Sunday, September 18, 2011

The concept behind Maui Jungalow

My original concept for this blog was to discuss bugs, entropy, tropical living, termites, mold, weeds, rust, and other issues that face a person who lives in a Maui Jungalow. In addition, I wanted to clean up my picture files and post notes from all these gardening talks and weed exploration walks that I’ve attended through the years, plus share helpful hints for living in a jungalow.  I am also selfish, and would love any advice from others who have lived on Maui for a long time, especially in more rural areas.

Jungalow is a contraction of Jungle and Bungalow, hence Jungalow… It’s mostly a term used for surfer shacks and cottages, although cottage is a generous term, and hovels and hobbit houses that are tucked in the Maui landscape, especially in more overgrown areas like Haiku and Huelo.  But once I started blogging, instead of just thinking about blogging - usually in the middle of the night or while washing dishes, I realized I was writing about all sorts of things in the rural and upcountry areas of Maui, like the stickwork sculpture in Makawao.  So, I am not jungle-specific or region specific. Still yet, I am not interested in Maui as a resort destination. There is plenty of information on that already.  

I want to depict what life is like living in upcountry and rural Maui in a gritty, authentic, and sometimes offbeat way.  There is so much quirkiness and little details that really express the “local color” of living here. The questions in the back of my mind, are “How is this different from other places I have lived?” and “What is special about this image or experience?”  I try to see things as an outsider, as someone who is not born and raised on Maui, and has lived in other states and abroad. Yet I also try to see things as an insider, as someone who grew up in a rural area of Oahu, near sugar cane and pineapple fields.  It was only during college, that I discovered I was from the “boonies” of Oahu, which are not unlike the “boonies” of rural Maui.

There may not be "jungle" growing around this cottage, but there is plenty of lush vegation, and a rusty roof.
My other realization is that the same bugs, tropical living issues, including termites, mold, weeds, rust, abandoned cars, and hippie neighbors who don’t take out the garbage are common all over rural Maui. While they may be most intense in hippy Haiku or hippier Huelo, even in Makawao, upper Paia, or respectable Kula, there is rust and bugs and daddy long legs that lurk in the corners of a house and invasive vines that sprawl over fences and yards. There are commonalities to the rural Maui experience that I would like to showcase. Since Maui is also changing, along with everywhere else, I would also like to document some of the details and experiences of rural life now so they can be preserved in some format. I have long been intrigued by Hawaii in the early 20th century, as depicted by artists like John Kelly, when lei stands were common and Waikiki was barely developed. What was it like to live then?  I can’t say. But I know what it is like to live here now, at least in my particular Maui jungalow.

A Plantation style Maui Jungalow - a common style of architecture for plantation workers.


This Maui Jungalow is tucked among the trees.

1 comment:

  1. Just the blog I need to read while considering a move to Maui - Thanks !!

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