I found out today that Pahoa, on the Big Island of Hawai'i, is right in the path of a lava flow and is probably going to be facing forced evacuation soon. Pahoa was one of my favorite places in Hawai'i - I don't think I've ever been anywhere else with such a genuine scruffy hippie feel. When I decided that I wanted to get a tattoo in Hawai'i I knew I wanted to get it in Pahoa. The shop was called Rudedogg Tattoos, and was owned by a craggy old biker dude, but it was an adorable young stoner who actually did the work - and his equally adorable stoner girlfriend (I remember she was wearing a pair of cheap flip flops so well loved that they had holes in the soles) designed it.
While we were there we bought a print of some local art - a map of Pahoa and all of its character-filled spots drawn in a semi cartoonish style. We haven't managed to get it framed yet but that's the plan.
I hope Pele doesn't take Pahoa. But she might. I hope its culture finds another place to be and isn't lost to the world. And I'm glad I've got a permanent part of it on me.