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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hilo, Hawaii - Wonderful Greeters

Aloha Everyone,

Welcome to Hilo

Our port of call today is Hilo, Hawaii.  At the bottom of the gangplank, there are a group of smiling women who greet and welcome the passengers to the Big Island of Hawaii.  As the other guests rush out to partake in various tours and activities, J.J. and I hang back to chat with them.  It turns out that these welcoming women are all volunteers. They come in all sizes, ages, shapes and ethnic backgrounds, but what these ladies shared in common were their wide smiles, open hearts and genuine Aloha spirits.

The Wonderful Greeters in Hilo
J.J. and I have been to the Big Island many times, and we especially love to return to Hilo because it feels like nothing has ever changed.  For us, Hilo has been frozen in time and epitomizes the Hawaii of old.

When J.J. commented this to our bus driver, Auntie M, who took us to the nearby farmers, Auntie M agreed that nothing has changed, with the exception of gas prices.  She pointed to a sign in downtown Hilo where gas prices were currently $4.16 per gallon.  "They just keep going up," Auntie M. laments.

Rob, a retired U.S. Military soldier who has lived in Hilo "forever", disagreed with our assessment.  According to Rob, Hilo is no mo.  "No mo tour company.  No mo Western Auto. No mo Naniloa. No mo Farmers Exchange. No mo mom and pop eateries and shops that were washed away by the last tsunami (occurred in 1960).  However, even if Hilo is "no mo", Rob will always live in Hilo.  

I hope Auntie M, Rob and the volunteers who greet the cruise ship passengers will be here with their big smiles and warm aloha when J.J.. and I return to Hilo next.

Aloha -- Cathi
Farmers Market