Heritage Park in Wailuku (Iao)

Today was a day off and I had no orders to fill on deadline, so decided to drive to Iao Valley to finish a book I was reading. However, all the tourists on Maui chose to go on this day as well and the parking lot of full. The closest spaces on the road were about a mile away. I know a mile isn’t that far to walk, but we’re having record heat so it was about 94 degrees. As I was driving out I remembered Heritage Park–a collection of cultural houses built in a tropical garden park. I remember going once before about five years ago but at the time had neither camera nor cell. There are several paths meandering through the trees with small replicas of houses, statuary, ponds and lovely cooling breezes. I tried to capture the essence of each little home.

The first thing I noticed on my journey was a large outdoor oven and I immediately knew this was the Portuguese residence. I could imagine the “ala onaona”, the wonderful fragrance of Portuguese sweet bread emanating from the oven calling the children to dinner or breakfast (and probably any neighbors within smelling distance).
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As the Portugeuse people were predominately of the Catholic faith, there is a statue of the Virgin Mary surrounded my greenery…looking peaceful and serene, calmly watching over her people.
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The house was as colorful as the people of the land. There are striking blue tiles along the top of the white walls and along the doorways.
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Next in line came the Filipino cottage which was open air with bamboo walls.
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The house was being reconstructed with some of the bamboo being replaced, but it looked as tropical as the Philippines.

Then there is the “uptight haole” house in a New England style. It looked prim and proper as I imagine the missionaries must have looked to the Hawaiian population.
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As my phone camera was losing power, I managed to capture the Chinese pagoda style house and the statue with Chinese Kanji reminding the visitors of faith, prosperity and loyalty.
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As my phone died I took one last photo of the trees and palapalai fern. I ended up in the Filipino hut reading to the sound of the breezes whisking through the trees on a spectacular Hawaiian day.
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2 thoughts on “Heritage Park in Wailuku (Iao)

  1. Funny, yeah? I don’t think fish could even live in there it was so covered over with flowers. There were other signs for “leave the fish alone” on the side of stagnant pools. I didn’t see one fish the entire time. But, it is very peaceful! We are breaking all kinds of temperature records. Today was 95 degrees tying the record of 1949! It’s unbelievable. I had to go into town to meet someone, so took advantage of the coolness in the park. P.S. I so enjoyed your mini concert at the mall. I even tried to buy a cowboy hat, but couldn’t find the place 🙂

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