journaling: This tour is something Jim has wanted to do for several years. We flew from Maui with one other couple. The others on the tour were staying on the island. The park can only be visited by an authorized tour. The area was very quiet with a moving, tragic beauty. Our bus driver and guide was one of the former patients. We saw where the first leprosy victims were dropped off, some having to swim to shore and thrown whatever supplies had been sent with them, there were no buildings for shelters or water. With a deep feeling of reverence we visited St. Philomena Church where Father Damien preached to his banished parishioners. Damien arrived in 1873, Brother Joseph Dutton in 1886 and Mother Marianne in 1889. The national park was established in 1980 to preserve the past. Small communities of residents still live in the settlements.
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 GMT Views: 890