Friday, April 8, 2016

So I Married a Tonganese Warrior...

Yesterday, we visited the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu. It's a fascinating place laid out in half a dozen little villages, each representing a different island people. Sponsored by the LDS church, most of the kids who work there are students at the Hawaii campus of BYU. They were all unfailingly polite and the dancers were incredibly talented.

But dance wasn't the only skill on display. In the Samoan village, we watched a young man shinny up a coconut tree as easily as if it had a ladder attached. I have no idea how he did it.

And barefoot, no less!

We were treated to fire making demonstrations, basket weaving with banana leaves and island games.

By mid-afternoon, we'd been walking a long way. One of the guys in our group was wearing a Fit-Bit, and it pegged out at 10,000 steps. So we took a break and watched a flotilla of costumed performers on double hull canoes. The dance steps looked tricky enough on dry land, but to dance well on a bobbing raft took some real skill.
The dancers on the Fiji boat were so energetic, the craft started rocking  out of control. The kid manning the rudder lost his balance and fell into the lagoon!

But the best part of the day was when my DH was called up to drum for the presentation in the Tonga village. Of course, he was fitted for a grass skirt, but I discovered that he had the camera in his pocket so I couldn't get a picture, doggone it! Anyway, I snapped a pic of him and the fellow running the show afterward. As you can see, he's got the banana leaf crown to prove it happened.

First, the Tonga warrior leaped to center stage, waved his arms and loosed a growling string of words that went something like "OodaBloggaMowmowRhutabega." (At least that's what it sounded like to me.) Then he pointed to my DH and told him to do the same.

Being a good sport, my DH leapt to center stage, waved his arms wildly and shouted "What He Said!"

The crowd ate it up with a spoon.

Then it was time for a drum duel. I think my DH surprised the warrior because he kept up with him pretty well. Guess it pays to be a percussionist in college! But finally the rhythms got too wild for him to follow, so my DH slowed down to a steady boom-boom-cha, boom-boom cha, leaned into the microphone and sang, "We will, we will ROCK YOU!"

He totally stole the show! And he already has my heart, so it was great day to be him. In case you can't tell, we are having a blast!

More to come, m'dears...
A few more pics from the Polynesian Cultural Center


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