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“I was born in Wailuku, Maui, not long after the original Maui Memorial Hospital was built. I had a great childhood being raised in Upcountry Maui. My move away from Hawaii was 100 percent financial; I was laid off from my job at 52 years of age and unable to secure gainful employment after nearly two years of searching. Two of my three sisters still live in Hawaii, along with both of my adult children.

“Hawaii was – I emphasize, ‘was’ – a great place to grow up and work, at least up until 2001 when 911 occurred and the economy crashed. Our culture also underwent a drastic change and the spirit of aloha was eroded.

“I thought in moving here I would miss the ocean and food. To my surprise, Laguna Beach is much like Kapalua Bay, and there is an abundance of local food places to eat. The people are as friendly here as in Hawaii, and I no longer feel like an outsider.”

Warren Rodrigues
Pauma Valley, California