This was a blog post I posted to FB from Hawai'i, as Blogger was running so slow...
Long couple of days over-filled with great stuff. Amie is still waking up at the utter crack of dawn, which makes things really complicated when you have one kid who is up and READY! at 3:30a, but the rest of everyone is not. As it was Shelley's birthday today, I grabbed Amie and we went for a walkabout.
Tonight's big event was the Paradise Cove Luau. Walking into it, I expected cheese. Not sure if it was going to be the good cheese where you can enjoy it, or the bad cheese where you feel tired because of it.
Boy was I wrong. Totally wrong.
The singing of traditional island songs from across the South Pacific was really impressive. The dancing from all the different styles was really impressive, more so because I'm so horrifically uncoordinated that it's light years outside of my comfort zone.
The star part of tonight was the performance of the Haka (the Maori warrior chant) and the Tongan Fire Knife Dance. I've OFTEN been accused of being too tech driven and not in the moment, so I just put down the phone and experienced both without attempting to record them. I'm glad I did.
Here's what I loved about both things....I live in America where we have so few rituals, so few customs... I yearn for them. I love to know about how other people eat, drink, worship, dress, talk...and all other parts of their custom. Hell... I struggle to be a vegetarian on days like this because I just want to eat the Japanese traditional breakfast, or the Hawaiian loco moco breakfast, both of which are meaty to the extreme...just to try them. The dances tonight were a celebration of a culture that is alive and amazing to those who come from it, and defines who they are in so many ways.
The other thing I wanted to mention is the use of the terms "Cousin", "Aunty", and "Uncle" here. Over and over, people are referred to as family....not in the blood relation sense, but in the Hawaiian 'Ohana sense that we're all related, we're all here to help each other, and things only get better when we slow down and help each other. Strangers are Cousins in that we ought to treat them with respect and love and patience. Elders are Aunties and Uncles in that they have stories and lessons to teach us, and that might just help us avoid a few catastrophic blunders in our own lives, or at the very least give us a little context to how they became who they are today.
Yesterday was the solo character meet and greet with our ‘Ohana. <Seriously, I’m going to import this idea into my classroom this year> Shelley and I both were thinking that the girls were not going to be into it very much because they have had so little exposure to Mickey and Minnie. Once again, boy were we wrong!
The girls both loved the crap out of it, and were so happy it went as long as it did. For 30 minutes the girls hung out in a private courtyard, with both characters pantomiming all their responses. The girls loved every minute of it, and kept coming back with hugs and hugs and hugs for them. Aulani provided a disc with all the pictures from the event, and I of course shot my share as well.
The girls are all sleeping, so I’m going to end this now. There’s a TON more I could write about, but I pick that up later.
This should have been a proper blog post with all of this, but FB was loading the pictures much faster than blogspot, so I loaded them here.