I have the best job in the world: connecting cultures. And together with our partners at the UHH Conference Center we have the resources to deliver an amazing array of authentic Hawaiian “educational adventures” to our guests.
Well, we just wrapped up a beautiful, inspirational program and are basking in the warm afterglow of success. We’ll cruise through the next couple days totally full of ourselves–then on Monday get to the humbling task of reflecting on ways to improve. But what a great way to kick off the holiday weekend!
This gig was a blast. We hosted a group of 24 lovely hula instructors from Japan. Our guests made the trek all the way to Hilo to study traditional “Hilo-style” Kahiko. Special thanks to Kumu Hula Kiwala’o, the staff at UHH and Samurai Wife for all their hard work. Our guests went home smiling, vowing to return next year. We will continue to nurture this relationship so we can (hopefully) keep them coming back every year.
To keep things pono with our community and promote sustainability, we partnered with quality local vendors and service providers including:
UHH Conference Center
Kumu Hula Kiwala’o and her assistant
A band (a big mahalo to Chino, Kahele and Darren of Island Notes)
Four hip-hop dancers
A hotel in Hilo
Restaurants in Hilo
Transportation services (the bus driver thought he died and went to heaven )
A catering service
Local craftsmen (ipu heke and hala)
Our guests inspired us. They were sensitive, respectful, and relentless in their efforts to learn the proper chants, steps and protocol required to dance at hula pa. Their training culminated in a dance performance and offering to Pele at the crater’s edge. For those of you with mystical leanings, it’s worth noting that an earthquake occurred right around the time of their offering. Coincidence? I’ll let you be the judge.
And of course we threw a big bash at our house afterwards to celebrate our guests’ hard work and dedication. We hired a great band and our hula dancer guests performed for us. To spice up the party even more, we hired a local b-boy group to perform.
Pictures tell the story better than words. I’ll add more after we consolidate and organize all our photos, but this will get us started. Enjoy!
Copyright © Tim Sullivan 2009
All pictures and written material are the intellectual property of Tim Sullivan