I just returned from a trip to Hawaii with my family. We spent most of our time on Maui but we took a day trip (by ferry) to the island of Molokai, which is famous for its leper colony founded by a Roman Catholic priest named Father Damien in the 19th century.
Compared to Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai, Molokai is very undeveloped, with a population of only 7,000 people. I took quite a few photographs during our brief visit to this beautiful and interesting island and I will post more about Molokai later this week, but I wanted to share one highlight: the Post-A-Nut service offered by the Hoolehua Post Office. Here, you can select a free coconut and mail it, unboxed, anywhere in the world simply by writing an address and sticking postage stamps on it.
The post office is situated in the middle of a farming area, and has two signs on the outside of the building advertising its Post-A-Nut service.
The postmaster, Gary Lam, greeted us warmly and apologized for not having enough coconuts to choose from, even though there were about a dozen available in plastic bins on the floor. (No other customers were in the post office.)
He went into the back and brought out a large mail sack and dumped another dozen coconuts into the bins.
My kids selected three coconuts and used markers from a box on the counter to decorate and address them to their friends and relatives.
Note that the coconuts are free, but only if you mail one from from the post office. Seems fair to me!
Postmaster Lam told us that the Post-A-Nut service was started about 20 years ago, and that over 50,000 coconuts had been mail from his post office. (It costs about $10 to ship a coconut in United States.)
Even though the ferry ride back to Maui was so rough that my 8-year-old vomited a geyser of electric blue popsicle juice, she said the Post-A-Nut experience was worth the discomfort. I agree!
This is what happiness and best-friends-forever friendship looks like.
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