Tag Archives: Kauai🌴

Poi-making session on Kauai’s north shore

Heavily inundated with recent torrential rains, the island of Kauai is now mucking through the mud in efforts to clean up the mess and get back to normal. Particularly hard hit was Hanalei in the northern part of the island. It was there about a year and a half ago that we spent one fine morning at Waipa Foundation for ‘Poi Day’. Never heard of poi? Try wiki. Under the supervision of staff members, we participated in the process of making poi from kalo (taro root).

It’s about time I shared these images. As of this date, the foundation’s website currently states that it is not able to receive visitors or new volunteers for Poi Day. Check the following link for more info: waipafoundation.org/community_poi

Cooked taro corms get a hands-on treatment to remove the tough outer skin. It seems like an easy enough thing to do, but handling the large, and often still hot tubers can be awkward.

We were showed a very straightforward method of peeling that our supervisor summed up as texting: grasp the taro with both hands and using your thumbs, rub off the skins as if you were texting a message!

The cleaned taro root is then cut in smaller sections to fit into a large food grinder.

We were literally up to our elbows in kalo. Buckets of it to clean, to cut up, and then back again. This was certainly no tourist activity, and I hope this post doesn’t come across as one. I’d say that the atmosphere was relaxed but everyone was focused on getting all of the kalo processed in time for lunch (free!) that comes afterwards.

Ground poi is then portioned, weighed, and readied for distribution.

After a long day (and a long drive since we were staying on the opposite end of the island), we were able to get a taste of all that effort from the complimentary bag of poi that was given us. Supper at the beach: dried akule, salad with fishcake, and poi!

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Kauai skies, nene, and a neon green gecko


Kekaha shoreline in November

Currently in the chestnut forest. The 35°F cold is absolutely nothing compared to what some U.S. states, no, make that regions, are feeling, but today’s overcast skies are enough to bring on a little bit of wish I was back in Hawaii right now. Well okay, the near 90° heat plus humidity was rough on the days without tradewinds, but watching the sun slowly sink into the ocean with the island of Niihau on the horizon is nothing less than magical. And the golden hour at sunrise holds its own special kind of beauty.


Aloha kakahiaka from Waipa, Hanalei

In between the golden hours, the warmth of the sun entice Gold Dust Day Geckos out from their hiding spot. Slighter bigger than the common house geckos, and way cuter than the brown and green anole lizards that look like they’re always giving you the stink eye, the neon green geckos are actually an invasive species to the islands. No one seems to mind though if they decide to become permanent squatters on the property.

Speaking of squatters, this pair of nene geese act as police radar along the road to Kilauea Lighthouse. They’ve come a long way since being put on the endangered species list, and maybe for that reason is why drivers are cautious where these birds are known to habitate.

The Kauai Bus stops at the neighborhood center in Kilauea, so we walked the 2-mile round trip to the lighthouse entry gate (the lighthouse was closed on Monday).


Nene at taro fields in Hanalei


Nene at Kilauea Lighthouse parking

Back in the chestnut forest, it’s still 35°F outdoors with the possible chance of snow this week. If the skies clear at all it’ll be more sunsets like this. Hurry up Christmas!