You probably didn't come here to learn the Hawaiian language. That's good, because I'm not here to teach it. On the other hand, unless you've lived in Hawaii, some of the words and terms in Iniki might be unfamiliar. Here are some loose definitions that should help. Be aware, though, that many Hawaiian words have multiple meanings, and the definitions that I use might be located pretty far down the list.
Iniki is primarily the first draft of the story, and I have no intention to process it further. When I wrote it I was still in disbelief that I was even alive, and wanted to convey the urgency of my adventure / miracle. The pace, word selection, and sequence of events poured out of me in the course of two days at Mom's apartment at Kona Palms, and is essentially the first and truest description of what I went through. A few misspellings have been corrected, but I've resisted changing words or expressions to more accurate or appropriate ones. Yes, it could be slicker, or smoother, but this has the urgency of the first telling, because that's what it is. This is hot off the mountain - you are the first person to hear it.
Namakani The winds. Inspired by Iniki, this is the name of the entire site.
Iniki Strong and piercing, as wind or pangs of love.
Haleakala House Of The Sun the eastern shield volcano on Maui.
Kona Leeward, dry side of an island - specifically, the west side of the island of Hawaii.
Pulehu To broil.
Maui 2nd largest Hawaiian island A polynesian demigod instrumental in shaping the Islands.
Okole Buttocks, anus.
Kula Plain, field, pasture, open country. A district on Maui.
Poli-poli (not sure) Poli refers to a breast, bosom, or depression.
Ahina Gray / gray or white hair. Silver was not present in old Hawaii, but my friends use ahina to refer
to silvery things, like their car, or moonlight, and that's how I use it here.
Pele Goddess of the volcano / the volcano itself.
O'ahu 3rd largest Hawaiian island
Kaupo (not sure) Gap in Haleakala's caldera wall on the south side - that location (Kaupo lava flow).
Kohala Northwest tip of Hawaii island. Oldest and lowest shield volcano on that island.
Mauna Kea Snow Mountain. Highest shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands.
Hualalai 3rd highest volcano on Hawaii island - located on the west side overlooking north Kona.
For further research try Na Puke Wehewehe Olelo Hawaii at wehewehe.org.
The Hawaiian language is so rich and melodious - do your ears a favor and listen to it.
HAWAIIAN WORDS / ABOUT INIKI