Aloha President Obama

January 20, 2017

A mural titled “Hapa” stands strong on the busy section of town at the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani. The Hawaiian artist Kamea Hadar named the President portrait as “Hapa” (means “part” and often used to refer to a person with mixed ethnic background) to celebrate the beauty of a multiethnic foundation of both Hawaii and the country.

There are only a few days left before President Barack Obama leaves the White House this Friday. Because he was born and spent his boyhood here in the Aloha State, it’s no surprise that we feel close to him during his family vacations on this island. But it’s more from unassuming buildings and sites that compose our everyday scenery here in Oahu that brings him close to home.

When the H1 freeway starts backing up after the University onramp going westbound, we often take the Wilder exit which leads to the famous Punahou School where he attended from 5th to 12th grade.  During my weekly grocery shopping at Foodland on S. Beretania, I pass by the unobtrusive half-century old Punahou Circle Apartments where he once lived with his grandparents.
In the final week of his presidency, news reporting around the world are about the public and private farewell events of the President, which bring back countless good memories during the past eight years of his service. And now, I cannot stop noticing where President Obama has left his footprints in Oahu; it is literally everywhere, embedded to our daily lives on the island.
Here’s a little trail of memories that President Obama has left on Oahu, as a young loco boy called Barry and as the President of Unites States. These days whenever I drive through the humble neighborhood of Maikiki, or walk by the Baskin Robbins on S. King Street, I can’t help but think that this is where the 44th President of the United States grew up. And I feel like if he could do it, then the Hawaii’s blue sky’s the limit for all keiki (and adults) on the islands. For those who have a dream, “if you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking,” then eventually we can all say “Yes, We Can!” for any type of challenges in our lives.


  1. Washington Middle School

It is said to be where he first learned how to play basketball.

  1. Baskin Robbins on S. King Street.

As many can relate to this, his first job was scooping cold treats at Baskin Robbins after school. This is the original shop where he actually worked!

  1. Spam Musubi

You can find Spam musubi basically everywhere in the islands. It’s our staple on-the-go snack, including the President. He was spotted munching on Spam musubi during his round of 18 holes at Olomana Golf Course.

  1. Shave Ice, Shave Ice, Shave Ice

Hawaii has many long-standing exceptional shave ice stores all over the island. Among them, one of the lucky ones getting regular visits from the President is Island Snow Hawaii in Kailua. It’s located literally a stone’s throw from the world’ famous Lanikai beach.

  1. Medium White Tee” shack in Hawaii

What's next? Whether it was purely a joke or that it contained a tiny-bit of an honest wish, then Mr. President, your wish has come true! A t-shirt shack only sells medium-size white t-shirts is now open, ready to be taken over at any time. No more complicated decision making in a magnitude of running a country.

Finally, big mahalo Mr. President!
With warmest aloha from Hawaii

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