Stat Counter

A Valley Isle reportage. Shoot first, write later.

Friday, April 30, 2010

College On Maui

Ever wonder what it's like to go to college on Maui?  Yes, there is an institution of higher education on Maui.  It is the University of Hawaii, Maui College.  Like the University of California, there are UH colleges on many of the islands, with the main campus on Oahu - University of Hawaii at Manoa.  I too was curious about college on Maui, so I ventured on campus to observe and report.  Now I've been out of college for almost a decade, but jeez, lots of things haven't changed.  Let's take a journey.

Well, when I first started walking around campus, I was shocked to find it relatively empty. Nary a soul in sight in all directions.  They must all be in class I said to myself.   I did see this student walk by the universal student events kiosk.  We all remember these right?  "Friday night - Alpha Masta Beta House - Toga Party.  Get wasted and pray to the porcelain gods until dawn."

Here's the emergency - in case you're (most likely a girl) wandering home from the library and you find some dude trailing you or who knows what - pole with the flashing blue light.  Oh, the images are filling my once cavernously empty headspace with memories of days gone by, way by...

Ah yes, the campus bookstore.  Do they still charge an arm and a leg for books?  I remember we had the option to buy used books cheaper.

Now, when I look at this photo, all I'm staring at is that little white apple with a bite taken out of it.  Remind me to befriend a local UH Maui student so I can get them to buy me the new Adobe Creative Suite CS5 dirt cheap...

Continuing on, I finally found some action in front of the student cafeteria.  I should have known.  If you are a college student, and I wanted to get your attention, I need to position myself in between you and your voracious appetite.  In front of the cafeteria, there was a kind of hybrid health/career fair going on.

 Clearly, these little munchkins aren't college kids, but they're enjoying some kind of sock puppet anti-drug show.  Good to get this message across young, because Maui has a SERIOUS Meth/Ice problem.

I don't really remember why I took this photo, except for the fact that yoga has something to do with health.  Yeah, that's it, yoga's healthy, very healthy...

Here's the career part.  Want to join the Maui fire department?  All I caught from this conversation was that the students were curious what level of math is required for the MFD, and the fireman stated algebra is needed to calculate water volumes.

This nursing student sat me down and as reciprocation for catching her off guard and snapping this photo, she took my blood sugar level.  Yes, she actually bled me.  When she asked if I had eaten anything earlier, I thought about it and quipped I ate a chocolate croissant.  I expected my blood sugar to be at diabetic levels, but my level was luckily a normal 85.  Whew.  I didn't want to get the lecture from her.

I walked into the cafeteria and I instantly went back to 1997.  Oh man.  I don't need say much more.  I'm sure all of you have your own cafeterias tucked away in memory lane.

On my way back to my vehicle, I ran into these students painting a truck in the auto-body program garage.

For more info on UH Maui, please visit UH Maui College.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Have A Smile!

There are all kinds of people on Maui.  Maui attracts all kinds of people.  I don't want to judge too much here, so I'll just leave it at that.  I ran into these two free spirits on Front Street during the day Rhapsody of the Seas unloaded all its passengers into Lahaina.

What is interesting though is how these two groups of people interact with each other.  Like a sociology experiment, notice how when people walk by the girl singing perched atop a wooden stump, their reactions not only to her, but to me photographing the whole scene.

This guy is from Oregon and strummed out the instrumentals and background music.

Here's the lead singer from Vancouver Island, B.C. belting out classic rock vocals atop her perch.  The duo met in Maui.

Here are some passers-by, feel free to draw your own conclusions.  If I may suggest, notice facial expressions, physical proximities, and reactions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tourists = Ice Cream

Ok, I love ice cream too.  As a matter of fact, sometimes there is nothing I would rather eat than an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  Not the frozen yogurt, but the GOOD STUFF, with enough saturated fat to clog a garden hose.

It seems that if you are a tourist on Maui, you MUST eat ice cream.  Do they hand out flyers on the plane rides over here stating that you have to visit at least 3 ice cream parlors while in the Islands?  Do the cruise ships deprive people of my favorite dessert?  I was on an Alaska cruise once with Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess, and there was enough ice cream on that ship to rebuild the Bering land bridge.

Today in Lahaina, Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of The Seas was anchored off town, and I'm assuming most of the people milling about sucking on ice cream cones were from the ship.  There were signs all over Front Street stating "Boat Day" and "Welcome Cruisers."  How do I know these ice cream aficionados were tourists?  Look and tell me they're from around here.

The interesting part is that I could have gotten within five feet of their faces and taken the shot and they would not have known.  Entranced and enamored with the magical frozen sugar, dairy balls, these people were dedicated to the art of spooning, licking and completely zoning-out.   Word to pick pockets, "Go for the guys with the ice cream!"

In all seriousness, thanks for visiting Maui folks.  :-)

Even the pavement ate some ice cream today.

Here are the tourists lining up to board lifeboat tenders to return them to the mothership, where they'll spend the night.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Funk Plastic on Maui

I was treated to something magical this afternoon in Paia on the way home.  Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Todd Irving, a.k.a. Funk Plastic.  This famous one-man musical phenomenon had people applauding and walking out of Paia restaurants to pay heed to his nationally renown street drumming.

Having just arrived on Maui two weeks ago from the Pacific Northwest where he drummed during Portland Trailblazer games, Funk Plastic's speciality is to use upturned 5 gallon plastic buckets as his  drum set.  Todd sounded spectacular.  I've never heard street music this good in Paia.  Ever.

I chatted with Todd for a bit and he explained to me the finer aspects of his drumming methodology and the science behind aspects such as the sonic differences of hitting the top of the bucket in the center, versus on the rim, versus on the area in between.

I hope he gets a gig in a local venue soon.  For a video of Todd click here, or for more info, just Google "Funk Plastic."

Todd, if you read this, please leave me your e-mail so I can send you pics - :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Banyan Tree Up Close

Most people who visit the famous banyan tree on Front Street in Lahaina will remember it for its massive sprawling branches that seem to go on forever.  The limbs are so long in fact, that wooden supports have been built to hold them up.  I was trying to figure out a way to capture an image of the entire tree or somehow get an essence of the tree, but the banyan was simply too large.  As I walked closer, I noticed what looked like hundreds of scratches in the bark.  Bears?  Woodepeckers?  Can't be.  A close-up inspection revealed a plethora of love stamps.  Is that the right name?

Think about it for a second.  You and your love are sitting there under the most famous giant banyan in Maui feeling all romantic.  Furthermore, you are so enamored with each other that you are moved to actually CARVE your initials into said banyan tree in front of hundreds of other people.  The carving process must take between 6-8 minutes, and that's if you use a real knife. If you use something more handy like a pen or a bottle opener, the carving will take even longer.

I should open up a little booth under the tree and rent out carving knives