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What are your thoughts on Hilo? My brother in law has a job offer there and is considering the move. How are the public schools? I've heard they are not the best. Is housing expensive?

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Hi, well downtown Hilo is very old and rundown. However, its one of the few remaining towns that have a lot of historical structures and the old school Hawaii feel. That part of the island is also very rainy its the rainiest city in the U.S. and has an average rain fall of 130 inches or so a year and the hills above even more so. There are also no decent beaches in the area. However, the area is very lush and still fairly underdeveloped. Rent is actually among the cheapest in the state. Kona on the other side of the island is the most popular place on the island and is very touristy and developing very fast but its an expensive place to live compared to Hilo. Waimea town is probably my favorite town on the entire island, its a really beautiful country/ranch-like town with the cleanest, fresh smelling air i've ever smelt. :P

The island is huge too you could fit all the islands in the state in it and still have room. There's also two active volcanoes and two mountains that are over 13,000 ft tall and recieve snow during the winter months. The island's landscape is extremely diverse and if he likes the outdoors, he will probably like it there. There are black sand, white sand, an olive green sand, etc beaches on the island too.

Back to Hilo town, the population is like over 40,000 and is the main city that serves probably over 80,000 (people from other districts). The town is also more Hawaiian in my opinion than Kona, Kona is like a mini-California. The people are generally pretty friendly in Hilo and once you make a friend there, you've more than likely made a friend for life. One rule to Hawaii though is to be open-minded to learn about the place, culture and have respect for the land and uniqueness. He may or may not going into a cultural shock because Hawaii is like a foreign country compared to the rest of the U.S., the way of thinking, culture, customs, etc are a lot different than the U.S. mainland. The English language is also different too among the locals as it is a creole and the creole spoken in Hilo is pretty strong compared to other areas. The creole in Hawaii (known as Pidgin in Hawaii) is a blend of words with origins from different languages like (English, Hawaiian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, etc) most of which is due to Hawaii's long immigrant history and cultural mixing.

If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask. I know a lot about that island.

BTW Where is your brother moving from? Has he ever been to the island or Hawaii? etc any other information you are willing to share would be helpful. :) BTW i will post some pics of the town and area later today.

Oh yeah as for public schools, Hawaii's public schools in general are not known as being the best in the nation but in reality most public schools aren't anyway especially compared to private schools. ;) Although, there are decent schools in the state it just varies from location to location. I think in a way kids in Hawaii are at a disadvantage because the written language they learn in school is a lot different from the language they speak outside of class. In Hawaii Creole or Pidgin the word orders (I think its Verb-Object-Subject?) are often switched around and sentences are cut short and i think it affects their grammar a lot. Also there are two creoles in Hawaii and it varies by ethnic origin, like people can usually guess a person's ethnic background by their speech patterns in Creole. The Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Samoans, etc have unique ways of speaking the creole and shifting the word orders. Like the Japanese that speak it will usually place the verb at the end of the sentence, while the Filipinos may put it before the subject.

Here's a website you and your bro-in-law could explore: Downtown Hilo

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Thank you for the great info. My brother in-law currently lives in California (the Bay Area). He's an astro-physicist and goes to Hawaii several times a year to use the Keck (sp?) telescope. He's familiar with the island but has obviously never lived in Hawaii.

If you have pictures or additional info I would love to have them (and pass along).

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I will try to find some pics to post this weekend of the town and parts of the island. It's a really beatuiful island even though the town he might live in is run down and rainy. The rest of the island is really cool though.

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Here are a couple of threads of the Big Island that I created a while back:

Hilo Town

A few places around the Big Island

Here are a few pics of Hilo. The town isn't the best (has the potential to become an artsy bohemian town though) but the island is really beautiful there's lots to see. I'm sure on his time off he will be exploring the island instead of sticking around Hilo.







Hilo Bay


Akaka Falls


Rainbow Falls


Around the island







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