K’den… dis kinda hard for explain.
So a few years ago, I was volunteering again at Vista House. Was working wit one wahine I nevah wen meet befoah. She was reeyo nice, knowledgeable, etc…(well, except foah potty mout’, which is absolutely NOT okay wen talking wit da tourists).
But wen I first wen get dea and she wen hear my name foa da first time, she wen tell me… “Mokihana? What kind of a name is that?”, and so at da first quiet moment between visitors I wen tell her da meaning of my name, da island flower of Kaua‘i etc, jass like I tell everyone else.
She wen axe me, “Oh, so your parents visited Hawai‘i, came back to the mainland and named you that?” I explained, no, my parents lived ova dea, and I was born and raised dea.
She wen gimme fish eye and wen axe me wat I meant by dat. “What do you mean, you were born and raised there?” Umm…. jassladat! My parents lived dea. I was born dea. I spent all my growing up years dea.
She said, “Well, that is the craziest thing I ever heard!!” And she went on to explain dat she thought only native Hawaiians and tourists (who only stayed for 2 weeks) lived in Hawai‘i!! She no could wrap her brain around da fact dat plenny peeps odda den kanaka maoli live dea permanently… because aftah all, it’s one island!
I wen try ‘splain to her moa… but she just thought was unbelievable! “You mean you went to school there? You spent all of your formative years there?” “Yes, and yes”, I wen tell her. “That just doesn’t make sense!” she wen tell me. I wen axe her why not…but she nevah could ‘splain why she thought was so unbelievable, except dat it was one island! And since was one island, no way I could be born and raised dea. Wassap wit dat?
So den she wen axe hakum I no stay dea now, and I wen tell her about da cost of living, da traffic, high property taxes, etc… sometimes needing foa work 2-3 jobs just for make ends meet, how my keeds stay mainland. I even wen give her one brief, very brief, Hawaiian history lesson, like about Queen Lili‘uokalani and da illegal overthrow of her government.
But she wen keep coming back to how unrealz it was dat I was born and raised dea, on dat island, and now lived hea. She wen tell me she neva eva wen meet anybody from Hawai‘i before, someone who no was one tourist. Was like I was dis todal oddity to her.
I admit dat I stay one oddity but not in da way she meant!