Molokai, the Friendly Isle
Opinion by Rick Baptiste
A nickname for Molokai that proclaims the aloha spirit is “The Friendly Isle,” a nickname that is well known and documented. I am reminded of this on a window display near the entrance of a local store, “We practice the Aloha Spirit.” On Molokai, we practice the art of being friendly to one another. I am certain that many visitors, as well as everyone who resides on Molokai, can tell me a “Friendly Isle” story. I remember someone telling me that when he first moved to Molokai, his car was blessed with a flat tire. Soon after pulling off to the side of the road a truck pulled over, the driver sliced up one of his watermelons from the back of his truck and gave a piece to the newbie to eat while he fixed the flat tire for him. For one personal “Friendly Isle” story of my own, many of you can remember that many were laid off during the Air Traffic Control strike in 1981 by the controller’s union and I was one that found myself jobless, right here on Molokai. The very next day, someone that went fishing delivered an ulua to my doorstep.
What I am trying to say here is that being friendly is who we are at our core. We are friendly and we practice the aloha spirit no matter what comes our way. Through over 30 years on Molokai, I have seen some serious trouble (pilikia). Many of you, and hence your family, were involved in the 2001 closure of the Kaluakoi Hotel and Golf Course or maybe in 2008, you may have been one of the 120 that got laid off when the Molokai Ranch Lodge closed.
Well, it looks like we are again facing serious pilikia with many of our friends and family working for Monsanto and facing possible job loss through Nov. 4 GMO ban vote. We will face this and any other challenges on Molokai as a community. No matter where you stand, how you voted or who you voted for, we are to remember that we are in every situation, together. We are a team, the Friendly Isle Team (FIT). We are FIT to work through our pilikia as a community. We are the Friendly Isle and we practice the aloha spirit. Imua in Aloha.