Monday, May 28, 2007

Remembering Kalua

We lived in Hawaii for 15 years. We still miss it today. Although the cost of living is very high, it is of course the most beautiful place to live in the United States. Well, at least as far as I'm concerned. I have lived in New York City, Northern San Francisco area, Atlanta Georgia, and Hawaii. Hawaii no ka oi! (This means "Hawaii is the best" in Hawaiian.)

But you may wonder: Where do people who live in Hawaii go for vacation?

Good question. We always went outer island. In other words, we'd visit another island in the Hawaiian chain. I remember an especially great time we had in Molokai. And the reason I bring it up will become obvious in view of yesterday's post.

We stayed in a friend's home while they were visiting the "mainland." (Mainland refers to the continental United States.) They lived on Molokai with only 6,000 other people. And they lived right on the beach. We walked out from the front door just a few steps and we were at our own private beach. We'd go out and explore each day. The friends next door would bring over food for us. Live food like this taco, Hawaiian for octopus.

One morning while preparing breakfast we heard some snorting. Pig snorting. We looked out our kitchen window and there just in front of the door was a black bristle backed hog. The grass blades tickled his belly, his girth the door's width. It turns out he was looking for a handout. He must of smelled us cooking breakfast. I was frying bacon. Was that wrong?

He was the neighbor's pet pig. They called him Kalua.

Now there is a tradition in Hawaii wherein you cook pig in the ground. It's called an Imu (pronounced ee-mu). The result of this all day crock-pot-like approach is Kalua pig. It's what they serve at luaus. It's steamed pig wrapped in banana leaves. So it was sad to think of Kalua's eventually. But I digress.

Kalua was like a dog to us. He'd root and snort. He'd lay down and let you rest your head on his huge belly while you read a book. He loved to have Eric clean him with a broom. He'd follow us around the yard like a puppy. He got a bath each day by his owner right in the ocean. Who said a pig's life was hard?

Anyway thinking about yesterday's post made me miss Kalua.

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them. -Samuel Butler