A LETTER FROM AFAR
(Written by Sam K. Nainoa.)
The following letter is written by Sam K. Nainoa from Seattle, after the passing of several weeks since he left his homeland with his queen, on their travels, explaining some major things that they saw in their sightseeing of these foreign lands, and this will be something which the readers of the Kuokoa will rejoice in because of the progress witnessed by the two of them made by the Hawaiian youths living in that foreign land.
SEATTLE, May 16, 1912, Aloha oe:—Here we are, staying in this town; we’ve been here almost two weeks, meeting with the Hawaiian boys, and we are full of joy.
There is a great number of my classmates living here, all of them Hawaiians; they are playing music and singing, and they are making a lot doing this work; and some of them married haole women, and they are truly taken by this land, with no desire at all to return to the land of their birth.
Some of them have land and are well off; according to what they tell me, their thoughts of returning to Hawaii are no more; this is where they will live and they will leave their bones in this foreign land.
We went touring around another area farther across this expansive ocean for a few days and came right back, and am writing this letter to you. We went sightseeing at a wood mill, at a place called Port Blakeley, which is one of the largest mills in the world.
What I saw was truly amazing. There are many Hawaiian boys indeed living there, and to go from one area to the next, you travel by steamship. The Hawaiians take a fancy to living there, and for work, they do lumbering.
Hawaiians have no problem with jobs there; they have work at all times.
Some boys from Port Blakeley came to Seattle and got together with us and the band boys who live in Seattle; they insisted that we go with them to where they live, and there was not refusing the hospitality of the kamaaina, so we went aboard a steamship, spending a few days there and immediately returning back.
There were two Hawaiian women there with their husbands, and they have become mothers to the Hawaiian boys there; their living is easy, and they get along lovingly; I would not be mistaken to say there is a place for them in this land without their parents [he mua a he hope ka noho ana o ka aina makua ole ?]
There is bountiful food there, and when we arrived, two pigs were roasted as is the custom of Hawaiians, and all the luau foods were prepared like inamona, limu eleele, dried fish, alamihi crab, raw fish, and their poi was poi palaoa [flour poi].
Here they have dried opelu and dried nehu and many other things so that Hawaiians living here have nothing to complain about; they have everything, perhaps even more than Hawaii.
We enjoyed ourselves, and there was but one thing to do, that is to sing and to play music, and we were terribly happy. There is an over abundance of palai fern there, it is protects your feet [he pale wawae ia mea he palai ?] and it grows all the way until the ocean. When we went pole fishing, we caught poopaa and also large kuahonu crabs. There is a fish that looks like opelu here, and perhaps it is opelu; so too with the puhikii, which is good eating raw.
There are so many delicacies here: salmon worked in with tomatoes and onions; and according to what these Hawaiians say, there is no food that you can’t get here, you have so much to choose from to satisfy your wants.
These people were very kind to us, and we are greatly indebted to them for their hospitality, and these Hawaiians of ours are blessed in making this place somewhere that they look for their livelihood.
This is enough for now, and maybe there will be more free time here after to write more of our travels. All the Hawaiians here give their aloha to our lahui.
S. K. NAINOA.
(Kuokoa, 6/7/1912, p. 6)
Sam K. Nainoa is my great-grandfather. I have been doing research online and through travel on his life as a musician. If anyone is interested in connecting please reach out to me at http://www.continentaljourney.com I would love to meet you!