False Alarm and Awareness

Saturday’s wake up call for a ballistic missile attack was jarring for many of us in Hawaii and loved ones in the mainland and other countries.  I picked up my phone and said a short prayer, “Lord, if this is real, please help me to help people. You have given me so many gifts and experiences.  I am ready.”

My second action was to check social media and the tv. I didn’t hear the sirens. I am from Kauai, and we are used to sirens in an emergency. My son came down the stairs and his little-worried face asked if we saw the alert.  I told him not to worry, and both my husband and I thought it was a hoax or a mistake.

Being from Kauai, we are used to disasters and both my parents grew up in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded their country.  I think they prepared us well.

I have too many first aid kits.  I think we have enough food for two weeks. I do two things before a disaster. I fill up the tubs with water and do the laundry.  My kids and husband make fun of me when I do both things every time I hear a siren.  I know which room to go to if a bomb hits the islands.

I am an Americorp member from 1992, and we created the first Foodbank on Kauai after Hurricane Iniki. I know how to set up food pantries and shelters.  I know how to develop systems for separated family members. Yes, I’m a little crazy, I look at systems to find lost pets after a disaster.

For a split second, my thought was, well…ground zero could be where I’m sitting and what good would that be? This gave me a sense of heightened awareness, and I reflected on my life. I hope I served as much as I could with all that I could.

Next blog: Photo shoot



Bamboo Lessons

My father would collect bamboo shoot in the back of my sister’s house near a small ditch in Kalaheo, Kauai.  He would cut out three shoots.  He would say to me that bamboo has strength and flexibility.  “See how they are strong but they bend and grow.” Bamboo continuously grows and have many uses.

I wanted a blog to reflect the bamboo shoot that my father collected and he said that I will always be strong and flexible and to never stop growing.  I am growing now as a speaker and trainer.  Discovering my message, reflections on a life that has been blessed, and still learning along the way.

Thank you for going on the journey with me.