Back in the Northeast, where I spent my childhood, barbequing is a way of welcoming the summer season and saying farewell to the summer season. I’m talking about Memorial Day and Labor Day. But here in Hawai’i, President’s Day works just as well as any other three day weekend. One of the main things I noticed about the three day weekend was that there were fewer people in town. Perhaps they all took advantage of the extra day off to head out and do some camping. I did a little more exploring this weekend, taking advantage of the emptier streets and shops in town. While I was meandering around town I noticed a teenage boy doing something kind of strange. He was wandering along the edge of a wooded area without a shirt or any shoes on. Since this is Hawai’i and the temperature is just about always above 75 degrees degrees during the day, I didn’t think much of what he was wearing, until I realized that he was trying to catch a chicken, so at a moments notice he may have to leap into the brush to grab the animal. My brain wouldn’t have been able to put the pieces of this event together, since i couldn’t see the chicken hiding in the trees, except for the fact that earlier in the day I witnessed four young boys on bikes (probably around 12 years of age) riding down the street. Two of them were holding onto their handlebars with one hand and clutching a rooster with their other hand. They had obviously found themselves some President’s Day barbeque. I didn’t stick around long enough to see if the other guy was able to catch himself some dinner, but the whole ordeal did get some gears turning in my head.
When I first visited Hawai’i 13 months ago I went to the island of Kaua’i. I could not recommend this island anymore highly, it is the least touristy (and least populated) of the main 4 islands, and although I considered moving there when I decided to come to Hawai’i more permanently, I instead opted for an island that doesn’t have much tourism at all, just to get a feel for what Hawai’i can feel like without the hustle and bustle of vacationers. Kaua’i has one of the same issues (or blessings) that the island I am living on has…chickens! Apparently many of the islands were inhabited/infested with chickens at one time in history, but today, Kaua’i is actually known for it’s chicken population. I assumed this was the only island that had them, but then I got here. It’s nice to see that the locals take advantage of the plentiful chicken population and use them for supper and to celebrate national holidays. I suppose with the price of groceries as high as they are here, snatching a chicken from the woods is a great way to go.
I have been a pescetarian for over 5 years now, and when I moved to Hawai’i I was hopeful that I may be able to start to make the transition over to being vegan since there would be so much fresh fruit and vegetables. I thought maybe I could slowly transition into being a vegan, perhaps eating vegan meals on certain days, three or four times per week. So far, I’ve completely exactly 0 vegan days since my arrival. This has been disappointing, but it’s SO hard to cut everything dairy out of your diet. We’ll see how I do in the coming days and weeks. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized one of the most important things in life is to not break promises to yourself, and I promised myself I’d at least give being a vegan a fair shake. No Hawaiian barbeque for me, but bring on the veggies!