Today we got to do something we have been excited about for some time now: helping at the hula kahiko (old style hula) performance up at Volcano Park. After the last performance in February, we talked with Marcia Hee, the woman who coordinates the whole thing and asked if we could help since it's one of our favorite parts of living here. She was delighted, and we were even more delighted that she actually called! So we got up early today in preparation for this event. What fun!
Well, it was soooooooooooooo voggy that we weren't sure we'd even be able to get out of the car. In fact, I stayed in the car while Mike tried to find out if the performance was even going to happen at all. He came back needing a Benadryl duw to his allergic reaction to the sulphur in the air. Oh dear, what were we getting ourselves into?
But the wind shifted just a bit, just enough to allow us workers to get everything set up inside the Kilauea Visitor's Center instead of outside on the hula platform. Not the same as those wonderful outdoor performances, I know, but better seating anyway, though a limited amount of it.
Mike & I were put in charge of the signs, all needing to be redone a bit and put in different than usual spots, due to the change in venue. Then he stayed outside to redirect foot traffic (the Benadryl worked wonders), and I went inside to help people figure it out from there. Also helped an older Japanese couple who had questions about the park and had a hard time making themselves understood - no problemo for me though - I'm pretty good with all these wonderful accents we hear on the islands.
As the auditorium filled up, I had the not-so-fun job of guarding the door and telling people they had to wait to see if there would be room for them inside. Most of them were nice about it, and in the end, we managed to get everybody in, many standing along the sides & in the back. Then the performance started. I stayed in the doorway to help stragglers find a place or wait for a place. Mike came in for a bit, then left to chat with a friend. It was very hot & stuffy indoors with so many people all packed in together; we reopened the doors and waves of heat poured out. Maybe the a/c wasn't working?
I managed to see glimpses of the performance and 2 entire dances, helped keep the doorway cleared for the keiki (children) dancers to come & go, each one so adorable.
At then as people were leaving, I gathered the little survey forms - only about 18-20 were turned in out of about 300 people. Mike & Wes (the friend) had already taken down most of the signs so that was easy.
Next, we both were recruited to help pass out drinks & snacks for the dancers & kumus (teachers) & drivers. I was busy pouring and refilling cups with pineapple-gingerale punch; there were boiled sweetpotatoes to munch on, peanut-butter brownies, & cookies - all much appreciated by the young dancers after their hour-long performance. They were all so sweet. We got to talk story with one of the driver-dads, and we even got hugs from several of the girls.
Marcia, the coordinator, was very enthusiastic about our help and happy that we wanted to do it again next time. She gave us each a ti lei and many hugs. Said she kept coming across our card (that we gave her last month) and so remembered us and remembered that she really liked our energy. Of course, that made us feel good!
After all that, we had lunch at the Volcano House. They have a wondeful buffet room overlooking the Kilauea Crater, today filled with fumes. Huge gusts of wind rattled the windows as rain clouds got lost in the crater - all very dramatic and exciting!
Now we are glad to be back home where the air is clear and warm, very windy though. Opened up the house to air it out, and just hanging out for the rest of the afternoon, taking a little R&R time for ourselves.
Hoping you are each enjoying your weekend, too! :-)