Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

01 January 2007

Chapter Six: Rose Remembers

Rose sat in the bouncing wagon, dreamily gazing at the verdant Iao Valley. All along the trail, lush green ferns of maiden-hair and fragrant ginger flowers grew profusely.

Rose felt mesmerized by the clip clop of the horses’ hooves and the swaying rhythm of the wagon as it progressed toward the heart of the valley. Her thoughts were far away, remembering her parents’ stories about the Azores, the tales of horror about their terrible trip on the “S.S. Hankow” which left their beloved São Miguel in April, 1883 and arrived in Honolulu July 1883. Rose thought her parent had traveled such a long perilous journey and how brave they were. Rose’s mother still dreamed of returning to their place of birth but the journey had been so terrifying that they would never chance it again. It was such back-breaking long hours in the sugar cane fields for her father and brothers. The family had scrimped and saved so they could pay off the passage fare and then buy land of their own. What a feeling of accomplishment and joy that they now owned their own farm.

Rose had heard her parents often talking lately about moving to Kokomo and buying a smaller farm, one Joseph Gomes could manage on his own now that his boys were married and gone. They would live close enough to Manuel in Kulanui and Joseph in Punene and Flora in Macawao to visit them often.
“I wonder if we’ll ever see Mary again, now that she has moved with her husband to the Island of Oahu. I miss her so,” mused Rose. “Mary had looked so radiantly happy as she waved Aloha to Rose and threw flowers in the ocean. Even though Mary was so happy, we couldn’t help the tears that rushed to our eyes so unwillingly.”

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