Thursday, February 28, 2008

Paradise Cove, Ko Olina

Ko Olina is a resort town. It was not built for the locals, it was built for vacationers and short-stay snowbirds. Of course the locals are welcome -- they make the place the fun, carefree, vacation paradise the tourism package promises.

Our students visited Paradise Cove, the Ko Olina Luau grounds, on a field trip the other day. We had fun. The children participated in traditional Hawaiian games: dancing with poi balls, Hawaiian bowling, and spear throwing (closely monitored). They also each received a traditional Hawaiian "tattoo".

The white gates beyond our hostess lead to a well-groomed garden, which one walks through to get to the luau grounds. Photos of the garden flowers will be available in a later post.

This rustic shelter guarded by a Hawaiian Tiki statue, who's job is to ward off evil spirits, is actually a bar. They are unobtrusively scattered throughout the grounds for the guests' convenience. Of course, since this was children's day, they weren't open.

On the other side of the gardens is the luau grounds. (Ignore the photographer. There were a good many children and teachers in attendance and we were all snapping pictures. ) This rustic shack hides all the necessary prep stuff for traditional Kalua Pig. We all gathered on the stone benches to watch them prep the imu (pit oven) and lower the pig onto the ti (banana) leaves. We also watched them cover the pig. Not too long after, as the kids were playing the games, the scent of roasting pig wafted to us on the breeze. If you're thinking you'd like to taste this treat, you can make a close approximation at home in your crock pot.

This is Kimo, our host for the event. He explained the steps of preparing the imu and answered our questions -- even the ones that had to do with what he was wearing under his malo (loin cloth) and his marital status. The answer to the first question was an incredulous, "You mean I'm supposed to wear something under it?" And the answer to the second question was, "Single." He even rattled off a phone number, but who knows who it actually belonged to.

I do not remember this lovely lady's name. She applied the children's "tattoos" and seriously answered all of their questions. She won my loyalty when she realized little Mattie was scared, and positioned her to watch a couple of her friends get tattooed before she tried it herself. She patiently and kindly answered all of Mattie's questions and acknowledged her fears.

I wish I could show you more photos, but most of them contain my students, so it isn't possible. Stay tuned for the next post on some of the local flora.


Melli said...

Mmmmmmm... Kimo! *deep sigh*

quilly said...

That kind of scenery is everywhere!


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