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1 MEDIATING THE CONFLICTING TIMES-SPACES OF MAUI TIME BEATS IN ACCELERATED PACE IN MY FIRST WEEK on Maui my friend Tau got into a car accident.1 He was driving home after his night job. He fell asleep and crashed into another car. Fortunately, no one was hurt.Tau had been working nonstop for several nights with almost no sleep. Most Tongans who work the graveyard shifts rely on someone else to drive them during the day. I remember driving Vaka, a night security guard, to a Tongan construction worksite early one morning. Vaka and several other Tongan men were building a rock wall for one of the cattle ranches in Maui.2 Vaka finished work at 7:00 a.m. I picked him up at his house around 8:00 a.m. We drove for an hour to the cattle ranch,where he worked for seven hours.After he finished working,I drove Vaka back to his house.He slept the whole way home. Most tourists imagine Maui to be an island of relaxation where time beats at a slower pace while people enjoy the sun,the white sandy beaches,the deep blue ocean,and the beautiful scenery of its mountain ranges.This experience of time and space may be true for tourists and visitors; however, for Tongans, Maui is a place where work-time beats at an accelerated pace. On Maui, most Tongans hold two to three jobs with relatively short breaks between them. The time-space arrangement of Maui’s tourist economy often comes into direct conflict with the tempospatial arrangement of Tongan tā and Mediating the Conflicting Times-Spaces of Maui 13 vā.3 Viliami Toluta‘u, a prominent Tongan artist in Hawai‘i, noted that living in Hawai‘i “is like dancing to two different rhythms simultaneously”: the timespace rhythm of work-time and the time-space rhythm of maintaining harmonious relations (personal communication, September 22, 2005).4 The work and other daily activities of Tongans illustrate the two different time-space rhythms. Work-time on Maui is arranged according to an accelerated beating of time in space. Furthermore, because it is based on the beats of modern clock time,work-time does not always allow for the creation of harmonious and beautiful vā (sociospatial relations) that are achieved through tauhi vā. SHORT INTERVALS BETWEEN JOBS Fīnau and his family wake up every morning at 3:00 a.m. to sweep the trash at the Lahaina Front Street, a street with shops for tourists. This is just one of Fīnau’s jobs. After sweeping the trash, Fīnau goes to his groundskeeping job from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Like Fīnau, many Tongans in Maui have short breaks between one job and the next. Working two or three jobs is the norm. When I first arrived on Maui, Vaka was working three jobs to support his family. He had to give up one of his jobs in order to spend more time with his children. Tavake,a Tongan carver,works from 9:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night, a twelve-hour shift from Monday through Saturday. Every day he drives forty-­ five minutes from his home in Kahului to his carving stand in Lahaina. Sunday is his only day off. Most Tongans are Christians, and keeping the Sabbath Day holy by not working is important. For Maui Tongans, the Sabbath is literally a day of rest because they can finally relax and take a break from the high demand of their work-time.Vaka confessed that when he was employed as a yard worker he always looked forward to Sundays—not Fridays or Saturdays, but Sundays. He told me,“mālō,mo e Sāpate ke tu‘u ai e ngāue ‘iate”(thank goodness for Sundays so that our yard work stops). A few Tongans (mainly the handicraft sellers and hotel housekeepers) work on Sundays,but the majority prefers to rest. Building and restaurant cleaners are another group of Tongan workers who work long hours.5 They generally work between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. While participating in a church summer camp, I became aware of the cleaners’ working hours.6 During the camp, many of the cleaners left the campsite at 12:30 a.m. and returned the next morning at around 7:00 a.m.Two cleaners, Sai 14 chapter 1 and ‘Ana, pitched a tent at...


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