I got to go and see the girlies today, but no pictures were taken. The nurses took some pictures of Kate and Emma that I hope to get copies of tomorrow - I know we're all needing a K&E fix! I will tell you that they are each gaining an ounce a day, which is fantastic. Kate was able to really nurse today, and I know Emma will soon.
I hope you're intrigued with the title of this post. I have given a lot of thought to this part of the story, trying to decide whether or not I should share it. But it is reality, and I try to be real!
Which leads me to another subject - I'd like to join in the "ask me anything" show that's going on. So - Ask Away! I'll work answers in among the Kona Adventure and the Twin Drama.
The first thing we noticed when we got off the plane that Friday noon was the horrendous increase in traffic since our last visit there ten years ago. Any of us who live in a growing area know that traffic is worse every year, but it is not as noticeable when it happens day by day. Kona has become a very popular spot to start a new chapter of your life - don't think we haven't thought about it ourselves! But the City Fathers have not done a great job of keeping the infrastructure up with the growth - there is a single lane of traffic from the airport into the city because of a long-term road project. Not fun on a Friday afternoon! We found the traffic to be somewhat of a problem throughout our stay - it seems as if the locals have not really adjusted well to this influx of cars, and we had several close calls. Gas cost $3.65.
As we visited with business owners, we learned that, as is true in our town, the Big Box stores are hurting the mom and pop shops. The economy is struggling - high prices and low wages. There is a huge disparity between those with money and those without, in the way they live.
And of course, there is the great in between.
I noticed gang tagging this time, that I hadn't seen last time. Maybe I just didn't notice. As anywhere else, drugs are a nasty part of their lives.
As we talked to the coffee growers, we learned that a huge controvery is alive and well on the Big Island. There are many coffee makers who advertise their product as Kona Coffee, when it is in actuality no more than 10% Kona Coffee. The coffee farmers are really up in arms about this, and have lawmakers working on a bill that will force the blend to be at least 50% Kona Coffee to be able to have that title - preferably 75%, but they'll take what they can get. As a non-coffee-drinker, I have learned from others that the 100% stuff is fabulous. The 10% not so much - as good as Folgers or Maxwell House, but nothing to write home about!
We saw quite a few people who appeared to be homeless - one with a huge load of bags on his recumbent bike. Most of these people were sporting dredlocks - a hairdo which requires very little care once it is achieved! One looked like John the Baptist, in a white robe, kneeling down by a guardrail on the side of the road, patting it with water from a plastic bowl. We were in a really nice shopping center when we saw a lady with a grocery cart - her left leg up in the air as she picked a scab. She was using an upright Pepsi bottle as a "pillow," and she had her right leg resting on another Pepsi bottle on the grocery cart. The picture would have been priceless. I wish I could describe it better.
Kona is a real place. It is not just a vacation spot. People live, love, work, go to school, go to church, struggle, enjoy, swim, Boogie Board, wait on tourists, and probably wish some of us would go home! But it was a wonderful experience - MORE TO COME!