A Well-Traveled Camera Returns Home

The heartbreak of hesitant realization crept up into my chest as I stood outside our red Jeep on the side of the Hana Highway. Wet swimsuits, towels, and bottles of water and sunblock were thrown haphazardly about the vehicle’s interior in a hurried search. Sure, most things can be replaced, but no material thing had quite the hold on me like my beat up metal brick of a film camera.

The Minolta X-370 was my choice camera for the trip to Maui. I even spent the money on some beautiful Ektar 100, a film whose warmth miraculously maintained its cool colors. On the plus side, I only lost the camera on my first full day there, so only a half roll of film was exposed. And now I have a healthy stock of Ektar left.

I exchanged emails with the lovely Hi'ilani of Kahanu Botanical Gardens, the place I was certain I dropped my camera but couldn’t confirm while I was on the island because of their limited hours. After a few disappointing “no’s” and “We’ll keep our eye out’s,” I finally opened my inbox to a “Guess what!!”

Because of a mix of persistence and Kahuani’s excellent customer service, I got my camera in the mail about a month after our trip. I sent the negatives off to Perfect Image in Lancaster, PA who processed my order in record time.

Below are the few negatives I was able to scan. I’m guessing some curious hands mistakenly opened the film compartment while checking for the camera’s contact information, but I was still so thankful to get a little kiss from Maui just as I was getting back into routine.