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No Footprints in the Sand: A Memoir of Kalaupapa

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  122 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
When Henry Nalaielua was diagnosed with Hansens disease in 1936 and taken from his home and family, he began a journey of exile that led him to Kalaupapathe remote settlement with the tragic history on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. During its century as a virtual prison, more than 8,000 people were exiled to Kalaupapa, until the introduction of sulfone drugs in the 1940s ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Watermark Publishing (first published October 15th 2006)
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Community Reviews

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May 22, 2011 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, memoir-bio
After reading Moloka'i, I searched for others about that time and place. As I mentioned in that review, I wanted to know which was truth and which was fiction. Henry Kalalahilomoku Nalaielua was truth. He appeared in Moloka'i, dressed in some fiction, but he lead a very active life. He was an artist, a musician and a political activist.

Henry was taken to the colony at Moloka'i when he was fifteen. His 70 years there, spanned the time from the complete isolation of leprosy patients through the di
Sep 30, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book thoroughly!
It is Henry Nalaielua's story of what it was like to live all but 10 years of his life with Hansen's disease (leprosy). It is also an historical account of Moloka'i Island, Hawaii and the leper colony Kalaupapa established there by the State.
I was aware of society's efforts over the centuries to isolate indiviuals with leprosy. But, I wrongly assumed conditions in these isolated colonies were inhumane. In the case of Kalaupapa, the government provided care, educat
Aug 10, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
Henry Nalaielua's memoir of his life with Hansen's disease is both horrifying and humorous. Henry was separated from his family and exiled to the lepers' colony on Moloka'i as a young boy. He was stubborn and bright. His years in the colony spanned the time when drugs that effectively treated the disease were developed and used. I recommend reading this volume after you read the novel Moloka'i by Alan Brennert. The novel predates the years that Henry was on the island and gives a thorough histor ...more
Nov 05, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it
Very thorough firsthand account of life with Hansen's Disease. I wanted to read this factual book after reading "Moloka'i" - a book of historical fiction by Alan Brennert. He used this book as part of his research.
Becky R.
Jul 26, 2010 Becky R. rated it really liked it
For anyone who has ever watched the classic movie Ben Hur, there is this gut-wrenching moment in the film where Ben Hur goes to this rocky canyon to visit his mother and sister, who have been afflicted with leprosy. They have been cast out by society, with only basket deliveries of food being let down into their valley. This scene has stuck with me for a very long time, and I've always thought in the back of my mind, "How did they get sick, and do people get sick like that today?"

The answer to t
Feb 28, 2015 Deb rated it really liked it
Like others I read Moloka'i first and then stumbled on this book looking for more "story talk". A good history of a good man. I am glad Henry did not let the disease take his life away.
Sep 30, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Henry Nalaielua was a child when he was first diagnosed with Hansenʻs disease, removed from his home a family on Bigi Island and sent to Oʻahu then later he was transferred to Kalaupapa. This memoir tells of his life in and out of treatment, on Molokai, Big Island, Oʻaahu and mainland, his loves, hopes, dreams and the reality of living with Hansenʻs disease. Inspiring, unsentimental this memoir presents a unique and vital man who refused to be defined by a disease, in spite of the horrendous con ...more
Oct 28, 2014 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago and it touched me so much. I knew that one day I would need to visit the island of Molokai to see this place. On October 16, 2014 my husband and I visited Kalapapa. We rode mules down to the leper colony and spent the day there. As we toured the area I remembered so much from this book and just found it such a wonderful experience. On the heals of the current Ebola outbreak, consider reading this book just to get an idea of what it feels like to be afflicted with ...more
Susan Campbell
Apr 15, 2015 Susan Campbell rated it really liked it
I possibly met him on Moloka'i several years ago. Enjoyed his story.
Mar 14, 2013 Marissa rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed the first hand account of Henry's experience I found myself wishing that the book had been better written. However, once I read the epilogue the story's structure made much more sense. Henry would write his story, his friend would type it, and then finally the author would rewrite it and finally she weaved it together to complete the memoir. I would suggest it to read if you have interest in first hand account of the life on Kalaupapa
Pua Hawaiʻi Book Blog
Apr 20, 2011 Pua Hawaiʻi Book Blog rated it really liked it
No Footprints in the Sand effectively illustrates just how much Hanson’s disease separated families, ruined lives, and impacted early Hawaiian society...We are lucky to have him share his life story in this book so that future generations never forget the people of Kalaupapa.

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Jun 29, 2010 Joellen rated it it was amazing
This is very interesting account of a person's life in Kalaupapa on the island of Moloka`i. One keeps wondering what is going to happen next to this person as if Hanson's disease isn't bad enough. What is really inspiring is that he overcomes the bumps in his road!! ...more
Becki Kula Hildrew
Apr 03, 2011 Becki Kula Hildrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
well, technically i didn't finish it, as the kindle file was missing sections of the book and when i complained they refunded me and removed the book from the device. but what i read was great. very informative.
Jan 27, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I learned so much about Hansen's disease, about living, about writing, about an indomitable human spirit. This book was a gift from a friend and what a gift is was!
Jan 25, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
first hand account true story of life in Kalaupapa! great story! please read if you are interested in learning about the patients of Kalaupapa.
Stephanie Seymore
Aug 08, 2013 Stephanie Seymore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having lived in Hawaii and loved studying all things about Molokai and Kalaupapa I enjoyed this first hand account of a lifetime of living there.
Jul 24, 2010 Dianne rated it it was ok
Very poorly written, but amazing account of a Hansen's patient's life
from Hawaii, to Carville, LA and around the world.
Aug 15, 2011 Patti rated it liked it
Great insight into the life of someone who lived in Kalaupapa and endured the disease of leprosy (Hanson's disease)
Feb 01, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ive always been intrigued by moloka'i and stumbled across this book. I loved it, beginningbto end
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