A Tutu By Any other Name is Definitely Not A Tutu (Grandma)

It’s Friday. So I must be at the museum. When I open the door to the atrium to enter what is usually an empty area, I am surprised by a room full of people. Blocking the door on the other side of the room is Emily, a docent my age, holding a beautiful little baby. Cameras are flashing, and the room is abuzz as she stands for this photo opp.

Hmmm, what is going on I’m thinking as I try to figure out how I’m going to go through this swarm of people. From across the room on the other side near the other entrance are some of the employees I work with. They are dressed ready to do a special performance for the honoree. One of them frantically waves me towards her signalling me to go through the entrance in back of them.

Quickly I snake my way through and pass her and then as I pass the other employee behind her he whispers to me “Bishop Tutu.”I nod and go past  quickly. As I enter the hall I’m perplexed. “Are they designating Emily the Tutu (Grandmother) of Bishop Museum?” She volunteers as a docent she serves on boards and is always available for anything they need her for. And she is a grandmother. So why not?

Getting to the front of the hall I see another employee, Bill, standing out front re-routing people and asking them to please understand that for about 10 more minutes the back atrium is blocked and the museum will then once again be open.

Wow, all this to name someone Tutu of the museum? “Why are you re-routing everyone, why aren’t we (all the docents) allowed back there? What’s the big deal about a tutu? Just then one of the more senior people of the museum came by and said, “Did you get to see Desmond Tutu?

“Desmond Tutu?” Where is he? I saw Emily getting her photo taken but didn’t know he was here. So I was taken to the back where all the upper echelon of the museum milled around, and there sat Desmond Tutu. What a trill to actually see the man. It was more exciting to me then the time I gave Senator Inouye a tour of the museum.

Desmond Tutu served 6 years as Chair for an organization known as the “Elders”, a group formed to use their  influence to support peace building. He was here to take part in a series of ongoing visits for the “Pillars of Peace Hawaii,” a Hawaiian organization  formed to inspire people to compassion, cultivate justice and diversity in our society.

Along with Desmond Tutu at the museum was Gro Harlem Brundtland. She was the first woman Prime Minister of Norway and serves as Deputy Chair of The Elders. Also attending was Hina Jilani a renowned lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner. She is a leading activist in Pakistan’s women’s movement. She has dedicated her life to fight for human rights around the world.

And as for the “Bishop Tutu?” Well it certainly wasn’t Emily though it was her grandson who Desmond Tutu was enthralled with. Hence the Kodak moments. But Bishop Tutu it was. He was the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize  in 1984 for his work in the struggle against apartheid.

photo

Desmond Tutu. I am not sure if the woman behind him was one of his daughters.

Well you know I wasn’t exactly introduced to him.

ImageSeated to the right of Desmond Tutu are, Gro Harlem Brundtland and Hina Jilani

And no I am not in the photo but just as happy to be able to have taken it.

Julio Took a Detour Down By the School Yard

Just a quick blog to update everyone. The morning that Hurricane Isselle was supposed to hit I let the dogs out into the yard. I upturned my patio furniture, set out my coffee and a piece of pie and sat down to read. The birds were singing, the sun was shining and I can honestly say everything was alright in my world. It was a non event here on Oahu and I’m very thankful for that.

It wasn’t that good on Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii as there was a lot of damage done but no fatalities and Hawaiian Electric has been working hard to get the power back on for a few thousand people who are still left without it. Yes some houses were destroyed but not anything like what we have seen take place with other hurricanes.

I’m happy I was spared the “dog around.” I did not have to put up with all the dogs trying to sleep as close to me as possible. The only sad thing for me during this whole experience is that my nemesis, the bamboo in our yard did not get blown down. I will have to continue to chop it down by hand which is like taking sand off the beach one grain at a time.

I may kid but I’m thankful. I did have a deep down worry but hoped for the best and the best happened for us. I am sorry for those who lost so much but thankful that all lives have been spared.

As for Julio, the following hurricane. I totally forgot about him and thankfully he forgot about all of use. I guess like the song said, Julio is down by the school yard.

Art In Public Places The State Foundation of Culture and the Arts

While at Kapolei library I’m like a person with an addiction. With my empty bag for my books in hand, Nico and I entered with much anticipation. It’s a push me, pull me quandary when I’m there. At home books are piled on my night stand, dresser, and bookshelf in my 10 x 12 bedroom. They flow out into the living room shelves and a wicker chest in the family room.

So as I walk Nico into the library we are no longer two but four. There are always two little imps on either side of my shoulders fighting me to check out this book or that one while I try to reason with them. “No, I have to finish my books at home first.”

I needed to distract myself so I started to look at the pieces of art hanging and sitting in various places. It’s funny as many times as I go into the Kapolei Library, I never take the time to look at anything other than books.

On closer observation I noticed all kinds of art pieces besides the quilts that are always hanging. The work was on loan from the State Foundation of Culture and the arts. The project is called “Art in Public Places.”

In an effort to expose local artist to the public you can see all types of work in many institutions throughout the islands. So I thought I would share my distraction with you.

IMG_0245When the missionaries first came to the islands they showed the Hawaiian Women how to quilt. As is the way of the Hawaiians they took the basics and turned it into their own style.

IMG_0248Hawaiian women would get together and make their patterns from the different trees and flowers that grew on the islands and then make their quilts from those

IMG_0249I once read that the Hawaiian women would get together for several days, make themselves some strong drink from Ti plants and  appoint one person to do all the dishes. They would then start working on a quilt. All would help with the one quilt. The one who was appointed to do the dishes also helped. Having to do dishes softened the fingers making it hard to push the needle in and out to quilt. So you can see the importance of that dishwasher. Those Hawaiians. They thought of everything. What a party that must have been.

They also used their quilts to protest the fact that the Americans were making them take down their flag so the American flag could fly in its place. Protest Quilt

IMG_0252

The three pieces above and below are by Wayne Miyata. It is called 3 Zen Monks

Speak No Evil

IMG_0254See No Evil

IMG_0255Hear No Evil

IMG_0256Victor Holmes’ Nani Umeke (Umeke is a bowl)

IMG_0258Sidney T.K. Yee’s Parallels (ceramic)

IMG_0261George Wright’s Pueo (Hawaii’s indigenous Owl)

English: Boerhavia sp. (seeds attached to head...

English: Boerhavia sp. (seeds attached to head of Pueo). Location: Maui, Kanaha Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I posted a photo here so you can see what the Hawaiian owl looks like. Isn’t he just exquisite. I love owls

IMG_0262Bird of Paradise. They are beautiful plants that I myself have growing in my yard. This painting had no signage so may you can double-click on it and see what that signature is.

IMG_0264This was just a poster up in the library showing all of the indigenous creatures of Hawaii. I bet the original is a beautiful piece of art though.

IMG_0263What can I say, I just loved this poster. Anyway looking at all this art worked. I went home with an empty bag full of books. (Nico’s that is)

So This is Christmas, Waikiki

Big bucks are spent to vacation in Hawaii during Christmas. Since it had been two years since I’ve been to Waikiki for the holiday I decided to call my good friend Yvonne to join me for breakfast at the Outrigger Hotel.

Breakfast somehow seems more special when I am  sitting overlooking the pool and ocean and enjoying conversation with my long time crony. The food always seems to taste better when you are looking at such a beautiful site.

But alas it was not to be. That is, sitting overlooking the ocean. Instead, we had to take what was available, a table across from the preferred seating overlooking other people’s heads who were overlooking the pool and ocean.

It seemed from that point on I slowly turned into the Grinch.

IMG_0882Yvonne

Yvonne was happy to be there and was just fine where we sat. She just ignored me as disappointment and complaints poured out of my mouth. The menu didn’t appeal to me so I ordered a short stack of macadamia nut and banana pancakes. They tasted dry as I tried to look through heads out to the sea. The coffee was bitter as I poured packets of sugar to mask the taste and somehow I only saw the tinsel side of Christmas as I looked around.

IMG_0888

There seemed nothing extraordinary to photograph that represented the holidays. This bar next to the table where we ate seemed to sum up the way I felt. It called to me but unfortunately it was closed. Even if it had been open I am sure they could not have made me a drink that would have made me feel better about my surroundings. So we headed down the stairs. I realized that the food had not changed and we had a wonderful waiter but I am a creature of my surroundings and I don’t choose place to eat for the food but for the ambiance.

 

 

IMG_0892I believe I took this very same photo two years ago for my Christmas blog back then. The Outrigger had very little to show in the way of Christmas decorations and so we didn’t bother to stay to look around.

Is it me or are the hotels losing the spirit like so many other places. Here it is December 16th and I’ve not heard one person say Merry Christmas. It’s as thought they are like the recorded message you always get when calling a business but paraphrased. “Your money is very important to us please take in our token Christmas decorations while you wait to pay the cashier.”

IMG_0895

The Moana Hotel, though their decorations have not changed, still had a beautiful presentation.

IMG_0899

The lei in the tree looked Hawaiian and Chrismasy

IMG_0904

Here we were at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel. This is a portrait of the young princess who was next in line for the throne. She died very young before taking the throne and even had she lived she would not have been able to reign as Queen Liliuokalani the Queen at the time, had been dethroned by big business men from the United States. Her imprisonment marked the end of the Hawaiian Monarchy. Much to the sadness and outcry of the Hawaiian People.

IMG_0913

This carving of a peacock is also a symbol of the Princess. Her home was in Waikiki and it was surrounded by her beloved peacocks. It was said that the peacocks cried through the night as the princess lay on her death bead. But more to reality the reason they may have cried would have been to announce the stream of strangers that were calling throughout the night to pay their last respects to their beloved princess.

IMG_0900

My last Christmas visit to the hotel they had this elaborate ginger bread set up  but it was all Hawaiian. This year they gave a nod to all the foreign visitors who patronize the hotel. This is the London Tower Bridge and to the side is the Eye of London or is it the London Eye?

IMG_0903

And do I really have to say what this represents other than a lot of cookie dough? The Eiffel Tower.

IMG_0912

And this is the rest of the village that looked a little to snowy for me. Yes Christmas can have a lot of snow, but in Hawaii? These are historic sites in Hawaii but it was just cluttered for me to try to single out.

IMG_0922

Now we’re  at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. I did not visit it the last time so it was all new to me and yet the tree pretty much looked like all the other hotel trees.

IMG_0927

But I did like this carousel display. The wind was blowing and the waterfall splashed down and out. Their was a bit of a chill, not much, but still a chill in the air. The bright display attracted the children but the spray of water became more attention-getting then anything else. I expect coming from all over the world and many from cold countries, the spray felt wonderful under the Hawaiian sun.

IMG_0929

So the last Hotel display I took was this one as I really liked the lay that this zebra was wearing. But that was as close to a Hawaiian look as there was going to be for a display in this hotel.

IMG_0920

When all was said and done. This was the real Christmas in Hawaii for those who were checking in to the hotel. From breakfast to the last display, I felt, Christmas had left the building and if there had not been these displays in the hotels you would not have known what time of year it was once you stepped out of your room.

IMG_0943

From street settings such as this along Kalakaua Avenue ,

IMG_0932to Duke Kahanamoku with fists full of leis welcoming all to his island

IMG_0947And the statue of the young boy surfing alongside a seal

IMG_0935

This is the real Christmas in Hawaii

 

Spending Money and the Day At Queen Emma’s Summer Palace Festival

I was given some money and the order to buy something I like. This is not an easy thing for me to do. My tendency is to hold on and pay extra on bills. Of course this always drives me to deny myself so that I end up charging anyway. Well this time I held on to it, not to pay bills but, to spend it.

A friend at the Museum had graciously given me two tickets to the Queen Emma’s Summer Palace Festival. Last year when I had gone I saw many things I wanted but just could not let myself buy them. This year I was going to use my money gift and, by cracky, I was going to buy some thing for myself.

The festival was extra special for me as I didn’t have to go alone. My daughter accompanied me and it was so nice to have someone to share the day with.

First I introduce my daughter to King Kamehameha and his Wife Queen Emma. No I don’t have that much cachet, the royals were being played by two of the employees from Bishop Museum, one of whom I work under in the archives.

The royals give their aloha to their court

Queen Emma and her Husband Alexander Liholiho gave many of these festivals as a way to collect enough money to help build a hospital where Hawaiians could go  for care. It was also a stipulation when the hospital was built that anyone needing treatment whether they had money or not was to be tended to.

They were also responsible for two major schools, a Church and nursing school. They loved the Hawaiian people and worked hard to make available the things that were needed for the community.

Today “The Daughters of Hawaii” put on this festival to earn money to maintain the summer palace. One of the biggest events is the raffling off of a handmade Hawaiian quilt. This was this years offering. No, I’m not a lucky person and as much as I would have loved to have had one of these quilts I left the betting to other people.

These are Haku leis. Last year I admired these from afar but this year it was the first purchase I made. They are made from many types of leaves and flowers. After the plants die they dry into beautiful hat bands.

Handmade woven hats. I’ve always wanted one and they had some really nice styles here at this booth. Besides the traditional Hawaiian hat there were many woven styles from the forties era.

I really loved this one but it did not look good on me at all. It looked wonderful on my daughter but she could not figure out for the life of her where in the world would she wear it. Yeah she could wear it but I wanted it. It stayed on display.

I also loved their woven bags. These women had woven some very unique styles. Not the run of the mill forms. That  made it very hard for me to leave this booth.

So what did I buy? Well here is my haku on the hand-made hat I bought. Yeah, like I said I had a hard time leaving the booth.

And last but by no means least is the shell lei I bought to be worn with my muʻumuʻu‘s when I give tours at the museum.

I’m still not taking very good photos. Blurry aren’t they? Part of my problem is I’m always trying to get the shot as fast as I can. I don’t like to hold other people up while I fuss with my camera. I’m either going to have to go by myself to events so that I can fuss as long as I want or learn to use the darned camera the right way in the first place.

Well my day was well spent Pun intended. But you know I think the best part of the day was, and it was the free part, spending the morning with my daughter.