1. A Favorite Memory
Something we do almost every year, which happens to be one of my absolute favorite traditions, is particularly spectacular. We gather up as much of the family as we can coerce into the evening and drive all the way into Lahaina to see my very favorite live show, 'Ulalena. Performed at the Maui Myth and Magic Theater, it's a beautiful hour and a half of hula and Hawaiian music that tells the traditional history of the Hawaiian Islands- how the islands and the people came to be, the prosperity of the islands under the ali'i (royalty) and the Hawaiian gods, the eventual destruction of the ancient ways by the intrusion of the Caucasians and the rebirth of the culture with the healing 'Ulalena rain that only falls on Maui (man, I should write the ads for this show! haha). I can't explain it in any other word than spectacular. When I was a kid, I used to daydream (and nightdream, too!) about being one of the dancers in that show. Even now, I'm so fascinated by it that if I lived on Maui and had the opportunity, nothing would stop me from doing everything I could to be part of that cast! Speaking of the cast, there are two original cast members that were there when the show started (I think it was 11 years ago?) that faithfully remember us every year! The dance captain, Kipe, plays the part of Kamapua'a, the pig god, and Anthony Natividad is one of the fabulous musicians who specializes in the nose flutes, which are extraordinarily beautiful. He's played them for me personally quite a few times now, and I have his cd, but this year he actually let me play them myself! I played the song 'Ulalena on the flutes as the real song was playing on the speakers in the lobby of the theater!. It was an absolutely magical feeling! Even though I don't believe in the Hawaiian deities, the story about how Maui pulled the islands from the sea with his fishing hook, and all the other tales about the gods and their love (and sometimes anger) for the islands and their people are magical nonetheless.
Since we go to the show so often and so many of the cast members remember us, we go to talk to them while they're in the lobby meet-and-greeting after the show. My sister and I were chatting with Newe, who is in one of the pictures below, and he took us backstage for this special VIP demo the cast does after! This has happened before- usually Anthony takes us back there- but it was so nice of Newe! He didn't actually remember us until we explained who we were, but he was still so sweet. It's so funny to contrast him and his character- in the show his character is really mean and kills one of the ali'i! Here's some pictures with the cast.
|That's Kipe! He plays Kamapua'a, the pig god. And Pele, the lava goddess.|
|My sister and I with (from L-R) Manu, Kawai, and Newe!|
|Two of the dancers (green and purple dresses) and two of the aerialists. Amazing!|
|Me playing the nose flutes with Anthony!|
|The incomparable Anthony Natividad|
After the show, we usually go to dinner at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. (like in Forrest Gump!), which is on Front Street in Lahaina and literally sits over the ocean, but this year we went to Outback Steakhouse. It was an amazing night!
2. A Lesson I've Learned
This is a lesson that's quite less profound than the others I've written about so far, but equally as honest. Driving in Maui is significantly different than driving in Arizona- hardly any of the roads in Maui are straight, they all curve- honest to blog- and most of them are set on some sort of incline. So, of course, it's rather more difficult to drive there than in Mesa, and the thing I learned this summer, rather unfortunately, I might add, is this: PEOPLE DO NOT ALWAYS TURN WHEN THEIR SIGNALS ARE ON, AND THEY DO NOT ALWAYS HONOR THE SPEED LIMIT. OR LANE SEPARATIONS. That is all :).
3. A Wonderful Relative
My little sister Kami, who is a sophomore in high school as I am a sophomore in college, is an extremely complicated person. Even at the beginning of the summer, I couldn't be in the same room with her without wanting to stab myself in the eye with a fork. However, I took control of the "you make or break your relationships/situations" lesson that I talked about yesterday, and I have found that I immensely enjoy being friends with my baby sister. She is funny and silly, and I can beat her up as much as I want to and I know she'll still love me. Granted, I know she'll get me back twice as good later, but that's all part of the fun! We play Punch Bug No Mercy Punches until my Granny goes batty, and we have long conversations about boys and parents and friends and life. She never lets me forget how weird I am, and she always reminds me how much fun we have together by...well... having fun with me! Everyone says you get along with your siblings better as you get older, and I never believed a single one of them until this summer when my sister and I- dare I say it!- started getting along :). She keeps me honest and she keeps my ego in check, and I love the fact that we will always be there for each other.
4. A Realization
This one is almost an echo of what I just wrote. This summer, I realized that my baby sister is actually one of my closest friends :). The end.