Isaac bounds into the room and shakes my hand vigorously. Since I last
saw him in Kosrae a year ago, he has styled himself in hip-hop attire
and grown a goatee. He is preparing to go to work at 9:30, and says
he will work all night long in the hotel. Not unlike his brother and
cousins, who hold jobs in Waikiki as fast food restaurant employees,
service employees in hotels, and gas station attendants, Isaac doesnt
have very far to commute to work, but he works long hours on the night
shift. His relatives, most of whom are in their early twenties, have
come to Hawai'isome accompanying other family membersfor
school and work.
it hot in here, man?" Isaac invites me back outside, so we can
talk for awhile while enjoying the cool evening breezes before he goes
to work. We cross the street and sit down on a bench facing the canal.
A middle-aged white couple clad in aloha attire stroll past arm-in-arm,
carrying several shopping bags.
talk about Isaacs life in Honolulu, about how he left school to
make money for the family. He tells me that he misses Kosrae but that
it is getting too expensive to live there and that there are no jobs
I can go home whenever I want, just like my mom," he says. I ask
how his family members afford to travel back and forth on the expensive
flights between Hawai'i and Micronesia. "Mileage," he replies,
pointing out how there is always a relative who works for the airlines
or someone who travels enough to spare a free award ticket.