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August 2008

Pacific Northwest News

Pacific Islander Community Served Througout Washington by Human Services Organization KWA

Korean Women's Association staff communicates in 25 languages

From Korean Women's Association

In 1972, a small group of women came together in Tacoma, Washington to address the needs of Korean wives of American servicemen. At that time, many Korean wives of American servicemen needed a Korean-oriented support group to help them feel at home, with women who spoke their language, enjoyed their foods, shared the same culture and customs, and who could assist them in adapting to the American way of living.

Thirty–six years later Korean Women’s Association (KWA) has grown to serve people from 31 countries of the world in nine counties and ten offices across the state of Washington. In the early 1980s the Korean Women's Association began to expand its services to meet the needs of Asian Pacific Islander immigrants and refugees, especially those with language and cultural barriers. In the late 1980s the KWA reached out to the general public to assist the poor, elders, low-income families, disabled individuals, immigrants, refugees and persons whose English is limited or nonexistent.

Many minorities face barriers of racism, language, poverty and vulnerability, and struggle with a limited understanding of and access to available services. KWA provides a helping hand, protection, and a pathway to inclusion and full participation in community life. Specific programs have been developed for various communities such as the Samoan and Filipino Meal Sites held weekly where seniors can gather for good food, good company, and good entertainment.

Information about the Korean Women's Association can be obtained online at www.kwaoutreach.org or call (253) 535-4202.

~from Korean Women’s Association


KWA at the Ethnic Festival in Tacoma, WA. This is their 22nd year at the festival!
Photos from KWA


WHAT? Makaha Sons in Kennewick, WA?

By Kimo Ahia

YES! A dream came true for Hawaiian music lovers in the central Columbia Basin on Monday night, June 23, as The Makaha Sons seranaded an audience with nahenahe Hawaiian music for the soul.

Up to now the die-hard Hawaiian music lovers from our area made do with long treks to Seattle, Portland, and even Bend, OR to fill our souls and quench the never ending thirst for Island music. Suddenly an e-mail arrived from Sharlene Oshiro on April 29 th if there was a possibility for a performance in Walla Walla or Tri-Cities was possible. The last minute cancellation from Corvallis, OR provided the opening. Super fan Ed Horie grabbed the challenge and charged. Some of the hui were away or had trips taking them out of the area but in the true “Hiki no” spirit, the concert was a go.

The coconut wireless hummed as word went out. No time to arrange for public service announcements so only a small writeup was done for the weekend entertainment section. Others such as Auntie Onie Rendall with her Hula Halau Kamakahiwaokalani started practicing as the opening group. While searching for a venue, Ed mentioned the need to Denise Haug, a fellow worker at Columbia Basin College. Quicker than swift, Denise’s husband, pastor Mel Haug of the Living Room Community Church donated the use of their sanctuary for the show. The Haugs love of Hawaii allowed Ke Akua to show the way. Ed Horie put out a beautiful web bulletin so others could print and post in their areas. From Selah in the north to Walla Walla in the south the word spread.

At last it was truly real! The mature women of Halau Kamakahiwaokalani opened with a traditional oli and the show was on. With the Hoaloha Mele trio of Steve Tayamen on guitar, Girard Kim with ukulele, and smiling Ed Horie on bass backing the voices of Auntie Onie and Kalena Horie, folks sat back, opened their hearts, minds, ears, eyes and souls to the call of Hawaii Nei. The women of the halau were outstanding as the audience cheered

Then came the biggie, The Makaha Sons in the flesh as Louis “Moon” Kauakahi along with Jerome “Boogie” Koko and John “Keoni” Koko took the stage, opening with “Hawaiian Lullaby” to the beautiful dancing of Kealo Koko. All of us were transported back to Hawaii in spirit while the music and hula carried us on. We all wished it could go on and on through the night.

Center: In Kennewick, Washington, The Makaha Sons with Jerome's daughter Kealo. Counter-clockwise from top left: Master of Ceremonies Ricky Chang, the Sons signing autographs and cutting up with Nora and Raina at the after-concert pa`ina, Sid Suenishi with "Moon", Karen Suenishi and Keoni, Kalena and Ed Horie, and Auntie Onie Rendall. To see more photos, go to http://allthingshawaiian.com/makahiwa/makahasonsinkennewick.html

When John Koko asked how many had never seen or heard of the group, quite a few hands went up…talk about new converts to our music! For sure the local hui will have to do some early planning for next year!

Of course, with Ricky Chang handling the M/C duties things, went smoothly along including getting the Sons back for a hana hou rendition of “I’ll Remember You”. Truly a “chicken skin” night for us.

Ending the night with a pot-luck pa’ina, the locals made sure The Makaha Sons will never forget this area and will help spread the word to other groups about the down home hospitality.


Summer Happenings in the Northwest!

Kaleinani Kukui Foundation Hula Workshop

At Kaleinani Kukui Foundation Hula Workshop in Vancouver, students in the Haku Mele class wrote poetry for a song (above) which Kumu Manu Boyd and Kumu Leina`ala Heine put music to (below). Manu sang it for the crowd at Ho`ike and "it brought tears of joy to my eyes," said Max Pomerinke.
Photos by Max Pomerinke


Strongman Competition

Grant Higa of Honolulu, who now lives in Washington, once again wows the crowd with 13 repetitions in the Car Squat event at the Strongman Competition in St. Albert, Quebec, Canada.
He placed 7th overall out of 13 competitors and was voted Fan Favorite due to "participation with the crowd and for not giving up. Way cool!" reports Grant.

At Aloha o Nā Kupuna Festival in Burien, WA.

Pacific Warning

Halau Hula `O Na Lei Kukui `O Moloka`i
Photos by Momi

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