The Island of Molokai
Kalaupapa Peninsula, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Molokai is Hawaii's fifth largest island, and I wanted
to see it on this 1993 trip. In James Michener's
"Hawaii", his frightening episode at Molokai's leper
colony made a deep impact upon me. And here is a view
down upon the isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula, site of that
leper colony starting in 1865. It remains as a home and
hospital for long-term leprosy patients who now choose
to stay here voluntarily. My video includes an interview
with the patient who was our Kalaupapa tour guide.
Declining mule train and steep muddy trail options,
I took an extremely short plane flight down to the
Kalaupapa Peninsula, which turned out to be quite
beautiful. Above is a lush, green vista.
These steep Molokai cliffs made Kalaupapa a
suitable site for the leper colony/prison.
I can easily believe that these are the planet's
highest sea cliffs. Lepers sent here as a death
sentence had no chance for escape.
Cemeteries are prominent on Kalaupapa because so
many people with leprosy were buried here. The above
scenic picture shows horses near the graveyard of
Father Damien's church. Damien came as a missionary
and nursed the sick, greatly improving conditions.
Father Damien died of leprosy at Kalaupapa.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free streaming video of this trip
to Hawaii by clicking on: Lava Luau