I write this after the fire on Friday, Sept. 2, down at Malama Park here on Molokai, when one of my vans went up in flames and then went on to torch the other one next to it. My reaction was disbelief!
The vehicles are my livelihood and the question I had to ask myself was, ‘do I go down in flames with the fire or do I rise above it and focus on moving forward?’ I may have insurance, but in reality, this does not cover the real value after the consideration of past repairs, and knowing the vehicles. The individuals that did this know who they are and perhaps feel no remorse in their actions or a wishful thought about feeling terribly bad about this. This just may have been a casual siphoning of gas, which went terribly wrong. I am sure there is someone in this community that knows the culprits. Do the right thing and turn yourself in, but I guess that is hoping for, perhaps, a wishful thought?
It’s sad that all over the world there are those mindless and selfish individuals who do not care for others, especially in their community. Unfortunately on Molokai, we have the same problems as anywhere else, but luckily we can still feel relatively safe in comparison to other places. Ice is running rampant on our island and Hawaii has one of the highest rates of addiction of any state when it comes to this drug. I am almost certain that this was a crystal meth-related event. This island is full of wonderful people and it is a shame when certain individuals just choose to tarnish the community by mindless acts of vandalism, all to satisfy their highs and addictions. I sure hope these individuals feel guilty, but who knows? It may take them a while but perhaps one day they will wake up and stop feeling sorry for themselves.
Many thoughts ran through my mind that night, but perhaps the main one was how and why did this happen? The most dominant and repetitive thought going through my mind was that Malama Park was trying to send a message in putting an end to the abuse of this cultural and historical site. The message still stays strong after time has passed as this historical location has become a night time home to disrespectful vandals, drunks and drug addicts.
Wishful thoughts then became dominant again with not just a wake-up call for the vandals but that Malama Park will come alive again for the community to enjoy. Why has this park, once built with a vision based on the Hawaiian history and culture, been turned into a night time drunken alley associated with those with the “me” syndrome and no vision of a direction and only an outlook of self-centered selfishness?
I still feel that Malama Park is a starting point to healing the meth problem on this island where a community can come together and nurture the park back to life, just like the life poured back into the fish ponds and many other cultural and sustainable projects in this community. Malama Park has a strong history but the park is withering to an unnatural death. The burnt vans on the edge of the park only emphasize it more.
I begin to wonder how much more this community can endure, what with the recent outbreak of suspected fires, increased robberies and now acts of vandalism to other people’s property. Molokai is changing. What is the saying that people say to visitors? “Don’t change Molokai, let Molokai change you.” Perhaps we should be saying to those hurting this island, “Don’t hurt Molokai, let Molokai heal you.”
Clare Seeger Mawae