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For Maui

Maui was the very first Hawaiian island I visited many years ago. My mom and I stayed in Lahaina. There is an old sunken pier right by the town and I couldn’t get enough of diving it. So full of life even in the broken structure. It was love at first sight.

White tip reef shark swimming under a sunken pier in Maui

The ocean, the mountains, the old town, and green nature all around. For an underwater photographer in training, from a small mountain town, it felt familiar but also a dream full of potential. Fast forward a few years I was offered an underwater photography job on Oahu and within a month I moved.

I’m not Hawaiian. Far from it, but once I moved observing the community from the inside was refreshing. The sense of family and the community bond, the way people help one another at a slower pace felt like home for the first time in years. The people here cherish the joy of living in a beautiful place and they don’t exist just to work.

Watching the news and finding out Lahaina burnt to the ground was a shock. So many homes, so many families, so little readiness, and so much destruction. And yet, even as a whole town turned into ashes, the community never failed. Hawaii is not just asking for help on behalf of one town. Hawaii is helping its people, everyone is pitching in, and it’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever witnessed.

As an artist and an outsider, I watch in complete awe. With the desire to do more to help our neighboring island Maui and the families of Lahaina I created a new blank journal and an adventure journal that includes a dive log, a map and a blank bucket list. I will be donating 100% of the proceeds to the families of Lahaina.

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