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Maui

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My Maui Home

This old 8x8x20' shipping container was to be my new home.
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On November 15, 2006 I arrived on Maui. It was a two and a half hour drive on the Hana Hwy. to get to Hana where I was to build my new home. I had my computer and flat panel monitor packed in two suitcases and it would be another 3 to 5 weeks till my shipped belongings were due to arrive. I was staying at an old friend’s house on six acres of land on the NE shore of Maui about four and a half miles from Hana. The first two weeks I was treated as a guest and slept on the floor in her guest room. She told me that she had an old shipping container sitting on her property and that she had been trying to find someone who would be willing to build it into a livable home using left over materials from her house construction and what ever we could scrounge from her other properties on the island. She said that if I would do this that I would be allowed to live there rent free for as long as I wanted or until she no longer owned or lived there. I told her that I didn’t have any money but that I could do it.

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She had purchased a round trip ticket with her frequent flyer miles for me to come and check it out. If we couldn’t come to an agreement or I wasn’t able to with stand the hardship of building it by myself I was to return to the mainland after two weeks using the return ticket. She supplied me with most of the tools I would need starting with a pencil and graph paper.

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I drew up some rough sketches of what I planed to build and she liked what she saw. I had spent all the money that I had shipping my belongings to the island so after the first two weeks was up and the return ticket expired, I was there to stay.

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At first she was very helpful getting the materials to build the floor and roof. She would come over often telling me to build it good it was going to be my home.

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As the house progressed she became more and more distant and bared me from her home telling me that I could not use her washer and dryer to clean my clothing. I was no longer allowed to take a shower and I could not have any friends come on her property to visit me in my home.

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I had no power yet so I would get up at sunrise and work until sunset and then do it again the next day. This went on for three months until I pulled my power lines through three hundred feet of underground conduit to the container.

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My roof was up, my screening was in place and my storm windows were up protecting me from the winter storms I had been enduring as I built. I was able to finally start writing my music again.

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There is no mail delivery here so I hitch hike to town to check my mail and pick up what ever food I can afford to buy at three times what it costs on the mainland.

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It was never part of our agreement but I tried to help her out with mowing the property and fixing broken yard tools or taking the trash up to the road or run into town to check her mail.

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I was warm and dry and could write music so I was happy. And then on March 11th I went to town to check my mail and got a letter from her telling me that she didn’t think it would work out and I would have to vacate my home and be out by May 15. No reason was given.

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She offered to fly me back to the mainland, an offer she retracted in a second letter she sent a few days later.

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I told her in a letter that I sent upon receiving her first letter that I would be gone on the 15th of May and I felt that since she backed out of our agreement that I should receive fair compensation for the work that I had done over the last four months.

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She responded by telling me that I should be paying rent and if I continue asking she would kick me out immediately.

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I have been going to town every day and getting to know the locals. I love it here and hope that I can work out some way to stay here.

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There is a feeling of family here that I am becoming accepted into. I have been invited into places where most tourists that visit here are not allowed. I just want to continue writing music.

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Her name is "Karen Bryce" and she feels she owes me nothing and has threatened to sue me for cutting a hole in her container if I bother her any more.

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