Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kona Lil' Grass Shacks...

More and more damage has been flooding the news as more and more people return home from "high n' dry" spots on the island. Today most of us were focused on Japan though. It's a weird spot to be in, facing the damage of our community but seeing the damage much worse across the Pacific, and those that also died in California. Seriously, Hawaii was the MOST blessed place on the face of the Earth during that Earth quake and the tsunami.
We are looking at a couple weeks till it's safe for ocean swimming/beaching in a few spots due to sewage leaks, like that of King Kam (next to the pier). The King Kam is facing at least 3 months till it's up and running again, other businesses near the impact zone are looking at longer if they even reopen due to the cost of damage and the already economical challenges. Again though, it's hard to look at our mess and see hopes of 3 months when Japan is looking at something darker. Yet we move on together on this island praying for those on a further away island...
Top photo is luggage from some tourists more than ready to get home to the mainland...they didn't really like this vacation. The beaches are almost normal looking, a few boats under near the harbor, a home in one bay, another house falling in at another beach, and of course the poop floating from the sewage.

Town smells too, really bad. Fish are all over the place! Some landed in restaurants, the ABC store had some, the streets, pic nic areas, it's heart breaking and stinky at the same time. School children have been helping clean up fish, others in town are passing out drinks to those pitching in a hand, its a lot of "what can I do" being asked around here. Alii Drive is drivable now, it's going to take months to fix it though and sadly many hotels aren't going to be open for a while. Our island depends so much on tourism and with some hotels, restaurants, and shops down the only thing left is the beach...which is more than okay, if it was 100% safe for swimming and not covered in dead fish.
I finally unpacked from the evacuation and it's a struggle to even think of packing for Puerto Rico. It feels like I should stay here. I'll eventually pack for the race and I'll even get my mind and heart focused to race-like on the 16.5 hour flight, but till then, I'm still in that "shock" mode that we dodged another tsunami that could have been so much worse...

It feels like a holiday around here, like a big calm after the storm feeling. Like after Christmas or Thanksgiving where you just cling to family and try to get back to business as usual yet struggle because of the time just spent on something way out of routine. Kainoa is still amazed when we drive by Honl's and see the house that is falling in and the fish all over, he gets it. He still calls it a salami and wonders how that much water made it so far up the roads...
Enjoy your weekend!
PS: news flash, a few hours later than this was written... Magic Sands Beach is open now as is Kahalu'u and the pier. King Kam is not reporting "sewage leak", the bacteria is out there from another "source", swim at your own risk kind of thing.... most debris is out of the water, including the dumpster and the giant kitchen sink. Back to the ocean :)


Blogger Kiersten said...

Thank you for sharing, Bree. We were explaining to my daughter today what happened in Japan and Hawaii. It is hard to convey (even to an 8 year old) just how dangerous the water can be. I showed her your photographs and the video link you posted. It helped her see the magnitude of things. I will be in San Juan cheering on my Trakkers teammates, and look forward to seeing you race.

March 12, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Blogger Caratunk Girl said...

Bree, I am so thankful that you and K were safe when all of that hit..and that the folks on the island are safe as well. I am so sorry for anyone who lost their homes or businesses as a result...but as you said, it is hard not to be thankful for having anything when you look at what happened (is happening) in Japan. Hugs to you, good luck in PR.

March 12, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Blogger Lucy Francis said...

oh Bree, honestly, if you didn't explain it I would have never imagined that after a big wave like this the place would be stinky. we take seweage works and sanitation for granted but when something like this happens, disease can spread like wildfire . through contaminated water. do train in the pool until san juan please. thank you for all the pictures, it really puts everything in prespective. Here, hoping that the people of hawaii manage to rebuild the beatiful island. Lots of aloha Bree!

March 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Blogger ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Luckily you are trained professional with dirty water swimming, having conquered the Ohio River two times now... I wouldn't worry at all about ocean swimming.... :)

March 13, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Blogger tks said...

Thank you so much for posting a few honest images of our beloved KVR. Yours are the ONLY such photos online right now, by all appearances, and many of us have been desperate to see how hard they were hit. We hope they're back on their feet (and their foundations) soon.

March 16, 2011 at 6:31 AM


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