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On this episode of Hawaii’s Best, Bryan is joined by Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey, the president of Maui Cultural Lands.
This non-profit was founded by his parents in 1999 to boost conservationist efforts on the island of Maui, and specifically to bring continued restoration and protection to Honokowai Valley. Their mission includes telling the stories of the spaces they fight to preserve through education and healthy exploration.
Honokowai Valley’s name reflects its natural resources (sugar cane and water). It was historically a very rich agricultural area, supplying not just sugar but other foods for many of the surrounding communities. There are buildings on the land that date back to 1200 AD.
Currently, reforestation efforts and ecological preservation work are establishing sustainability in the area to ensure the important historic valley thrives for generations to come.
Ekolu’s team takes volunteers up every Saturday to work on the land, learn some of the cultural values and history, and share Aloha. We know you’ll be inspired by his truly Hawaiian, chill but deep passion as he explains Regenerative Tourism, and how we can all participate in better stewardship of an island so rich in beauty and natural glory – an island that also sustains around 3 million visitors a year.
Giving back while on vacation with Maui Cultural Lands is one tangible on how you and your family can volunteer in Hawaii.
The team teaches its volunteers an important concept that Ekolu’s family calls the “process of Aloha.” This includes Kupono (honesty, forthrightness and fairness in relating to others), Malama (generating light and caring for life), and Kokua (to help selflessly), which Ekolu explains to us in the most stirring of ways.

Kupono + Malama + Kokua = Aloha

As a Maui native, Ekolu has inherited wisdom, generosity, and wonder from his family, and his explanation of Aloha as a practice and a process, as opposed to just a concept, is one of the many gems in this rich conversation.

In 2019, Edwin received a prestigious honor from Maui County’s mayor (Michael Victorino): he had a day of the year named Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey Day! The mayor thanked Ekolu for empowering the community to protect its resources.

Mayor Victorino extended “his deepest appreciation and thanks to Ekolu for inspiring and empowering our communities to preserve, protect and restore cultural, historic and environmental resources and traditions for generations to come.”

Ekolu also does work to restore local reefs, invites students from abroad to learn conservation methods on site, and partners with other Maui-based non-profits in their water and land protection efforts.

Bryan and Ekolu also talk through the pro’s and con’s of the bounce-back in travelers and tourists after the pandemic, and what some of the pressure points are as visitors return in such high numbers. These include the increased danger that overcrowding poses to the reefs, seals, and water supplies.

We know our listeners will resonate with the importance of efforts like Maui Cultural Lands who continue to spread awareness to visitors about traveling with Pono. Stay tuned to listen to some of Ekolu’s suggested solutions for the challenges that Maui faces, and how we can all contribute to his education and awareness efforts and ways to volunteer in Hawaii.


Episode Resources

Travel Pono (responsibly)

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Bumper music, Aloha Friday, provided by Coby G (used with permission)

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Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 0:00

So as it was taught to me Hanako I value one always be called refer to sugar and why or why is freshwater so our interpretation is a B of Sweetwater it was the agricultural food production area of Ka Ka Ka been placed we call Blackrock are where the Sheraton and Kaanapali is right now. So it was the breadbasket to feed the many villages that exist along that coastline. That is a colo Lindsay, the president of Maui culture lands on Maui. I can't wait for you to hear more from him and about Maui culture lens and, and how you and your family can get involved during your next trip to Maui lots to talk about on this episode of Hawaii's best. Let's go.

Hawaii's Best 0:52

Aloha. Welcome to Hawaii's best, where we help prepare you for your visit to Hawaii. Here you'll learn what to know before traveling as we discover Hawaiian culture, local businesses, and the experiences that make Hawaii one of the most incredible places in the world.

Bryan Murphy 1:10

Aloha and welcome to a new episode of Hawaii's best. I'm your host, Brian Murphy and it is good to be back. I've missed you guys. And I've missed in releasing these and I know some of you have you reached out to me or on our page at Hawaii's best on Instagram. And I just want to say thank you so much for the support over the last few months. And probably the last couple of years actually a lot like you I've had to pivot as well on my other stuff that I do and and the other thing that I run is a podcast production company. But I've had to kind of dive all in on that during the last couple of years when everyone was you know locked in at home starting podcasts. Being able to do that and help getting other people's podcasts up and running was which was great. But I've realized over the last few months since we released an episode on Hawaii's best that I've missed doing this I I've missed connecting with locals on Hawaii and being able to connect with businesses, local businesses and bringing some of those stories to you. Some of those tips and those resources, especially as we're staring down, summer of 2022 is probably going to be not probably it's going to be a huge summer in Hawaii. Now that so many travel restrictions have been lifted. And a lot of that we're kind of transitioning out of a lot of people are getting back to normal and traveling again. And a lot of people top of the list is a white, we've seen that over spring break. We saw that last summer and what you're going to hear more from eCola. Lindsay later on in this episode is a little bit of what last summer was in Hawaii, there was a lot of tension, honestly, there's a lot of tension from locals and from travelers. And you're gonna hear some of that in the conversation. It's all wrapped in Aloha, I promise. And I hope that you're dreaming of traveling to Hawaii again, maybe you have recently or maybe you're thinking and dreaming of that next trip. And I hope that this can be a good resource for you kind of dreaming and planning for the next trip. And before we dive in to the episode with eCola. I want to give you a few travel updates. Because some of you have reached out to us and asking about what the current travel restrictions are, what the travel updates are. And if you've been following the news at all, it's it's been pretty interesting. Hawaii safe travels restrictions ended about a month ago, almost to the day on March 25. So what that means is that travelers arriving after March 26, which is now and beyond will no longer be required to complete a safe travels application to enter Hawaii. So which is great news meaning that there will be no COVID related requirements for arriving for domestic travelers passengers. travelers arriving in Hawaii directly from international airports must still comply with US federal requirements. So definitely want to consult your particular airline if you are traveling International. Please take that into consideration. And also around last week around this time, TSA announced that they lifted their mask mandate due to a court ruling in Florida. So what they said right from their site is that TSA will no longer enforce its security directives and emergency amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs. The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time. So that's totally your call optional. Just take that into account as you're traveling. So that's good news. Basically. That's as close to back

to normal than we've been in a couple of years. So traveling to Hawaii is definitely more doable. It's definitely more normal, if you will. However, there are some things as we're going to go on into this episode and find out that the influx of visitors has put a strain on the hospitality industry in the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is a division of the state's Park. And you may have heard or maybe this is news to you that there have been reservation rollouts for some of the popular locations, one on Oahu, and one on Maui. Back on March 1, wind up in a state park now requires a reservation so all visitors and local operators will need to make reservations to enter the popular wind up in a state park beginning on March 1. So obviously, that's still in effect. Right now, if you're planning on going to Maui anytime soon. Take that into consideration, especially if you're going to be doing the road to Hana where wine opener is located. plan accordingly. For that also just announced that they're going to be requiring reservations for Diamondhead, which is huge news. So as of May 12 2022. All Out of state visitors must have an advanced reservation to enter Diamond Head state monument. The reservation system will activate on April 28. So that's today of the release of this episode April 28 2022, allowing for reservations to be made 14 days in advance. Hawaii residents continue to enjoy free access without reservations, but entry may depend on parking availability. So that is huge news. And to read up on more of the reservations at why Annapurna and Diamondhead, you can go to our show notes, and get all those links and resources. And when I say show notes, maybe some of your like what our show notes, basically show notes are just two blog posts with links and resources mentioned in a podcast, you can simply go to the web page of this episode, which is Hawaii's best travel.com/episode 70 or click the link within the description of your podcast player. All right, now let's move on to our listener review of the week. And it's been a minute since we've done this. And we've got a bunch of reviews over the last few months. And I just want to read one of those. And I just want to say thank you so much for continuing to listen and subscribe and rate and do all that good stuff because it helps other people who love Hawaii just as much as you be able to find this podcast and hear stories from people like Nicola Lindsey, and being able to plan for their trip. So this review comes from Rick 6484 on Apple podcast and the title of it says, The best podcasts about Hawaii. There are a few other podcasts that are geared towards travelers, but all fall short compared to this one. One of the other podcasts is some travel agent promoting his booking services. Do people still use travel agents, the other podcast consistently have audio issues. And it's hard to get through. More importantly, Hawaii's best shares Hawaiian voices and how to travel responsibly. And the production is professional. Thanks for this awesome podcasts. And just want to say thank you so much for leaving that review. That means a lot. I don't know if people still use travel agents, that'd be curious, maybe you do. But there's a lot of resources out there. And a lot of things that we talked about are some things to make sure you consider if you go through travel agent or if you book on your own, there's going to be some experiences that definitely want you to consider especially volunteering in Hawaii. I don't know if a lot of travel agents highlight that. But if they do awesome, but definitely that's kind of lead into today's conversation with a colo Lindsay is about volunteering during your vacation giving up an afternoon or morning or whatever. Give him back to Hawaii and some of the perspective on when this was recorded. So it Kelowna, we sat down and did this podcast episode back in June or July of 2021. And during that time was when travel back into Hawaii had was just going crazy. Meaning there's this tension, right, the tension of people in mainland us who have been cooped up and wanting to travel and maybe they don't feel super comfortable about traveling internationally. Hawaii kind of jumped right to the top of the list for a lot of people. And as soon as that was a reality, a lot of people flocked to Hawaii. Hawaii honestly just wasn't ready meaning there was a safe travels program in place. There's a lot of hoops to jump through through that. There was hotels weren't fully staffed yet and up and running and there was no Mina capacity for this venue and that venue and that favorite restaurant. So there was a lot of tension built up because people wanting to travel again, wanting to create those experiences and, and memories again, but also a place that wasn't quite set up to be ready to receive that amount of visitors. And you're going to hear some of that tension in my conversation with a colo. And I feel now as we've kind of gone through that the last six months, and we've seen where things are at now, it's definitely a better place. But some of the principles and some of the things that he talks about through this episode are some things to definitely consider. And definitely be mindful of on your next trip to Hawaii and really wanted to get out there, anywhere we travel, be it Greece or Japan or any other culture that you and I are traveling into to just be aware of that culture and just to do a little research and homework. And that's really what this podcast is about. And i i Thank you for tuning in. And I can't wait for you to hear more about Maori culture lands and like I mentioned in the intro eCola Lindsay is a president of Maori culture lands and it's a nonprofit that was founded by his parents in 1999. To boost conservation is efforts on the island of Maui and specifically to bring continued restoration and protection to Hanukkah by Valley. Their mission includes telling the stories of the spaces they fight to preserve through education and healthy exploration. Want to go by valleys name reflects its natural resources, sugar cane and water. It was a very rich agricultural area supplying not just sugar, but other foods for many of the surrounding communities. And you hear more about that in this conversation. There are buildings on the land that day back to 1200 ad. Currently, reforestation efforts and ecological preservation work are establishing sustainability in the area to ensure the important historic Valley thrives for generations to come. Oh, and also the mayor of Maui County, Michael victory, no, declared back in 2019, that October 3 to be Edwin kolu. Lindsey day across Maui County, which is pretty cool to have your own day. And that was to celebrate him and honor him and his parents for the hard work and the continued efforts in preserving Hawaii's natural resources. So without further ado, let's go ahead let's talk story with Nicola Lindsey from Maui.

Colin, thank you so much for coming on Hawaii's best, I appreciate you and your time. How are you doing today?

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 13:09

I'm doing wonderful man. And thank you for having me and giving us this opportunity to share what what we would do with my cultural lands and just share with the general public the opportunities that exist here, Molly?

Bryan Murphy 13:20

Absolutely. And as those who are listening, I gave a bio of who you are Maori, cultural and a little bit but love to hear just from your own breath. Just obviously, you're on Maui, who you are and bring us up to date of where Maori culture lands is today. Okay,

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 13:37

my name is Colin Z. My father started Mali cultural lands back in 1999. This was just after the sugar industry had closed down West Mali. And so all the lands became ripe for development, and being purchased by developers so became a mission at his and a few others to explore the many valleys that exist, and found one acquire valley to be one of the most archaeologically rich valleys. So the effort was made there to focus in on the cultural resources and the stories, the history of that space. The intent is to create the awareness for people not in their backyards. Why is it there? What story does it tell and to be inclusive in this and his grander vision was to include every single valley along with Smalley because as development moves along these stories, and I hate using the word story, a bit lack of better words, that story sort of county effect, the stories tend to get lost, and it becomes just a space that people live in. But the history of that space is super important, describing the ecology of the area of cultural identity or the area what used to be and it's important to know the history of the spaces because without the history of the space, we don't know who we are, where we're going. We rely on that so much. So the effort was made to preserve on a quiet Valley through education. My father is a retired teacher and he loved the outdoor classrooms. Yeah. And you know, growing up, I was always envious of him taking his students out a double Hall canoe, or hiking Kalol, or the Kings trail and camping out doing celestial navigation. They did all this really cool stuff. They know that people can't really do too much anymore today.

Bryan Murphy 15:23

And that stays with right like that. Right? He said, right now that you walked the same footsteps,

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 15:29

right. So you know, he did that. And this person is out there classroom, basically, what it turned out to be,

Bryan Murphy 15:35

you talked a little bit about obviously, when Sugar Mill came and that production, but what about the history because the Valley has so much the

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 15:43

HANA coli Valley, and a lot of people get confused with clinical haul. It's one of Kahal is our test from low Bay. Notice the word Hono three times already right. So hold on is b. So Honokohau I like any Hawaiian need place name, it comes the name itself calls the mall or the history of that place. And it's also always open to interpretation based on who's telling that we're counting of fact. So as it was taught to me Hanako I value will always be call refer to sugar and buy or why is freshwater. So our interpretation is a B of Sweetwater. It was the agricultural food production area of CA K call being placed we call Blackrock are where the Sheraton and Kaanapali is right now. So it was the breadbasket to feed the many villages that exist along that coastline. It's estimated that 600 People kind of lived in that space, but it said about 6000 people, it was a very rich agricultural production area. As such, you have a lot of remnant structures that date back to around 200 ad. And so a lot most of it is slowly kalo, but there's a hail and other house house structures, and it's very, very rich, and it's pretty awesome to see it still intact. And my dad passed in 2009. And then realize it's like, I'm the holy boy of the family. I didn't realize it was gonna drop and in my life, you know, I'm proud of that. I'm like, the only one in the family born in California. It goes, my dad is in the military, but Mom was going to school at the time. And so the holy war anyway, dropped into my lap. And I was quite surprised when I was told to take over. But when you're growing up in this environment, you learn a lot of different things. Even if you're not paying attention, it's ingrained in you. And I said, Man, if I'm going to do this, let's just go for it and go all out. Just learn along the way. And essentially, that's what's happened to you know, stay close to my mom, listen to her wealth, knowledge, grab that did my research talk to many people kept sharing it with the many visitors and guests that come in next year. No, I'm like 12 years down the line doing it longer than what my dad was doing. My mother a couple years. Yeah, Mom, I've been doing this longer than dad has. Although my Dad is doing it all his life as a teacher. But in Hanalei, you put that into that time perspective, it's pretty incredible.

Bryan Murphy 18:18

So maybe some like, I guess, just super elementary questions. Why is it important to preserve this valley and talking about reforestation and native species versus invasive? Why is that all important? Why does that matter?

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 18:34

Oh, cool. That's a great question. Right? Why isn't matter? And that's a good question. You know, because when I moved back home to Mali, 2001, I had, my son was three at the time. So being a busy parent working. He spent his Saturdays with my dad, up in Valley. And that's the same question that four year old asked him, Grandpa, why is this important? And he was taken aback by that question, because the scientists, the geologists, the botanist, everyone who's come up, never asked him that question, let alone try to phrase it into terms that a four year old can understand. So his answer, because that is who what we are. That is who we are. That is what we are. Everything is held in that space of our history, our culture, and is the foundation of who we are as Hawaiians as people, the archaeological sites, the stones, the plants, the botany portion of it, as my grandfather would see, the Hawaiian culture is a simple culture. It is based off of sticks and stones, food, clothing, transportation, medicine. Let's all held with what nature has to offer. So we utilize nature to the best of our ability and use it sustainably something we aspire to. molded into in today's world. Right? So, as simple as that sounds, it is super complex. I mean, I have met people, fishermen, for instance, that look out at the ocean, they'll tell you what fish is spawning, what's fish, you can catch the conditions of the ocean, the moonphase it's in when it's time to plant when it's time to harvest all in an instant, without even thinking because it's automatic for these guys. And we don't have them too much anymore. We relying on apps, right relying on room calendar. But when you rent it to people who live it and look at it every day, where it's so ingrained in them, and it's an instantaneous decision that they make our homage. It's amazing. No, I would aspire to that. But that that is a true cultural practitioner. Right now, still, most of us are still students, students. And I'm still a student always learning but we can aspire to just make that instantaneous complex decision in a moment. That is something that we should all aspire to. And that's because they are these practitioners are to dig into what nature has to

Bryan Murphy 21:23

offer. Right? That's huge. You mentioned BlackRock and obviously, there's large resorts there now, and I think about where Hono Covey Valley is located. Is this a protected Valley,

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 21:38

right? So it's not necessarily protected. But we are the stewards are allowed to be there. So we are the stewards of that space. And we have been there since 1999. We invite anybody who would like to participate in volunteering opportunities with us, you know, we take volunteers up every Saturday, we normally meet at nine o'clock and we finish just after lunch we find work for about 90 minutes. Talk started for a little bit, enjoy each other's company, meet new people, learn new things, learn a little bit of culture, history, science, answer any questions, we're not just going to work people we want to share together because we also learned from our visitors what they're doing in their part of the world. My dad what he had created, and this was to share cultural values, the center of it all being a law, everyone's got their definition of what a law is. And a law, like sticks and stones is simple, yet very complex. And if you got the time he go into this a little Do it. Do it. Yeah. So my dad, the big scheme of it all is as soon as a scheme is around. What he wants to do was to share Aloha with the world. If we can share a little bit with the world, perhaps we can have more peace. That was his high vision of things. So when I recently did a top story session, in our town hall meeting with county council about regenerative tourism, hey, you know, what is regenerative tourism? We just came from the sustainable tourism, eco tourism, tourism, agri tourism, there's all these tourism things. To me, I'm becoming very cynical about these efforts, is regenerative tourism. Another way of allowing more tourists to come here. You know, it's just you know, you're supposed to leave a lighter footprint. But when you reaching 3 million visitors a year, how in the world can you leave a lighter footprint using resources? You're there's user conflict, there's major conflict, right? So I asked my aunt, my dad's older sister, she said he pulled up the elder and found what were five cultural values that I could share on a regenerative tourism talk. First thing she says to me as they call them, these are not values. These are processes. You need to learn the process before you can practice the value of that process. Right there. I'm like, Whoa, a process I've never heard about. So I listen. And you know, when you listen to them, sometimes you just got one shot at it, and you better pick things up. So the first process to learn is coupon or coupon or honesty, qu referring to stand upright, and stand tall. Also, porno stand in righteousness. So you need to stand upright and tall are speaking the truth, something that I don't even think anybody can practice this value properly. Because you're holding stuff that but there's a way to tell the truth that's not degrading. It has to be a way to build people on their shortcomings. So first step is have to learn Kupono. The second one you needed to learn was my llama? Llama was the light be generation regeneration of life? To be Malama to take care of that's automatic it care about life. You know we use the term malama aina Allama Mala among many different things. So after coupon no and Malama then we learn cocoa. Okay. I've always understood core core as to help without any expectations. reciprocation because you want to she just blew my mind she told me coulis cool was the backbone, also short for Aqua or God. And the coal is the long whistle on eternity. Oh, what? Whistle of eternity. And everything. You know eternity how?

I'm listening intently at this point. Oh my god. This is like a process of understanding what cool cool is along whistle of eternity with a strong backbone and even healthy people that's automatic, after learning, honesty, and how to take care of the regeneration generation of life. So if you put it in an algebraic equation, right, you have component O plus Milan law plus Kokua equals Aloha love and compassion. Right? So learning Aloha, the process of Aloha encompasses learning these other processes, then you can practice that. Right? And that was just a short conversation of something that went on for a long time, right? And no, I didn't pick it all up, but I got the gist. So when we say aloha, my father would also say it's also misunderstood and misused. So we need to understand the true meaning of a law. I do have another app that sells me a call. Allah was created by the visitors, a Malini so that we would accept them. There is no such thing as a law. We were warring people we fought amongst each other, we fought against our brothers, our fathers, our sisters. So that's the nurses perspective, right. But I think Aloha, really loving compassion after learning these other processes is super important for all of us to understand, as we're moving through a pandemic. And watching our visitor costs go up.

Bryan Murphy 27:31

Let's jump in that a little bit. This time last year, almost exactly. I think for some reason, August 8 is in my head, or 13, something like that. Around this time last year, there was talks of like, is slowly starting to reopen again after being closed for for five months or so. And here we are, sitting in last I saw it was it was higher than 2019 numbers. And any search on Google right now you just type in Hawaii, you're gonna get some interesting articles. One being the Delta variant is skyrocketing right now on all the islands. And also there's articles of what you already alluded to is where's this Aloha with travelers? And there's tension especially feels like the hotbed if you will, is East Maui.

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 28:25

Oh, well, you've brought up a whole lot of points that we can talk for a long time.

Bryan Murphy 28:30

Maybe there's a part two

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 28:35

somewhat dreary. Let's let's start with increasing user accounts. Yeah, maybe the reopening and yeah, so reopening, you know, everyone was suffering, but government and did step in and people were getting paid. And I think we created some lazy people out there. Because no one wants to go back to work if I can get free money and not work well, you know, there's something to be said about an honest living and honest wage, right. So I'm hoping people can jump back into work shortly, because I've never heard of her such shutting down early. The lines are super long. It's just not you know, just driving down Front Street. I'm in line driving out front street is just so busy. We never expected tourists to come back this quickly during a pandemic right. We're not prepared for it. Just not but you know, that view that we had off nature had a respite from people we saw just come back we saw calls come back we saw more people fishing and and more families together. I think that had some time to strengthen the family nucleus as kids couldn't really go back to school. So the families needed to spend time together and recreate themselves now because, you know, I only hear the bad stories I hear. I know they're good. You got 10 good stories. One bad story. You got to had a bad story, right? So I'm sure there's a lot of good stories out there. But I'm only hearing that the not so good ones, with conflicts of people being disrespectful and entitled they need. If they shared with them all along, they would understand, you know, and I met some really nice visitors who come and visit with us work volunteer with us as well. So I see the good side of that too. But I'm also seeing the frustration of local people. And they learned over that pandemic, they gave up a lot to be in the visitor industry, we finally got our species back. Now we got to share it again. I've never seen Kaanapali Beach empty. And then as things opened up a bit, was all local people with their tents, and coolers and kids and everything was really nice to see. And now that the chairs and the tents or backup that are for the visitors, there's no more conflict, we can share this space. But we need to do this respectfully. What does that mean? Respectfully, how do we respectfully shed that space? Right now we're just overcrowded. There's just too much just a capacity. So many so many people, we can fit into a room before them fire marshals shuts you down.

Bryan Murphy 31:07

Molly isn't getting any bigger. And there's also people coming into Maui particular, who aren't aware of some of the culture and you mentioned something about about the reef. And you had to get out there maybe a little bit of story on that. And then a little bit of education of someone coming to the culture for the first time.

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 31:30

Having gone out to East Maui several times that work with some of the guys out there working on some conservation action plans, and try to restore the ecology, the marine life and the terrestrial side as well. Because you got to take care of that whole system. But having gone out there a few times over the last couple of months, is just too many people on those roads and working with like six different communities. And essentially the number one thing that comes to the head all the time is people not knowing how to drive stead road to heart, essentially, everybody wants to take a look at the waterfalls, but the cars parked on both sides of roads, big trucks can't get through. Locals are frustrated, they need to get to work you need to get home, they can't get past so you had an emergency vehicles stuck because they can't get through. So the county's put up some new parking signs and have some enforcement but it's real difficult to enforce these things out any smaller because they only have more police force of X and miles. And you can't be there all the time. Right. So I would like to ask anybody headed to East Mali to just be very aware of their surroundings let the local cars pass by pull over as soon as possible that they can let them pass by don't block the roads. And also the one thing that pops up on his smile is people are swimming a lot in the strange, right? And what do you do before you go swimming? You put sunscreen on? Okay, now Maui has some new laws in place where you need to use reef friendly sunscreen. But when you're putting on sunscreen and jumping into the streams, that water is going somewhere. So if you're around the Kanye area, that water is irrigating the terrible that they have. So these guys in Kanye, they're seeing oil slicks come down and watering the Terrell, what does that do to the flu? It makes it taste funny. Sure, right. So you know, we need to know when you go out in the sun cover up a little bit. Right, so

Bryan Murphy 33:25

like even resaved or non greasy doesn't, regardless of whatever you're putting on your body is, is licking off and getting into that the turtle fields

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 33:33

with everything that's happening. You know, like this morning, I was had kayakers on a tour that were stuck on the reef. What about those reef? It's just rocks. But it's not rocks is a live call that you're stuck on, you know, and they don't know that. So I went out there to help them, okay, come this way. That's just how you walk on a coral, I got them off didn't you know, they had a new guide for this company. So I tried to educate the guides. But when you have a high turnover rate, this a lot of education on my on my half, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to protect our reefs. But people don't realize that these reefs protect not only property and people, but the house, a lot of fish. It's a whole ecosystem that's established out there. And through the Hawaiian lens, utilizing the cool lipo, which is our accretion chat. Line Number 15 talks about the first form of life as the call power that makes calls the foundation of life if we can take care of those corals. What will life be like? You know, we will see that degradation happen in our lifetime, but a couple of generations from now, you're definitely going to see those impacts. So it's super important that we take care of this record, because if the fish don't have any place to hide or have a house, they open to prediction by other predators and eventually, we all aspire for food sustainability, but if we can't take care of those corals

Bryan Murphy 34:59

right Sure.

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 35:00

So you know, and and we had a monk seal on the reef here too. And people don't know about monk seals, so they want to get up close. So a lot of social media with some people touching them. Some people think they're dead. So they want to push them back into the water when they're sleeping. So I was talking to my mom, that was one I like, Whose fault is this? That the message is not getting out to the visitors about our cultural resources or Karl's the fish that you know, dolphins, whales, any turtles, all that. So I kind of came to the realization that it's, I think it's government's fault for not getting this message out on the airplanes.

Bryan Murphy 35:38

So this sounds like a pre like a pre flight.

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 35:41

Half an hour before landing, everyone's filling out cards before they get. Well, when I watched this mandatory video about how to enjoy Hawaii, respectfully, simple things go a long way. He learned how to flush the chakra appropriately when somebody leaves you in a line when you're driving. Say thank you. That's a lie. Yeah. So governments failed, because the messaging is not on their plates. We failed, because it's not at the airports. It's not at the rental car agencies. It's not at hotels.

Bryan Murphy 36:14

So we're kind of on the this topic of solutions. If you had a magic wand or whatever. Given all the circumstances that are current, what would you see would be an ideal future for Hawaii in regards to tourism?

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 36:31

Tourism was our number one. So number one, that's where you get money from right? Economically, tourism isn't going away. People have talked about diversification, we've been talking about that, for a long time, diversifying to agriculture is going to take a long time to come back. But it was one of the things to diversify or diversify into tech technology sector. You know, that's kind of happening, but it's gonna take a long time to happen. If I had that magic wand, really, I think the solution lies in limiting the amount of people that are coming. We have to limit the seats that are coming in, but we can't do it given our current government structure. I look at what Lau has done a nation of Palau, a small nation. They are leaders in the marine protections and programs that they've come up with, you know, they have this green fee that you pay 30 bucks when you get there, and you pay again when you leave. But that all goes towards enforcement. And they're doing wonderful thing. So small countries doing things that we cannot because we're just too big. We have too many laws, too many red tape, so they have limited the amount of seats that are coming in. That way they can protect their natural resources when they have tours. All the people who are snorkeling around floaties so they can dive down and touch things. Right. So prior to the economic explosion of tourism, Hawaii was a designation for a lifetime trip. You saved up it was a special place you dressed up in your best clothes. You took the air for your flight to Hawaii got off you gotta lay you went to your hotel and you had a wonderful time it was a special place. Now we're competing with other markets. And things have changed substantially. How do we manage tourism properly? I think it sits in the amount of seats that's not one magic wand they do limit the amount of people that would come now whenever you visit someplace you'd like to think you know the cliche when in Rome do as Romans, Hawaii do it so Hawaiians share the time. Share the spirit Shergill love chivvy Aloha lot of you have to understand Kupono Malama. CO in order to figure out

Bryan Murphy 38:44

full circle. Yeah, right.

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 38:45

So with Molly cultural ads, these are some of the things we share with our visitors. We share that through malama aina. We share that through honesty, who set out to having holding ourselves to a level of integrity, that makes people feel like oh, this is super cool. I want to understand more. But more importantly, I think when they take that Aloha back with them wherever they're from, they can share it in their own backyard, but also take a look at the resources that are being utilized in their space. How can they make that better? What was the indigenous culture that was there before them? I had a lady that asked me clearly what is Hawaii me? Where are you from? Because I'm from Ohio. What's Ohio? I never thought about that. So when it when I looked it up a couple of websites, and you have to be mindful of what the resources are. It just said motherland. I'm like, that's not right. It's not motherland. So you know it can break it down. Ha, your brand essence your copy of like fresh water. I didn't know what that last part of you was. So I finally found that it was like a supreme being.so as God breathed life into these waters was my interpretation that that's what hold what he means. So what does Ohio What does California mean? What was it called before then what was New York's rivers called? So those are all questions we try to pull out or share with people by sharing what acquires where the water go, what happened to it, you know, what are the structures that are left here? Holo is an integral into society of that time. So the question can be looked at, in their own space and time.

Bryan Murphy 40:27

I love that. And I think to kind of wrap up, we haven't touched on it. But you and I, and my wife, Ollie, when we're on Maui last, and we got to go down and Hanukkah Valley. And that experience is something that I still reminisce on. And I love to hear a little bit about what people can expect if they, you know, choose to go on and volunteer because we got to experience that, but just from my personal experience, you walk down and you're gonna sweat a little bit, and that's part of it, right? And you're gonna work. But as you walk down into this valley, and inherent, you know, story from you and your mom, there's this, this, ah, and there's this reverence as you walk, you know, trek on this trail, and planting trees and removing some invasive plants there. You just felt a part of the land even, we were only there for, you know, two hours or whatever. But I just felt this sense of like, of just like worth, like, I'm making a difference. Like, yeah, I'm hanging out Kaanapali, and probably had some of the best my ties or whatever, this right here was what Maui to me, I kind of get a little emotional about it, because it was such an incredible experience for myself and ally. But what can someone expect, you know, come in to volunteer,

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 41:55

multicultural. And mission really, is stabilized, protect and restore hoeing cultural resources. That's our mission, simple mission. stabilized, protect, restore, those resources include, like I said earlier, the sticks, or stones, or let's put in the people as well, right. So they all have to work together. And when you enter any space, there's always protocol. Protocols are pretty fancy word for manners, good manners. So we always do protocol upon entering a sacred space. Sacred, in this case means of super important to us, you know, everyone has their own sacred spaces. It's my mom's that she's the protocol practitioner. So to hear her voice ring out in the valley, asking permission for all of us to enter and enter safely sets the foundation for the rest of the day. So as we walk in, you are literally walking in the footsteps of your ancestors, because that's the trail that was utilized to access the valley. And you know, the work that we do, there is simple work. But it is hard at times, you know, it's why we only work for about 90 minutes, that seems to be most people's threshold. If people can fathom 90 minutes of work and suffering for a little bit. I ask people to suffer because it makes for a better story when they are really suffering too bad. A couple of bug bites about it. But once you get out of it, it's so much more the wealth, the feeling of being fulfilled, culturally, in a culture that you have no knowledge of, but have a glimpse into that is what feels you that's the lasting impression you leave. But you know, a lot of people come to Hawaii for the paradise the fun and sun, the fun the sun, the surf, the hula, you know, you got to do all that too. And when they're in the my ties, and when you're done with that come and visit us. So we can really show you what a glimpse into the past is like, so you know, removing those invasive species along that riparian corridor, stabilizing the Hawaiian bio cultural resources is an important part of maintaining the integrity of that Vahid pan out of that storage space. Now, that was a whole lot of words, a lot of stuff, you're gonna calm, you've got to pull some weeds, you got to make it really nice. But there is more meaning to that once you get in the simple fact of getting those weeds out of the ground puts your your money or your energy into that space as well. And I think this is what people gravitate to. And then they learn about the culture history of that place, the science and everything else and recounting of facts that used to be the importance of medicinal plants. Why? what plants do we use for being itchy? what plants do we use for bug bites? You know, these things all are there for us to learn? It the people just have to seek it out and get it. Right. So our volunteer days are every Saturday, we start at nine o'clock and we finish just after lunch. So it's helpful that people come dressed appropriately. Some people come in shorts and a T shirt, that's fine. Just be prepared for a little more bytes than normal. I like to cover up or wear long pants, long sleeve shirt. And definitely hat, lots of water free cells. Anybody can come and work with us from three, four year old, as long as they can understand the words of do not throw that raw. That's cool. We love to have those kids working with us. And as long as you're physically able to walk down a trail takes like six minutes to get down there. But you gotta walk back up might take 12 As long as you are physically able. We welcome anybody who wants to participate.

Bryan Murphy 45:53

And how can people get connected with you find you guys,

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 45:56

check out our website, Molly coats, vlans.org emails come directly to me, I'll send you confirmation letters, what to expect a couple of links on YouTube to take a look at to help identify what will help you understand where you're gonna go, what you're gonna do, that should answer most of your questions that way. But in the end, just kind of go with the flow. Have a little fun, figure it out as we go. Software a little might get a little itchy, but we got a medicine for that stuff. Coin medicinal plants. In the end, show the Aloha. Share the love and compassion for each other for the land, the space you exist in, but also, you know, take that home and share with families. Yeah, the two goals I have when when visitors come with me any visitor I always have two goals sometimes three, but I'll stick with to the goal. First of all I have for everybody got fun. Gotta have fun. So not having fun. That's your fault. The second goal I have learned one thing Yeah. In the realm of culture, history and science. If we're gonna have fun and learn one thing, a successful day. You walk away smiling, feeling good. And you might die this good.

Bryan Murphy 47:09

even sweeter. Yeah. Yeah. One thing I love to just ask at the end of every episode is if someone's traveling to the islands for the very first time, maybe just talking about let's let's talk about food. It always goes back to food. What is what is a spot on Maui that you would recommend someone trying?

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 47:30

Oh, well, let's just say they all good. Try lunch wagon to try restaurant. Expand your horizons, try something you've never tried before. And if you didn't like it, try it again to make sure you didn't like it. Expand your your tastebuds. And you know, don't be afraid to try different things like when people come with us. Sometimes we'll have a little bit of work for them that spread fruit to try. Or we might have some tarot for them to try or some point to the trainers. Try play, but eat it too. It's supposed to be eaten eat it with some raw fish, some dried fish, something salty, because that point tastes awful when you eat it properly. Now if you just eat it by itself, and it's the kindness watered down, it doesn't taste like very much but try the Hawaiian cozies the Hawaiian Foods that you get the taste for the palette that existed here. I asked one person or Uncle Mac boy on Mola gay Uncle Mac What's your secret to long life? You know it's kid with Ross ficient boy boy, that's the secret to long life stuff. But the simple answers super complex because you gotta go catch the fish. You got to know what fish you want, what tastes good, how to cook it in all the other details for the benefits not to mention cleaning, cutting burping, and all that stuff.

Bryan Murphy 48:55

We're good. It Cool. I actually appreciate you. Thank you.

Edwin “Ekolu” Lyndsey 48:59

All right, well, Brian, thank you for the time and I hope that this helps visitors to kind of check a few things out learn some of the local customs there and just basically respect when you come into Hawaii treat it like your grandmother's house you know, always ask permission to enter leave it nicer than when you got there. Even if it's not your trustee, pick it up, put it in a rubbish tab and take it with you. I really appreciate people who can do that, you know, and that's not just for the tourists it's for everybody to participate in simple respectful things go a long way a share that Aloha shirt smile say thank you don't think I'm trying to get something out he just because I smiled and said all right. And I get that you know going to other countries sometimes there's a hard sale a lot of times you know they want something no we don't want anything we just want to share all of what to do. And if people can break through these bubbles of me my and I And us, we and us, and be encompassing of each other, and sharing the honesty, and the generation of life and helping each other, I think we can create a better world for our grandchildren. You know, I do all this work, not for me for my son. And those are not even here yet. And a lot of us do that. Not for us, not the present for the future. Of course, you want to make the present better, but really, the work is for the future. Right. So thank you, Brian, for having me on. I appreciate the time, you've given me the opportunity to share some simple thoughts.

Bryan Murphy 50:37

Absolutely. Thank you. Aloha. All right. I just want to thank you again for his time. And if you're interested in volunteering, at Maui cultural lands, go to Maui culture lands.org. And you can connect with a colo there and find out more information about when and how to volunteer, typically, every Saturday, they work on the land, and you get to learn some of the culture values and history of that place. And like I mentioned, briefly in the episode, my wife and I, we got to experience this. It was an incredible experience. And I want that for all of you. So consider that if you're not planning on traveling to Maui. There's other resources out there to consider one of them is travel to change.org. That's travel the number two change.org. And you'll be able to find some resources over there too. But again, thank you so much for making it this far into the episode. If you have one, I encourage you to leave a honest rating and review. That is helps other people who love Hawaii and can't wait to give back to the islands as much as you so until next time friends, which is gonna be tomorrow. If you're listening to this on Thursday. We're gonna release another episode tomorrow on Friday, talking about Mayday with our unofficial cultural practitioner, QA Nui solitario. So stay tuned for that subscribe, be well, and until then, aloha.

Hawaii's Best 52:10

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