December 27th, 2010 Monday Honolulu and Lai'i, Ohau
We woke up this morning, ate donuts and yogurt we had bought at the store yesterday. At 10:30 a.m. we were on a charted bus. The ride to the Polynesian Cultural Center took 1 1/2 hours. In the bus we had a Samoan guide that talked about Hawaii all the way to the PCC. He told us his name was cousin Dennis and our driver was cousin Barry. Then he began calling us cousin and continued the entire trip to the PCC. He said that the three top ways of bringing money to Hawaii are: tourism, military and agriculture. He also told us that the ABC stores that we see everywhere stands for Aloha Brings Customers. He showed us places along the way where the show Gilligan's Island was filmed, and where Don Ho lived. He told us that there are are only 3 highways in Hawaii. Highway 3 took 37 years to complete and a lot of the locals think it is cursed because it is built on sacred grounds. He also told us that the ph leader Ferdinand Marcus was buried there for 4 years and then his wife Emelda took him back to the Philippines. We also saw where Karate Kid, Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis, Fifty First Dates, Lost, Fantasy Island, Jurassic Park.
He told us that there are are three secrets to survival in Hawaii. First-Ohana(family), second-Gratuities, and third-a second job.
He told us some Hawaiian words:
aloha-hello and goodbye
Then we got to the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was established in 1963. We had our own tour guide. He was from Fiji. His name was Bongo or Pogo. First he took us to a place for a buffet lunch, then we went to visit the different islands like Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii. Our Fiji guide called us cousin all day also. I think it was there way of helping us feel like we really are Ohana and helping us feel comfortable and happy to be there.
In Fiji, we went into a Kings house. I learned that the more important you are, the higher your bed is. The King always has the highest bed. Also, the King has a special door that only he can go in and out of. If anyone comes in or goes out of that door, it is considered very disrespectful and they are put to death. We also heard some musicians play while we pounded long bamboo sticks in rhythm.
In Hawaii we learned some hula dances.
In Tonga we played a bamboo stick tossing game. It made me think of when I was a youth and my mom got bamboo sticks and we played them for a dance festival or something. We also got a funny show with some Tongan drummers. They were very entertaining.
In Tahiti, we watched beautiful hula dancers.
We took a canoe ride through the park and it started raining on us. We were provided with rain coats.
In Samoa, we saw a man make fire and peel coconuts. He was very funny and entertaining. He was pretending like he was all sexy and kept doing these silly poses. He had us in stitches.
It rained on us off and on all day. It was miserable. I got overheated, wearing a raincoat, having it rain, getting soaking wet anyway and feeling ill from the 100% humidity. I started feeling nauseated close to the end of the presentations and I thought I was going to puke. I still felt horrible when it was time for our luau dinner. They roasted a pig, had poi and taro rolls which were purple. I only took one rook, some salad and some pineapple. I know the church is true at the Polynesian Cultural Center, because they served Pepsi products. I found another sea sickness patch in my purse, so I put it on and in about 30 minutes started to feel well enough to eat my food. During dinner, we were entertained with music and dancing- lots of hula dancers. They had children dancing. That was really cute! After dinner we took the trolley ride to see the Lai'i Temple and BYU Hawaii. We went into the visitors center and got to watch a short movie about the history of the church and temple coming to Hawaii. It was beautiful. I tried taking some pictures of the Temple, but it was dark and very wet and I only got a few inside the visitors center. We then went back to the PCC and went to a show called Ha-The Breath of Life. It was a beautiful program with dozens of dancers and singers in many many different beautiful costumes. Part way through the program, during intermission, we got hawaiian ice cream with local fruit in the bottom. It was yummy! We got back on the bus after the program and got back to our hotel about 11:00 p.m. What a wonderful day!