Hana Happenings

Flew to Hana Wednesday for a talk to seniors and their caregivers about high-risk medications. I would have taken more pictures, but my battery on my camera was dying. It was an interesting day. We were supposed to check in at the commuter terminal an hour early, and check-in was by phone at the front desk. Noone was there. The pilot showed up just before the flight, introduced himself, looked at our ID’s and asked our weights, and that was it. We never had to go  through any type of security. We had the plane to ourselves, and the weather was awful, so we were told he might have to turn around. But, it was a 15-minute flight, so how bad could it be? It ended up being better than I thought.  In fact, I found myself mesmerized by the patterns of the wind and waves on the water, for as far as you could see. The ocean was like a mobile landscape.

The airport was simply a building, and I think it was open. There were 2 bathrooms, and some seats. When I used the bathroom and went to wash my hands, a little white lizard skittered over the soap dispenser. When I was leaving, it jumped and flipped, almost like it was telling me to go away and not come back! Kinda cute actually. There was also one of those cool St. Andrew’s Cross Spiders. A fourth-year student from the University of Hawaii at Hilo named Hannah picked us up.

We had a hard time finding where to go, but eventually we found the place, a large hall looking out on the ocean (Hana Bay), which was choppy due to the wind. The locals organizing the event welcomed us with a hug and kiss on the cheek. The Hana people are so friendly! There was only one kapuna (elder) in the hall for quite some time, but eventually the sky cleared a bit and the kapuna and their caregivers started coming. There were roughly 20 people, and they were all receptive and thankful. One thing to really think about out here is moisture and heat. Air conditioners are expensive to run, so houses get warm, and the humidity in Hana is probably near saturation. Medications, such as aspirin, would not last long here. Same with nitroglycerin sublinguals. The questions were very basic, but it was nice to see the interest. I wish it had been a brown bag, because I feel that some were more shy than others, and I think a couple of them couldn’t really hear what was being said.

We finished early, and the pilot had no other flights, so we stood around and chatted for 3 hours, waiting out the time and the weather. We ended up talking with this neat guy Hans, who started flying glider planes at the age of 14 in Holland, where the government trained teens because they needed more pilots. You could fly a fighter plane (16 yo) before you could drive out there (18 yo).

Below are some pictures of the day….