365 photo challenge: early

As regular readers of my blog are aware, I’ not an early riser. Only when the stars are perfectly aligned, will my brain and body combine to coerce me from bed and into Kristina’s Every Way Fitness class at 8:15 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays. At that hour of the morning, the only thing that can get me into the mood is moving to the music. Must be the rythmn of the islands with which I was born.

I might be inclined to get up with the early bird, you know, the one who’s famous for catching the worm, if I could awake to sights such as these. I do miss the breathtaking scenery of my childhood haunts…on Maui.

Looking into Haleakalā Crater

Image via Wikipedia

The sun rises from the clouds over Maui, taken...

Image via Wikipedia

Hamilton has a family home in Maui, Kauai (and...

Image via Wikipedia

Iao Valley, in Maui. Photo by LDC, released to...

Image via Wikipedia

Kahikinui coastline, Maui

Image via Wikipedia

Road To Hana - Maui, Hawaii

Image by IronRodArt - Royce Bair via Flickr


Image via Wikipedia

Wailua Falls, along the Road to Hana, Maui, Ha...

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

Road to Hana

Image by sotheavy via Flickr


Image by Randy Son Of Robert via Flickr

Lava Meets Wave

Image by Randy Son Of Robert via Flickr

who knows…..living on maui again…..i may succumb to the island way…..

sleeping all day!………hugmamma.  😉

“shaka, bra…”

Sunset from Ka'annapali, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

That’s Hawaiian speak for “it’s easy,” “no worries,” “right on.” At least that’s what I’ve thought it to mean when I lived and played in the islands, decades ago. I’m sure over time it’s come to mean more things to more people. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find the following email from kamaainas (non-locals who become locals by virtue of moving to Hawaii or owning property there). I don’t know them personally, but feel I do through their intermittent communication. Hope you enjoy this mini “pigeon-english” lesson. Never know, it might come in handy on a future visit to my native island paradise.

The “shaka” sign has meant many things over the years and is a definite part of Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit that is always present in Hawai’i. Today, it can mean many things, including “Howzit?” (How’s it going?), “No worries!”, “Thanks!” and much more. It is by far the most well-known and used gesture by Hawai’i locals and islanders, men, women, and keiki (children) alike. It’s used as a gesture of friendship, to greet, and to say goodbye. It’s how local people wave at others. Interpreted to mean “hang loose” or “right on,” the “shaka” sign is a constant reminder that in Hawaii, it is not the norm to worry or rush. “Shaka” represents the embodiment of “island style.” It signals that everything is all right.

Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

The “shaka” sign is more than just nonverbal communication. When you use it, you acknowledge the true concept of aloha and participate in the synergistic heartbeat of Hawai’i. A guest expressed it this way: “We remember when we got our first “shaka” in Hawai’i. We were enjoying the drive on the road to Hana. We looked in the rearview mirror and noticed a pickup truck following behind us. We assumed the folks in the truck were local residents and weren’t on a sightseeing mission as we were, so at our first opportunity, we pulled over to let the truck pass by us. As the truck passed, the passenger gave us a ‘shaka’.” (By the way, local residents will always appreciate your pulling over to allow them to pass if you are driving slowly.)

Edited photo of

Image via Wikipedia

To make a “shaka,” extend your thumb and pinkie while curling in the index and middle fingers. You can rotate your wrist too.

The “shaka” is a simple, yet powerful, way to remind locals and visitors of the way people look out for each other on the Islands, and strive to spread aloha day in, and day out, in keeping with the Hawaiian principle of “malama i kekahi i kekahi,”…”take care of one, take care of all.”

If you’re new to the islands, don’t be shy about throwing up “shakas.” Just make sure you’ve got the hand gesture down first!

road to hana

A hui hou…
Anne & Wes