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Chapter Five

During the ten-hour journey from Honolulu to Moloka'i, the thirty people infected with leprosy are confined to a pen on the deck of the ship, just like the penned cattle nearby. A storm rages during the entire trip, and all of the confined people are sick. As the boat nears the Kalaupapa Peninsula, those on board the ship are shocked at the size of the cliffs. These cliffs, called pali, are what keeps the peninsula in isolation and makes it the perfect place to quarantine lepers.

Once on Moloka'i, Rachel is reunited with her Uncle Pono, and she meets Pono's friend Haleola. Haleola came to Moloka'i from Maui many years ago to take care of her husband who had leprosy. During her time on Moloka'i, Haleola also caught leprosy. Pono's wife divorced him, and he hasn't heard from any of his children. Haleola is a kahuna who takes care of many of the residents who do not trust "haole doctors."

Not long after Rachel's arrival, Ambrose and Sister Catherine arrive at Haleola's house and inform Pono and Haleola that Rachel must reside at the Bishop Home. Haleola and Pono go to Bishop Home to try to get permission for Rachel to live with Pono.

Haleola remembers the early days of the settlement when she knew Father Damien, a priest who became famous for coming to Moloka'i to try to help the lepers when everyone else had abandoned them. While Haleola's husband lay in bed dying, Damien arrived and tried to use the occasion to convert him. Damien tried to bully Haleola and referred to her dying husband as a "sinner." Haleola angrily told the priest to go away. Haleola hopes that the authorities at Bishop Home will be more reasonable than Father Damien who died years ago.

They meet with Mother Marianne, who does not like Haleola and believes her pagan practices as a kahuna and her living with Pono without being married are a bad influence for Rachel. Pono and Haleola agree to let Rachel stay at Bishop Home but intend to write letters protesting the decision.

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