Volunteers Who Found Love in the Peace Corps and Settled in Hamakua to be Honored at Peace Day Parade

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV’s) make up a very special demographic along the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast.  A recent Sunday afternoon “photo op” brought together seven couples from the area, all of whom met and married during, or as a result of, their service in Peace Corps.  They, along with numerous other RPCV’s, will be special honorees in Honokaa’s Peace Day Parade on Sunday, September 18, in celebration of Peace Day and the Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary this year.

Peace Corps Volunteers

Pictured, L to R. Front row: Joe and Karen Clarkson (Pa`auilo Mauka); Patricia Andrade Stout and Andrew Stout (Ahualoa). Second Row: Jodean and Romel DelaCruz (Ahualoa). Third row: Steve and Jacinta Hanks (Pa`auilo Mauka), Gloria and David Myklebust (Pa'auilo Mauka). Fourth row: Bill Lichter (Kapulena). Not shown, Jane Lichter and Walter Mosch & Janet Goh Mosch (Pa'auilo Mauka). Photo by Sarah Anderson

Romel Delacruz, retired Executive Director of Hale Ho’ola and Jodean Delacruz, former principal of Honokaa High School, met on assignment in the Philippines in the 1960’s.

About the same time, David and Gloria Myklebust, both educators, met in New York City before their service in Cameroon, on Africa’s central western coast.  They’ve been told they are the first couple to be given permission to marry while serving in the Peace Corps.

Walter Mosch met future wife Janet Goh in graduate school in international studies at Columbia University, not long after Walter’s service in Cameroon, 20 years after the Myklebust’s (who coincidentally live next door).

Steve and Jacinta Hanks fell in love in Papua New Guinea during Steve’s service in the 1990’s.  They both teach at Honokaa High School, and have devoted countless hours to helping the people of Jacinta’s homeland, the Carteret Islands.

Other Hamakua residents with ties to the Peace Corps include Bill and Jane Lichter (Saipan), Joe and Karen Clarkson (Marshall Islands), Andrew and Patricia Andrade Stout (Ecuador), Theresa Lee and Stephen Oldfather.

What makes Hamakua such a “peace-full” community?  Hard to say.  The rural lifestyle of the former sugar cane plantation town is a factor; the island’s tolerance for families of mixed races may be another, as well as work opportunity at Honokaa High School, good weather for growing things, and a strong sense of place.

Romel Delacruz estimates that of the 200,000 RPCV’s since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, 200 live in Hawaii.  Some RPCV’s trained in Waipio Valley, where a full-scale hamlet was constructed to replicate a Southeast Asian village.

In celebration of the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary, an island-wide reunion is planned for November 14-21, with events in Kona, Hilo and Waipio Valley.  For more information, visit www.rpcvhi.org.

The 5th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace steps off at 11 a.m. from Honokaa High School, and proceeds down Mamane Street.  With Taiko drums, marching bands, Bon Dance, belly dancers, jazz, rock & roll, hula and more, the Peace Day Parade is a “moving stage” of music, dance and entertainment with a message.  Concurrently, a Peace Day Festival takes place at the Honokaa Sports Complex from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with great local and ethnic foods, artists and crafters, live entertainment and a large community Bon Dance for everyone to join.

The 5th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace are presented by the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations. Major financial support has been provided by the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development (Tourism Division) CPEP and the Social Concerns Committee of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.

For more information visit www.PeaceDayParade.org or email info@peacedayparade.org

Big Island Girl Kristina Anapau in TONIGHT’S TRUE BLOOD Episode… “Maurella”

Well I’ve known for quite sometime now that local girl Kristina Anapau would be starring in tonight’s episode of “TRUE BLOOD” the popular HBO vampire series that has capture folks imaginations through out the entire world.

Kristina Anapau

Kristina Anapau at the Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii during the 2011 Big Island Film Festival

I swore to Kristina that I wouldn’t tell anyone and I thought for a second that Tiffany Edwards Hunt let the cat out of the bag when she posted the blog post entitled “Acting Workshop Slated for Oct. 9” where she posted the following flyer for an upcoming workshop at UH Hilo that she will be presenting at:

Kristina AnapauIf you look closely it states the following on the flyer:

Last night on twitter she posted the following… notice the little wink ;)

I had an opportunity to meet and spend some time talking with her during the 2011 Big Island Film Festival and she is really a sweet girl.

Kristina Anapau and I

Kristina and I at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival

Tonight’s episode is called “Soul of Fire” and here is a brief description of it:

As the Wiccan-vampire standoff reaches a critical juncture, Sookie summons her faerie powers to prevent Marnie from bewitching Bill, Eric and Pam into a suicide march, while Jesus casts a secret spell designed to un-bind Antonia and break the witch’s deadly defenses. Sam settles a score with Marcus; Alcide confronts Debbie about her allegiances; Andy finds unexpected passion in the forest; Lafayette is consumed by the past.

This morning I asked her a few questions regarding tonight’s episode and she said the following:

“My characters name in tonight’s episode of True Blood is “Maurella” and “It may be a recurring role… it’s up to the producers and HBO… We won’t know until later in the year when filming the next season starts up again.”

When I asked her about internet rumors of her also being in Season 3 she stated that she was not in any episodes in season three.

Kristina has been very busy of late as she mentioned that in a few weeks she will be shooting another film on location in Utah called “BlackJacks”.

My son with an autographed picture of her

I’m glad that Kristina is finding great success in Hollywood and look forward to seeing her at UH Hilo on October 9th.