I had an amazing day with the folks at the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT) yesterday during the 12th Annual Buy Back The Beach event. It began with a trip to the airport to meet my social media colleagues Jon Letman from Kauai, Laura Kinoshita from Kona on the big island of Hawaii and Melissa Chang from Oahu.
We went on a tour of the Waihee Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge led by HILT’s Director of Conservation, Scott Fisher. I’d never been there before, and was in awe of the beauty of that open space. I’ll definitely be going back with some proper gear to do a serious photo walk.
This was followed by a quick lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate and a brief walkthrough of the Old Lahaina Luau grounds where the actual Buy Back The Beach event would take place.
As the evening began, we dined to the sweet sounds of Ahumanu during sunset, then were treated to a great show by The Old Lahaina Luau performers featuring authentic music, hula, and stories about Hawaiian culture and history. I was impressed by the generosity shown during the “Adventures for the Aina” Live Auction, and by Hawaiian Airlines offering to match donations up to $10,000.
The highlight of the evening was Makana, who I had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s Ka‘anapali Fresh event and again during TEDxMaui 2013. His performance made the night magical. I don’t think I’ve met another artist so authentic, insightful and talented. He’s the real thing.