This is quite a surprise for us both, my love…but today I write you from the Big Island of Hawaii, channeling some juicy Aloha Spirit and sipping a cozy mug of Kona coffee.
A great dream has manifested Hawaii style: 1. I have been specifically requested for my video work from afar, and 2. my travel expenses have been gifted to me. I will be waking up to this beautiful tropical garden each morning for the next 3 weeks! Not too bad, universal forces that be…
A remarkable and passionate woman named Leilehua Yuen has asked me to direct a documentary on traditional Hawaiian culture and mythology through lei making. Leilehua is a storyteller, cultural ambassador, musician, writer, biker, go-getter, and all around groovy lady.
On one of our first shoots we awoke at 3:30 A.M. and drove an hour inland to a special lookout. I filmed the peaceful sunrise over Mauna Kea while I stood at 7,000 ft above sea level. Getting to the location included a short hike in surprisingly chilly Hawaiian weather, but we found the perfect spot to see the sun greet the native birdsong. After an hour of shooting the sun, I filmed Leilehua and her husband Manu in a variety of chants, slack key guitar playing and traditional Hawaiian nose flute demonstrations.
On Friday we spent the day at a very cool cultural festival at the national park, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, also known as the City of Refuge.
A spiritual precession of Hawaiian elders and holy men initiated the event. The sound of the conch echoed throughout the palm trees…
Many cultural and traditional Hawaiian crafts were demonstrated. Here was a woman demonstrating the cleaning of a gourd.
Since our documentary is on the history and crafting of leis, I am finding many uses for leis…including on the front of canoes.
The precession makes its way to make the offering or ho-okupu.
Examples of beautiful leis…
I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch of kimchee shrimp, seaweed salad, and a can of Hawaiian coffee! This is my kind of Hilo cuisine.
I couldn’t leave the festival without partaking in a little awa, or kava kava, to get me grooving on Hawaiian time. This powdered root is made into a tea that relaxes the muscles and calms the body. This is a must-have when trying to recover from jetlag!
This post might be a bit brief, but I’ve got some living to do. Thanks for following as I keep you posted on what gifts come from a little “Big Island Love”. This happens to be a popular bumper sticker around these parts. Send me a note and I’ll pick one up for you. Thanks for reading, darling.