Tara Hunt '12 | August 20, 2015
There it is.
Illuminated by the first rays of morning sunlight, we see it. The leprosy colony. It’s why we’ve traveled here, to a place that is both paradise and prison. A place of life and of death. Of illness and of recovery. Of sin and of sainthood. Just 2,000 feet below us is Kalaupapa, an idyllic and lush peninsula jutting off the island of Molokai, Hawaii.
There we will find the graves of 8,000 patients who were taken from their homes and families, and shipped to these 12 square miles of isolation to succumb in quiet and anonymous agony to the effects of Hansen’s disease. They were sent away to die. Nine patients remain, waiting for their turn to be buried in the only land that would take them, to join the only community that would accept them.