On Being a Docent at Bishop Museum

It’s Friday. I have from 5:30 AM to 7:30 AM to get me ready, the four dogs fed and emptied out, perhaps dump a load of wash in and get breakfast ready for my grandson and me. Then it is off to his school to get him to his class and off to town to get me to the museum.

I had mentioned to my friend that I was not scheduled to do any tours today and was hoping that I would at least have some adults to give tours to.

As it happened we had a last-minute booking of third graders from Punahou School today. I was delighted. These children are always attentive, polite and so insightful. They ask wonderful questions and can grasp all the information that is being give to them.

They were booked for an hour program that went by so fast that the teacher asked if she could do an extended tour with the kids. Since there were no other schools booked and I had a couple of hours to fill I was more than happy to fill it with them. The two hours flew by. But what I enjoyed so much, what I had to concentrate on to keep from tearing up was when the teacher asked the children  to do a Ole. ( a chant)

We had just finished talking about the Kii (god) Ku and so I thought they would be doing a ole to him. But to my surprise it was a thank you chant for me. It was wonderful. It is what sets Hawaii apart and what makes it such a pleasure to be a part of as a docent. The children did their ole and I managed to keep the tears in check.

Little girls coming up and hugging me, little boys asking their questions about the exhibits and thanking me for the tour and teachers who are so happy to have me give them that little extra but most of all the respect and honor the docents are given when a ole is sung to them makes volunteering at the museum a very special privilege.

Here are a few other things I love about the museum.

Attending lectures such as this one on Hawaiian Tattoos.

Taking my family to special exhibits

Last but not least I love that sometimes I can just be a silly goose and just enjoy being a part of the whole thing.


2 comments on “On Being a Docent at Bishop Museum

  1. The travel book “The Lonely Planet” compares it to the Smithsonian. It may not be as big but it certainly can take a day to see it all. I will look forward to meeting you one day.


  2. megtraveling says:

    It sounds like such a rewarding experience for you! It must be a lot of fun doing something you enjoy, and then get such a nice thank you from the students. I think I’d like to visit that museum when I’m in Hawaii!


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