How I discovered the TEA THIEF

September 15, 2014

Tags: tea thief, Robert Fortune, espionage, China, tea, plant hunter

One chilly night in Ireland 10 years ago, I happened to see a grainy documentary about a Scottish gardener who was sent to China with a secret mission by the Royal Horticultural Society after the Opium War in 1843. Rigid and taciturn, he despised the Chinese and couldn't wait to leave after he fulfilled his year (more…)

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Stressless Maui for Teens

August 22, 2014

Tags: Maui, teenage vacation, Lahaina, Haleakala

In one day Maui can leave your family speechless with a spectacular sunrise from the summit of a volcano, give heart-pumping thrills through the rainforest, and tumble them head over heels in the surf while they learn about Hawaii’s culture, history, and precious ecosystem.

Sunrise at Haleakala, “The House of the Sun”
Preparation: (more…)

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Writing Help from This World and Beyond

August 5, 2010

Tags: Lau Ah Leong, Pam Chun, Honolulu, Hawaii Chinatown, National Archives

When I was a little girl, I’d skip across Nuuanu Stream with my girlfriends in the afternoons and catch minnows and crayfish with bare hands in the cool mountain water. In a time when little girls were expected to be wives and mothers, we’d lie in the sun on the biggest boulders (more…)

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Upstairs at Wo Fat Restaurant with the Mah Jong Gang

August 5, 2010

Tags: Wo Fat, Chinese food, Chinese, Mah Jong, Pam Chun, grandmothers, Honolulu, Honolulu Chinatown

I must have been three. Short fat legs. Chubby arms. But I could pluck each juicy mushroom, the slippery big Shitake mushrooms slick with an oyster sauce gravy, with my chopstick and plop them in my mouth. The true dexterity test of a connoisseur.

As the platters of succulent roast duck, shoyu chicken, bright (more…)

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The stories in air and water

July 21, 2010

Tags: Hawaii, air, water, surf, ghosts, tradewind, nature, Pam Chun

We Keiki O Ka Aina, children of Hawaii, are taught that everything in nature, the air, water, earth, trees, rocks, plants, and all living things are alive. Because of this, I feel my stories are gifts from nature.

When I am home in the San Francisco Bay area, the wind that whistles through the (more…)