I am a Maui girl from a Maui family. I was raised in Waikapū, a country town sitting along Waikapū Stream where it emerges from Mauna Kāhālawai, also known as the West Maui Mountains. Like ours, most of the families in Waikapū have lived there for generations. My parents live in the same house my dad built 50 years ago, and my family operates a traditional lo’i kalo (taro farm) on the property behind my parents’ home. After traveling around the world, I have returned to Waikapū to raise my family, and now live just down the street from my parents with my husband Dave, sons Jonathan and Ryan, daughter Mālia, and two border collies, Koa and Le’a.
Like many local families, my heritage tells the story of Maui. My ancestors include Native Hawaiians who lived and farmed near Wailuku, New England missionaries who founded a girls’ boarding school, Chinese immigrant farmers, Portuguese immigrant laborers, and an Italian-American professor from New York who married a Maui girl and moved to the island a half-century ago.