Month: March 2016

Sakura Sakura Sakura 

For most of our visit in South Korea the temperature was averaging minus one degree Celsius in the morning and reaching 16 degrees Celsius by mid afternoon. For us island folks we were freezing and could not feel our fingers and toes if we stood outside for more than 10 minutes. But the turning point was seeing the lovely Sakura blossoms starting to bloom on the trees where ever we looked.  This was a telling sign that spring is definitely approaching and the weather will be getting warmer. There were many people who were walking around with shorts, t-shirts and sandals. Standing next to them our group looked like we were going skiing with all the layers of clothes and protective gear we were wearing. We were all lucky to see the beautiful Sakura blossoms, and I hope my other Hawaii friends who will be visiting South Korea next month will find a Sakura in bloom, too.  Seeing these beautiful flowers in person was quite lovely as their petals looked so fluffy and delicate.  I …

Architecture (Photo 101, Day 12)

For the past month, we’ve been practicing hula in a space with no mirrors and dance-unfriendly flooring, but tonight, we returned to dancing in Polihua a Mauliola, a quonset hut that was converted into a hālau dance space and where we’ve danced our entire training prior to ʻūniki. Stepping in to the space felt kind of like visiting your childhood home after just settling into your first apartment. Returning home, everything feels intimately familiar. You know where things are located and you can relax in the space, but the truth is, itʻs not really your home anymore. That’s how I felt tonight. I missed Polihua, but more so, I missed how my body responds in that space, and how I am able to dance beside people I’ve danced with for all these years. Here are some other photos I’ve taken on my travels that speak to the amazing architecture I’ve never really noticed before going abroad.  

Human Totem Pole

An afternoon stroll in South Korea with the family and we came across this stop sign which caught my attention for my daughter who was sitting on my husband’s shoulders was much taller than the actual sign.  From this perspective it appears my husband is much taller than his six foot frame or that he may be standing on a rock, but the sign is shorter than the average stop signs where the highest point of this sign reached his shoulders. For Paula’s Thursday Special

Pop of Color (Photo 101, Day 11)

I came across a few pūkiawe bushes with bright pink berries today. After I took the photo, I noticed that although the pink stood out, the green leaves were amazing in their own right. I should have saved a few photos from yesterday’s post for today because some of the dancers’ pāʻū were an amazing orange, so I’ll repost just because I love the color and texture of the pāʻū. Finally, I’ve not known what to do with this photo that I took last summer at the Esprit Dior exhibit in Seoul last year, but on display was Charlize Theron’s Dior dress from Cannes 2015 and the yellow popped inside that darkened room.

Weekly Small Pleasures (#8)

1. Unulau. I was honored to attend the debut of my hula brother’s new hālau, Unulau, yesterday. They performed at Kaʻauea in Volcanoes National Park, overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. It was a great day to witness the arrival of a new generation of dancers from our tradition. 2.  Redux. I dusted off my Dinosaur-SLR and started taking photos again. It’s a joy getting back behind the camera, especially since most of my photos have been taken on my iPhone. Nothing wrong with iPhoneography, but it’s comfortingly different behind a camera. I ended up visiting Uwēkahuna, a bluff overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, and snapped some beautiful shots. 3. Foodie Splurge. I have been packing home lunch for the past year and enjoy knowing how much money I save not eating out, but this past week, I bought lunch twice and it was amazing. The first was at Miyo’s, one of my all-time favorite restaurants, which I enjoyed with colleagues and ate my favorite sesame chicken. The second was lunch bought at the cafeteria on campus, consisting of sautéed veggies, fresh greens, and furikake salmon. 4. Reality Check. I’ve …

Mystery (Photo 101, Day 10)

I love photos with dramatic lighting and darkly obscured scenes, but it’s not so easy to capture when I’m behind the camera. The first photo was taken at sunset in Hilo. Since we are on the eastern side of the island, we get very different skies at sunset from Kona, but they’re still beautiful. This was taken in the parking lot of my college alma mater. The second photo was taken in Seoul last summer, walking through the Esprit Dior exhibit in Dongdaemun Design Plaza, and seeing a row of mannequins displaying the evolving fashion of the House of Dior. The final photo was taken in Taiwan last summer, in an overpass/flyover in Chia-yi.

Connect (Photo 101, Day 6)

I took this photo at Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea. The peacefulness of this temple complex is a noticeable change from the bustling Gangnam that surrounds it and it’s definitely a place to both disconnect and reconnect. It was at Bongeunsa that a friendly woman motioned to my hula sister and me to enter into the building where she was praying. Once we reached the door, I noticed the room was filled with other women, some sitting in silent meditation or reading passages, while others were in the process of bowing. We removed our shoes and the woman who had welcomed us in, laid cushions on the floor for us to sit. Although she didn’t speak English, we followed her lead, entering quietly so as not to disturb everyone else. I sat quietly on the cushion and allowed all the elements of the room to engage my senses; the smell of incense, the hushed praying, the ornate statues. I glanced around me and made eye contact with our host, then bowed my head slightly to thank her for her hospitality while she smiled back. After 10 minutes of adjusting …