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Dese days I teach kindergarten keikis on da mainland. I live in Pittsburg, California, so I get plenny pilipino, Chinee, popolo an haole students, an everybody in my school know I da Hawaiian teachah. (Dey say I Hawaiian, even though I Japanee, because I ack like I from Hawaii. An wen ouah school have da luau at the end of every year, I always da one cook da food an bring da music. Mos of dem have been to Hawaii an dey bring me back stuff, so I real lucky live heah, I tink. An actually, da parents treat me like I Queen Liliuokalani, cause I one real good teachah.)

Anyhow, wen we learn about insects an reptiles an stuff lidat, I tell dem alla kine stories about wen I was a kid in Hilo. An my students nevah foget my storees! Da firs grade teachah tell me dat dey remembah my storees.

Like about da cockaroaches. One time, my muddah an fadduh was so excited because da kahu from ouah church wen ask ouah ohana to his house fo a party.

He had one haole lady visiting from da mainland an I guess dat's why we had da party. Kahu liked parties, especially cause he like eat. He was pupuli, like maybe 300 pounds, an always laughing and cracking jokes. We love ouah Kahu, he teach my Japanee family how fo hug.

He had one nice wife an five keikis, an one small kine house. Dese days he get one house in Keaukaha, because he Hawaiian, but back den he didn't so his house was real small. Had plenny emportant people deah, alla deacons on da church board. Dey was all nice peepol, wid lots of kids, an we keikis ran all ovah da house.

Was ouah first time at deah house so I check out all da rooms. Had green carpet an regulah furnitures, like from da seventies, notting special.

Da kitchen was real small, with hokaplenty grinds all ovah da table an da counters! Had somen salad, teriyaki beef, taco salad, plenny rice, mochi chicken wings, spaghetti, kim chee dip an daikon dip, an moah. My madduh had made some rainbow Jello, da kine wid red-green-white, red-green-white. I can still remembah Kahu say, "Ho, broke da mouth!" He always say dat at ouah church potlucks. So I was eating mochi chicken wings an I went to da living room, an da lady from the mainland visiting da kahu was deah.

An she spoke good English an I foget why I didn't like her, maybe cause she was so quiet an nevah talk too much to nobody. She was wearing a beige polyester dress an pantyhose (an it was hot! ) an brown high heel shoes an she had brown hair all curled an teased up like one "helmet". An she was sitting, eating from her paper plate, on da sofa. Was one hot night, like in August, an we was all sweatin',. Alla sudden I heard one scream an I look up an had like 5 or 6 bambucha cockaroaches flyin across da living room, an one wen go in da haole lady's hair! She wen scream an dance aroun, an we keikis was laffin so hard!

Was mostly keikis in da living room, but wen da lady scream, Kahu's wife came wiki wiki an was goin help da lady but da roaches was still divebombing so she yelled, "Come out from deah!" an da lady got da roach out of her hair an ran out screamin! Well, all da kamaaina grownups preten nottin happen aftah dat. But on da way home, my muddah and fadduh wen laugh up about da lady. I don tink dey like her eedah. Musta been cockaroach mating time... Ass one good party!

In kindergarten we also learn about reptiles. Reptiles stay coldblooded. I know, cuz one time, me an my madduh an fadduh wuz driving down Kaiwiki road one cold, rainy Hilo night, an I was rolling up da window of our Dodge Dart, wen alla sudden I felt this wet, cold splat on my NECK! "Dad, Dad!" I wen scream. "Stop da cah!" "Whassa madda you?" he wen ask, but I was screamin and bouncin all ovah so he wen stop, an wen da light came on, was one wet gecko on da floor! Da buggah wen smile at me.I no can touch em, da geckos.

But one time I was teachin summer fun in Honolulu, an one of da fifth grade boys wen pick up a brown, little gecko. An he rub da sucka's belly till da gecko fell asleep in his hand, upside down. An he an his frens wen show eveebody, an dey try fo scare me, cuz dey know I scared geckos. Actually, was kinda cute. But I still no can touch em.

Mainland bugs an geckos are boring. My kindergartners nevah foget my stories!

About Author

I was born at Hilo Hospital in 1965. I lived in Hilo till I went to UH Manoa in 1984, graduated with a BA in Spanish in 1987, and then got married in 1991. I am an early childhood educator, and have taught in Hilo, Honolulu, Virginia, Nebraska and now California. I directed a preschool in California and am now teaching kindergarten at a school in Concord, CA. Am telling all my kamaaina friends about AlohaWorld.

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