Learning from Hawaii

Added on by PS Cat02.

Bunny and I arrived early in the morning on Sunday. What can I say? I'm just really happy to be back in Hawaii. Hawaii smells good. Everybody we've been meeting here has been really kind to us. I was born in Hawaii so I'm pretty familiar with the food here, but for Bunny a lot of the stuff we've been having on this trip so far is new and it's been quite shocking to see how much she can eat when she likes what she sees on the table. Not that I'm suggesting that she's fat (she's not).

We're here to do research and collect materials for an upcoming mini-series on Hawaii. Most people think of Hawaii as an island paradise / tourist destination. But what most people don't realize is that Hawaii is also a settler colony. Our upcoming episodes will explain what that means and why it's important to think about.

Financially speaking, these upcoming episodes have been made possible by two grants we recently received - mahalo (thank you) to The Hawaii People's Fund and the Hawaii Community Foundation! Mimi had written to them asking if they'd be willing to fund an episode or two on settler colonialism, and to our surprise they actually said 'yes'! I say 'surprised' because: 1) the settler colonialism argument is still 'controversial' here in the U.S. (even though it's so obviously true if you just consider the facts!); and 2) for the past year Mimi has been tirelessly applying to all sorts of grants but so far we have only gotten rejection letters.

So needless to say we are really happy to receive these grants. It's not only a big financial lift but equally important for us it is also a big emotional lift. We were starting to think that foundations are allergic to cats or something. So I would like to send Mimi a special thank you for all her hard work. People don't know that Mimi works long hours at her 'real job' and then after that she comes home, sits down, and then she does all the grantwriting for The Pinky Show. So she basically has almost no time in her life for play or just relaxation.

Okay, tonight I was actually going to write about GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) stuff but as you can see I got side-tracked. Since we got here Bunny and I have been learning about GMO kalo (taro) and the more I learn, the angrier I get! What's happening here with kalo is just like what's going on on the mainland (and elsewhere) with corporations trying to 'own', control, and profit from all aspects of nature. Corn, wild rice, soy, wheat, and many other things have already been deeply affected. Here in Hawaii kalo is considered to be the ancestor of the Hawaiian people. Kalo is their relative. So corporations claiming the right to own and modify kalo seems to me like a totally disrespectful and inappropriate thing to do. I'm truly disgusted by what I'm seeing. We didn't come to Hawaii to work on an episode about kalo but hopefully next time we'll be able to do that. In the meantime, please watch this video - it's called Islands at Risk (30 mintutes long). Also, an excellent documentary to watch for background information about GMO is The Future of Food. This is a must-see documentary - all your perspectives about food and nature will be changed after watching this.

I have to go prepare for tomorrow now. Thank you for reading.

~ pinky