Why We Moved from Ewa Beach to Honolulu Proper & Which is Best?

Where should you live on Oahu? I recently took the quiz “Where on Oahu Do You Belong?” It came as no surprise to me when I saw Kakaako displayed in my quiz results. I love me some urban city vibe. I’ll take a vintage boutique and farm-to-table restaurant over hanging out at the beach and a hiking up a mountain, ANY day.  Hence my two most favorite cities to live in have been DC and Tokyo. I miss them both.

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It’s been almost a year since we made a BIG move from Ewa Beach into Town (Honolulu proper) and the decision was not made lightly. I don’t like to move. I’m not big on change. We’ve moved five times in the past four years. Four of the five moves were overseas- that is a whole other story completely! (Remember, we were repatriating from having lived abroad.. it took us a while to really find a spot that clicked.) I have officially had my fill of moves. Moving, especially while pregnant and with two children under four years-old, is a major disruption to diet, schedule, sleep, routine, etc. I don’t recommend it. (No, remember we’re not military.)

But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! And so we did it. When I was seven months pregnant. And I survived.

Whether you live here or you’re moving to Oahu and you’ve been wondering what it’s like to live in Ewa Beach or Honolulu, here’s my personal experience with the two. Perhaps this will shed some light on things for you..

What It’s Like Living in Ewa Beach

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Ask anyone living in Ewa Beach and they’ll tell you, it’s a great place for families. The amount of space you get in Ewa for the price just can’t be beat anywhere else on Oahu. If you like suburbia, you’ll love Ewa Beach. It’s full of families with kids, cute subdivisions. It’s close to Kapolei. There are also a lot of golf courses, manicured landscaping, community pools, close to Koolina, other beaches and grocery stores. Plus, there’s a major mall planned to break ground next year that will surely be a go-to destination on island once complete.

Proximity to grocery stores, dry cleaners, all of that is about a five minute drive around the corner. Very convenient. Also there are several schools in the area, so kids can easily walk to school or ride their bikes if needed.

Ewa Beach has a lot of nice and reasonably priced homes. We lived in a 2900 square foot four bedroom home with a studio apartment unit connected to our garage, of which my husband occasionally used as a home office. It was a very open and spacious floor plan. It was a beautiful home. A pain to clean, but a lovely place to call home. We paid $3,400 a month for it + separate utilities..

We later deemed it to be a bit too much house for us, as it consisted of two levels and the only time we used the second level was for sleeping. Once my girls began sharing a room, two of the bedrooms were seldom used, unless we had house guests, which wasn’t as regular as we initially anticipated.

The Weather in Ewa Beach

Ewa Beach can get pretty hot and is normally about 2-3 degrees hotter than the rest of the island during the summer months. It is very dry land. Thus, if you’re living in a house in Ocean Pointe especially, I strongly warn against running your AC. It can get EXPENSIVE… quickly. I’m talking $800 electricity bill expensive!

Running your AC during the month of July from 8AM-4PM will gift you a bill of about $500-600 additional in electric. EASY. You’ll be tempted to do it. Don’t. I recommend heading to Costco and purchasing those cooling tower fans and strategically placing them around your home to for the months of July, August and September to help cool your home.

Traffic and Proximity

What about the traffic coming from Ewa Beach? You tell people you’re considering Ewa, guaranteed response will be one of these- “Ewa is HOT”. “Ewa is far!” “Ewa has a LOT of Traffic!”

It’s true, driving and traffic can be a challenge if you have to drive into town from Ewa everyday.  However, if you don’t have to drive into town, your average commute (if you’re headed to a military base near Ewa) will be about forty minutes. I could be wrong, as we didn’t have to commute in the morning, so I am purely estimating here.

Honestly, the traffic coming from Ewa Beach and commuting in the morning would have been a total deal-breaker for us. Just getting down Fort Weaver Road in the mornings to get to the H1 requires 15-20 of traffic. If you don’t have to drive during peak rush-hour times in Ewa, or if you’re driving in the opposite directions of traffic during rush hour then living in Ewa could work for you.

Social Quality of Life

We like to be social. Cook-outs, beach days, dinners with friends. We like entertaining company and enjoying friends and good food while our kids play and run around. Socially, we found Ewa Beach quite isolating and not the best place for what we wanted. Because of the neighborhood design in Ocean Pointe, you rarely see your neighbors due to the garage being in the alleyway instead of the front. So, you basically learn which of your neighbors are home based on their distinct garage door and car sounds.

Further, in Ewa, you’re either military or local. We were neither and it was a challenge for us to find our fit.  I’m a friendly mama, always striking up conversations, exchanging numbers, and inviting others to my home. In Ewa Beach, I found the best way to connect with people was via FB playgroups. Connecting with moms on my own didn’t really yield much in terms of relationships or invites to family cookouts, compared to connecting with moms via FB groups. My favorites were Ewa Beach Little Explorers and Fit4Mom Ewa Beach.

What People Who Live on Oahu Think of Living in Ewa

ewa beach look of shock and horror

People love to put Ewa Beach down, talking about the homes in Ewa being cheap, poorly made ‘cookie cutter’ houses with no character, yada yada yada. [eye roll] I’m convinced this argument makes others on the island feel better about paying a whole bunch of money for half of the space. Why people must hate on Ewa Beach, I don’t know. My guess is that it has historically been a place lacking ‘prestige’ as it was where old sugar mills and workers were located. Thus, if you’re into boasting about the area you live in, or if you’re into pleasing the snobs of Oahu, then Ewa Beach probably won’t be a good fit for you. As soon as you tell others where you live they’ll question why you live there. If that sort of thing bothers you, you’re better off living in Hawaii Kai, Kailua, Manoa, or some other place that makes you feel good about telling people where you live.

We discovered something called the ‘Ewa Beach Put-Down Look’ when you tell people where you live. Ask any person living in Ewa Beach and they’ll confirm this. It’s kind of like a look of surprise, shock, and disgust all wrapped into one. We detested this response and started challenging people on their snobbish responses. My favorite response to this was, “Have you even BEEN to Ewa Beach once?” A majority of the responses were, “No…. but….. I heard…” or “Not for a while…”

Ummmhmmm, yeah, that’s what I thought. (Defend Ewa, ha!!)

I learned that people have a very outdated view of Ewa Beach as being a ‘hood’. When people think of Ewa, they don’t think Socal-style houses and manicured lawns and golf courses. They think hood with a bunch of country brown folks. (It has that too, which I for one, appreciate seeing a more diverse population on Oahu). Thus, I took GREAT pleasure in living in Ewa Beach and correcting the snobs of Oahu regarding our choice to live in Ewa Beach.

Why We Decided to Move into Town.

nilanewborn-118 nilanewborn-101 nilanewborn-50 nilanewborn-8(Annie Groves Photography, Yes She is Awesome!)

Here’s why we decided to move into Honolulu and leave Ewa Beach.

1. With the exception of grocery stores, everything is at least a 20-40 minute drive away.

2. We learned that we’re definitely NOT suburbanites after our time in Ewa Beach.  I’m an urban girl through and through. My husband loves city vibe. We learned that we’re definitely NOT suburbanites after our time in Ewa. I love the city, cafes, walking, parks, museums. I tend to navigate towards the heart and life of a city. So, though we enjoyed living in Ewa Beach, we just weren’t that into it.

3. Our top reason for moving into town is, our church is in the heart of the city. It’s a great church who serves the city and regularly volunteers with Mayor Rights Housing Project. I love community outreach, especially when it comes to black and brown kids, who are often forgotten and overlooked, no matter where you go.

4. Another reasons we moved to Town is, we love really good food. Let me preface this by saying, we used to live in Tokyo, which is a culinary oasis of absolute food bliss, everyday. Tokyo continously passes Paris in terms of Michelin stars restaurants. Yes, it is just that good. Food is just good in Tokyo. All of it. You can’t go wrong.

Ewa Beach was quite disappointing in terms of GOOD food options. Good breakfasts spots are lacking. Good restaurants that are not chain franchise are lacking. Though, we did enjoy Monkeypod and Roy’s often. But, you can only go to those two places so many times. I would have loved a farm-to-table spot or  a nice vegetarian spot to frequent there.

5. Greater diversity was yet another reason. I love meeting people from different places who are doing different things. Especially other mommy business owners, bloggers, moms on the go, making things happen. Also, I like for my girls to be exposed to different children from different cultures, this is very important to me. Town offers much more opportunities to do that. There’s just no contesting that.

6. More educational and amusement options for my children. There are quite a few regular spots me and the girls hit up for playtime in the Ewa Beach are. We frequented the library in Kapolei. We often enjoyed the lagoons at Koolina, and we were regulars at the neighborhood parks in Ocean Pointe. However, planning a trip to the zoo was more like a day trip as opposed to a morning trip. I recommend joining the Kroc Center if you move to Ewa Beach. At least join for the first few months you’re there. Lots of social activities, lots of things for your kids to do and many chances for you to mix and mingle with other families.

7. Better Proximity to excellent Surf spots and kid-friendly beaches. This is a big one. My husband is simply a happier guy when he can surf regularly. Everything is much closer to us now. 10-15 minutes gets me to the places I want to be.

8. More opportunity to use and practice our Japanese. Something we’ve both invested a lot of time in and don’t want to lose.

9. The weather is much better in town. 3-4 degrees difference can make a big difference in your quality of life, especially if you’re pregnant and if it is HOT like it has been recently.

Finding a  Place in Town and the Quality of Housing

When we first moved to Oahu, we lived in Manoa, close to the UH campus for a few months, subletting from a sweet family taking a sabatical in Japan for the summer. Manoa was damp, beautiful, oddly Japanese in style of home, which was quite pleasant and surprising to me. It kind of reminded of the Brady Bunch neighborhood. I loved living in Manoa, but I wasn’t really big on other areas. I was just shocked at how run down and dingy things looked in Town. To me, I had the impression of living on a tropical island as being the equivalent of living in Bali in my head. Thus, until recently I had no serious desire to live in Town.

The thing about town is… Good spots go quick! Super quick. I’m talking you see it, you apply right then type of quick because it will get snatched away from you. Also, the rental market is pretty discriminatory- favors locals with Asian names (think Daniel Tanaka, Kim Lau, etc.) Just a word of caution to you. You don’t get a lot of bang for your buck living in Honolulu. Be prepared to pay a LOT for a smaller space but better proximity and ease to the city. We happened upon a great little house, Hawaiian style cottage in the Alewa Heights area, complete with a basement, front and back yard, garage, three bedrooms. We cut our budget by $1500 too.

Town has a LOT of clutter, pests, and is lacking in sidewalks.

Here’s what I don’t love about living in Honolulu- clutter clutter and more clutter. This place is a hoarder’s paradise. There’s a serious hoarding problem happening in Town! What is going on?

Also, unless you want cockroaches and ants all over your house, prepare to budget an extra $100-200 a month to pay for an exterminator. Raid is not going to cut it. On the other side of the island, we hardly ever saw cockroaches and ants in our home in Ewa Beach.

Which brings me to this, factor in the extermination out-of-pocket costs you’ll spend on your home if you’re moving in Honolulu. We were being overrun by ants so I finally broke down and called an exterminator. Seriously, just go ahead and call an exterminator. The attitude of many Town folk is ants and roaches are to be expected, just live with it. Ummmm, that would be a big, ‘No Ma’am!” in my book. Call an exterminator. End of story.

One more thing, if you enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood with your kiddos, on a sidewalk, you’d be hard-pressed to find that in Town. Sidewalks are a luxury I took for granted in Ewa Beach.

So which place is best for our family?

Though we loved Ewa Beach for the space, Town is best for us. So far, we LOVE our new home. Despite having to deal with ants in my kitchen some time, we are very happy with our move. I homeschool, so we don’t have to deal with the schools here. We’re about 5 minutes away from our church. And a 10-15 minute drive away from pretty much anywhere else we want to go.

Living in town allows for more freedom to get out and about Town with ease and still return home to take care of my house. If you’re planning to live in Town, the most important thing is finding a nice home. Invest a lot of time into finding a great place and put in your application right away, things go quickly. I recommend taking a friend with an Asian look, as there are some serious discriminatory practices happening here.

So there you have it.

The culture here is pretty tight-lipped when it comes to sharing information like this.  I find that annoying. One of the many reasons why I started Fun Little Ohana. I hope this article might be of some use to families similar to ours deciding where on Oahu you should move.

And Here’s a Video Regarding Tokyo’s culinary status, just in case you were questioning it’s validity.

 

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Takara Bullock

Takara is a thirty-something wife, mother-of-three sweet girls, web designer, and FIT4MOM Honolulu Owner. Before Hawaii, she resided in Japan for six years where she researched as a Fulbright Fellow and later worked as a headhunter recruiting talent in the tech industry. Fun Little Ohana was created to help families with children have more fun on Oahu. Subscribe to our Oahu with Kids Weekly Email for more family-fun ideas.

19 Comments
  1. Love this! We have been on island for over a year now and we lived in Ewa Beach up until about 2 weeks ago. We moved down to the AIrport area into beautiful military housing. We loved EVERYTHING about living in Ewa Beach but the time away from my husband who did the commute and having to plan anything with friends between 9-1 was tough, we missed out on a lot of events and get togethers. We are happy in AIR CONDITIONING which we didnt have living in Ewa but miss being away from “base” life…..all in all, a great time was had in Ewa Beach and loving our new life here down by Pearl Harbor! GREAT READ!

    1. Oh yeah Christina, the Military Housing on near the airport is pretty sweet! I just recently visiting a friends home, I loved it! Yeah, we had a lot of friends in Town and after a while, it became a big deal just leaving Ewa Beach to drive into town. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Fantastic. We live in Kaneohe, and are shopping for a condo in town. I work at a private school in town and it would cut my commute to nothing. But oh, leaving the Windward side, my home for thirteen years…hard to think about!

    Our church is in town, also, though, and there are so many things we love to do there. Thanks for laying it out here. BTW, I’ve referred so many of my friends to this blog! You made our summer. I think I saw you at the Taiko drumming in Kakaako in June, but we left before it finished so I didn’t want to come over and say hi. Thanks for keeping up this helpful blog!

    1. Hey Alexandra! Oh yeah, making the move from Kaneohe to Town would be a tough choice for me too I think 🙂 but, since our move from Ewa, I’ve realized we were prioritizing space over proximity to things. Perhaps the commute and improved quality of life due to proximity will make this a great move, the key will be finding the right place though!

  3. We lived in Ewa for our first 6 months and recently we moved up to Makakilo. Best choice for us. We are not urbanites at all, so when we found this home we were really excited about it.

    I agree on all points about Ewa Beach. We always got that look and now we don’t get that look about Makakilo. Love living out here more.

    1. Hey Dina! Thanks for commenting! Interesting responses regarding Makakilo vs Ewa right? I remember looking at houses in Makakilo and the breeze being so nice up over there. How’s the heat in the summer, you still catch a breeze?

  4. Thank you for this article. We live in Ocean Point but are weighing the pros and cons for moving to town. I have been hesitant because for our family situation it means moving into a little condo with our toddler and dog in tow. But I whole heartedly agree with all your points about Ewa (especially the food choices or lack there of!). And how it’s difficult to make friends if your not local or military. Thanks for showing that it is possible to raise littles in the city.

  5. Thank you so much for this write up. We are facing similar decisions and we found this very helpful. Would love to speak with you some day.

  6. Hey there! Are you still living in Honolulu? We are moving from Australia and I love this post! I have been pushing to living in the city, but looking online Ewa keeps popping with great spaces, but…. Well, you know. I identify with a lot of what you said. 🙂 would love to get more advice from you. We have two little ones under 4 and we have moved about four times in the past five years– while pregnant too– and no we aren’t military either! Anyway, would love to pick your brain if you have the time.

    Thanks!

  7. I would love to know the name of your church, it’s sounds amazing based on your description. Planning on moving to Oahu with my family in the next few months, and finding a great church is a huge priority.

  8. My husband and I are on the hunt for a home to buy and I stumbled across your post. We’ve been on island for nearly 5 years and have moved every single year for various (and ridiculous) reasons…and I’m over it! So we have made the decision to buy. We lived in Kapolei in Koolina at one point and our electric bill was nearly $700 per month. I can’t stomach that again. This was a great read – thank you for sharing!!! Xo

  9. We are preparing to move to Ewa Beach. We settled on the apt complex with the beach because that’s what Hawaii is all about. Fun, beach and recreation. I was shocked to see so much clutter when viewing rentals online. Junk everywhere. We are moving from a 3800 sq ft house to less than 1500 sq ft. But we are from NYC so 1500 is a lot of space. I prefer a smaller footprint anyway. I love the outdoors. Thank you for so much information. I also homeschool my children.

  10. This post was very helpful to me. My husband and I will be moving to either Oahu or Big Island this next spring. The homes in Ewa Beach (we will buy, not rent) are within our price range, but we did wonder about the neighborhood.

    We are both retired, although I am an author. Hubbis is a retired physician but he is also retired military. Looking at a map, Ewa Beach looks like it is close to the Hickham amenities, so we are confused by your comments about how long it might take us to get to the base from Ewa Beach. We would be shopping at the commissary there.

    We would also be active in the Honolulu arts scene (symphony, opera), so we don’t want to live somewhere that is so far from those activities that we would have a difficult time getting to-from events and board/committee meetings.

    Our price range is up to $950k. Can you recommend a neighborhood that we should look in besides Ewa Beach, so that we don’t get “the look” from the Oahu snobs? LOL

    Pat

  11. I am relatively new here to Hawaii, as I came here to start over after my marriage failed because the person I married tried to kill me and emptied my banks accounts leaving me for dead. I wasn’t supposed to survive and doctors told my family make funeral arrangements. Yet after a prolonged period of time in the hospital and then rehabilitation to learn to function as a 40 year old male again has been anything but easy. So, being the spiritual (not religious) Native American that I am, I decided to pack up a suitcase and my laptop and board a plane for Hawaii to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa…everything else I donated to charity as I was not going to ship it all here.

    I started to read your article and the beginning of it was informative. Then it quickly went south and left a bad taste in my mouth. I came here to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The energy here on the Hawaiian islands in very special. Before coming here I heard mixed information about locals. I heard they are rude towards people who are not from here and then I heard the polar opposite, that they are the nicest people you will ever meet. Since coming here, I have found that they are some of the nicest people I have ever met…they will invite you to their houses for dinner with their families and you become part of that family (known here as Ohana). Being Native American I share many, many similarities with the Native People of Hawaii. Most of it to do with our culture revolves around family, Ohana, and Tribe and also, sadly, what the gov’t. has done to both the Native Americans and the Native Hawaiians is sad and appalling. We were both over taken with hostility and countless native were killed, causing the largest genocide in history to happen right on our own soil.

    What upset me about your article is your choice of wording when using the phrase “Oahu snobs.” There is a reason why the people of Hawaii don’t want people from the continental US (Mainland) moving here…it’s because people, tourists included, come here without knowing a damn thing about their culture, and have ZERO respect for their land. It’s disgusting not just to me, but to the locals that the Japanese are being catered to here….especially after what was done at Pearl Harbor. And when you go to Pearl Harbor look around and watch how the Japanese have no respect for it as they point and laugh…and that is disgusting. Yet the menus at restaurants in Waikiki and in other parts of the island are half in English and half in Japanese. You walk around and see all these people with medical face masks on like this is their polluted country. I realize we have a thing called Vog here and that is Volcanic smog. The island of Oahu hasn’t had an active volcano in over 300.000 years but it does blow in from the big island. But When I see then walking down the street with those masks on and there is a garbage can on almost every street corner in Waikiki and they just throw their trash on the ground it angers me. The tourists come here to paradise and they litter the beaches and act like animals when out in public. I have now been assaulted twice in less than a month in Waikiki but these homophobic assholes who feel the need to remind me that I am gay by calling me a faggot and putting their hands on me. I live and work here and the Hawaiian people are very accepting and very progressive and always have been. I went off on the last guy who decided to assault me outside of the restaurant I work at. It was 11:45 at night and this 6’4 white trash man with his equally trashy wife and three little rug rats are walking the streets and he decided to put his hands on me and call me a faggot. I said this is EXACTLY why the native people don’t want people coming here. You have no respect for where you or the culture that you insult by saying Oahu snobs. Native people are people of great pride (both Native Hawaiian and Native American).

    The people of this chain of islands are also sick of people who buy their family members one way tickets here because if you are going to be homeless, why not be homeless in a warm climate that also has warm running water on the beaches? These islands don’t need ONE more homeless person being shipped here. The meth problem here is out of control and most if not all of the homeless are are addicted to it. I realize it is way cheaper to buy it here than it is on the mainland but it’s still an expensive drug. Being a marine biology major here at UH Manoa, we go down to the beaches monthly to clean up the mess that is left behind by the lazy, slobs called tourists. Because tourism is a major money maker for the islands. So my friends and myself go down to the beaches and clean them up for free so that the obnoxious tourists can have a clean place to take their kids and or trash it all over again. Who would want to bring their kids to a beach littered with tourniquets and used syringes??? How many tourists would want to go to Waikiki if they new that Waikiki is actually one of the more dangerous neighborhoods here on Oahu. You will very rarely see the stabbings, gun fire, assaults, muggings, break-ins in either the news paper or on the news because they don’t want to scare away the tourists. I came here already having a friend who is from here and lives in a town called Waipahu. I was told by people on campus that I should NOT go to Waipahu. When I asked why, no one would tell me, instead. they would say…”You will figure it out in time.” Waipahu is predominantly a local neighborhood comprised of most Pilipino, local Hawaiians and surprisingly Native Americans. It too was a sugar plantation and a place for the Royal Family of Hawaii to go and get away….because there was a spring that bubbled up from the trough and just like Native Americans, the Hawaiians respect nature and in nature there is power and energy on a spiritual level. So after talking to a friend of mine who used to be stationed here and in charge of the Blue Angels, I asked her why people would tell me to stay out of Waipahu…because she is white and had a house there. She said she doesn’t know why but would assume that they feel I will run into trouble with gangs and drugs. The meth problem is everywhere in this country and I have yet to see any gang activity up in Waipahu. It reminds me of the beautiful neighborhood I used to live in in pricey, expensive Fairfield, CT. The neighbors all say hi to me when I go there and we stand around and talk. It makes me feel like I am at home and to be able to go up there and help a friend with yard work and installing koi ponds makes me happy. I miss owning my own house and having outdoor work to do ( gardening, moving the lawn, flower beds). And I look forward to ANY chance to get off this damn campus that claims to be loving and supportive of all walks of life. This campus was started by Queen Liliuokalani yet the people who came here and took over the islands, imprisoning her in her own room and having embarrassed her causing damage to her pride and arresting anyone who stood in support of her claim that they started the University which is run by nothing but Haole (white people). The crap and injustices that were written about the native people in history books is just as wrong and disgusting as what was written about my people who they claimed were barbarians and violent savages. But for the Hawaiian people the created lies to take over the islands saying that Hawaiian people were not as smart as the white people because their skulls were smaller and therefore their brain were not as advanced. Claimed that Hawaiians were lazy, so lazy that they couldn’t be bothered to raise their own kids so they hurried them alive so they wouldn’t have to raise them….all of this is lies that are in print about these indigenous people.

    I know I just went off on a rant…but there is a point to it. With all the harm people have done to these people and damaged their reputation and published these lies and then the tourists coming here and not knowing anything about the culture they are insulting and coming here to litter paradise and cause harm to the people who live here by assaulting them and making them not feel safe on their own soil or using a term such as Oahu snobs is very disrespectful and I can understand completely why they would much rather have their land returned to them. They were fully capable of running all of the island and the utilized the land’s natural resources…then white people came here and ruined all that. I have been called a haole once and I said please don’t ever call me white…she said but you are. I corrected her and said no I am an indigenous American from the Iroquois tribe. She said well you look white and don’t have native features. I said you’re right I do…because 6 black and Puerto Rican guys decided to shatter my face at 14 years old because I came out as gay. So I had cosmetic surgery at 15 to rebuild what they destroyed. I asked her how she would like it if I said she looked Puerto Rican and she wasn’t too happy and said don’t ever say that. I said now you know how I feel when you insult my native pride. I didn’t come here to step on toes nor insult a culture, class, or people. I thought that as being native we had something in common and could relate to one another. I came here with one plan…to get my education in Marine Bio, immerse myself in the Hawaiian culture and learn the language (because this is the ONLY state that has two official languages), and finally when I leave this life my plan is to leave Hawaii in the form of ashes but when I do, I will have left these islands in better shape than they were when I arrived here. I will do everything I can to keep cleaning the beaches, hiking trails, parks, and ocean.

    But when I came here, I have never met more rude, ignorant people in my life. And those people are NOT the locals, they are the tourists, the jackasses I attend school with who feel the need to mumble crap under their breath about me being gay or the roll their eyes at me when I walk by and make a sound of disgust. There there were a few black students who I had to put in their place as well the first week of school. Standing behind me in the elevator of my dorm, the elevator was full and they decided to mumble under their breath “faggot”. I refuse to take that shit from anyone. I turned around and got in his face (mind you this guy works out and obviously plays sports and is a lot taller than I am. I got in his face and said if you have something to say, be man enough to speak up, and say that shit to my face, because you of all people know what it’s like to be discriminated against and I am always hearing: “that’s just the white man trying to keep the black man down”…..REALLY??? How about teaching these kids respect for all people….if they don’t like being mistreated because of the color of their skin, how the hell do they think people like me feel when we are treated like second class citizens because I go to bed every night with a person of the same sex. Do I look like I need a reminder that I am gay? Do they need reminders that they have brown skin? I told these guys that if I ever heard those words come out of their mouth again when referring to me or anyone else on this campus it would be the last time the mumble those words again….then I used a word that I can’t stand and I wish it wasn’t used as a so called term of endearment by their own culture. I told him he is the true meaning of the word and I used it….I don’t feel sorry about it and I refuse to apologize for using it….but that was one ignorant fool . Everyone else in the elevator had backed up to the walls thinking there would be a fight. I said no there wouldn’t be. He’s here on a sports scholarship and all he’d have to do is take one swing at me and he would lose that scholarship and his education so quickly. Then I said to the rest of them in the elevator that if I ever heard someone harassing any of you, I don’t care the size of the person or the weapon in their hand….I would stick up for you and protect you at all cost. Sadly, no one here on campus wants to even make eye contact with me and I have never had an issue making friends anywhere I go. I have lived in affluent neighborhoods and ghettos. I don’t discriminate and I don’t harass or insult people. I simply treat people exactly they way they treat me. And sadly, I respect everyone, even those who don’t respect me….but there comes a point when a person who has beat on, pushed around since kindergarten, raped at 19 and contracts HIV, gay bashed, mugged in Hartford 3 times, ends up in an abusive relationship with a raging alcoholic who broke my ribs, arm, nose, and then I marry a man from Denmark and petition for his green card and once he gets it, I am no longer of any use to him and he tried to have me killed, emptied my banks accounts ( I divorced him before coming here and thought that would be the end…but no, he had to lie to the judge that did our divorce and tell her that he would take a loan out on his 401K and pay off the car I cosigned for him to get my name off of it and he, who makes 65-75,000 a year, let the bank repossess the car and now I know why I am being asked to pack up and leave campus….because he made it impossible for me to get another loan to pay for the rest of this and now at 41 I have to drop out, then add the two hate crime assaults in Waikiki and the day to day torment of these mainland ignorant millennial I go to school with who feel entitled and like we own them something who want to insult, make fun of me and treat me like shit….I am so sick and tired of the amount of disrespect people have for others, especially towards the Hawaiian people and their culture and way of life. If people are going to be so disrespectful stay the hell home and DON’t come to Hawaii….because those people are not wanted here.

    That being said, if you want to feel like you belong to a community (other than your church) try doing something that would honor the people of these island by getting involved in a project that is has been going on in Moilili where we all get together and do research to rewrite the wrongs that were done to the Hawaiian people and write the proper history of these loving, progressive, accepting people. It happens every Saturday….and there is enough actual documentation that we have gotten our hands on that tells the true history of the Hawaiian people so that we can compile and get it publish so that the Hawaiians can be given back the respect that they so rightly deserve. If history has shown us anything, it’s that when the history books were written they were filled with half truths and blatant lies. Just as people from the US were blamed for the whole slavery issue when it was their own people who sold them to us to be used as slaves….I’d be more made at your own culture for selling their own people to be used and raped and worked to death than I would be at the people who paid for them.

    My point is, and I do have one. It’s just when I see things like “Ohana snobs” we all need to have a greater level of respect for those around us. You don’t know what battle the person you just call stupid or ugly or fagoot is going through…be kind, chose your words wisely….because in all honesty, after 41 years of non stop abuse from people who are so uncomfortable in my presence and the beating and near death experiences….a person can only take so much crap before they implode and hurt themselves or explode and decide the next idiot who lays a hand on me is going to be killed in the street. I seriously came home from work that night after being asked by my boss at Tommy Bahamas Restaurant if I was (and I quote_ “fucking retarded or stupid”. and I had disclosed my car accident, severe brain injury and the fact that I hadn’t been able to work in a year and a half so don’t ever refer to me (an honors student who also has common sense) as stupid or retarded….but that night I came back to campus feeling totally damaged and destroyed that if I could have found access to the rooftop of my 12 story dorm building I would have jumped off to end the 41 years or torment….my spirit feels broken and I came here to heal.

    So please, change your wording in this article as it comes across as not just mean spirited but also very disrespectful to the people who’s land you want to live on. And quite frankly, you yourself came across as a bit of a snob when I read about how you lived in several countries and brag about the food in Japan and that the food here isn’t all that great. You must be eating in some crappy places….try staying out of Waikiki and finding local haunts because I can guarantee you that while it may not be be 5 star or artfully displayed on a plate like the Japanese do….local Hawaiian fare is quite delicious. And I cook professionally as well and when I plate the food I like to make it look like art…because we eat with our eyes before the food even enters the mouth. I hope you read this and know that I don’t mean any disrespect to you or your culture, I just want you to rephrase your wording. And if you want to feel like you are part of the community and or culture get involved in learning about real Hawaiian culture and do something nice for the people of these islands by paying some respect back to them. The research project is a lot of fun and informative.

  12. This was a great article. Thank You!! we are moving to Hawaii next month and plan on Ewa Beach but I have been thinking about looking into other areas. We have three kids that are a little older and I like the idea of living in Kapilina because of the community feel but I am worried about being so far away fro everything. Thanks again!

    P.S. Beautiful family!!!

  13. Thank you for writing this article. We are moving to Hawaii next month and plan on moving to Kapalina shores in Ewa Beach but I started thinking about looking into different areas because I don’t want to be too far away from things but I like the community feel. WE have three kids 18, 15, and 8.

    Thank You!!!
    P.S. You have a beautiful family.

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