Dec 20, 2011

139 Ways

The House of Good Living is bordered by two natural wonders: the Pacific Ocean in our front yard and the magnificent West Maui mountains at our back. At 5787', the highest peak in the 18 mile-long volcanic range is the sacred "Hill of Enlightenment" Pu'u Kukui.

Pu'u Kukui is notable for several reasons. It's home to trees and plants dwarfed by too much rain and wind and too little oxygen in the boggy soil. It's an essential water catchment system for all of West Maui. And, (are you sensing a theme?) it's one of the wettest places on earth with an average annual rainfall of 40 feet. It rains here. A LOT.

The Hawaiian language has 139 words for rain. There is paka (raindrops), pakaku (rain falling in large drops), pakapaka (a heavy shower of large raindrops, paka ua (raindrops making a noise as they spatter on dry leaves), paki'o (showery rain), and paki'oki'o (to rain in short showers and often). It's been so wet here the past couple of days that I've started using some of these words just to keep my brain from fogging up. The most amazing rainbows show up between the pakapakas, reminding me that the sun is shining. Somewhere!

You can read more about the Pu'u Kukui natural preserve and learn what Maui Land & Pineapple is doing to protect this amazing area.

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