Many on Kaua’i working today

WAIPOULI — If you’re reading this in the comfort of your living room, or at your kitchen or dining-room table, consider yourself lucky.

Several of your fellow Kauaians are toiling today, scheduled to work on Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25.

Many businesses on Kaua’i, including hotels, restaurants, airlines, convenience stores, The Garden Island newspaper, and others, operate seven days a week, including holidays, so have crew members on duty while many other Kauaians are relaxing at home, celebrating the holiday.

Of course, the public-service sector employees are on the job, like those at the Kaua’i Fire Department and Kaua’i Police Department, the emergency-room professionals, those with American Medical Response, and crew members at the state Department of Transportation Airports Division at Lihu’e Airport.

U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy personnel are on the job today, too, at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor and the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands near Kekaha, respectively.

Toiling in the kitchen of the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach are Willie Batulayan of Kapa’a, who has worked on Christmas Day nearly all 26 years he has worked at the resort, he said.

He is a saucier, similar to a sous chef, and has been known to work on Christmas Day even on certain holidays he wasn’t necessarily scheduled to work, because that’s the kind of guy he is.

“I always come in and fill in,” if the kitchen crew is short-staffed, he said.

Also in the kitchen last week were Marina Gano, who is off today, and Leticia Salvador, who is working in the pantry today.

She has been with the resort for nearly 11 years, and her shift today is from 4:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. When she gets home, she will cook Christmas dinner for her family, she said.

Rafael “Jet” Camarillo, new executive chef at the hotel, is also working today, presiding over the Christmas buffet that runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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