“I am safe”, “I am fine.”  Those three little words made a huge difference to the friends of Sharon Nohara (HFBWA Secretary).  We worried about Sharon since she lives in Lahaina, Maui and had met full force the wildfires fueled by strong winds of Hurricane Dora so many miles away. Linda Nagai, Hawaii Federation of BWAs president first learned from Sharon on August 9th, a short reply to her text that she lost her home’s roof and evacuated to her Father-in-Laws place, some 9 miles north of Lahaina.

Her Japan trip (May 7-21) roommate, Susan Morishige of Moiliili heard next.  “My husband is at a rehab facility (in Wailuku).  The subdivision that I live at is in the highest area of Lahainaluna Road.  The fire bypassed us and went down the hill and engulfed all the houses below me.  I think only 4 members’ houses survived the fire.  Everyone’s houses were burned as well as our temple…”

Picture of Sharon (on right) with Jean Heselden of Makawao, and Susan during breakfast on Japan trip.





I have known Sharon for many years since we are both involved with the HFBWAs.  I contacted Sharon’s daughter, Jessica who lives on Oahu.  She encouraged me to text her mother directly.  So on August 21 (13 days later), I wrote a simple message to Sharon, “How are you faring?  Can I get something for you?”  Sharon’s text reply of 700 words was overwhelming.  Again it began with “I am fine” and ended with “Please thank everyone for their concern and sympathy.  I am grateful that my house was saved, and I have my health.  I have so much more than the hundreds who have suffered tremendous loss.  In Gratitude, Sharon”

In her message, Sharon basically shares her perspective as a survivor who remained in the west Maui area while the majority evacuated to central Maui (Kahului & Wailuku).  Since then, I have shared her message with close to 40 friends.  Email me if you wish to see her entire text.  Dhigashi46@hawaii.rr.com

Metta, Donna Higashi, Moiliili Hongwanji BWA