Friday, February 15, 2013

Oahu: Day 2

Friday.  In the morning you lay awake in bed, feeling the wind come up from the sea.  It ruffles the leaves of the banana plant in the back yard, making a sound like rain, and filters through the glass slats of the jalousie windows.  The smell of something wonderful -- warm and spicy -- issues from the kitchen.

The "something wonderful" turned out to be stuffed roti, homemade by a sister in the ward.  Think breakfast burrito, Indian style -- curried meat and potatoes folded into a roti sandwich.  It was divine.

After breakfast, Captain Midnight and I walked over to the La'ie Temple, which is literally just next door to Brian & Caryn's place.

See?  It has a very Frank Lloyd Wright-esque quality about it, which isn't all that surprising when you consider that it was built in the 1910s, during Wright's heyday.  It's one of a very few LDS temples with no tower or spire of any kind.

We wandered around the grounds, went into the visitors' center, talked to the sister missionaries and eventually met up with CM's mom.  From there we walked down to Temple Beach...

...which looks like this.  With a rocky island way off in the distance.

Then we had to hotfoot it back to the house... for Friday was PCC Day.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is also owned and run by the Church, primarily to give BYU Hawaii students a work venue so they can pay for their college tuition.  It's been described as "Polynesian Disneyland," which isn't too far off the mark.  Since Brian works at BYU Hawaii he was able to get us tickets at a significant discount (thanks, Brian!).

So we wandered around and tried fresh poi (which isn't bad, actually -- aged poi, though, is The Nasty), learned about the history of hula and of Tahitian dance, bought some trinkets in the old La'ie mission home on the premises...

 ...and learned how to do a little weaving.

Behold our fishies!  We has mad weaving skillz!

Around mid-afternoon there was a water parade where dancers from different islands performed on floating boats.

Just to give you a little taste, here's a snippet of the performance from the Tongan contingent.

There were dancers representing Hawaii...

...the aforementioned Tonga...




...and Aotearoa (aka New Zealand).  The New Zealanders did a pretty impressive haka.

Then the Hawaiian royalty showed up.  In the old days, true red and bright yellow were difficult colors to make from natural dyes, so the Hawaiian monarchs hired birdcatchers whose job it was to catch red and yellow birds, harvest a few bright feathers from each one and release them, until there were enough feathers to cover a cape or cloak.  The things we do for beauty.

Speaking of beauty, Miss V decided to stop by the Aotearoa enclave and get herself a temporary tattoo.

This also got the Miss V seal of approval.  (Though I think her favorite thing in the park was watching a particularly attractive Samoan guy shinny up a coconut tree.  Talofa lava!)

We took a break from the PCC to go home for dinner, but later that evening we returned to watch the night show, Hā: Breath of Life.  The storyline was a little disjointed, but the dances and staging were amazing.

After much dithering, Miss V bought a harvest-your-own-pearl set, and when we got home from the PCC show she and Miss E opened it up.  Miss V dissected an oyster for its pearl and wore it proudly on a chain around her neck.

Saturday: circling the stadium and the island.

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