Thursday, November 3, 2011

Living in Hawaii’s Tropical Paradise

Beach in Java - 1975
We first lived in the tropics while in high school on the island of Java. We loved the warm days, comfortable nights, and the daylight hours staying the same all year. The exotic fruits were a constant delight as were the delicious fish, shrimp, and lobster. The pace was slow and people were friendly. It was a place where we both flourished, our extra weight went away, our acne was replaced with year round tans, and the humidity felt great on our skin.

Our high school in Jarkarta
Living in tropics had its challenges, however, like the heavy rains that washed black-spitting cobras and green-pit vipers off the roofs on to sidewalks and toxic caterpillars that hid in the bushes. Our hikes in the rainforests usually required the removal of large leeches and we had to share the beaches with poisonous sea snakes with paddle shaped tails. We were in awe of the massive swarms of termites in the house that could actually blot out the view of the other side of the room and the army of ants that would instantly appear to eat any food left out by mistake. The rats in an open drainage pipe in the backyard were the size of big dogs and our house was sometimes surrounded by thousands of cute mini-toads that had poison stingers on their tongues. We came to dread the upset stomachs we got from taking quinine to ward off malaria and we had to deal with tropical diseases that the Doctors could never identify from blood tests.

Fruit in Java market

We love living in Hawaii because it has the benefits a tropical climate affords without the hazards we faced in Java.  Some newcomers to Hawaii, who are not use to living in the tropics, find it challenging to deal with the bugs, rodents, and molds that can overtake the home.  Spiders, beetles, slugs, creepy crawling things, loud frogs, and other critters thrive in Hawaii’s great weather just like we do. However, Hawaii has no venomous snakes, frogs or caterpillars. Only one type of centipede is poisonous and though B52 cockroaches are scary when they fly at you, they are not dangerous. Compared to our experiences of the tropical dangers in Java, Hawaii’s tropical challenges seem minor to us and having the rights and benefits of being a citizen in a US State is no small thing in our view.  
Chris in high school

Tyler in high school
We know many people looking for a more affordable, “better”, tropical paradise than Hawaii and they are searching among remote Pacific islands and countries in southeast Asia for a new home.  We wish them luck in their hunt, but for us Hawaii is our tropical paradise and the most wonderful place in the world that we have ever lived.  


Debra said...

I really appreciate all your effort on this blog. Very informative. My husband is retiring from the military and may have a job in Hilo. We are learning a lot about living on the Big Island. It will be much cooler there from Guam, but still warm all year round. Keep up the posts.

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