Update on lava flow on the Big Island…

A lava flow advances across the pasture between the Pahoa cemetery and Apaa Street, engulfing a barbed wire fence, near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii on Sunday.
Lava flow from Mount Kilauea. (Not our photo).

It’s hard for us to believe that at this time when our family members begin to arrive in a mere six weeks on the Big Island for the Christmas holiday that the two houses we’ve rented may ultimately be in the path of the lava flow from Mount Kilauea as it moves at a rate of 10 to 15 yards an hour.  

However, based on the topography and other conditions the direction of the flow could change at any time.  

Why don’t we bail on the two houses now?

For a few reasons. First, we’ve paid huge deposits in the $1000’s on both houses and until more is known and definitive, we won’t be getting these deposits back. If the reports indicate further that those two houses are in danger, we have no fear that we won’t get our deposits back. Secondly, why change our plans when we don’t know for certain that these houses and neighborhood is at risk?

Thirdly, finding a location for so many of us is a daunting task during the holidays when everything is already booked. We both have spent several hours online researching possibilities. Until we know the course of the lava as it nears the ocean, we cannot commit and lock in another property with a deposit, even if something was available.

When all is said and done if Tom and I have to bear the added expense, we’ll all stay in hotel rooms somewhere on the Big island, eating out every meal. That’s the worst-case scenario which we’re prepared to handle if necessary.

At present, the lava is currently seven miles from the ocean where these houses are located. The lava could completely stop, reroute, or escalate. Who knows what Mother Nature has in mind? Here in Hawaii, the locals speak of Pele, the Goddess of Volcanos, and rely upon her favor to determine the outcome.

It’s volcanos, earthquakes, and weather conditions that formed the world around us. Who are we to question the course of these events? All we can do is, everything possible to keep all of us safe from harm. That’s our objective.

As for the rest, it’s an inconvenience. Considering all the “safari luck” we’ve had in our travels so far, we have little room to complain. As for worrying, we’re not. Of course, we’re concerned and on alert. However, we have no doubt that our family will be safe and in comfortable accommodations to fully embrace our upcoming time together. 

Admittedly, if and when we find out that we need different accommodations on the Big Island, we’ll quickly get to work to find an alternative that works for all of us.

Thanks to all of our readers who have contacted us both online and by email with their concerns for our safety.  It means “the world” to us to know you care!

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with more photos of Lahaina, Maui which we’re excited to share.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, October 27, 2013:

It was two years ago on this date, that we had Tom’s retirement party. There were over 150 in attendance. It was a fabulous party. For details, please click here.