Hawaii is called the Aloha State because of the warmth and generosity of the Hawaiian people. I have never set foot in our 50th state but I do know of the Aloha spirit due to a nearly quarter century friendship with a native of Hawaii.

I've never met my friend in person since I'm stuck here on the mainland and with passing years long distance travel has become impossible for me, however I have learned much of the Aloha spirit from my friend in Hawaii. She is the most caring and generous person I known. She has shared with me,through her photos her travels and have given me a taste of her home state with generous samples of poi and other foods from Hawaii.

What I've received from my dear friend I can never repay but I've learned from her the generosity and kindness of the Hawaiian people. In the Hawaiian language Aloha means both hello and goodbye becaause in the Hawaiian culture there is never a final goodbye;just goodbye for now and may you one day return to Hawaii and the Aloha spirit.