought within the business community, so it can serve its community.

Perhaps Molokai can take the culture both past and present, perpetuate and preserve, but in the same breath use this in helping to keep the island alive in both a sustainable economic and cultural environment. Many want balance and perhaps this opportunity can help us settle future protocols for the last time, with equal input from both sides of the line. So perhaps we as a community should say, “Isn’t it time to find the balance, haven’t we had enough grumbling already?”


17 Responses to “A Delicate Balance”

  1. Molokai PuleO'O says:

    SORRY SISTER !!! but you have no idea about the PROTOCOL required. Do you know what PROTOCOL is??? It is required always before EVERYTHING you do?? Do you believe in god??? In Prayer ???? In order to find balance, you need to know PROTOCOL… HAWAIIAN PROTOCOL …. Do you know what Moloka’i PULE O’O means??? ASK AND LEARN before you make suggestions… Molokai is Beautiful because we KEPT IT THIS WAY!!! If we left MOLOKA’I in hand of people like you, it would be like OAHU… Suggestions should be made by the NATIVES!!!


  2. Molokaiwahine says:

    Tell us what are the procedures of Hawaiian Protocol.
    Is it a law of the Hawaiian Monarchy?
    Is it a law or procedure of the State Of Hawaii or the United States?
    Who are the Natives, who decides who is a Native, 50%, 25% or anyone with Hawaiian Blood?
    Explain it to all of us in OUR community Please?

    I believe in God and I want to believe you believe in God who die for our SINS and forgave us for our sins.Remember God loves everyone he created all of us in his image.
    So, I pray for you that your heart will be a forgiving heart and that your angry will go away. And I ask others to pray for you too…..Take care
    Malama Pono

  3. kawelaluna says:

    I wood bet my life that molokai pule o’o is on some kind of assistance. where is god? No where people. wake up. Religion is the biggest scam the history of the world has ever seen. Not one prayer has ever been answered.

  4. Finding the Balance says:

    Molokai Pule O’O, your comments are angry and to be honest if you are to go by Pule O’O then perhaps a new angle of approach would be better.. I am always curious of those behind these names on these blogs…Being racist is not the answer, making accusations is also not the answer.. Just curious on who you may be because those that are actively protesting do not speak with the same words and accusations that you make..there maybe one or two that speak in a similar tone as you, but they do not do this face to face only on paper and behind a back…

  5. livaloha says:

    Respect for cultural practices is important and helps make Molokai the wondeful place it is. That being said, we live in the 21st century and not all of us want to be hunters and gatherers. The visiting yacht is a positive thing, both for business and for the visitors who experience a beautiful, friendly and truly Hawaiian Island. Enough with the negativity and ignorant comments, please, there is a way to discuss and debate the merits of visitors without taking the low road and alienating your neighbors.

  6. Finding the Balance says:

    It was sad to hear how so many today lost out on putting food on a table..the protestors took to the water and blocked the boat coming in..I think now to have any respect for these people it is time for all those protesting to take at least one month off and not receive any assistance from the State, government, grant etc etc…..

    To all those that I respect on that side of the line, you should be hanging your head in shame….this was a poor move and a selfish one at that.

    I shake my head because all these people claiming protecting the ‘aina, and preserving the culture are just hypocrites as all they can think is about their own agenda…they are not thinking about anyone else, or even preserving Molokai..

  7. Molokaiwahine says:

    Respect for cultural practices is a good practice. But, this is the United States and there is no laws for Hawaiian Protocol, it is done out of respect for the Hawaiian culture and its people. However, when they are shouting _ucken Haoles go home, to me that is racism, hate and ignorance.That makes the island UGLY. Young kids are around listening to all of this is disgusting and disrespectful to other Hawaiians having to hear this.
    Please pray for the Ritte’s,the Naki’s, and the fish pond workers at 3 mile marker and all the rest of those protestors(da wannabees), the Devil has really gotten their souls just were he wants them.
    Malama Pono

  8. Finding the Balance says:

    I think their actions are so shameful..no pono..no Hawaiian in what they all do…I am saddened to see these people that I once respected hugely sink to an all time low of racism, spouting foul language and then think they are above the law to break the law.

    What kind of example are they setting.. Today the protesters broke the law and they have no shame in taking from others. They say the boat is here to take from Molokai, but it is more like the key leaders who we all know by names are stealing and taking from their neigbors and surely not Pono..and to be honest they do not care…

    It is a sad day to think that these people can stoop that low…..and today they surely brought shame to their people…I shook my head in disbelief…

  9. Molokaifriend says:

    Hearing what happened today is beyond belief. One would think the kind of small, culturally-based tourism that this boat brings is exactly what Molokai needs. Molokai is dying. Every visit is more depressing. More people on welfare. More people on drugs. Fewer businesses. How can any person in 2011 want to destroy any possibility of a future for their children. All Molokai knows how to do is to say NO. Molokai knows what they are against, but not what they are for. Today Molokai sank to a new low.

  10. Finding the Balance says:

    Please bear in mind this is just a handful of protestors and they do not represent the whole island… As one vocal voice told many years again..Gone are the days fighting with fist but now are the days to get educated and fight with the pen…

    I do not see the smart ones at the wharf…

  11. MakawaoKen says:

    Protesters may as well speak for us all if they run everybody off and nobody steps up and pushes back.

    Way I see it– if local people don’t fight back they either

    –agree with the protesters or
    –are afraid of the protesters

    Don’t know how MOST people feel about it–just the NOISY ones. Time to say what you think. If you’re afraid, maybe think about why you let bullies and thugs run YOUR life and make YOUR choices.

  12. Finding the Balance says:

    Well said…time to stand up and not be afraid…

  13. Molokaiwahine says:

    I was witness to your foul mouth yesterday morning to another Hawaiian women from Molokai.You said that tourist come to your fishpond. Is this why you are upset because the visitors are not coming to YOUR fishpond? What is the name of your business, where do you advertise and what kind of tour do you offer to the visitor? What mile marker is your fishpond at where you give your tours?
    Malama Pono

  14. Finding the Balance says:

    Uncle the big question is why? You know they were looking to your pond when Uncle Mervin changed his mind last minute,,,You once welcomed visitors with open arms and did some amazing tours and talks…

    But lately the vibe at your place starting going downhill with no Aloha when before your place was always filled with Aloha.. What has changed…why???I don’t get it…

  15. Molokai PuleO'O says:

    *Kawelaluna* you need to check yourself, I am no welfare recipient, I have a job and I’m educated, who do you worship the “DEVIL” cause you sure sound like one?? You need to get a grip and be careful what you wish for… You have NO IDEA!!!


    “NATIVE” is yes HAWAIIAN and most of us are not pure anymore, so yes… Of Hawaiian ancestry, and another thing, you not only care the KOKO HAWAII, but your ancestors come from here and lived the life also. .You know the fight they fought and you would NEVER try to change anything about it, if you love them, you trust that they did it for PONO reasons

    “PROTOCOL” I cannot share that with you you might give it away like your willing to give away our AINA and resources, PROTOCOL is < > and VERY IMPORTANT TO ME…You wouldn’t know that because either you are a plastic Hawaiian, or not Hawaiian at all…PROTOCOL involves GOD, everything involves GOD. Thats all you need to know…

    We are blessed to have life & bodies that can perform many tasks…I know that God LIVES and he does HEAR and ANSWER my PRAYERS… Maybe you should recognize the abilities that you do have before it is taken away… You are SELFISH and feel that we should except the change. Moloka’i isn’t only an island, it’s part of me I am attached to this aina and you cannot just RAPE IT… It’s a place of BEAUTY a place that we raise our children without worrying about illnesses and plagues that contaminate the rest of the world…

    I have no ill feelings I am just sick and tired of going round in a circles, I have many reasons that this ship could and will damage the life that we have here on Moloka’i…The only thing that you see is more MONEY… Unreal, you let these people come to our Island turn us all against each other, and let them do as they please…


    Mahalo Nui

  16. Molokaiwahine says:

    You know in your heart that yelling foul and racism comments is NOT right. You also know that welfare kills the Hawaiian families on this island. It is like a cancer. The government takes all of your identity away from you.They know everything about you!People need jobs for their own selfworth.

    You know the history of the Hawaiian people they all worked, they all shared, they also were required to give a portion to the Royal family. They were also expected to do their part in the Hawaiian culture and society. Everyone had a station in life.

    It was the Royal families who also allowed the missionaries to teach Christianity and English to their children.The Royal Monarchy gave land to outsiders who did them good in battle and other ways that helped the Monarch.

    You would think if you hate the outsiders and the United States you would not want Hawaiians to be dependent on government money.

    Do you think it is right to take food off someone plate? Do you have the right to tell people their choices in Life? How to Live? What to buy? When to work, who to work for to feed their family? You are now sounded like a government, and it is NOT democractic.

    You know in your heart that God sees all and we all have to live our lives and in the end he will judge us, but till then we need to be the LIGHT of God and love all on this earth and on Molokai.
    Malama Pono

  17. Finding the Balance says:

    I too am tired in going round in circles….We all have our views and the caring of the future generation…We all have our opinions but where in your words do I see of anything that involves balance…

    In this world too much is fighting and not enough time spent in taking the good from each side to come to an agreement…

    I wish that many with the loud voices can sit back for a minute and listen to the quiet voice and really try to hear where each one if us are coming from..

    Many in these discussions are all wanting what is best for Molokai and our future generation but too much time is being wasted in attacking and not finding solutions….

    This Wednesday, the 30th November at Mitchell Pauole there will be a meeting at 6pm….I encourage that everyone from both sides of the fence and the ones in the middle come down….

    I think many of us are tired going around in circles and I urge everyone from all sides to step back, take a breath, listen and digest…then talk but with a clear mind and a voice that speaks deep within the heart..

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