Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Polynesian Culture Center

Thursday the 11th we made our way to the North Shore and spent the day at the Polynesian Culture Center. This was the day that I learned that thick denim levi's and Hawaii don't mix. I could live in Hawaii but I would need a whole new wardrobe. Despite the heat it was great. One thing I noticed is that all the buildings and grounds that the church owns are some of the nicest on the Island. I'm not surprised I think that is true many places you go but it did stand out here in Oahu as well. You also drive through the "mountains" to get to the PCC from Waikiki and Travis and I are so use to seeing pine trees that we were really loving seeing the hills covered with green but instead of pine trees they were lush tropical trees. Very cool. Along those lines, when I was running the other day I kept seeing all this white on the ground and at first I thought it was pieces of paper or litter and then after looking more closely they were flowers that had fallen off the trees. Is this for real? So cool. Anyway, I digress, back to the PCC.
I loved learning about all of the islands and they are similar in many ways but very different also. My favorite Island that we learned about was Samoa. Did you know that in Samoa the men do all the cooking! It is a sign of respect, cooking is very hard work and they don't want their women to have to work so hard so the men do the cooking.....HI!!, how could this not be everybody's favorite Island. Travis thinks I was "in like" with the guy doing the little fire demonstration which is partly true, every old married lady needs a young twenty something to build her fire and pick coconuts for her, am I wrong? The boys also loved Samoa because the fire building guy was pretty funny and would say things like "I am so handsome" (had to be there).
These coconut trees are TALL and he shimmied up it like it was no big deal.

On the "Island of Hawaii" we were learning how to hula and little Reece just jumped right up on stage with the demonstrators and started showing everyone how to shake their hips. It was very cute!
Below is a picture taken from the "Island of New Zealand". This is a game they play called the stick game. You basically throw sticks back and forth to each other in different patterns. Warning: Do not try this at home or have your 9 and 7 year old be partners, could result in bruising, yelling and tempers flaring.
Also, in New Zealand they dance with these balls that are attached to strings and they swing them around all fancy and stuff. I guess they use to be weapons in time of war but since they are not at war they are now just soft balls used for dancing and celebration. One thing about New Zealand is they are very formal and things are done certain ways. They are also "scary" in some ways because they yell very loud and use a lot of facial expressions in their culture.

Most of the Islands use coconut leaves to make a lot of things: hats, bowls, roofs, mats, flooring, the kids are learning how to make little fish toys.

We had our own personal tour guide and her name was Park. She was very cute and took little Reece under her wing and made him her little helper. She, like many of the people that work at the PCC is attending BYU Hawaii. All the money they earn at the PCC (minus expenses) is used for scholarships for students in all the surrounding Islands to be able to come to BYU Hawaii, in exchange the students are able to work at the PCC and share their culture with all those around the world. The PCC is the most visited "attraction" in Oahu and I think all the Islands.
This was the end of the pictures for the day but we finished the day off at the PCC with a Luau dinner with traditional Hawaiian food and the Horizons night show which has all of the Islands together putting on a fabulous show for everyone. The favorites of the show for us were the fire dancers and fire walkers from the Island guessed it--Samoa! (Why no pictures you ask?? Well, mom was holding a sleeping Sadie and dad was holding a sleeping Reece)

1 comment:

Kristin said...

What an awesome vacation! But I am sure you are so jealous of me being pooped on, spit up on, peed on and getting no sleep. Beats Hawaii any day!