Archive for July, 2009

Summer- Stand Up Paddling & More!

July 25th, 2009


Summer-  Stand Up Paddling & More!

We're back from Tahiti and hey! Summer's almost over and you promised yourself you'd try Stand Up Paddling! Come 'on everybody's doing it... even the family's pet spaniel...and Mom and Dad you're going to love Aiea Bowl not only for its wash of memories from days gone by, the kids will love the entire experience and the food is a wonderful surprise. Gourmet pastries, great drinks, pizza made to order, and entrees you'd guess were created for a fine dining establishment but you can chow down in between your turn on the lanes.  For those of you who were thinking of taking a "staycation" and flying the ohana to another island because the rates are so good right now? Maui's Ocean Center is a must see. It is a world class aquarium and we all should be proud of having such a beautiful display of Hawaii's indigenous Pacific Ocean aquatic animals.  And yes one of their features is that you can swim with a sting ray for about $100.  (MOC please correct me if this is not quite on spot) But that's the only really pricey activity we've noted and if you're in Maui you have to try the zip line at the Adventure Center (Maui Kapalua) which is not to be missed.  (We have video of this activity in Local Ventures on

Anyway we spend more on a single night at the movies so don't balk at doing something different with the kids.  Or with your girlfriend.  Take advantage of where we live. Times are difficult everywhere and Hawaii is no exception but perhaps our lesson is to look again at where we live. It is beautiful. And much of what we can do in Hawaii is free.  Hiking, swimming, picnicking at one of our many parks or simply driving to the beach at sunset is priceless.   When so many friends and family are experiencing financial hard times we remember that Life is Good because life is what we make of it.  Look to the older generations.  They lived through a depression, WWII, martial law, and plantation days, when most local families had very little to spend.  How many times have you heard an old timer say that they had grown up poor but didn't really understand or realize just how difficult times were for their families?  It's about having the ohana together to enjoy these moments that, for your children, will become some of the most cherished memories that they will cling to years from now.  

Enjoy and visit where you can view all kinds of clips on these activities.  Check out the Family Channel and the series, Local Ventures, if you're interested in learning more about Stand Up Paddling, Aiea Bowl, Maui Ocean Center, the Kapalua Zip Line, Surfing Goat Dairy (this is one of my favorites and we'll do a special piece on them).  Thanks to Kim and Guy Hagi and their keiki, Andrew and his mini - Rosens, and Malia Mattoch McManus for getting in front of the camera and having good fun!



Summer - Aiea Bowl 

Ok may I please remind you (me) ... that we spend more on a single movie night per person and that's mostly on the popcorn, soda pop, hot dog and candy-- than it will cost to bowl one game and share a made to order gourmet pizza and have more fun than you've had in a long time.    They've got it going...

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Waiahole Poi Factory & Farm - The Amazing Reppuns

July 6th, 2009


Waihole Poi Factory  & Farm - The Amazing Reppuns

No, they're not a family of circus acrobats, but the Reppun boys (and one girl) are truly amazing. Descendants of Dr. Carl Reppun who, in the 1920s, emigrated from Russia to Kahalu'u, practiced medicine all over the island, operated on then Princess Kawananakoa's son, David; traveled on horseback to practice also in Makapu'u to Kahuku as a government physician, sired three boys who had more boys... the Reppuns who remain on the windward side of Oahu to farm their taro are originals.  The 6 Reppun men include Paul (summa cum laude from Harvard with a couple of degrees that may include biology and Russian lit) who is interviewed in this video; and his brother, Charlie, who are taro farmers.  Tom is a doctor.  John is Executive Director of Kahalu’u Ecumenical Youth Project, instrumental in getting the windward side involved in anti-meth programs and public involvement.  Josh is one of the first educators I have ever known. He teaches at Hawaii School for Girls. David lives on the Big Island but I have not met him nor his sister Martha. Not to mention the next generation of Reppun children, one of whom is Fred, who grew up on his family's taro farm in Waiahole, left to attend Harvard University, got a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy, and returned to Hawaii to restore native ecosystems and re-building of ancient Hawaiian farms.

"You grow to eat first. You get surplus... you sell that."  says Paul, with 7 acres, 9 major crops, 70 different types of edible foods.  Suited for wet land taro with 3 of 7 acres designated to dry land crops the Reppuns also grow trees for lumber used to make furniture, outrigger canoes, and "Mix it all up. That's one of the tenets of farming".

With 4 hydroelectric plants on the property this is how they derive their electricity that roasts coffee, runs the shop, powers their computers and the machinery used to make chocolate. Everything they do that requires electricity is "naturally" sourced, off the grid, on this family farm that produces 800 lbs of produce every week. And they manage this lifestyle in a cooperative atmosphere with family, friends, extended ohana, visiting scholars and school kids stopping in to help clean the loi or bag fruit.  Hard work and dedication to preserving the aina might be their mantra.  They are all highly educated but don't just spout rhetoric. When the day is done I am sure the Reppuns of Waiahole, in spite of all the sweat and back breaking work it requires to perpetuate and sustain this lifestyle they have created, can all sit back with a sense of satisfaction most of us may never achieve, and sigh a big, "Life is Good".

For more video visit

For more green programs visit

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