TOTALLY AWESOME......... Congrats to Deva Yamashiro and her Kaleinani O Kukui Foundation for still another outstanding “Workshop & Ho`ike” event, this one spanning the mighty Columbia River with workshops conducted the first two days at the Embassy Suites Inn in Portland, OR and the Ho`ike held in the Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA. Led once again by Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero, Manu Boyd, Vicky Takamine Holt, Leinaala Heine and Leialoha Amina, the three day event involved haumana (students, ranging in level of Hula expertise from beginners to advanced) learning olelo, oli, mele and hula during the first two days and then performing their newly learned songs and dances to the thousands at the Ho`ikein thePark on the third day. While the music and dances were awesome, my trophy for the most outstanding achievement at the Ho`ike has to go to Ulu and David Yamashiro and their Shave Ice stand......When hundreds of people stand in line for over two hours to get one of your Hawaiian style Shave Ice, you deserve a trophy! Tons of Hawaiians were there including a guy in a wheel chair wearing a baseball cap with “Waianae” stenciled on top....I had mentioned him in a Holoholo column a few years ago but had never met him so it was such a privilege to finally meet Richard Silva! Also in the crowd: Wally Au (Lana`i guy) who drove over from Ellensburg, WA with his family....and Randy Chang (dis guy is one awesome guitarplayer) and his lovely wife Janie who were both working soooo hard at their Hula Boy food stand......and of course, the Pacific NW Malasadas King (self-proclaimed), Dale “Bully” Magasayo, was there selling his ono malasadas and kulolo! Kawika Kahoilua was there with his Bamboo Hawaiian Grill folks selling their great food. Kathy and I had stopped in at Kawika’s Bamboo Hawaiian Grill the evening before to check out the food and entertainment and business there was booming.....we had to stand in line for a while but the wait was worth it ‘cause the food was lots/ono and Frances Doo and his Hawaiian Charm dancers put on a great show!
EVEN MORE AWESOME .....There are times when the very best of words just cannot adequately describe the full emotions (the feelings of joy or sadness) or the sheer beauty of a very special happening...Sunday, August 17, 2008 was one of those times! There was a wedding but it was unlike any other wedding! This wedding, with over a hundred friends and family in attendance, was conducted in the cafeteria of Stevens Hospital in Edmonds, WA and the bride “strolled” down the aisle in a wheelchair! The bride, beautiful Kanani Baker, daughter of Blanche and Jack Baker, had originally planned to marry Ka`imi Odaka on August 30, 2008. However, in early August Kanani was diagnosed with Leukemia. Shortly thereafter, Kanani had to have her appendix removed.
Initially, Kanani and Ka`imi considered moving their wedding date back to later in the year but, as only two people very much in love can do, they decided that they wanted to share immediately and totally whatever challenges life has for them! They decided to become one in name, spirit and soul and to marry on August 17th, before Kanani had to begin intensive chemotherapy treatment! As might be expected, the atmosphere around the wedding was emotionally supercharged with love and tears flowing freely. The entire service was beautiful beyond description! The days and months ahead will be difficult for Kanani and Ka`imi but I want to believe that their love for each other and their faith in Akua, combined with prayers from all of us and the improved effectiveness of modern day medical procedures will reduce, if not eliminate, the obstacles they now face! Me ke Aloha pumehana Kanani and Ka`imi Odaka!
Get involved!!!! Go support the Punahou HS volleyball (September 5 at Eastlake HS) and football (September 6 at Seahawk Stadium/Qwest Field) teams then for sure come join us at our first ever “Live Aloha....A Hawaiian Cultural Festival” at the Seattle Centerfrom 11 a.m.-7 p.m. onSunday September 7, 2008. The 1st Annual Ka Ipu OKa Ike Workshop hosted by Kumu Hula Rich Pedrina will be held in Portland, OR September 12th -14th(503-781-5138)! Come down and help Gail Stringer celebrate theHawaii General Store’s (HGS)10th anniversary on September 13th. Braddah Gomes will broadcast his 8 a.m. Hawaii Radio Connection show from HGS then Iwalani, Bernie and I will play music until Kekoa Kaluhiwa, his Holunape group and Hoku award winners Maunalua show up around noon (Holunape and Maunalua have a concert in Tacoma that evening)! ! The Old Soldiers of HawaiiReunion is in Tacoma, WA September 25-27! Cecilio & Kapono are at EQC on September 27! Just around the corner: the Blue Bridge Bash and the SilverdaleHotel’s Ohana Night and da Daddy of dem all, the Lokahi Ohana Fall Ho`olaulea are all scheduled for October 4, 2008!
Gotta go, gotta go hele on........a hui hou e malama pono..................Danny
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