Personal blog of Liz from Kauai.

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Baha'i, Mom and Grandma, Fish Breeder, Sports Fan

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Change of Gavel Day

Change of gavel day was truly memorable in many ways.

Highlights include the visit of Tsai-ko blogger gigi-hawaii and Mr. gigi from Oahu. We had saimin at Hamuras to start the day off right. Mahalo, gigi for the gift of your 3 books!

Then we were off to Kukuiolono Golf Course for a round of 9 hole scramble. This was gigi and Mr. gigi's very first time on a golf course. Mahalo to Past President Margaret and her excellent golfing offspring Grant and Melissa for playing on a team with my special guests.

My three sons and I played golf together for the very first time and made it a memorable round (ending at 1 under- woo hoo!) - each one of us coming up with a clutch shot at various stages of the day.

Of course President Dave and his team came in with the best score of 5 under - but they were gracious and didn't bother us with the details :-)

AG Laurie installed the new Board and a wonderful BBQ and Rotary fellowship followed the formalties.


More pix on the link above.

Family Night

So- Tomorrow (er, today) is our big day. Golf and West Kauai Rotary installation.
Did I mention that we haven't played golf since last year?

So #1 Son. Ukuleleboi and I hit the driving range and putting green today. It wasn't pretty. #1 ripped his left hand pretty good on his power shots, I couldn't hit anything except a few putts and Ukuboi fell somewhere in between.

We decided to have a family night and went over to #1's house, which is just down the road from Kukuiolono Park.
He prepared a delicious pasta with pesto, broccoli and shrimp and we settled in for fresh brownies, ice cream, coffee and Scrabble (after tearing the rest of the family away from their WOW games).

Newly-thrown pots waiting for the next pit firing.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Making Memories

One of the great experiences in life is surfing. A person lies on a plank, then expends a lot of energy getting to a place in a sea of possibilities to wait for the opportunity to become "one" with the moment and ride that perfect wave back to shore.

Last night was something like that for my son "Ukuleleboi".

We went to my classmate Tyler Chihara's installation as the new President of the Rotary Club of Kauai- the first club for this island (Ours is the second). It took place at the Hukilau Lanai in Kapaa and the members (including Ukuboi's dad) had a lot of activities and games planned for the evening.

There was a "no" game with dollar bill lei, a silent auction, a secret auction (bidding on something you couldn't see) and a Joker's wild drawing.

Check out the web album for the full details.
Here are some highlights:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lilu has landed!

My little Lilu and her folks have landed safely in London.

From all accounts (her mom's), the flight was uneventful and she traveled very well!

So- the box with the almost-finished quilt has arrived and I have my work cut out for me to get it finished soon!

Tonight the Ukuleleboi and I are headed for another Rotary installation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Change of Gavel

This is the time of year for O-Bon dances and Change of Gavel ceremonies- the beginning of the new Rotary year.
Last night, Ukuleleboi and I were part of the crowd at Joe's on the Green in the Kiahuna Golf Clubhouse. Outgoing President of the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach Nancy Kanna wound up a great year and turned her gavel over to my "classmate" Roberta Charles.

After time to socialize, the meeting started with introductions of guests. And then, of course, there is wonderful food!

The buffet included lots of veggies and scalloped potatoes (long time, no taste!), mahimahi with a delicious fruit salsa and a fantastic chicken breast stuffed with porcini mushrooms.!

Ukuleleboi and I sat with my classmates (PE - short for President-Elect) Vianne and Jeff. I will miss their installations because of scheduling conflicts so it was great to be able to share Roberta's together! Here is Roberta with Jeff

Myself and Ukuleleboi. Great folks Bruce, Nancy and Sinclair

Assistant District Governor Laurie Yoshida swore in the new Board and "new" Past President Nancy was honored with a gift of appreciation as the Rotary International Year theme "Rotary Shares" was retired and "Make Dreams Real" was introduced.

What does it mean to be President of a Rotary Club?
Ask me this time next year!

From what I have seen and heard- it will be a year of sacrifice and rewards - a year of encouraging others to think and act as agents of positive change to benefit the many who struggle for even the simple necessities of life.

Most of all, it is to work for universal peace by living "ke ala pono", practicing the Four-Way Test:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Aloha and Mahalo, Bryan Baptiste

Our Mayor, Bryan Baptiste passed away suddenly last night. We will miss him. A couple years ago, he consented to be interviewed by my son (then 14) for a project. His replies reflect many things about him (he remembers I had been bugging the County for years about a 500 meter pool- which the YMCA is just now constructing.) and the fact that he even granted this interview says the most.

Byron (ukuleleboi) Interview with Mayor Bryan Baptiste
December 22, 2005

Q: In the context of your Vision Statement and Mission Statement for the Kauai County Team, What are some of the challenges and successes during your time as Mayor of Kauai?

A: Challenges are many- including long-deferred maintenance on infrastructure. Roads, sewers, water were never upgraded and now we have overcrowded roads and not enough facilities to serve the people. There is a shortage of affordable housing too. We are making progress but it takes a long time to get it done.
The feel-good things- we are making headway with the Kapaa corridor and morning Westside traffic and there are plans 2600 affordable housing units to be built in the next 3-5 years.
The youth activities and anti-drug programs as well as high-tech training for kids so that they can find jobs at places like the Base are also positive.

Byron: I chose to interview the Mayor because he has a broad overview of the County.

Mayor Baptiste: Just don’t ask me when a 500 meter pool will be built in Waimea. I don’t think that will be soon but the plans to upgrade the Waimea Pool are underway.

Q: Are there any plans to build a mall (like Kukui Grove) anywhere on the Westside?
A: Nothing now. Kikiaola’s project are residential in nature. A&B is residential with a tiny mall in Port Allen. Nothing like Kukui Grove is planned in the short term.

Q: What is some of your personal background?
A: I graduated from Kapaa High and U.H.

Q: Why did you decide to run for Mayor?
A: It is a position where you can make a difference for the people you serve. In some departments, you can go to work every day and do your job but you don’t always get to see the results of what you do directly benefit people. (A mayor) balances hardships and difficulties and makes progress. (A mayor) can have a direct impact on what gets done.

Q: What did you do before you became Mayor?
A: I was a small business person with two retail flower shops and did flowers for many hotels.

Q: What are some of the changes you have seen on Kauai since you became Mayor?
A: Biggest change since becoming Mayor over the last 3 years is the high demand for real estate. We were not ready for new-found “stardom”. Kauai is on the map and people are coming here with money to live here. We have never experienced anything as quickly-ascending as this real estate market has been. We can’t stop people from selling and buying and we have to deal with the realities of all this happening. The interest rates, the economy, the effects of 9/11 make Kauai the perfect place for people to live in a safe, domestic, exotic location. Suddenly Kauai become something feasible now that California is more expensive- and Kauai is much more beautiful.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lilu - ready for her first flight

Probably the last of the images from Portland for awhile were uploaded today. Lilu and her parents are off to Europe next week!

It took me 29 years to get to Europe. Lilu is going at the age of 3 months!

Tsai-ko Therapy



June 21st, 2008 at 8:27 am

Still working on the pix… sooo many!
And still meditating on what it means to be a Tsai-ko.
Not too many places where you instantly become something just by showing up with good intentions.
It is a sum much greater than any of its parts.

Some of those parts include
unconditional love
trusted friendships
safe haven
room for personal evolution
non-judgmental environment
generation span
socio-economic span
racial and ethnic span
quiet expressions of volunteerism and altruism
healing of differences and evolution of thought
creative outlet, opportunity to bring joy to others w/o fanfare
opportunity to bring joy to others with fanfare
respect and remembrance of Ke Akua

Basically the closest thing I have experienced of living in the enjoyment of a peaceful world.

Everyone should know what it feels like at least once.

Thursday evening, the Warrior Beat bloggers (Tsai-kos) got together at Genji's in Honolulu to welcome home Ronnie (my Sugar Bowl roommate) and Rich2176 who happened to have coinciding visits in the islands.

All the physical owies I have been feeling lately disappeared in a sea of love, fuud, fun, family, friends, football talk, and karaoke.

Being with the Tsai-kos is endorphin laugh therapy at its finest!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LaMancha Revisited

Letter to the Editor
The Garden Island
June 18, 2008

For a fabulous production

For those who did and did not see the recent production of “The Man From La Mancha” at KCC:

I want to sing the praises of the Kauai Community College Music Department’s recent (and last) presentation of “Man of La Mancha,” and my rating of it as “a magnificent production.” I have to admit that we went to the show because our “niece,” Nalani Kaauwai-Brun, had a leading role, and believe me, that alone made the trip worthwhile. But there was so much more. We were stunned by the number of fine singers, dancers and talented volunteers from this little island. They sang and danced their hearts outs, wearing absolutely beautiful costumes and whirling in and around imaginative and attractive sets and props, making this a truly professional production. Greg Shephard is the drama teacher at KCC, and the show’s director.

That involved six months before the curtain rose for a show to a “live” audience June 6, recruitment of cast and crew, try-outs, a million details, substitutions and improvisations, organizing and training, and regular, long, exhausting rehearsals.

In addition to all that, Greg played the lead as Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote and is obviously an accomplished actor with a truly outstanding baritone singing voice.

As to Nalani, I knew, she sings like an angel, so I wasn’t surprised that the power and beauty of her voice brought tears to the eyes of some of those sitting near me (including some men).

While I too was enthralled with Nalani’s signing, I was surprised that in her role as “Aldonza,” she is also a fine actress.

And my claim that the production was exciting, beautiful and overall “magnificent” seemed to be seconded by several hundred people who were saying many of the same things.

There were “rave reviews,” over the seats from row to row, in the lines for the lua, and during the standing ovation (plus tears) as the entire cast and crew sang “The Impossible Dream,” for the final time. There was also great praise heard as hundreds of people filed out of the KCC auditorium to meet friends and to give flowers and congratulations to cast members (including George Freitas’ praising Nalani for her versatility, saying in the past he’d only heard her sing “The National Anthem” and “Hawaii Aloha” at every official ceremony and grand opening.) Special credit went to the talents of Greg and Nalani: plus Nestor Figuroa who did a wonderful job as Cervantes’ loyal manservant, Sancho; Tim Andre, the singing Padre; Bruce Fehring as the Innkeeper; and 20 more talented cast members, who acted, sang and danced.

A marvelous “mahalo” was given to Esther Manning who designed all the sets and made almost all the costumes; also kudos went to Musical Director Aki Conquest; and Brenda Biehler Turville, who choreographed the dances and kept all the dancers on time and in line.

Appreciation went to Ed Eaton, who was in charge of lighting; Bob Conti, Glenn Taba and Jimmy Trujillo, who led students from the three high schools and the Carpentry Academy in design and construction of sets and props; Max Vandervoort, who had considerable responsibility as stage manager; the musicians who played a big, harmonious role in the show’s success; as well as John the sound technician; Phill who gave cues for the microphone; and Kent who was technician for the KCC Theater.

It’s hard to imagine Broadway could do it better.

And with that, now I feel better.

I wanted those involved to know their talents are recognized and their work is appreciated. Also to encourage others to pay attention in the future to invitations from the community theater and Kauai Community College’s special events’ call for volunteers and attendance at programs.

Georgia Mossman


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Deja Vu all over again

It wasn't that long ago in my memory when my daughter was sitting just this way and playing with her dad. Lilu is sharing the experience nearly 40 years later and wears a similar expression on her face!

Speaking of kids and parents, during the meet and greet after our last performance of Man of La Mancha on Sunday, I happened to notice that someone (son Stevo) had decorated my bio on the wall:

I think I'm going to miss my raccoon eyeshadow and bruise blush makeup... NOT!
But I AM going to miss the wonderful folks who came together like Tsai-kos and created a wonderful experience in theater!

My view from the wings... and now just a dark stage where once lived La Mancha.

Fellow Rotary President-Elect Jeff Goodman from the Hanalei Bay Club came to the play on closing day ;-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Grand Finale

Man from La Mancha closed last night to a full house of enthusiastic applause... fulfilling Director Greg Shepherd's vision of creating "six masterpieces" for the people of Kauai.

It was a great ride! Mahalo to cast and crew and the fine organizers who created a fantastic grande theatre arts production with a simple music department, students and community volunteers. One day, perhaps, the college will expand its programs into a full-blown performing arts program ;-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wow- a rave review!

‘Man of La Mancha’ delivers

Bring Kleenex and a sweater — the college theater hovers at a brisk 65 degrees and the presentation of “Man of La Mancha” by the Kauai Community College Music Department is heart rending. Laughter and tears are the prime ingredients in this tale of disillusionment and betrayal.

“Man of La Mancha” is a play inspired by Miguel de Cervante’s book “Don Quixote” and opens with the playwright Cervantes and his manservant being thrown into a prison filled with murderers and thieves. As the newest residents, the two are put on “trial among their peers.” The playwright and poet, played by director Greg Shepherd, convinces the angry mob to allow him to perform “an entertainment” as his defense — the story of “Don Quixote.” This is a tale that at first masquerades as buffoonery, but quickly slips into darker themes, where the most reviled qualities of mankind collide with idealism and chivalry. This is not a play for children.

Musically speaking, “Man of La Mancha” brims with talent. From the harmony of the cast, to the falsetto of the priest, to Shepherd’s resonant voice paired with a bone-chilling performance by Nalani Kaauwai Brun as an abused woman named Aldonza; there is synergy among the cast. Add to this an orchestra of six, led by Aki Conquest, and the instrumentals construct an intense atmosphere to support the drama on stage. The results sing of precision.

Other notables were the choreography and supporting actors. Nestor Figueroa plays a quintessential Sancho Panza that endears and captivates. Figueroa’s delivery is a crucial balm for the serious themes explored in this drama. The choreography by Brenda Biehler Turville unifies the action, the music and the script.

The entire package, right down to the handmade props and costumes by Esther Manning, make “Man of La Mancha” an epic production well-orchestrated. With any luck, the show will find another venue for a longer run. Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday are the last shows scheduled.


Well... I know this is posed but I got a kick out of seeing my future UH Warrior Football fan granddaughter ready to rock and roll!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Aloha Friday the Thirteenth

So I awoke this morning and the first thing that happened was a cramp in my left leg from my calf to my toes- some of which began to curl and cross from the pull.


It's going to be an interesting day.

The other night I finally gave the fish tank a scrubbing and a water change. Say hi to my fishies- 2 Amphiprion ocellarus, an Amphiprion perideraion, and a Amphiprion frenatus.
Plus a cleaner shrimp and some hermit crabs.

Highlight of my day was having Ukuleleboi and a gaggle of guys come to see Man of La Mancha. For the 3 other boys, this was the first theatrical play they had ever seen and afterwards, we took them to Hamura Saimin for the first time! Oh- that's DJ Ron Wiley as the evil Inquisitor!