I went last week to check on progress on the Hana house. Upon turning down our little road, I immediately noticed that someone has been busy cleaning up the church next door. Thank goodness! During the past year or so the jungle did as what jungles always do and overtook the parcel nearly swallowing the church in a twisted vine-ridden mess! I remember thinking what a shame because this church is a landmark in Hana. I used to give people directions to our place by saying “You know that little mission-style house on Waikoloa? Yeah, we’re right next to that.” There is a sign out front which used to read “Good Samaritan Church” and I’m thinking there was also something about the fact that this church was established in 1949. The words have long fallen off and the sign, as you can see is barely readable. It’s a bit of a mystery to me the fact that when you google “church Hana Maui” there is no mention of this church. I try to do a little research on this place and nothing shows up. Not that something must be “google-able” in order to exist; it’s just that usually you can find something on the internet when you go to look things up. I talked with the guy working on the property and he told me he is a pastor on Oahu, and he’s been coming out for weeks now working slowly to clean the place up. He seemed sweet and earnest. He also seemed a little tired. When I asked him why he is working so hard to do this, all he could do was shake his head and tell me “no church should ever be forgotten like this.” It’s a sad story. This church belonged to his family and now he’s all it’s got.
I’ve only known this church long after it’s heyday. I’ve only known it to be neglected and abandoned. I wish I knew what it was like when it was fully functioning, but I’ve got nothing to draw from, my feelings for it are empty. I wish this man had others helping him love this property. Buildings are meant to be cared for, not forgotten. I offered him help when it came time to clearing trees from the rear of his property. Turns out we both want some of these trees removed; not only does it decrease leaf litter on our property, it also helps keep the jungle from taking his over. This is perhaps the best it will look for a long time again. He told me that this is the busy season at his church back on Oahu, so he won’t be coming as often. Deep inside me I know that there has to be a light in the future of this church. At least I can hope there will be. There has to be a reason why this man is working like he is.
As for our house, work is being done these past few weeks on the caulking part of this project. As it is with single-wall construction, there are gaps here and there that need to be closed up to eliminate unwanted water from rain seeping in, or tiny creatures from the jungle making themselves at home. It’s a tedious job. The walls must be scrubbed and dusted, any debris needs to be removed before the caulking is applied. Every joint gets attention. The work must be done methodically. For this type of work, our guy is using two shades of brown for the caulking. He explained to me that the color of the wood calls for differing colors. Here you can see how he is working from right to left:
As I looked around I started to see places where this type of work needed to be done. From inside, you can see little streams of light pouring in and in areas that have been patched up, you see darkness:
All I can think is “we’re going to need more putty!”I leave you with a 180 shot of this place taken mid-September. The building you see on either side of this photo is actually the same structure; it’s the panorama effect that breaks it in two. It’s not hard to see that water has flooded the area, covering the road that snakes around our property. Thankfully, our structure is solid and built well off the ground. I continue to be humbled by nature and it’s destructive forces. There is a part of me that wonders if this is all worth it. When I get overwhelmed with the jungle, the elements, the cost and the amount of work that this place requires I start to loose faith. Like my neighbor next-door, I’m not giving up. There is magic here, I just know it. After all we’ve been through, all the set-backs, all the uncertainty, I simply must keep on forging ahead. There is value in something hard-earned and this place and the life we had imagined for ourselves in it is worth the best of what we have to give.