Entries Tagged as 'holunape'

Kamehameha Schools Luau

June 27th, 2009 · No Comments

On our last day in Oahu our big plans were to attend the Kamehameha Schools Luau, but first we went and visited Dallas’s grandma one more time. Dallas and I were up really late the night before and Grandma is getting up there in age so it was really just like Dallas, Grandma and I sitting on the sofas trying not to fall asleep while Kala watched some 80s countdown show on VH1. Nevermind that Kala was born in 1992 and didn’t know any of the songs. Grandma would keep waking up and making comments like how she didn’t like Flock of Seagulls hairdos and stuff like that. Kind of funny.


Later in the afternoon we drove up to the Kamehameha Schools campus for the all-class luau. All of the classes from the 1930s or 1940s on were in attendance.. well, every 5 years.. so like 5 year reunion, 10 year reunion, etc. Each year the class celebrating their 29th year reunion puts on the luau to honor the class celebrating their 30th year reunion. And all of the kids that are coming back as seniors have traditionally been servers at the luau. This year, though, they couldn’t serve because alcohol was being served at the luau so the parents of the seniors had to do it. Dallas’s Uncle Bob and Aunty Helen had to serve because Kala is an incoming senior.

First off, each class had to get their official photograph taking. I think some people just blew this off, so the Class of ’94 photo is looking pretty sparse.




After this we hit up the beer booth and the pupu stand and then made our way to the designated Class of ’94 area under the big tent where Kilo had saved us seats.



The pupus at the booth changed out every half hour so people from our table just kept going up and getting more. I had previously had many of the dishes served, but there were definitely some I had not. I was sitting by Donovan and he kept passing me all the pupus and making sure I tried everything I’d never had before. Like pickled Maui onion, a’ama crabs, limu salad, and raw Maui onions dipped in Hawaiian sea salt. And other favorites I’d had before like boiled peanuts, poke, smoked meat, edamame.

The whole time we were socializing and eating and drinking there was a big stage at the middle front of the tent and people were speaking and playing music. We couldn’t really see because we were too far off to the side. I heard there were something like 1,600 guests at the luau, so you can imagine how big that tent was! We were alerted when Monte and Kilo went up to do the hula. Kekoa’s band Holunape was playing (same classmate and band that played earlier in the week at Aku Bone). So I ran up to get a few photos.




In years past I heard the luau dinner was served buffet style. This year each person got served a plate. Some people were leery about this but everyone agreed the food was really ono and the portions were generous. Here’s what we had:


Clockwise, starting with rice: Rice, kalua pig, chicken long rice, sweet potato, Heineken, poke, lomi-lomi salmon, poi, squid luau, fruit punch.

And for dessert there were trays in the center of the tables with chocolate cake, haupia and kulolo.

It was great to see many of Dallas’s friends again. I wasn’t sure what to expect really from alumni week. I thought I’d be on my own more. I knew I’d be designated driver and do whatever for Dallas to do everything he wanted to… but I didn’t expect to have so much fun. All of Dallas’ classmates were really nice and welcoming me into the group. It was fun to meet a lot of people that mean so much in Dallas’s life.

And I always knew that he went to Kamehameha Schools, but I never really “got” it. So.. you went to a school.. So what. But Kamehameha Schools is so rich in Hawaiian culture and tradition. Generations of Dallas’s family have attended. Going to these reunion parties finally made me realize what it’s all about. It’s like a family. Everyone was nice to me because through Dallas, I’m ohana.


[


Hoku’s House

June 24th, 2009 · 1 Comment

After Hoku showed us around Waimea Valley and we took a swim in a waterfall, we headed over to his house. Hoku rode his motorcycle and we followed in our rental car.


We hung around Hoku’s house all night. There were many friends over. Some of them played beer pong. Dallas played with Hoku’s daughter’s toy and was absurdly happy when he got it working after I failed:

At sunset we headed to the beach. Hoku lives about a 2 minute walk from Sunset Beach, so you better believe the sunset was spectacular.


Hoku brought his ukulele and played some songs.


He also told me an old Hawaiian tale about these flowers that he picked nearby, but I can’t remember it now.


I threw the ball for this dog a few times. That dog could run. FAST!


Then I came back and listened to Hoku play the uke a bit more. It was an idyllic setting.. the beach, the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean and flowers, the sunset, soft music.

It looks like this setting made Dallas want to kill someone, but I think really he was just drunk already.


Hoku is in a band called Ill Valley. He does not play ukulele in the band, they’re a hip hop band and he sings. Ill Valley released an album in 2007 and in March of 2008 it was honored by being nominated for the 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for “Best Rap or Hip Hop Album Released in 2007.” If you haven’t been following along, the Na Hoku Hanohano awards are like the Grammys for Hawaiian music. As I mentioned earlier, Kekoa, another of Dallas’s classmates, is in a band called Holunape that won a couple of these awards this month.

Anyway, Ill Valley had practice the night we visited so we got to hear them play. Lots of friends were over and everyone was just hanging out playing music, playing beer pong, and drinking beers.


I didn’t drink, though, because I had to drive from the North Shore back down to Waikiki at some point. Hoku had some business in Waikiki the following day so he came with us back down. That was an interesting drive. It’s about an hour to hour and a half drive. I had no idea where I was going and Dallas and Hoku kept falling asleep. There was a lot of arm punching and yelling “Which way!?!?” and a lot of mumbling, “Take a left by the Foodmart…zzzzzz…” Oh boy!

[


Holunape at Aku Bone

June 20th, 2009 · No Comments

Holunape at Aku Bone, Honolulu

Holunape at Aku Bone, Honolulu

That night we went out to a locals bar called Aku Bone where one of Dallas’s classmates, Kekoa was playing with his band Holunape. The band plays traditional Hawaiian music and consists of a ukulele, a guitar and a stand-up bass. Kekoa plays the bass. Actually… er.. here he’s the guy in the middle playing guitar. He was mostly playing bass, though.

Monte, Dallas, BJ :: Aku Bone, Honolulu

Monte, BJ, Kilo, Keone, Dallas :: Aku Bone, Honolulu

We timed our trip this year so that Dallas would be able to attend his Kamehameha Schools alumni week. The event at Aku Bone was not an official Kamehameha reunion event, but many of Dallas’s friends from Class of ’94 were there, as well as many Kamehameha alum from other years. The table next to us was full of Class of 1940-something alumni, which was kind of like drinking with your grandparents, but also very cute because the old-timers got up a lot to hula. Kilo and Monte, from Dallas’s class, did a hula. At one point, the older ladies next to us were kissing Monte and putting money in his pants! It got a little crazy.

Kilo, Brandy, Lani, Hoku, Monte, Dallas, Nalani, BJ :: Aku Bone, Honolulu

This was the first time many of Dallas’s classmates had seen each other in 15 years. Dallas has a special bond with the students from the outer islands because they all had to board in the dorms on campus and spent every waking and sleeping minute together for many years. Dallas says he’s lived with some of his classmates longer than he lived with his own brother and sister. It was neat to see them all together again.

Kamehameha Schools Class of ’94 :: Aku Bone, Honolulu

Kamehameha Schools Class of ’94 :: Aku Bone, Honolulu

Kamehameha Schools Class of ’94 :: Aku Bone, Honolulu

Oh, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but Kekoa’s band Holunape is quite accomplished. The following week when we were in Maui the 32nd annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards were held. These awards are given out by the Hawaii Academy of the Recording Arts and are the equivalent of the Grammys, but for Hawaiian music only. Holunape was nominated in four categories. They won the award for group of the year, and their album “Ahea? ‘Ano!” won for Hawaiian album of the year. You can listen to clips from the album at mele.com. (Mele = Song). Later when we were in Kauai at Borders we tried to buy the winning album but they were all sold out. We did see their previous album on the shelf, though.

Holunape CD at Borders :: Lihue, Kauai

[