New experiences in Oahu this trip started with a visit to the Hawaii Plantation Village. Between 1852 and 1947 an estimated 400,000 laborers came to work the sugar plantations in Hawaii. Included were individuals from Japan, China, Puerto Rico, Korea, Portugal, and the Philippines. Eventually catalog brides would arrive and families would develop within the plantation community. The village today includes both restorations and replicas of buildings and provides a good vision into a time when the sugar plantations dominated the Hawaiian economy and culture. In the early days, each plantation worker was given a Bango (meaning number in Japanese). The Bango was a metal tag with a number that would identify not only the individual but also his ethnic origin, Individuals were paid based upon where they came from. Filipinos were paid approx. $10/month while Chinese were paid approx. $15/month. The Bango was used to pay for all of the worker's needs and also used to collect their pay. The plantation became a self-contained community with shopping, worship and medical facilities all in one place. The village we toured had houses from different eras and also different ethic parts of the Plantation. Also included was a general store, temple, barber shop, bath house and medical facilities for the workers.
Our next new Oahu adventure was the Pacific Aviation Museum, located on Ford Island. We began our Docent led tour at the authentic Japanese Zero. Our docent gave us a good image of how the day was just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, He explained how people were going about their normal affairs. Included in the museum is a light civilian plane with pilot and son that was in the air and shot when the attack happened. We were shown how a Japanese Zero crashed on the island of Ni ihau and that the natives welcomed and cared for the pilot, not yet realizing that this pilot had just attacked Hawaii. There was a good selection of aircraft in the museum and the docent was terrific. One of the hangers we visited you could still see the bullet holes from when the attack occurred.
Waimea Falls Park is so beautiful and one of our favorite places on Oahu. We love the abundance in both quantity and variety of flowers there and the waterfall is always peaceful. This was a return visit for us, but a place we always try to see when on Oahu.
Craig and Barb have really made Oahu a special place for us. We shared, talked philosophy, visited the Tiki bar and a great Irish Pub with a live Irish band. Oahu is truly a place where we feel the magic.
Next, the Big Island of Hawaii.