Friday, April 13, 2012
Chapter eighteen opens in 1931, and a group of dignitaries are visiting Kalaupapa. Judd is now Governor of the Territory of Hawaii, and Rachel is present to meet him.
During a sightseeing drive, Rachel meets a young man named Hokea, who is a painter. He paints many scenes of the Kalaupapa Peninsula, and Rachel says his paintings are beautiful.
Rachel and Kenji are regularly tested, and if two more of their tests have negative results, they will be eligible for temporary release from the settlement. Kenji and Rachel discuss what they will do if they are fortunate and get released. Rachel says that she would try to find her siblings and Ruth. Kenji is excited about the possibility of release, but Rachel says she has had her hopes ruined too many times.
The homes at the settlement have been provided with electricity, and many residents are happy to receive new luxuries like refrigerators.
Rachel fears that if they gain release that Kenji will discover that the only thing he and Rachel had in common all these years was exile. She fears that Kenji will no longer need or love her. One day when Kenji is alone in the store, the doctor arrives and informs him that he tested negative, but Rachel tested positive. Kenji says that he will never leave his wife. He says that Rachel is his 'ohana, family. He asks the doctor to say nothing to Rachel regarding the tests. When Kenji arrives home he tells Rachel, "We tested positive."