Cultural Events

“Dancing Off the Page” is a dance production combining text with dance…poetry, slam. For me, dancing is experienced like poetry…with the heart rather than the mind. Last night I photographed four of the numbers and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The set is low key with no visible background…just black. The dancers are lit for great visuals…hard to photograph. Ha!

The production is directly by Professor Peggy Gaither Adams, my dear friend who let me get a sneak preview and photograph the dress rehearsal. Guest artists include choreographers Eric Stern from the popular Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble, Joe Goode from the Joe Goode Performance Group of San Francisco, and Nelson Hiu, composer, performer and recording artist from Hong Kong.

If you have a chance, please don’t miss it. It’s playing from April 17 – 26 at the Kennedy Theatre.

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IMG_9687Ryan Peters taught a fabulous workshop in Volcano on fermentation. It was a fabulous learning experience and FUN! He took your fear of fermentation away by demonstrating the art with ease. It was interesting to see the variety of kraut chi (sauerkraut/kim chi hybrid) that everyone created from the same selection of vegetables. We selected from head cabbage, carrots, won bok, round onions, green onions, jalapenos, beets, turmeric, ginger, green onions, radishes, turnips…yes, you can use them all…and more!

We all used salt for the initial breakdown of the vegetables. Mashing them with our hands or other available tools (such as a handy carrot).


We packed our mixtures into canning jars. Ryan said that the type with a narrow mouth is better as it will help keep the veggies below the water line.


He talked about all the good things the fermented veggies do for your gut…and they are super delicious. The first photo in this post shows the variety of colors, textures and tastes that our small group created.


For more information from Ryan, check out his blog: Ferment to Be:

He’s got some classes coming up:


I wanted to learn more so I purchased the Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, one of the books that Ryan shared.

This mochitsuki has become a tradition for us. Our friends in  Waikea Uka host this annual cultural event and have been doing this for 45 years at their home. We love seeing their friends and family each year…they are so welcoming…local-style. Glutinous rice is steamed in multi-level wooden steamers, mushed with wooden sticks and then pounded with wooden mallets  until the desired consistency is achieved. The pounded rice is transferred to a table where the mochi is formed into cakes that will be used for the New Year’s celebration.20131229-065959.jpg Mr. Ura pounding.20131229-065940.jpgRobert and Kris. 20131229-070020.jpg Frank and Dylan.20131229-070011.jpg Garrett and Dylan.20131229-065931.jpgPearl, one of the sake girls. 20131229-070534.jpg Forming the mochi – Mrs. Ura and gang…matriarchs of the family.20131229-070729.jpg Mushing the mochi.20131229-100124.jpg Gaylyn and Mrs. Ura and sake.20131229-100108.jpg Kagami mochi – for good luck.

Kris and I fell in love with Volcano many years ago. A friend told us about cool cottages available for rent and we went to check the area out. I had been up there many years ago and had forgotten about the beauty of the rain forest. The song of apapane is so varied, lively and sweet. Staying in this cottage on the Mauna Loa side of the highway brought that all back to me. We made several visits after that, often looking at land and homes to buy. I didn’t want to own a piece of land…I wanted something that we could stay in.

After a few years of looking with a very patient friend and realtor we found an cedar A-frame in “the Village”, Volcano.
Because our business requires that we travel so much, it’s really hard to hub out of a small airport like Hilo. Flight options are very limited. We’re also not quite ready to give up Kaneohe…seeing the magnificent Ko’olau Mountains every day. So we live most of the year in Kaneo’he.

Years ago, we shipped a container of Ohia trees from the Big Island. We wanted to bring a piece of the rainforest that we loved with us. The ohia served as a bridge that connected us to Volcano. Kris has worked so hard to keep our Ohia healthy. They love porous soil…or lava…lots of water and lots of drainage. Anyone who knows Kaneohe, knows that Kaneohe soil is clay. Whenever a tree drowns, it is so heartbreaking. These trees will die suddenly and Kris hasn’t found a way to rescue them when they start to go.

A few years ago, we got a phone call from entertainer, Karen Keawehawai’i saying that she heard about our ohia from one of our friends and wondered if she could pick some for her grandaughter…for a hula competition. Karen came over…she loves our dogs and she loves to take photos. What a delightful person!

The next year two other girls came by and asked if they could pick some blossoms.
Kris picks the flowers for the dancers so that the trees don’t get stressed and we usually get a sweet thank you note. This year several dancers on their way to the Merrie Monarch Festival, stopped to get flowers and liko (buds) to make an offering to Pele at Halema’uma’u before the competition.
We’re loving the full circle that our trees and flowers are making as the dancers bring them home.

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This is a photo of lehua in our yard in Kaneohe with a mejiro (white eye).