Betty and I lived in Hawaii twenty-four years where I taught at the University of Hawaii, first at the Hilo Campus, then two years at the main campus on Oahu, and then seventeen years at the Windward Community College in Kaneohe. Here are some of the things we experienced that stand out in my memory.
We stood on the rim of an erupting volcano — at midnight! We boarded a WWII pocket submarine in Hilo Bay to give the sailors some pineapples. The Lord’s provision for housing was free house-sitting on Halai Hill overlooking the town, and at the end, very cheap housing in a condemned building right on Hilo Bay next to the hotels on Banyan Drive.
On Oahu, we snorkeled in the warm waters of Waikiki, and above a giant manta ray bigger than I am at Hanauma Bay. I watched a giant humpback whale breach just offshore of Sea Life Park on the south end of Oahu. We sailed in our small boat alongside dolphins off Waikiki. We ate lunch at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and danced to the live music of Trummy Young at the top floor nightclub at the Ala Moana Hotel. The Lord provided us elegant free house-sitting in a mansion at the top of Tantalus Mountain, overlooking Honolulu and Pearl Harbor.
Betty and I helped found and manage Christian Vision, the music ministry of Randy and Gay Hongo. Christian Vision has supported them to travel around the world singing and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, and making many recordings of their music. Being connected with Randy and Gay gave us the fun of meeting Waikiki entertainers, and having breakfast with Billy Graham.
Our doctor introduced us to the industry of network marketing which opened the way for a world of adventures we never would have imagined. Amway gave us an opportunity for personal growth, meeting uplifting positive people, and fun trips such as to a resort on Orcas Island.
Sunrider provided opportunities to travel and to earn extra perks. We qualified for a trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong. We climbed the Great Wall of China! We walked where the emperors of China walked in Forbidden City. We watched as a typhoon buffeted Hong Kong, and savored exotic cuisine aboard the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen Harbor.
The owners of Sunrider loved cruises for leadership conferences. We earned the requirements for five cruises. We cruised the Caribbean aboard ships to Cozumel, Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Belize, Costa Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered a sailboat to sail and snorkel at St. John. We had two cruises down the Mexican Riviera, from Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Vallarta. Finally, we got to see both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean in the same day by transiting the Panama Canal.
Everyone who does a network marketing business hopes to make a lot of money, but we learned that the real secret of network marketing is the experience: the journey, and building relationships with positive ambitious people – not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Betty and I continue to enjoy the relationships we’ve made, and are making, with the company we are with now. Good health is our passion, and we gravitate to companies that make nutritional products from the plants that God has provided.
God has provided, protected, and pushed us through a lifetime of amazing experiences!
Looking Back: The last time we went back to Hawaii, we stood at the edge of the cliff looking down into Haunama Bay, our favorite snorkeling spot, enjoying the vista of the half-moon beach, and the gentle waves spilling over the reef. We spotted the channel where we swam through the reef to visit the schools of flashing fish that hovered and fed above the coral heads outside the reef wall.
Just a few feet from our faces, a couple of Brazilian Cardinals hung tenaciously to a swaying branch in a bush buffeted by the strong ocean breeze. As I pointed my camera, they turned their bright red heads to the sea, and their backs to me. That picture will remind me, that to hang on, we must face the buffeting forces of life, because ahead of us is where we’ll live, not behind us. Treasured memories are the “pictures” looking back – but life is lived to the fullest facing into the winds of today and tomorrows!
God has provided, protected, and pushed us through a lifetime of amazing experiences, and I know He will continue to do so as we face the winds of tomorrows!