Uffda-Mahalo

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Wherever one goes there are those local, all-purpose words that see use in different ways. Here in flyover country Minnesota,’ Uffda’ comes to mind.
“Uffda! It’s cold out there.” “She’s a scorcher today, Uffda!”

As we ventured away from our flyover roots for a week and a half on Oahu, the word ‘Mahalo’ became apparent.

“Mahalo, have a good day.”
“ Here’s your change, ”Mahalo.”

Hawaii is a beautiful place, but definitely not flyover country. After flying over that much of the Pacific you’re definitely ready to land. Although Oahu is not flyover country it certainly shares some commonalities with our native state. We have the reputation for being “Minnesota nice,” and certainly the Hawaiian people are “Hawaiian nice.” Here in Minnesota we catch and enjoy our state fish the walleye. In Hawaii I was fortunate to be able to catch the state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a and it was excellent grilled. It was much easier to catch and grill than to say its name in Hawaiian. I did however find native Hawaiians like to fish about as much as native Minnesotans. One day as we searched for a place to buy some squid for bait, we finally stopped and asked a young man on a motor cycle at a gas station where to buy some squid.
“What for?” he asked.
“For bait,” I replied.
“I have some at home, wait here and I’ll bring you some. I’m going fishing this afternoon too.”
We waited a few minutes and soon the motor cycle sped back to our location and the young man handed me a plastic bag of squid. I was amazed he’d take the time to help expedite our fishing expedition, and then he proceeded to tell me where he was going fishing and what was biting. Folks after my own heart!

As much as we enjoy our lakes here in Minnesota, we also certainly enjoyed the beautiful clear blue waters of the Pacific. Kayaking out to Horseshoe Reef in the Bay of Kane ‘ohe on the east shore of the island, we snorkeled and saw incredible numbers of brilliantly colored fish and magnificent sea turtles. With the sea-breeze at our backs we paddled and coasted back to a fantastic lunch by the seashore.

Oahu is an awesome place to kayak, fish, and snorkel and we say to the Hawaiians ‘Mahalo,’ but ‘Uffda’ it’s a long drive back to flyover country.

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