Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hawaiian Polynesian Cultural Center

Sorry I have not been able to post a blog update for a couple of days, but there has not been Internet access available during my travels.  Two nights ago I flew on the last flight from Kauai to Oahu -- which was the only available option I had.  By the time I caught my pre-arranged shuttle, I didn't get to my hotel until after midnight.  Since I had stayed at an Aston property in Kauai, I assumed that the one in Honolulu would be comparable, especially since it was on Waikiki beach.  I was wrong. 

The first room they gave me was occupied.  I don't know who was more surprised at my entry into the room -- the guy who had the room first, or me.  The second room was not in very good shape: the TV and toilet didn't work.  The third room was OK, but the desk clerk who let me into the room failed to give me a room key, and also did not forward my wake up call.

Thankfully I woke up in plenty of time to catch my 8:15 am shuttle.  The shuttle service failed to pick me up at the correct hotel, despite three phone calls telling them where I was.  I am so glad that I allowed plenty of time to make my flight, and that the Honolulu traffic was for once not backed up. So although I woke up this morning to return, it was Wednesday in Hawaii and now it is Thursday in Michigan.  The return was not easy.  Since I had to turn my car in Tuesday evening to avoid another day's worth of charges, I had to wait four hours in the Kauai airport for the less than an hour flight back to Honolulu.  Once I finally got to the Honolulu airport this morning, I had a two hour wait for my flight, a six hour flight to LAX, a three hour layover in LA, a 5 1/2 hour flight to Detroit -- all encompassing a six hour time change.  I'm not sure right now if I'm coming or going.

I have so many pictures to post yet from the incredible Hawaii trip that I am going to just include the best for each of the days left to share.  Today I'll post some of the photos from the Polynesian Cultural Center.  It is located on the northeast side of Oahu, near the Brigham Young (Hawaii) campus.  Over 70 percent of the employees are students who come from various South Pacific islands.  The center is one of the largest and most successful cultural theme attractions in the world.  It was founded in 1963 by labor missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).  It is operated as a none-profit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of Polynesia.

The massive center educates and shares the native culture from several of the Pacific Islands including:

 New Zealand (Aoterroa)











Each of the cultures had their own style of long boat.  The Fiji long boat is featured below.  It is hard to believe that they traversed the Pacific Ocean in these small boats carrying supplies, animals, and plants for cultivating when they arrived in Hawaii.  It is also hard to believe that they successfully navigated to the Hawaiian islands with no modern technologies.
Each of the islands has a section at the cultural center, with performances throughout the day. There is also a floating performance on the river that runs through the cultural center, a luau, a fantastic IMax theater film (we watched it twice), and a final performance at night. We arrived just after noon and didn't leave until almost 9:30 p.m.
More photos from the great day....
A feral cat...
An interesting looking duck...
Pictures from the luau...
Poi biscuits are above and my plate of food below. 
Friends, Barb and Tom.....    Thanks for your friendship and the great time!
NOTE: The costumes, ceremonies, and songs represent the original culture of the individual islands -- not what exists today.

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