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Never to leave the peninsula again, he devoted his life to the condemned, teaching them faith and love. He organised the building of houses and churches and the


medical treatment of the people, and managed to get the finance from Honolulu for a health centre that later became a hospital. Father Damien ended up contracting the illness and died after 16 years of complete devotion.Since the forties, the illness has been more or less eradicated and the remaining victims are no longer contagious. There are about a hundred patients still living today and are free to leave as they wish, but the majority have chosen to live out there lives here in Kalaupapa.


Tristan Boxford (click to enlarge)   


Access to the peninisula however is strictly regimented. Anyone wishing to go there must first get a permit, even just to surf there. Thanks to Scott’s exceptional


   Bjorn Dunkerbeck (click to enlarge)

groundwork, we are invited to go ashore. Needless to say, despite our curiosity, we are all a little anxious…The charming little Polynesian village seems as though it has been this way forever, preserved by time. A little church provides the centre piece for the village with a few quaint little houses scattered around it.

There was not a sound, except for the gentle twitter of birds singing. After having filled us in on the tragic events and tumultuous history of the peninsula, the village Sheriff offered us a tour of the town, which we gladly accepted.


Much like any normal town, there is an administrative building, a post office, a bookshop, a little fire station, a gas station, a grocery store, a bar, a prison that


has never been used and, of course, a hospital. In the village square there is a municipal room facing outwards, with a big blackboard and a piece of chalk, there in case someone would want to leave a message….There was absolutely no-one around…

Once a year when the sea is calm, a barge from Honolulu anchors in the bay to drop off several thousand kilos of rice, cases of beer, barrels of gas and provisions for the grocery store and hospital.

There are a few cars around town but they never go over 10 km/h, which is understandable seeing as there is really nowhere to go so no-one is in a hurry….

Robby Naish (click to enlarge)   

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