When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I kept this in mind when I moved to Hawaii and realized the natives were speaking a form of pigeon English. At first I was appalled, having been raised in a highly literate family of lawyers. Then, I remembered being in California years earlier and being told my upbringing in the Midwestern US gave me a funny accent compared to most of the English speaking world. Many people have altered the sounds of English words to suit the phonetic sounds they mimicked from adults. All children do this no matter where they were raised. Some have learned their sounds and accompanying associations from living in the wild. These highly sensitive peoples are just like you and me with a particular distinction. They are connected to the earth. They do not destroy forests, pollute waters or endanger animals. They live with the oneness they feel with their environment.
Just like everyone else, everyday, I have to survive and thrive. In Hawaii I communicated daily using the street-wise pigeon English and accompanying Hawaiian hand gestures. I even had long red finger naiIs and waist-length long hair. Over four years, I was instructed to get a fresh fish at dawn straight from the beach-landing fisherman as long as I had one dollar and a newspaper to wrap it. I was told where to get freshly baked bread for a few dollars and for $35/night, my family alone could stay at the Boy Scout Lodge in Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It was breathtaking! Memorable.
I was on a short list for a free ride in a island touring helicopter because they needed a second person for weight distribution or they couldn’t fly. I found a sense of belonging in a highly trans-ethnic island culture by being considered Kamaaina, meaning “of the island.” Stop, drop your phone, center yourself and feel it. Lets learn to fly by imitating the sensitivity of indigenous people to become more grounded in the earth. She is our home.