Thursday, May 28, 2009

May Day Celebration at Waialua Elementary School

May Day in Hawaii is a HUGE deal. Almost every single school has some type of celebration. Because May 1st is usually during the state elementary testing time, the public schools put it off for a few weeks. Today was the celebration at Waialua Elementary. The theme was "50 years of statehood", looking at the past 50 years that Hawaii has been a state. It was so very, very neat. They had a May Day Court with princesses representing each island and a May Day Queen and King, kahili standard bearers and conch shell blowing. heres a discription of each photo:
the teachers danced the "Electric Slide" for the finale (the teacher I help, Heidi, is the one with the lei and sunglasses); 6th grade did a routine that looked like a half-time program;3rd grade performed a song about all the different types of food here; 2ndgrade did "Rock-A-Hula; 1st grade did a traditional Hawaiian song using shells; the big decoration, covered in ti leaves; our neighbor, Lulu with a flag; the Queen and King with the standard bearers; Kauai princess and her escourt; our 2nd grade princess; 2 of our 2nd grade girls presented the offerings; conch shell blowers; the queen and her court.

It was really a great morning. The rain stayed away until it was finished. Something so unique to Hawaii, celebrating the heritage of islands.

Kahuku corn

The other day, hubby and I went over to the windward side to Waiahole Nurserey to look at plants (what else!). It had rained most of the way from Laie to Kualoa, then when we got to the nursery, opened the car door and it felt like we'd opened an oven! Nothing better than 100% humidity and about 85 degrees!
Anyway on our way back, we stopped in Kahuku and bought corn. A sure sign of summer is that the corn stand is open. Bought two bags, one to keep, one to give away. We were having bbq and eating outside, so the corn was perfect.

Can I tell you how good this corn is??? So sweet and juicy! Laura had said that when she cooks it she leaves it in the husk and then peels it off after it's done. That's what we did. Hubby and I ate the whole bag! So good! Burgers, what burgers? Dinner was fresh Kahuku corn and Kamulea watermelon...PERFECT!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Floating Lanterns

On Memorial Day at Ala Moana Beach Park they had the annual Floating Lanterns. This is a Buddhist tradition that is actually done all over, but this year the one at Ala Moana had over 40,000 people attending!!! The paper lanterns are decorated with the names of those loved ones that have passed away, and then those wishes are floated out to sea.
Years ago, some of you might remember, they used to do this same ceremony in August down the Ala Wai canal. We went every year and watched the lanterns being towed behind outrigger canoes, drums beating, and people singing. I loved that because we could just walk over and sit and watch. For the last ten years they've had it down at Ala Moana...just too many people. It really is something to see.
***please note: all of the lanterns are collected and used again the folowing lanterns ending up on some distant beach.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Here in Hawaii, there is a tradition of placing lei on all the graves at Punchbowl National Cemetary. A call is put out for lei to be made and dropped off. They really don't care about the type of flowers, only that they're real, a certain length and tied. This year I made a few strands from our crown flower tree.
Boy Scouts from around the island then spend all day placing the lei on all the graves. This is one way to show our love for all those who have honored our country by their service and protecting all of our freedoms.
Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 22, 2009


Naupaka plant, Waialua Elementary School
I've loved this story since the very first time I ever heard it while walking along the breakwater in front of the Halekulani, Waikiki, looking at the beach Naupaka.

In ancient times there was a beautiful Hawaiian princess known as Naupaka. One day, the villagers noticed that Naupaka looked very sad. They told her parents, who approached Naupaka and asked her what was troubling her."I have fallen in love with a man named Kaui," replied the princess. "But Kaui is not of noble birth—he is a commoner." According to Hawaiian tradition, it was strictly forbidden for members of royalty to marry people from the common ranks. Distressed, Naupaka and Kaui traveled long and far, seeking a solution to their dilemma. They climbed up a mountain to see a kahuna who was staying at a heiau. He had no clear answer for the young lovers. "There is nothing I can do," he told them, "but you should pray. Pray at this heiau."So they did. And as they prayed, rain began to fall. Their hearts torn by sorrow, Naupaka and Kaui embraced for a final time. Then Naupaka took a flower from her ear and tore it in half, giving one half to Kaui. "The gods won’t allow us to be together," she said. "You go live down by the water, while I will stay up here in the mountains."As the two lovers separated, the naupaka plants that grew nearby saw how sad they were. The very next day, they began to bloom in only half flowers. Lovers that are separated forever, one banished to the mountains, the other to the beach.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Buddhist Funeral

Last week I attended a Buddhist funeral for a friends grandmother. Very, very interesting. Lots of chanting, bells and incense.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Change of Command

Yesterday we attended a Change of Command Ceremony for our very "first" neighbor here, Lt. Charlotte Mundy, US Coast Guard. Charlotte has been gone from Hawaii for over two years, serving in San Diego and then in the Arabian Gulf. Her mother, Karen, has been living in her house for the past 18 months. Charlotte will be stationed in Hilo once the ship is out of dry dock. The ceremony was held at the Coast Guard base on Sand Island. It was really very nice. Since the commanding officer that Charlotte is replacing is from Hawaii, the reception afterwards was all "local" food.

Lt. Charlotte Mundy
I was afraid to hug her, might get her dirty!

Lt. Chong saying good-bye to his crew and Charlotte greeting them

The whole crew

Big Mahalo for inviting us.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Only In Hawaii, vol VIII

the views from the beach park restrooms are to die for
once a month they ALWAYS check the sunami warning system

anywhere else these would be called "roach coaches", but here they're lunch wagons that are always busy

we have THE BUS, but also THE BOAT, which runs from Barbers Point to Aloha Tower a couple times a day both ways

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oh, I've missed you...

After a long winter and spring of big surf, lots of "heavy" water, no beach and rain, I finally went to my favorite beach, Chun's.

The beach is wide, the tide was really low, the water was just right and clear,

the sun was out, really nobody there, except for quite a few turtles.

I'm so glad that my beach is back! It felt great!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Waialua Mother's Day

Tonight was the ward Mother's Day dinner put on by the men. They used the theme "You Are My Sunshine" for the decorations, etc. All of the men were supposed to bring or cook the food. Hubby got a cake from Costco as did a lot of the other food items..."dinner a la Costco". It was really yummy.They even performed a hula wth the motions to the song "You Are My Sunshine". They really did a great job, even had to sing AND dance!.
My favorite was the Samoan dessert, panipopo (coconut bread)...can tell you how really, really good it is! Pretty much heaven. That and the squid luau, baked taro, and Samoan chop suey!

So good!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring+no trades= VOG

The lack of our usual trade winds has brought back the vog. When the trades drop or leave, and the winds change to Kona Winds, it brings all the vog up this way. The vog is caused by the volcano on the Big Island.
It feels way hotter than it is because there isn't any wind to cool things off. We're so used to the trades acting like air conditioners. When the vog comes, the air is very, very still and HOT!

We were coming from Wahiawa last night and I snapped these pics during sunset. You can't even see the ocean because of the haze! YUCK! It looks sort of like LA, but without the yellow/brown color to it. They actually tell people with breathing problems to stay inside when it's so bad.

We need our trades back or a little rain to clear out the air. Maybe somebody could also turn off the Kilauea eruption for a bit.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day Is Lei Day In Hawaii

Today is May Day, which in Hawaii it means Lei Day. Went into town to Kapiolani Park to look at all the leis, got to see the May Day Queen dance hula and met a little lady who had entered a lei for the very first time using orchids and ti she grew in her garden. That's what it's all about. Amazing what they're doing with flowers to make into lei. It was really fun, can't wait until next year.
Wear and lei, give a lei
~Happy May Day~