What Should Hawaii Do For Micronesians?

Courtesy Father Francis X. Hezel

Editor's Note: This is the second of two stories on new publications about Micronesians authored by Father Francis X. Hezel, a Catholic priest with extensive experience in Micronesia. Read the first story, Helping Hawaii Make Sense of Micronesia.

Civil Beat interviewed Hezel about his work and his views on what Hawaii and the United States can – and should – do for Micronesians, and why.

Civil Beat: You have both a book, Making Sense of Micronesia, and a report, Micronesians on the Move: Eastward and Upward Bound, published in the same year. Why do this now, and why simultaneously?

Francis X. Hezel: With Making Sense of Micronesia, I did it as therapy. (Laughs.) I was working in New York City, and I needed reassurance that I was attached to the islands. Secondly, it was a recounting of my less than spectacular success (in Micronesia). For me it was failures to understand — a lifetime of struggle to have a sense of what's going on around you — to provide some sort of understanding for one cultural mystery after another. The book presents my own solutions to these questions and my hope that it helps other people, makes it just a little bit easier to deal with these same enigmas.

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