Year: 2014

#100happydays Challenge

In July, a flurry of posts on my Facebook newsfeed regarding the origin behind the #100happydays phenomenon caught my interest.  I vaguely remember hearing months beforehand that some of my friends were going to participate in this challenge.  I didn’t pay too much attention, but as my Facebook newsfeed kept popping up with the #100happydays story, I decided to head over to their website and check it out. I was surprised at the simplicity of the website:  But it makes perfect sense.  Happiness is simplicity.  The less noise and distraction the easier it is to understand the information presented to you.  The gist of the exercise is to post for 100 consecutive days through a social media outlet of your choice (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) one thing that made you happy that day. I decided to use my Twitter account to record the 100 things that made me happy. Well, I am happy to report that I have successfully completed my #100happydays challenge.  I was afraid I would be part of the 71% of people that started but did not complete …

Iselle and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

It is 5:00 pm (HST) and category 1 Hurricane Iselle is currently 150 miles east-southeast of Hilo. A hurricane warning was issued yesterday afternoon and although we had hoped that it would be downgraded to either a hurricane watch or a tropical storm warning, here we are, 2-3 hours out from experiencing sustained winds of 80 miles per hour with higher gusts. Meanwhile, Julio is 1155 miles outside of Hilo and a classified category 2 hurricane expected to weaken in the next few days. Hurricanes are rare for Hilo. We are commonly known for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, but there is a first time for everything. We did have a close call with Flossie in 2013, but she dissipated before reaching us. Living in Hilo, I had grown complacent about hurricanes being a threat. There is a common belief here that the reason we don’t experience hurricanes is because Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai protect us, sheering through hurricanes and sparing us from their effects. Not so in the case of Iselle and I was jolted into reality with the issuance …

HAPPY! Daily Prompt: Musical Marker

We all have songs that remind us of specific periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now, which song will remind you of the summer of 2014? I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy” in the past 6 months, but I can tell you that I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of it. For my birthday this year, Carolina created a photo montage with “Happy” as the soundtrack and last week, someone shared the video, “Happy from Kamakura, Japan,” where I had just visited. The infectious tune and uplifting lyrics can chase away all the gloom in a matter of seconds, which makes it my anthem of 2014. Daily Prompt: Musical Marker |

Daily Prompt: Adult Visions

As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life? My adult life is very much like what I imagined it would be and this is why: I’ve pursued my love of traveling. There is something about becoming intimately familiar with a new place. Experiencing a city is a multi-sensory experience. The body experiences everything about the city through all the senses; sights, sounds, smells, textures and language, culture, and history all come to life. Traveling also interrupts daily routines and forces someone to learn and adapt quickly. I’ve learned to rely on myself and to be resourceful. Being somewhere new means trying new things that I might never do at home, but it’s also meant developing a greater appreciation for my own culture. When I’m away, I can genuinely appreciate the similarities and differences between the host culture and my own. I’ve lived a life of trying new things. When I’m in a position to do something different or try something new, I’ve always asked myself, “Why not?”. …

Missing Japan

After spending a whirlwind week in Japan, I came home to Hilo and immediately began looking for flights to return. It seems, with every visit, I find myself being drawn in by its charm and beauty. I’m still processing the trip, so I’ll likely write about these experiences in future posts, but for now, here are some images of my time spent in Kamakura and Matsuzaki.  

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

Even though we can’t watch the sun dip below the horizon from the east side of the island, doesn’t mean Hilo people can’t enjoy sunsets. Seeing the last minutes of sunlight serving as the backdrop of Mauna Kea is always a pretty sight. Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast:

Playing with Snapseed

Bastet’s Pixelventures challenged us with playing with apps.  I found that I really like using snapseed in altering my photos. This week’s challenge was fun.  While walking around my mom’s garden I came across a bush of Hawaiian Chili Pepper.  Oh so spicy! hawaiian chili pepper how you tempt me to make a local dish  

Perspective: Futbol Fans

In light of the World Cup happening in Brazil, I thought I’d go dig through my archives from our visit to Argentina in 2009.  During our stop in Arequito, our Rotary GSE was invited to go to the local futbol (soccer) game between Club Atletico Belgrano and Club Atletico 9 de Julio.  This was a very exciting game and I had never seen so many enthused fans.  There were fans everywhere, even a few who climbed to the top tower of the support beams of the bleacher stands. Check out other blogs participating in Bastet’s Pixleventure: Perspective.

Looking Up: King Kamehameha Statue

On Wednesday, June 11, the State of Hawai’i celebrated King Kamehameha Day, in honor of the first monarch to unit all the Hawaiian Islands.  On this day, all of the statues here in Hawai’i can be found draped in beautiful fresh leis.  It is a magnificent sight to see.  Even with the occasional down pour in Hilo, there were several well attended festivities to celebrate this day. Check out other blogs participating in Bastet’s Pixelventure: Looking Up! and Travel with Intent: Look Up, Look Down Challenge.  

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

Earlier this year, my hālau performed upon the kahua hula at Kaʻauea in Volcanoes National Park. On that day, we prepared for the exhibition in this thatched single room hale. According to the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation, the hale was originally erected in 1980 and has been maintained and restored throughout the years. On that day, rays of sunlight and stray raindrops came through the roof above, while smooth pebbles gently massaged the soles of my feet with every step. Hundreds of dancers whose hālau prepared to demonstrate their respective traditions once stood where I stood and hundreds more would do the same after me. I was grateful to join such an illustrious membership. The kahua hula we danced upon was the brainchild of Edith Kanakaʻole. Edith played an integral role in the proliferation of Hawaiian culture within and beyond traditional and western educational systems and I consider her one of my contemporary role models. Edith understood the importance of cultural education and devoted her life to the endeavor of perpetuating Hawaiian lifestyles for the well-being of our community. Dancing to Pele, Edith’s ancestor, smoldering at Halemaʻumaʻu in the distance, was a mahalo to Edith …