Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Merrie Monarch Day Two...Rain and a First Look...

Day Two brought a lot of rain to Hilo.
I woke up to the sounds of rain on the pool deck and actually went back to sleep.
The craft fair really didn't have anything that I just "couldn't live without"

that night was the first time we got to see the Kane...
and they were exciting as ever on kahiko night.

it was also the first that we got to see Pua's halau hula lani ola

the girls did great!
I loved their kahiko.

Day two was a day of first in so many ways...
on to day 3!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Merrie Monarch~A Different Year...

this year's Merrie Monarch for me was different in so many ways...
the biggest difference was the hotel.  In January, DeeDee got a call from our
other hotel (that they'd been staying in for probably 20 years) that all rooms were cancelled!
Luckly Dee Dee got us rooms at another hotel, thank goodness.  One bad thing was that
it was double the price!  So I decided not to get a car and fly into Kona to visit my friends.
A few weeks ago I tried to get a car, but there were none to be found, oh well...
I'd forgotten how pretty and mystical it is to fly into Hilo.
The first thing that you see is the volcano above the clouds,

then dropping below the clouds to see the Hamakua coast, is something else.  

My hula sister, Anne now lives in Hilo so she came to pick me up at the airport and
we went to lunch at
Hawaiian Style Cafe...
we should have shared this sandwich (I had the other half for dinner)

Hawaiian Airlines was running the free shuttle again, so that was great
Day 1 is the Miss Aloha Hula and the crowds are crazy.
Glad our seats are in the same place.

I didn't take my good camera this year because there had been a lot of 
publicity about "... only professional photographers would be allowed to use cameras with
lenses.  Without a permit your camera would be taken away..."
I didn't want to chance it, so I became one of those people that I said I never would...
taking pictures with an i pad!

Oh well.

so the first long night ended with a new Miss Aloha Hula being chosen
and she was beautiful.
(Merrie Monarch photo)

Day 1 is over and onto Day 2...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day of Service...

Saturday was the day of service for Mormon Helping Hands...

even when I was in Hilo I saw a group working down by the water and
there was an article in the newspaper about the group working early to
get the Civic spruced up before the craft fairs for Merrie Monarch.

our ward did a clean up at Kaiaka Beach Park

I love the rainbow in the background.
(Mormon Helping Hands-Hawaii photos)

there were 96 service projects going on all over the state of Hawaii...
painting at a hospital, cleaning up schools, painting fences and cleaning a Chinese

We should be doing service on a regular basis, but having 1 day across the
whole world makes a huge difference.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Merrie Monarch Begins...

Day 1 of Merrie Monarch is over. It ended with the crowning of a new 
Miss Aloha Hula.

I forget from year-to-year what a really long, late night it is.
I also forget how really hard the seating is.
But in the long run it's well worth it.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm Off...

I'm off this morning for Hilo Town
and plenty hula.

it's long, the seats are horrible, its crowded but...
it's the smell of the flowers, it's the pageantry, it's the love of hula.

I'm so fortunate that I'm able to go for 11 years,
I love those that make it possible and I appreciate it.

I'm excited to get caught up in the whole "Merrie Monarch Fever" that takes over Hilo Town.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Music, Friends and Hula...

Saturday evening we met friends out at Aulani to listen to Tony C.
This was the first time that hubby was able to go, so that was especially nice.
Tony said some very nice things about Aunty Lei that were touching.

the gang

an added bonus was that Pua, family and her cousins were also coming
out.  Tony had the girls come up and dance.
This was such a treat because I've known them since they were toddlers.
They've grown in such beautiful young women and are beautiful dancers.

Dee Dee and Tanna with  one of the twins

they all danced  "Pua Carnation" one of my very favorite songs.
Pua can still take my breath away when I watch her dance.

not only was it great music but also nice to spend
some time just talking before the craziness of Merrie Monarch.
Pua and her halau have been invited to compete this year, so they were all leaving for 
Hilo the next evening.  

Hula is Life...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hula Sisters...

I have five hula sisters here.  We've danced side-by-side since I moved here.
I love them.
Mitzi, who I stand next to, and always with a smile on her face no matter how hard it is.
Leialoha, who has danced with Ms. Alama since she was a very little girl.
Elsie, sweet, kind Elsie, at 93 years young actually will practice.
Nancy, with her daughters, have taken hula from Ms. Alama the longest and been at every studio.
Every week we climb those 31 stairs and sometimes would rather sit and talk story
than dance...but we end up dancing.

Last Saturday Elsie wanted to go out to lunch, her choice.  So we ended up
at Burger King.  They make me laugh because they've got it wired...junior whopper
with extra lettuce and tomatoes (because Burger King doesn't charge for extras).
We sat and enjoyed just talking and in comes Ms. Alama and Makaleka to 
also have lunch.  She was telling us how much she liked Burger King for
all those same reasons as "her girls".

Hula Sisters are as close as real sisters but we're bound together not by blood,
but by the love of hula.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lots Going On Here In Hawaii Nei...

the last few days have been so busy with lots of happenings here.

First off...
Michele Wie won her first tournament here at home.
Not that we're golfers, but we've followed her story...
nice that this happened here.

local boy Bruno Mars started his concert tour here at home to three sold-out
Just four years ago no one really knew him and now...
would't have minded going to see that.
 the 51st Merrie Monarch Hula week has started.
Halau are starting to practice on the stage
I leave on Thursday for Hilo.

then there was Easter and all the fun yummy food that comes with that...

been a busy last few weeks and another coming up.
I'm tired thinking about it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Computer Programming...

the other day we had 3 young men from Kapolei High School's computer club
come into A9 and explain basic computer programming to the class.
They had a very unique way of explaining how to get the one boy with the 
cups (the computer) to move certain directions to accomplish a task (stacking the cups).

the kids really got into it and picked it up really fast and enjoyed it.
I had to laugh when the older boys were looking around our classroom and saw
an old IMac computer..."wow this is ancient!".

It's fun to see young students get so excited and understand
todays technology.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Final Aloha Aunty Lei...

last nights service for Aunty Lei was so wonderful and just like her...
prayerful, musical,  a love of hula, love of family and some laughing.

the viewing line went on for over 2 hours...

the floral wreaths were breathtaking
(and full of Aunty Lei's signature, flower)

I loved these photographs from when she was very young.
There were friends that we hadn't seen for years that I'd forgotten 
had been some of her very first students when they were little girls and now
they're great-grandmothers.

There was a song played that had been written for her when she 
was Miss Aloha Week Queen in 1959 that was so fitting now as I'm sure it was then.

Here in Hawaii, after a funeral, there is always food.  It's pretty much always the same;
sushi, noodles, chicken, mac salad, beef or pork, a veggie and mochi.  It's the
perfect time for friends, and family to reminisce and talk story.  It's a happy time,
and last night wasn't any different.  I overheard so many wonderful stories
of Aunty Lei and the love that people had for her.
It was perfect...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Manapua Man...

love this video about "the manapua man" that comes to neighborhoods
to sell manapua.  Now he sells other things, but it used to only be manapua, 
pork hash, rice cake and half moons.

I remember a version of the manapua man in you remember Lee?
I've heard stories about the manapua man in Waialua.
Such a "Hawaii thing".
Wish he was still around and didn't have to go to 7/11 if you had a craving for manapua...
(I have to admit though, their lup chong manapua is pretty good).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Red Moon...

last night was such a rare occurrence, we had to stay up...
a lunar eclipse (The Tetrad) has only happened 3 times in over 
500 years! It will happen 3 more times before the end of 

We laid in bed and watched it rise.
I wanted to wait until it got high enough to try and take some photos

finally at almost 10:30 we stepped outside onto the front lanai and could watch it
over the mango tree.
It was so pretty!  Especially as the trade winds blew clouds in front of it
every so often.

I do think that in October, I'll take the time to set up my tripod to
get a little clearer photo.
Still such a wonder.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Japanese Bread...

about a year ago we started seeing a different bread at Foodland.
Japanese style white bread.
Then I had a turkey sandwich made on this bread and fell in love.
It's not an "air bread" like Wonder or cheaper brands.  It's not
a sturdy-type of bread like a artisan.  It's just the perfect sandwich bread.
In Japan it's called "shokupan".  Which means milk bread or eat bread.

it's a square piece of bread, which I think is why it's the perfect
sandwich bread.
When I had my Downton Abbey party, this was the bread I used for 
the tea sandwiches.  It's very easy to cut off the crusts and then you
still have a perfect square.

There are only 15 slices to a loaf, which is perfect for us.  We don't eat a lot
of sandwiches or toast. Hubby loves having a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich on this bread.
 I keep in in the refrigerator because of the humidity here,
and it still comes out perfectly.

It does come in a wheat, but the white is our very favorite.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Only In Hawaii...

students are not required to wear closed-toe shoes.
They still go to recess, play all the games and they do it in slippers!
Amazing that all the years I've been at Waialua you really don't see
any accidents or injuries.  Seems like the biggest problem sometimes
are that the slippers are broken.

The rarity are the leather slippers, most kids just wear rubber ones.
When the ground is muddy and they have recess, they do leave their
slippers outside so the floors don't get dirty.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Before There Was Dukes...

there was a green "Astro Turf" lanai where the luau was held several nights
a week.  There wasn't any lower lanai at that time.

on the Ewa end was the Blue Dolphin 

the Diamond Head end had Perry's Smorgy buffet
(couldn't find any photos of that)

downstairs, below the pool was Davy Jones locker
with a window into the pool and Pac Man games for 25cents
kids spent hours down there playing those games.

I'll take the memories from those times, not so sure I'd take the food now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Beach Boys...

Saw this story on the news about changing how the beach boys
are tested and run in Waikiki.

I know that over the years, there are more and more water
activities that are taking place on the beaches and in the waters of
Hawaii.  Now a lot of them aren't sanctioned and the instructors
aren't trained.

In Waikiki, the beach boys are the ones that keep an eye on the beach
and are usually the first ones on the scene if something should happen.
To be a surf instructor or canoe captain, they have to past test and
show that they know CPR and life-saving skills.

This article makes it sound like it's a way to make money
for the DLNR by charing another fee and turning this over to
another outside business.  The beach boys have their own
organization that has kept watch over their group and what goes on.

I hope that this just isn't another way that someone thinks they
can make a "quick buck" but by doing so they take away more of the 
spirit that's Waikiki and the beach boy tradition.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Enough Already...

the last couple of days have been cold!
It's the wind that's making it feel colder than what the
weather app on my phone says.

We were watching the news last night and the weather girl
was talking about how cold it was feeling.

We've brought out our extra blanket.  Turned off the ceiling fans.
Wearing long sleeves.  Kept the classroom windows closed. 
Wearing a jacket or sweater and making soup.

I really believe that thing about when you live in the tropics and
your blood thins out... when it's like this it just feels colder!

We really do having changing seasons here in Hawaii, cold ad hot.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Aloha Aunty Lei...

 Friday, my friend, Aunty Leilani Alama passed away.
I'm sad, but also happy, because I know that now she's dancing her
beloved hula without any pain or being in a bed.

 70+ years of doing a thing that you loved...
that's what teaching hula was to Aunty Lei.
Always a performer with a quick wit and a twinkle in her eyes.
She still scared us when she would come into hula during our class and threaten us
with sticks as she counted out-loud...but always with that twinkle.

last year Aunty Lei and her beloved sister, Ms. Alama were honored at 
the International Hula Conference
in Waikiki.  I still think about that day and feel so
grateful that I was invited to go.
I took 500+ pictures over two days, but my most cherished ones are 
of these two...
sisters dancing hula together.

 I was crying as Ms. Alama danced for her sister.
Not only sisters, hula kumu but best friends for their entire lives.

I've always been concerned for Ms. Alama because this was going to be a huge loss.
We did have hula on Saturday, because "that's what my sister would have wanted".
These ladies have such class and perseverance, they show us how we should mourn .

In february Aunty Lei's studio was closed (the girls now take classes in our studio).
Coming up those 31 steps and not seeing this sign, I realized the sad truth...
things were going to change.  It's one of those things that doesn't hit home
until you actually see it.  End of an era.  She had been in this same small studio
for more than 50 years!

wish this photo was better, but it actually shows Pua (Aunty Lei's beloved niece), Pua's
twin daughters, Pua and Lei and Ms. Alama dancing while Aunty Lei sings for them.
3 generations of hula all in one place.  The love.

Here is a video from the conference last year, I couldn't get it to upload. This is why I love hula so much