Lourdes Ann Kananimanu Estores seems to have sprung forth from a fantasy recorded in a shipwrecked sailor's log: "After 40 days on the open sea, clinging to what was left of my lifeboat, I washed up on a South Pacific beach. I lay there virtually lifeless for I don't know how long. Suddenly, a native girl appeared; a dark-haired angel so beautiful that all thoughts of thirst and hunger left my body...I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was not hallucinating..." Lourdes (Loor-dess) is no hallucination. She exists in the town of Haleiwa, on the island of Hawaii. Part Hawaiian, part Filipino, part Spanish and part Tahitian, she is one of 22 members of the Estores family, a good chunk of the total population of Haleiwa. Her father was an Army musician and a part-time fisherman.
At the age of four, Lourdes used to accompany her mother to cockfights, where they would sell the day's catch. At night, the family would gather to play music. those were especially happy times for her, fostering a deep love for music and dance; Bach and Bartók became her favorites .Her days were spent in school or frolicking on the beach. The uniqueness of her upbringing and her environment has not been lost on her. She is a child of paradise and knows it.
"This is paradise," says Lourdes. "Everything is perfect here!" Everything? "Well, we do sometimes live in fear of the tsunamis, the tidal waves. I've been through two - the sea gets very quiet; the air becomes still; the birds don't chrip. They can sense it coming. All of a sudden, the sea recedes as though it were being sucked into a huge vacuum. Then a wall of water 30 to 40 feet high grows and moves toward the island. We've lost two fishing boats in tsunamis. It doesn't really pay to build strong houses here."
Living in awesome beauty threatened by destruction has given Lourdes a feeling for the flow of nature and an excuse to fully enjoy it.