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My Trip to Hawaii, Essay Example

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Introduction

Thesis Statement. The picturesque, unique and versatile state of Hawaii has much more than a beach day out for people looking for an experience for a lifetime. One of the most alluring places I have been is Hawaii, with its warm radiant beaches, bountiful tropical rainforest, and picturesque flowers adorning the island.

I have seen the variety of species, the abundant flora and one of the most beautiful beaches on Earth. The state has loads of views and experiences to offer; warm radiant beaches, bountiful, tropical rainforests, and picturesque flowers. I have had dreams of Hawaii. In my dream, the aqua blue seas drifted away, and I could smell the sea salt in the water and the sweetness of the fresh fruit that blossoms from the tropical flowers. I imagined myself roaming through the rainforest, exploring as if I were Alan Grant from the movie Jurassic Park.

When my family told me in the morning dashing in my room that we were going to visit Hawaii, I could not imagine the experience and scenes awaiting me. I thought it was going to be a beach day out, but I was wrong. I frantically packed my bags, rushing out of the house with one flip-flop on my foot. When we finally landed in Hawaii, I immediately felt the warmth of the Sun brushing through my shoulder. Everything seemed brighter and happier. The golden sun-rays almost blinded me; they were so bright.

Our bungalow was close to the beach and from my window I could see people on the shore. I immediately sensed the laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. The hypnotic crystal blue waves looked magical, and they reminded me of salt water taffy that I ate when I was a small child. The gleaming creamy yellow sand surrounded the shiny silk ocean. It squished under my feet like a cozy blanket.

Everything seemed to be in perfect natural order on the beach; it was not only picturesque; it was perfect. The humming of the ocean, the soft sand under my feet gave me a sense of security, and although there were many people swimming, enjoying water sports and sunbathing on the beach, I still felt the waves talking to me alone.

After my visit to the breathtaking beach, I walked further to discover an abundant rainforest with the darkest green leaves I have ever seen in my life. As I hiked through the thick layer of plants and trees on the soft carpet of moss, the sound of the birds chirped and zipped past overhead, while other animals scurried under the brush, shaking leaves and trees.

Going deeper in the forest, looking at the Sun’s rays shining through between the lush leaves, I heard the sound of the cascading waters and I searched through the bush until I caught sight of a waterfall on the side of a cliff. I could not wait to jump into the swirling turquoise blue and aquamarine green spring at the bottom of the waterfall. I could feel a slimy cold fish rubbing against my feet and plenty more jumping out of the water with their colorful fins, creating splashes shiny as diamonds when they reentered the cool water.

When I walked into the garden, the patterns of colorful flowers on an Oriental carpet captivated me. It was like stepping into a floral rainbow. I grabbed my camera to try and capture the flowers’ beauty and their divine shades, but I knew the image on the screen could not bring back their real wonders.

I found a colorful tuberose-orchids garland near the cold white sandy beach as I walked back, inhaling inhaled the extravagant smells of the magical flowers; sweeter and more divine than any expensive perfume I have ever smelt.

When rays of sunlight illuminated the red, white, and blue flowers. I saw the bees collecting sweet nectar from the flowers and the slimy worms sprouting from the soil but each flower let off a heavy but sweet aroma that was seducing and unforgettable.

As we took a red and white checked blanket down to the beach and ate crunchy sandwiches while we watched the waves roll in like quiet giants towards us. As the day ended, I felt at peace in the tranquility of the calming ocean breeze. My trip to Hawaii has changed my views of nature and the beauty of the world we live in forever, and the experiences I had will influence the rest of my life.

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15 Reasons Why You Should Visit Hawaii at Least Once in Your Lifetime

trip to hawaii essay

Hawaii is a beautiful tropical vacation hot spot unlike any other in the world. From its beautiful white sandy beaches and its majestic mountains and steep valleys to its city life, there really is something for everyone to enjoy! Here are Culture Trip’s top 15 reasons to visit the Hawaiian Islands.

Every island is different.

Hawaii is made up of eight main islands, all of which are unique in their own way.

trip to hawaii essay

Oahu, “The Gathering Place,” is the most famous of all eight islands, with a little bit of everything for everyone. From bustling Honolulu to the quiet shores of the east side, visitors can be shopping in the city and then be swimming or lounging on white sandy beaches in less than 45 minutes.

trip to hawaii essay

Hawaii island

The big island is known for its volcanoes and lava! It is the youngest of all the islands and is currently still growing. Go and see the most active volcano in the world, Kīlauea, which has been erupting for over 30 years.

trip to hawaii essay

Kauai is the “Garden Isle,” known for its colorful and lush vegetation, hippy vibes, and amazing hiking. It is the oldest of all the main islands and is heaven on Earth. It is quieter around Kauai, so don’t expect a big nightlife scene, but do expect private white beaches, blue water, and fantastic views of the mountains wherever you are.

trip to hawaii essay

Maui is the “Valley Isle” and a perfect destination for people who are not only looking for quick and easy adventures but also a little bit of a tourist destination. The road to Hāna is most definitely a must-do for beautiful views of this lush island, where waterfalls and valleys are easily accessible all along the road. Heading in the opposite direction to the west is the beautiful town of Lahaina , where local shopping and restaurants are plentiful.

It’s the most ethnically diverse state

Hawaii is the most diverse state and is a melting pot of all cultures. You will find influences from, of course, Hawaiian culture, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Portuguese, Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, Micronesian, and Spanish—and the list goes on.

trip to hawaii essay

It has untouched beauty

Some parts of Hawaii are so beautiful and look the same as they did thousands of years ago. It is quite easy to find a piece of secluded paradise if taking the scenic route, instead of traveling the highways.

It has a thriving culture

The Hawaiian culture is very much alive, and it shows and shines through its people! From its city and beach names (which are almost all still in the Hawaiian language) to hula demonstrations at luaus to people speaking Hawaiian at the grocery store, the islands thrive on Hawaiian culture and its survival.

trip to hawaii essay

The weather

Even though Hawaii has a winter season, it doesn’t get much colder than 75°F (24°C) during the day—ever. It is summer all year long to the typical vacationer, and shorts and bathing suits are normal attire.

It has delicious food

As mentioned before, Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures, and every culture has introduced something and added their own flair to the state’s cuisine. Don’t be afraid to try some authentic Hawaiian food while you are here, and don’t let poi scare you; it is actually quite yummy!

The shopping scene

From unique shopping such as farmers’ markets and flea markets to big malls and designer outlets, Hawaii will make your inner shopper very happy.

trip to hawaii essay

Hawaii is home to people who were born and raised on the islands as well as transplants from all over the world, and many people would agree that the state’s residents are some of the friendliest people around. This happy disposition may come from the fact that it’s summer here all year long, with the sun shining and people getting their daily dose of vitamin sea! Either way, no matter where you go, you’ll find smiling faces.

trip to hawaii essay

The incredible wildlife

Hawaii is home to multiple beautiful animals that thrive near the coastal regions, and they are easy to spot if you keep an eye out for them. Whales put on amazing shows during the winter months, and dolphins swim around the islands year-round. You might even see the endangered honu (green sea turtle) grazing on limu (seaweed) or monk seals lounging on the beaches. It’s important, however, to respect Hawaiian laws and wildlife; don’t get too close and never touch.

trip to hawaii essay

It’s a hiker’s paradise

There are numerous legal hiking spots all over the island that offer panoramic views of the beautiful ocean as well as the mountains. For those looking for something a bit adventurous and daring, illegal spots always seem to attract the most attention; some people like the thrill and excitement of doing something dangerous.

It’s brimming with talent

Hawaii is home to a number of creatives, artists, actors, models, etc., all of whom have been shaped by Hawaii. These talents have inspired not only local people but also those from all around the world, and they help share the Hawaiian way wherever they may go.

trip to hawaii essay

The breathtaking sunrises and sunsets

Not many places have clear views of both sunrise and sunsets. In Hawaii, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, over the water, every day! Please take some time to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset while you are here; it is very cleansing for the soul.

It’s romantic

Thousands of people get married and go on their honeymoon in Hawaii every year—and for good reason. There are plenty of beautiful and relaxing hotels and spas, private beaches, nonstop adventures, as well as fancy restaurants to experience with your significant other.

trip to hawaii essay

To see where your favorite movies and TV shows were filmed

Hawaii has been the location of several Hollywood productions, from TV shows such as Lost and Hawaii Five-0 to films such as Jurassic Park , Jumanji , Moana , Lilo and Stitch , and Pirates of the Caribbean , just to name but a few.

trip to hawaii essay

The aloha spirit

Yes, the aloha spirit is a real thing, and yes, it is present everywhere you go. From the smiling faces walking down the sidewalks to the friendly person who lets you in or out of traffic to that stranger offering to take you on a tour of the beautiful islands, you will feel the aloha spirit even if you aren’t looking for it.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips , led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

trip to hawaii essay

Places to Stay

The most pet-friendly hotels in oahu, hawaii.

trip to hawaii essay

Where to Book a Stay in Oahu, Hawaii, for a Local Experience

trip to hawaii essay

The Best Luxury Resorts to Book in Oahu, Hawaii

trip to hawaii essay

Say Aloha to These Affordable Hotels in Oahu

trip to hawaii essay

The Most Romantic Hotels to Book in Honolulu, Hawaii

trip to hawaii essay

Hip Rental Apartments in Oahu, Hawaii, You'll Want to Call Home

trip to hawaii essay

The Best Resorts to Book in Honolulu, Hawaii

trip to hawaii essay

The Best All-Inclusive Hotels to Book in Hawaii

trip to hawaii essay

The Best Villas to Book for Your Vacation in Hawaii

trip to hawaii essay

The Best Cheap Hotels to Book in Honolulu, Hawaii

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The Best Wellness Retreats and Spas in Oahu, Hawaii

trip to hawaii essay

The Best Beach Hotels to Book in Honolulu, Hawaii

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trip to hawaii essay

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Home — Essay Samples — Geography & Travel — Hawaii — A Composition on Holidaying in Hawaii

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A Composition on Holidaying in Hawaii

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Natural wonders and cultural richness, challenges in paradise, embracing sustainable tourism.

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trip to hawaii essay

Personal Narrative: My First Trip To Hawaii Essay

There are not very many big things in my life that have changed the person I am now but I think that my first trip to Hawaii may be one of the very few events that have. I think that through this experience I have since loved exploring and traveling to new places which is a quality that I think is a big part of wholam. On the night of my birthday in December of 2014 as I finished opening my last present my mom went upstairs, when she came back down I noticed she had something in her hand. As she got closer I realized that it was just a card so I didn’t think much of it.

As she handed it to me I asked “For me? ” “No, for me. ” She said sarcastically. So I opened up the envelope and looked at the card. The room was pretty quiet so it made me feel like something was up which made me speed through reading the card. I spotted a piece of white paper at the bottom of the card that was glued in. Once I reached it I started to read more slowly. It was a schedule of flights to and from Kona hawaii! | started jumping up and down squealing.

Once I settled down I was able to ask more questions like “Who else is going? “, and “When do we leave? , and “How long will we stay there? ” And that’s when I found out that one of my very best friend Makenzie and her mom were also coming! And that we were leaving on January 4th and coming back on January 11th. I also found out that Makenzie had an uncle and aunt that would be staying with us at the resort so that they could be our transportation and show us around. I couldn’t wait. The next couple of weeks went very slowly in anticipation for the great trip. It was also hard for me to focus on tasks because my mind would often wander off and get lost in thought about the vacation.

But soon enough the night before we were going to leave came around the corner. The night before our plane was scheduled to depart we made sure all of our suitcases and carry-ons were in the car and ready to go. Before I went to bed I took a shower and laid out my clothes for the next day. I knew we had to get up early to get on the plane so I decided to go to bed earlier than usual so that I could get some more sleep to be a little bit more rested for the long flight. When it was time for bed I crawled in a and pulled my covers over me as I imagined how fun the trip was going to be.

All of the excitement rushed through my body preventing me from getting any sleep. After trying and trying I finally fell asleep around 11:00. When my alarm went off at 3:00am I was still really tired (since I didn’t fall asleep until late at night) but my excitement sprung me right out of bed. I got dressed quickly and went to see if my mom was up yet. Sure enough, she was up in the kitchen making sure all of the last minute things were ready to go which reminded me that I had a To Do List to finish so I went back into my room at glanced at it the first thing was to feed the fish.

After I did that I went back to my room and checked it off and realized that was the only thing I had to do. We left at 3:30 because we had to pick up my friend and her mom and go to the airport. When we got there my mom hopped out of the car and knocked on their door they answered quickly and walked out with their suitcases and carry-ons rolling shortly behind them. Makenzie’s sister, brother, and dad were also up and waved us goodbye as we left. At that point I was more excited for the flight because | had never flown on a plane before and I wondered what it would be like.

Once we finally reached the airport we went through security and got on our plane. It was a lot different than Texpected it to be. I thought it would be a bigger plane but it wasn’t because it was just going from Redmond to Portland. Makenzie and I made a deal that every other flight we would switch the person who got to sit at the window. She was the first up. My favorite part was taking off and landing because you could feel the rush once you got off of the ground or hit the ground.

Once we got to portland we had only a small layover and soon enough we were back in the air on the long last stretch to Hawaii. During that last flight, we got lots of mini packaged Hawaiian snacks which made me more and more excited in anticipation for arriving. For the longest time all i could see out of the window was clouds but finally out of seemingly nowhere We spotted an island. It was Hawaii! We finally made it. As I stepped off of the plane and took a deep breath I felt a rush of fresh humid air flow into my body. I could smell the salt from the ocean too.

I couldn’t believe we had made it! I had wanted to go there all of my life and here it was right before my eyes. Makenzie’s uncle and aunt were going to pick us up at the airport but they hadn’t told us that they were there yet so we decided to look around at some of the gift shops while we ventured our way to the parking lot. They I saw Makenzie’s mom waving us over. Her uncle and aunt had been standing there waiting for us the whole time! They were holding an old ruffed up sign that said all of our names on it. He also had tons of lays around his neck.

It looked like he just got done at hula lessons or something but it turns out that the lays were for us! I was so excited because they were made out of real flowers and they smelled delicious. We all piled in the car and had to go to costco first because we would need food to eat during our stay. The Costco there was pretty much the same as any other costco. After that we drove a little ways to reach our resort. As we pulled into the resort it was gorgeous! It was more beautiful than I ever thought it would be. It looked just like the pictures in magazines.

We checked in and at the front desk and it was even more beautiful it seemed like every direction I would turn it just looked better and better and better. They even had a dolphin enclosure where you could swim with them! Makenzie and I couldn’t wait any longer to go explore and have some fun. So we went to our condo as quickly as we could and put our swimsuits on so that we could go swimming. The rest of our stay there was amazing and we had so much fun I couldn’t wait to go back there sometime even if it was only an hour.

On our way back I knew that I would remember that trip forever and realized how special it was. Ever since that trip to Hawaii I have always remembered how much fun I had and how special I was to get to do that. Going to Hawaii has changed the person I am because It was the first time I had ever been on a really big vacation and the first time that I had ever been on a plane. I think that It has really inspired me to love traveling and exploring new places it also made me realize that trips like this are really special and don’t happen very often.

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trip to hawaii essay

More From Forbes

Why there has never been a better time to visit hawaii.

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The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is welcoming visitors.

Before August 2023, whenever the quaint Maui town of Lahaina came up in conversation, discussions likely centered around a fun night on Front Street or a whale sighting at the beach. But after devastating wind-driven fires ravaged the area, the narrative changed. Stories were now accompanied by tears. The world was heartbroken. Our thoughts were with families we’ve never met. More than 100 people lost their lives and $5.5 billion in damage was done.

There was an incredible outpouring of love from the mainland and around the world. But there was some mixed messaging communicated back. How bad was the damage? Did locals want the outside help? When would visitors be welcomed back? Would residents even want them back? Depending on the news outlet, the answers were different by the day.

“The biggest message is that Maui needs support now more than ever,” says Lei-Ann Field, public relations director for the Hawaiian Visitors & Convention Bureau.

But the islands don’t just want anyone’s money. Much like other parts of the globe, inconsiderate visitors have taken their toll on the local ecosystem. If you’re a responsible traveler, Field speaks for the state when she says you’re welcome to return: “It’s basic human decency. Picking up after yourself, staying on the trail. It’s about culture, history and taking a general interest in things. Look beyond just dropping by the beach. Get a little bit deeper.”

Rebuilding efforts are ongoing. Though serious issues surrounding food accessibility and air quality persist, when we visited in the spring, we saw construction trucks and heard the humming of tools. The other thing we noticed was all the “open” signs. Be it a gas station with cars filling up or a restaurant with a packed patio, Lahaina was far from shuttered.

Lahaina restaurants like Leoda’s are still bustling.

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What becomes clear after a few days around Hawaii is that the disaster hasn’t only affected Lahaina; harder times have hit elsewhere. We spoke with locals from all walks of life and they echo the same words: traffic has not been the same. That sentiment is backed by the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s most recent March statistics, where it’s reported that the total number of visitors to the Hawaiian Islands in the first quarter of 2024 was 2,391,496 compared to 2,446,331 in 2023 (a 2.2% decline). Total spending was off 2.7% as well. Those numbers might seem modest, but they translate to hundreds of millions of dollars of lost income.

But it’s not too late to help. If you were putting off that romantic Hawaii trip you’ve been dreaming about for years, delay it no longer. Still trying to figure out what you’re doing with the family for the Fourth of July or Labor Day break? The island paradise would love to have you. In fact, there’s so much going on right now with the island’s hospitality scene, from the hotels to the haute cuisine, that we’d argue that now is the best time for a Hawaiian holiday.

The Flights

Though six airlines regularly fly from the mainland to the Hawaiian Islands, United not only offers more flights to Hawaii than any other carrier from the continental United States, it also employs more than 1,000 people who call the state home. Flying to Hawaii for more than 75 years, the company remains committed to the state.

“We evacuated more than 11,000 people from Maui [after the fires],” says Lori Augustine, vice president of United’s San Francisco hub. “We sent over 24,000 pounds of food and supplies to the area. The culture of our airline allows us really to be able to do these kinds of things.”

And months later, support is still strong. Travelers seated in the United Plus premium cabin on Hawaii flights receive amenity kits done with a local touch. “ Christie Shinn is the artist who produced [the packaging],” Augustine says. “And Leala Humbert is also a female business owner who runs Ua Body skincare brand. She did the hand cream, the face mist and the lip balm for us. We’re really excited about being able to support those two local business owners. The skin care product is cool because all of the ingredients are from the native island, it’s natural and it’s packaged sustainably.”

Wailea Beach Resort looks great from any height.

Properties along the Hawaiian coast don’t have to innovate or renovate to lure guests. Azure waters and magazine-cover beaches do most of the heavy lifting. But high-end hotels aren’t resting on their lavish laurels. Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua ’s 466 rooms and suites have a timeless elegance about them — hardwood floors, powder areas and Diptyque toiletries — but that hasn’t stopped the resort’s activity calendar from remaining robust. One day it’s a hula lesson and lei-making class and the next it’s an enlightening fitness hike where you can see the effects that sign-ignoring visitors are having on the dunes with their feet.

No matter what your itinerary looks like, we strongly suggest meeting once at 6 a.m. with Ritz-Carlton cultural ambassador Wilmont Kahaialii for Hi’uwai, Aloha Protocol. According to Kahaialii, this traditional sunrise service consisting of Ocean Cleanse, Breath of Life and Shine Your Light ceremonies allows you to wash away any negative energies and get re-centered with nature. You’ll feel something during the 60-minute ritual — whether that something is a deep spiritual message from the kupuna (ancestors) or merely the cool morning water tingling between your toes all depends on you.

Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui , just under 40 miles from the Ritz-Carlton, is another island icon. But you’d never know this was Wailea’s first resort, what with subtly modern décor and USB outlets all over the place. Sundeck Garden Oasis rooms are a recent addition, spoiling guests with spacious accommodations that have a fire pit area and a beautiful lanai with an outdoor tub and shower.

Another fresh amenity to Wailea Beach Resort is Olakino, an adults-only wellness enclave in the middle of the property. The sun-kissed space has an infinity pool, a live DJ, food samples (sushi with guava garlic salt? Yes, please) and more. Grab a day pass for the perfect private escape.

One of Hawaii’s biggest hotels.

Not to be outdone by all that’s offered on tranquil Maui, hotels in livelier Oahu are appealing in their own way. Sheraton Waikiki Beach Resort has a massive footprint — 1,636 rooms and suites across 31 stories — yet it somehow still remembers the small things: gorgeous views (depending on your room, you can see Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head or the city), a great location (a short walk from bustling Kalākaua Avenue) and good food (Kai Market’s blueberry pancakes are a trip highlight).

Next door to Sheraton Waikiki sits the iconic Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki . The air of opulence at this address has as much to do with the head-turning pink hues adorning the walls as it does the intoxicating signature floral scent wafting through the halls.

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach is another longtime charmer that has a small history museum on the second floor; a spectacular restaurant, Beachhouse at the Moana, in the rear; and a nightly Michael Jackson-fueled dance party in the front lobby.

You won’t find quite the same all-out revelry at The Laylow, Autograph Collection , but the coastal-chic property does know how to cut loose, which is evident by the way the open-air lanai next to the coffeeshop converts to a space with live music or a DJ set every night.

Monkeypod’s fish and lobster pasta.

The restaurant scene around the state is thriving. You have classics (Lahaina’s Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop ) and newbies (Honolulu’s Nami Kaze ) battling relentlessly for your taste buds’ attention. One of the chefs bridging this gap is Peter Merriman, proprietor of Merriman’s Hawaii restaurant group and a pioneer of regional island cuisine. The toque opened his first restaurant, Merriman’s, back in 1988. Today you can hardly go 50 miles in any direction without encountering Monkeypod or another Merriman-backed kitchen with an emphasis on locally sourced vegetables and sustainably caught meats.

“I came here for fun and ended up staying 40 years,” Merriman says. The Pittsburgh native’s latest venture is the January 2024-opened Ulu Kitchen at recently renovated The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali . A stunning, breeze-filled eatery right along the sand, Ulu Kitchen offers a menu filled with creative takes on breakfast (the hydroponic greens- and champagne vinaigrette-topped Farmer’s Benedict) and fresh catches (lobster ravioli, Dungeness crab cakes) at lunch and dinner.

Other onsite restaurants are doing some amazing things in the kitchen as well. Back at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, signature establishment Banyan Tree is a revelation where nearly every bite is brilliant, from the ishiyaki wagyu starter you prepare over a hot stone to a flavor-packed seafood curry main you’ll contemplate smuggling back in your carry-on.

Wailea Beach Resort has two Roy Yamaguchi-led restaurants, Whale’s Tale coffeehouse and even its own luau five nights a week. Still, the property’s crown culinary achievement may be with its private dining. Organize an evening with the culinary team on the sand or one of the over-the-pool cabanas, ensuring a magical, coursed-out meal of fresh salad, pastas and proteins, all done with Hawaiian flavor.

Kipuka Olowalu cultural practitioner Ua Aloha Maji.

On the one hand, the stories you’ve heard about area hotels transforming into shelters for displaced Lahaina residents are heart-wrenching. But on the other, they offer further proof of Hawaii’s unspoken communal spirit. Of the eight executives at the aforementioned Westin Maui, six lost their homes to the fire. During our March 2024 visit, we were told that 40 to 50 families were still living at the hotel.

“My shoulder had too many tears on it,” recalls Westin Maui manager Selawe Tau, who, as fate would have it, started his position the day the Lahaina tragedy struck. Tau speaks with passion when recalling the immediate days after the fire and the traumatic months of recovery since. “We need people to come and celebrate their honeymoons,” he adds. “It’s not even a want; it’s a need.”

The most obvious way to help is by bringing your travel dollars to the state. Hotels, restaurants and that mom-and-pop outrigger canoe company need your business. At the same time, some resorts are using alternative methods to generate income. At Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa , when you make a $100 donation to the Maui Imua fund, you’ll receive a special lei from designer Danielle Kincaid. All proceeds go directly to resort associates impacted by the fires.

Another way to show your support is by volunteering your time with organizations such as Kipuka Olowalu , a group focused on strengthening the relationship between humans and the environment, specifically Maui’s Olowalu valley. The team organizes four-hour sessions for individuals and groups that don’t mind getting dirty for the greater good. After a prayer, you head out to plant, weed and repair on the grounds. Hawaiian culture is more than surfing and tourism, and grassroots organizations like Kipuka Olowalu are loudly proving it.

FestPAC will host events all over Honolulu.

Even though times are challenging, there are plenty of reasons to smile. The world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders, the Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FestPAC) , is happening in Honolulu this summer (June 6 through 16) for the first time since Guam hosted it in 2016. Imagine the world’s fair mixed with a business summit and the Olympics, you’ll begin to get a sense of the event’s magnitude.

“We have a focus on uplifting indigenous Pacific cultures,” says Pua Sterling, FestPAC program director. “The festival itself is over 50 years old. The festival was steeped in elders coming together from these indigenous nations to really look towards the future. If they didn’t do anything to mitigate a loss of identity, then future generations in the Pacific would be in dire straits. We’re talking a loss of language, a loss of interest in indigenous practices.”

For the 2024 festivities, elaborate dance performances, art demonstrations, fashion shows, a marketplace and much more are planned at the Hawaii Convention Center and other venues around town. There’s even a Summer Games-style open and closing ceremony. Events are complimentary and open to anyone interested in learning more about Pacific Island people and culture.

DeMarco Williams

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Lori Dengler | A quick trip to Hawaii and a…

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Subscriber only, lori dengler | a quick trip to hawaii and a reminder that tsunamis can be deadly business.

A memorial to Laupahoehoe tsunami victims remembers those lost in the 1946 tsunami that hit Hawaii. (Contributed)

I have been part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Tsunami Science & Technology Advisory Panel (TSTAP) for nearly two years. One can’t write about NOAA without acronyms, so please bear with me. In 1997, NOAA established a Science Advisory Board (SAB) with a responsibility to provide advice in the areas of research, education, resource management, and ocean hazards.

The Science Advisory Board is composed of experts outside of the NOAA organization — from academia, industry, and other government organizations. The SAB currently has five Working Groups — on Climate, Data Management, Ecosystems, Environmental Information, and Tsunamis.

Our tsunami group is small — eight voting members plus NOAA and USGS liaisons. Our focus is the end-to-end tsunami alerting system. That means we look at all aspects from detection of the tsunami source to analysis, dissemination, partners’ response and how everyone in harm’s way reacts. We listen to experts talk about modeling, new detection and analysis systems, social scientists who study messaging and evacuation behaviors, and everything in between. We don’t have money to dole out but report our findings on gaps, weaknesses, and strengths directly to NOAA.

Most of our meetings are remote and online but once a year we meet in person. Last year we convened at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory where the tsunami research program is housed. This year was Hawaii with visits to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), the Hawaii emergency management group, tsunami scientists at the University of Hawaii, and other organizations with tsunami responsibilities.

On Monday before our formal meetings started, I did a day trip to Hilo with Rocky Lopes, another TSTAP member and someone I have worked with for decades. I first met Rocky when he headed the Red Cross preparedness program. His research on what motivates people to take preparedness actions has always been a pillar of our outreach efforts on the North Coast. Fear is a poor motivator, give people the how-tos in a clear and positive way.

We were met in Hilo by two more long-time colleagues, Cindi Preller and Walter Dudley. Cindi is the director of the Pacific Tsunami Museum who I met decades ago in her various roles in NOAA’s tsunami program. Walt was a founder and now board president and scientific advisor to the museum.

The Pacific Tsunami Museum was founded in 1994 with the aim of preserving memories of past tsunamis. At the time, many of the survivors of the 1946 and 1960 tsunamis were aging and their recollections of what happened were in danger of being lost forever.

At first glance, preserving memories might seem like a thin premise on which to build a museum. Personal stories are more important than you might think. They provide evidence as to what happened in past tsunamis and fill out important details that water height measurements can’t depict. We learn about sideways surges and how the tsunami traveled over complex terrain. We also learn the human side — what triggered people to take action and what they did — critical data about evacuation behavior.

Stories are one of the most effective education tools for tsunami awareness and preparedness. Most of the accounts the museum highlights are from ordinary people, including children to the elderly. These stories bring immediacy to the moment and convey that it doesn’t take superhuman efforts or special skills to be a survivor. Knowledge and taking quick action are key.

In the 30 years since its founding, the museum has gone far beyond the original scope. It features exhibits on Hawaii’s tsunami hazards and what areas are at risk. It has become a hub for community outreach programs and training the next generation in not only safety precautions but how to become spokespeople themselves.

Field trips are central to the museum’s activities and Walt gave us an abbreviated version. One only has to step out the front door for sites of what happened in 1946 and 1960, the deadliest and third deadliest tsunamis in U.S. history. Walt has loaded images on a tablet and at each field trip spot can compare the view of today to what it was like in the immediate aftermath of a tsunami.

The most memorable stop was Laupahoehoe Point, about a 40-minute drive north of Hilo. In 1946, it was the site of a small fishing village and a school. The teachers lived in cabins in front of the school adjacent to the coast. Children were beginning to arrive on the morning of April 1, 1946, when a series of surges quickly overtook the school. There was no tsunami warning system at the time and the earthquake that caused the tsunami was in the Aleutians, too far away for anyone to feel.

When the seas finally subsided, 24 students and staff of the school had perished. All of the Hawaiian Islands suffered damage. Hawaii was the hardest hit with 96 deaths. The final toll in the Hawaiian Islands was 159, the highest domestic tsunami casualty number in U.S. history.

Standing where the school once stood brings meaning to those statistics. There is a stone memorial with the names of the victims. Interpretive signs include their photographs and pictures of the school grounds before and after. Laupahoehoe brings focus to our TSTAP efforts. In 1946, seismographs detected the earthquake within minutes of its occurrence. But there was no system to rapidly determine size and location, analyze if it posed a tsunami threat, or send messages to those staff and students at the school before waves arrived. And had a message been sent, would it have been understood?

We spent the rest of the week in meetings with Pacific Tsunami Warning Center personnel, and other agency representatives with response and research responsibilities. A tsunami tragedy at Laupahoehoe won’t be repeated as the school has been moved to high ground. But there are far more people living, working, and vacationing in harm’s way today than in 1946 and even with a timely warning, getting everyone to safe ground is a daunting task. The ghosts of Laupahoehoe are in my dreams and scream that we better figure out how to do so.

Note: See https://tsunami.org/qrcodes/laupahoehoe/ for more on what happened at Laupahoehoe.

Lori Dengler is an emeritus professor of geology at Cal Poly Humboldt, an expert in tsunami and earthquake hazards. Questions or comments about this column, or want a free copy of the preparedness magazine “Living on Shaky Ground”? Leave a message at 707-826-6019 or email [email protected].

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Green: Hawaii Should Consider Liquefied Natural Gas As A Bridge To 100% Renewable Energy

The governor wants all options on the table for lowering the state's electricity costs while ridding itself of fossil fuels.

The governor wants all options on the table for lowering the state’s electricity costs while ridding itself of fossil fuels.

Liquefied natural gas must be considered as Hawaii works to meet its clean energy goal of being completely renewable by 2045, Gov. Josh Green said this week at the Hawaii Energy Conference.

The state had been open to LNG under the Abercrombie administration, and Hawaiian Electric Co. was even pursuing its development, but the Ige administration flatly opposed it so the utility scrapped its plans.

Speaking Wednesday at the conference on Maui, Green said LNG must be part of the mix as the state considers ways to lower energy costs, build energy resilience and lower its carbon footprint. He has asked his chief energy officer to conduct a full-scale analysis of every possible energy source, except nuclear, that can accelerate Hawaii’s transition away from fossil fuel dependence.

“Can I be blunt? One of those ways is liquefied natural gas and that gives a lot of people hives. I get it. I do. But if the goal is to use less carbon and get there sooner so that we are actually renewable, we have to have everything on the table,” Green said.

Hawaii Governor Dr. Josh Green speaks at a press conference updating the Maui Fire housing situation at the Office of the Governor Wednesday March 27th, 2024.(David Croxford/Civil Beat/2024)

If Hawaii fails to meet its renewable energy mandate, the state will continue to burn fossil fuels at “an alarming rate,” Green said, adding that consumers will continue to pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation and more local families will move to the mainland.

“There has to be some form of bridge between now and 2045,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury in the moment to take any options off the table.”

Green acknowledged that importing LNG would constitute an about-face in state policy. In 2015, then-Gov. David Ige came out strongly against LNG, saying it would only prolong Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuels and cause strife among residents over siting LNG terminals.

But Hawaii has gone back and forth on whether to invest in LNG. Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2012 directed HECO to look into pursuing natural gas as a fuel source for its generators.

trip to hawaii essay

In his letter to HECO at the time, Abercrombie said Hawaii is committed to a clean energy future anchored by energy efficiency and local renewable sources like wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal. But it would be prudent to consider LNG because it could be a cheaper and cleaner fuel than petroleum oil that could reduce consumer energy bills, he said.

Abercrombie’s stance was a pivot from that of former Gov. Linda Lingle. During her administration, the state and utilities signed the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative that laid out the state’s plan for switching to renewable sources without using LNG. 

On Wednesday, Green seemed to echo some of Abercrombie’s thinking. He said he loves solar and wind power but is worried Hawaii “may languish for a long time” as it tries to build it out in the islands where it’s more expensive than on the mainland.

The governor’s remarks caught some conference participants off guard.

“It took me by surprise. No judgment,” said Ben Sullivan, deputy director of Honolulu’s climate change office . “It was provocative.”

Although the thought of importing a fossil fuel gives him pause, Sullivan said he understands why the governor is considering all options given the high cost of living.

trip to hawaii essay

Jennifer Potter, a former member of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, was also somewhat taken aback by Green’s LNG comments. Importing natural gas is no short-term strategy and it’s wrong to think of it as a “bridge fuel,” she said.

“Moving to LNG would require a great deal of investment in infrastructure including terminals at the port. We have all agreed that 100% renewables is the goal for the state,” Potter said. “It begs the question of whether making an investment that would last decades is consistent with the public vision and stated goals.”

HECO wasn’t surprised by Green’s LNG position and is neutral about the possibility, according to a spokesman.

“We appreciate the governor’s comments about finding the right path to 2045 that balances reliability, decarbonization and cost,” said spokesman Jim Kelly.

The utility supports the state energy office’s work to build a comprehensive inventory of sources, including LNG, that could be part of the state’s energy portfolio.

But Kelly said it’s important to remember the history of LNG over the past decades in Hawaii.

“In one administration pursuing LNG was a state policy imperative and in the next administration it was banned. We’re aligned on our decarbonization and clean energy goals and we have to be aligned on what path we’ll be taking to reach 2045,” he said.

Colin Yost, one of the three current PUC members, said he thinks parts of Hawaii, perhaps not Oahu, could come close to reaching the state’s clean energy goal within six years, with renewables accounting for 60% of energy production by 2030.

“I know for Maui, for the Big Island … that should be eminently achievable,” Yost said, noting that he was speaking as an individual and not on behalf of the PUC. “On Kauai, you have already seen it demonstrated that they got there.”

trip to hawaii essay

The member-owned Kauai Island Utility Cooperative used to be an investor-owned utility that charged ratepayers the highest costs for electricity in the state. But after island residents organized, raised cash and turned the utility into a cooperative in 2002, what eventually followed was a transition to renewable energy that combined solar, hydro and biomass.

The co-op now makes nearly 60% of its energy from renewables, and Kauai residents pay the lowest electricity rates in the state, according to Beth Amaro, KIUC communications manager, who also spoke at the conference.

KIUC considered LNG at one point “but it didn’t make sense,” said Jan TenBruggencate, vice-chairman of the co-op’s board.

“The infrastructure requirement for LNG was going to be a big financial hit. We opted to continue our progress toward fully renewable generation,” he said.

Power lines on Maui in Kaanapali. (Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2023)

Green said there’s plenty of money available in the private sector and in Washington to assist Hawaii if it takes aggressive steps to move toward renewables.

During a trip to Los Angeles earlier this month to attend the Milken Institute Global Conference , Green said he spoke with multibillionaires who are looking to make investments “in the climate space” where bold initiatives are being undertaken to move away from fossil fuels.

“There’s an appetite for that,” he said. “I think you’ll be surprised how much money will come into the state to do it if we’re bold.”

He also said the Department of Energy is interested in making good on President Joe Biden’s pledge to help Hawaii following the Lahaina tragedy.

Hawaii Chief Energy Officer Mark Glick said he’s hopeful that the state will receive a $250 million award from the Department of Energy for the installation of temperature sensors, high-tech weather stations and other strategies to harden the grid and increase Hawaii’s resilience to climate change impacts.  

Civil Beat’s coverage of environmental issues on Maui is supported by grants from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Fund, the Knight Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by a grant from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation.

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Column: This is what it took to expose Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ abuse of his girlfriend

A frame grab taken from security video appears to show Sean “Diddy” Combs attacking singer Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel.

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Thank God for hotel security cameras.

Last week, CNN obtained and broadcast footage of music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs brutally assaulting a young woman in the hallway of a posh Los Angeles hotel in 2016.

As the video begins, a barefoot young woman is seen fleeing down a corridor toward elevators, stopping to hurriedly put on her shoes. Moments later, Combs emerges from a room wearing only socks and a white towel wrapped around his waist. He chases the woman down, throws her to the ground, kicks her, punches her, drags her by her hoodie and hurls a vase at her.

All while deftly managing to keep his towel in place.

Cassie Ventura, left, and Sean "Diddy" Combs arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story" at the Writers Guild Theater on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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The victim is R&B singer Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura. In November, she filed a 35-page federal lawsuit against Combs and his label, Bad Boy Records, alleging that he had physically and sexually abused her for years and frequently forced her into encounters with male prostitutes that he watched and recorded.

The lawsuit, which left me feeling ill, lays out a disturbing narrative of extreme abuse, coerced drug use and sexual perversion over the course of the pair’s 13-year relationship, which began in 2005. When they met, she was a 19-year-old aspiring singer, while he was a 37-year-old rap icon and record label executive. He held her future in his hands, and she describes being trapped in a classic cycle of abuse.

For more than a decade after he signed Ventura to his label, the suit alleges, Combs orchestrated most aspects of her life, regularly hiding her away in hotels — she alleges one such three-week stay in Hawaii — so the black eyes and split lips he inflicted would heal.

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Naturally, Combs’ attorney Ben Brafman feigned outrage at the idea that his client was an abuser:

“Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations,” he told the New York Times . “For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail.”

Au contraire , retorted Ventura’s attorney Douglas Wigdor: “Mr. Combs offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit. She rejected his efforts.”

It took tremendous courage for Ventura to file her lawsuit, which was made possible by New York’s Adult Survivors’ Act . The law gave victims a one-year window to file lawsuits for sexual misconduct alleged to have happened before 2019 for which the statute of limitations had expired. About 3,000 lawsuits were filed before the window closed in November, including, most famously, by E. Jean Carroll, who claimed that Donald Trump had raped her in a department store dressing room in 1996. A jury found Trump liable for defamation and sexual assault, which the presiding judge said was rape by another name.

Strangely enough given Combs’ professions of innocence and victimhood, Ventura’s lawsuit was settled confidentially less than two days after it was filed. At the time, his lawyer emphasized that the settlement in no way implied that Combs was guilty.

Except, come on now. The explosive video perfectly matches many of the allegations made in Ventura’s lawsuit; she doesn’t appear to have been making it up.

The lawsuit alleges that people in Combs’ orbit — his attorney, the president of his record label — pressured her to return to him when she tried to escape. “Each time Ms. Ventura tried to run away,” the lawsuit alleges, “Mr. Combs and his powerful network would force her back to him.”

On Sunday, all too predictably, a teary Combs posted a video on Instagram.

“I was f—ed up,” he says. “I hit rock bottom. I got into going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry.”

Me, me, me, me. Not a word about the hell he put Ventura through nor even a mention of her name. And anyway, when, exactly, did he hit rock bottom and have his epiphany?

After all, Ventura alleges that in September 2018, more than two years after the hotel hallway incident, he raped her at her home after they met for dinner in Malibu to discuss the end of their relationship.

Within months of Ventura’s lawsuit, four other lawsuits were filed accusing him of sexual assault and other offenses, including one by a woman who was in college when she alleges that Combs drugged and assaulted her , and another by a woman who was a high school junior when she alleges she was sex trafficked and gang raped by Combs and the longtime president of his record label.

It’s unfortunate that Combs cannot be prosecuted for what he did to Ventura in that hallway. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it is powerless to act because the statute of limitations has expired.

But Combs’ troubles may be just beginning. In March, his homes in Miami and Los Angeles were raided by agents of the Department of Homeland Security, who seized computers, hard drives and guns, according to news reports, which said the raids were part of a sexual assault and sex trafficking investigation of Combs, a father of seven. He has not been charged with a crime.

Someone leaked photos of the aftermath of the Holmby Hills raid to TMZ. The rooms looked as if a tornado had swept through — papers, clothing, children’s shoes and stuffed animals strewn all over. News video showed two of Combs’ adult children in handcuffs outside.

It was sad, yes, but an apt visual metaphor for the mess Combs has made.

@robinkabcarian

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Robin Abcarian is an opinion columnist at the Los Angeles Times. She writes about news, politics and culture. Her columns appear on Wednesday and Sunday. Twitter: @AbcarianLAT

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Three Missionaries in Haiti Killed in Gang Attack

The latest assault by Haitian gangs left three people, including two American missionaries and a local pastor, dead in Port-au-Prince.

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Concrete blocks sit across a road. Two people walk along a fence.

By Frances Robles and David C. Adams

An Oklahoma-based missionary group working in Haiti’s capital was attacked by gangs on Thursday night, leaving two Americans and the group’s director dead, the organization, Missions in Haiti, announced on Facebook.

Missions in Haiti runs a school for 450 children, as well as two churches and a children’s home in the Bon Repos neighborhood in the northern outskirts of Port-au-Prince, which is widely known to be controlled by two local gangs. The independent nonprofit was founded by an Oklahoma couple, David and Alicia Lloyd, in 2000.

The attack occurred Thursday, after two different groups of gangs descended on the organization’s compound, attacked employees and stole the organization’s vehicles.

The victims were the founders’ son, David Lloyd III, 23, known as Davy; his wife, Natalie Lloyd, 21; and the organization’s Haitian director, Jude Montis, 45, the group said. Ms. Lloyd is the daughter of a state representative in Missouri, Ben Baker.

“My heart is broken in a thousand pieces,” Mr. Baker posted on Facebook. “I’ve never felt this kind of pain. Most of you know my daughter and son-in-law Davy and Natalie Lloyd are full time missionaries in Haiti. They were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed. They went to Heaven together.”

The Lloyds were coming out of a section of the mission’s compound when they were ambushed by three trucks full of men, according to David Lloyd Jr., whose son was killed.

The younger Mr. Lloyd was taken inside and beaten, his father said. The gang members then took the organization’s vehicles and other items and left. But things took a turn when a second gang showed up, and one of its members was killed.

“Now this gang went into full attack mode,” the organization said in a post that was written before the three had been killed.

The Lloyds and the director of the program were able to make calls using a satellite internet link and recount what was happening as it was occurring, describing how they were holed up as the gang members shot through the windows.

The elder Mr. Lloyd, who had just left Haiti a day earlier to return to the United States, said he last spoke to his son “right in the middle of it all.” His son had been struck on the head with a pistol and was trying to calm the situation, Mr. Lloyd said.

“One group came in, tied him up, beat him and stole my trucks and loaded them up with everything they could,” Mr. Lloyd told The Times in a telephone interview from Oklahoma.

His son managed to untie himself as neighbors tried to help.

“And then all of a sudden another group pulls up and that’s where things got foggy,” Mr. Lloyd said. “I was talking to him when that next group pulled up. And he was telling me that he got hit in the head by a pistol. He’s like, ‘I’ve got to go now. There’s a bunch of them here again.’”

Mr. Lloyd said he wasn’t sure what happened next, but that witnesses told him that one of the organization’s security guards may have fired his weapon.

“Somebody got nervous and somebody got shot, so they felt like it was my son’s fault,” Mr. Lloyd said.

The incident was being chronicled in real-time on Facebook, with Mr. Lloyd and his wife recounting that they were trying to rescue everyone and negotiate with the gangs. Then the phone lines went silent, and they posted an update that three of them had been killed.

The victim’s parents described their son as a devout Christian dedicated to Haiti.

“My son grew up in Haiti. It was his whole life,” the victim’s mother, Alicia Lloyd, said in an interview. “All he wanted to do was go back to Haiti and help people.”

After attending the Ozark Bible Institute and College in Missouri — the same Pentecostal college his father attended — Mr. Lloyd III chose to return to Haiti, his parents said.

The younger Mr. Lloyd would tell girls he’d meet: “‘Don’t talk to me if you are not interested in living in Haiti for the rest of your life,’” Mr. Lloyd Jr. said. “He said he loved Haiti, and that was his heart.”

Even as most Americans working in Port-au-Prince were evacuated by the U.S. Embassy in March after a gang assault on the city that shut down the airport, the younger Lloyds chose to stay.

In fact, unlike most schools, which were forced to shutter for months this year during the gang uprising, Missions in Haiti’s school remained open.

The Port-au-Prince airport reopened this week after being closed for months, giving the couple a fresh opportunity to flee. They still stayed.

Mr. Lloyd said he told his son he could fly home for a break on Wednesday after the airport reopened, but he declined the offer.

“He just had a heart for the Haitian people,” he said.

Mr. Montis, the pastor, had been with the organization for 20 years. He left behind a wife and two children, a 6-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy.

“One of the best guys you will ever meet,” Mr. Lloyd said.

The older Mr. Lloyd said they had frequent dealings with gang leaders, who respected their work.

Despite the scourge of killings in recent months, he said it had been relatively peaceful in the area in the past few weeks. He even fed gang members regularly with bread from the organization’s bakery, he said, adding that it was customary to have to pay them to get through roadblocks.

Gang leaders, he said, told him: “‘We appreciate you helping the people.’

“That’s why we felt safe.”

Haiti has been gripped by a wide-scale gang assault since February, when several gangs that normally fight each other decided to band together and fight the government. Hospitals, government buildings, police stations and prisons were attacked, and thousands of prisoners were released.

The crisis forced the resignation of Haiti’s prime minister, Ariel Henry, who was out of the country at the time and unable to return. A transitional council was named to run the flailing government while the United States helped organize a deployment of police and soldiers from several countries, led by Kenya, to fight the gangs. That mission is expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

Gang violence spread to unprecedented levels after the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. More than 2,500 people were killed or injured in the first three months of 2024 alone, according to the United Nations.

A spokesman for the Haiti National Police said he did not have details on the killings.

The U.S. State Department said it was aware of reports of the deaths of U.S. citizens in Haiti and was ready to provide consular assistance but had no further comment.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” the State Department said in a statement.

In October 2021, 17 Christian Aid Ministries missionaries, 16 Americans and one Canadian, were kidnapped by a gang after visiting an orphanage. Twelve of the hostages escaped and the others were freed.

The United States has offered $5 million in bounty for the capture of the various gang leaders responsible.

In February, armed bandits also kidnapped three sisters of the Saint-Joseph de Cluny Congregation from a Catholic orphanage in Port-au-Prince. They were released unharmed without paying ransom.

An earlier version of this article misstated the age of one of the victims, Jude Montis. He was 45, not 20.

How we handle corrections

Frances Robles is a Times investigative reporter covering the United States and Latin America. She has been a journalist for more than 30 years. More about Frances Robles

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