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No axe me why da hill behind my hale stay called "Motorcycle Hill". Rumor had eet dat sometimes da kanes would race deah bikes from da top down to da bottom. Adunno eef I believe dat, cuz I wen grow up in Mânoa Valley in Honolulu, weah we wen get around 100" of rain a yeah. U know wat dat means: choke rain. Choke slippery paths, yeah? How going even get one big motorbike up deah? No can do, I tink.

But nemmine dat. Wat stay impohtant is wat us keiki wen do, wen stay shining da sun, wen ouah days stay filled wit lafftah an joy, an wen we had alla time in da world foah have fun.

Most of us wen have ti leaf plants growing all around ouah hales. So nani dem, but ho, so kolohe us keiki. Wen no stay lookin' ouah maddahs, we wen kakaroach da biggest clump of ti leafs from da plants... anden we wen meet up in da designated area. Den, all us keiki wen make da long, slippery climb up Motorcycle Hill. Steep da path, an da buggah stay choke wet an so hahd foah climb. We wen grab onto alla bushes alongside da muddy path foah geev us kokua goin up da hill. Good ting we stay barefoot, cuz oddawise, no can make it alla way up to da top, yeah? We wen get scratched by alla bushes, but nemmine. Oni good fun!

Finally, we wen make eet! We wen look all around. We wen feeyo like kings of da mountain! We wen rest litto bit, try find guava foah grine... anden! "Eh, u stay ready?" one of da keiki wen axe. " 'Ae, we go anden!"

One by one, we wen take take ouah clump of ti leaves, an put um wit da stalk facing down foah one hando on da path, undaneat ouah 'okoles. Den, wit one yell an one beeg push wit ouah feets, off we wen go, flyin down dat slippery path. Da path stay so slick dat da ti leaves jass wen slide along like eels. Ouah whoops of lafftah wen echo all chru da hillside as we wen bumpin an slidin down da hill. Wen wen finally wen reach da bottom, we all stay covahed wit mud from head to toe, an ouah 'okoles stay all soah. We wen look at each oddah, an laff foah da sheer joy of it all, seein ouah white teeth shine out from ouah dirty brown faces.

Wen I tink back to dose days, I say one "mahalo" to ke Akua, foah allowing me to grow up in da most nani 'âina on da face of da earth. Foah gimme dat kine freedom, an lafftah, an beauty. Now, wen I get wai maka cuz I miss my home so much, I tink back to dose days, an how ouah lafftah wen ring out like church bells in dat nani, verdant valley. My tears get mixed up wit my smiyo...an I feeyo blessed, one keiki o ka 'âina kaulana.

About Author

I was born an raised in nani Mânoa Valley, home of da rain Tuahine, weah dis story takes place. I now stay in Oregon on one farm wit my kane weah we get sheep, goats and llamas. We own one real estate appraisal business an work out of our hale. I stay on staff at Alohaworld and am active in da local Hawaiian community.

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