Geoff's Notes

Thu, 10 Feb 2005

We left Barrow on Saturday morning, stayed in Anchorage that night, and then I made my way to Seattle on Sunday afternoon. The others all took an early Monday morning (2:00 a.m.) flight so they could watch the Superbowl. I opted for a night's sleep, and ended up on the same plane with Tobias from Seattle to Honolulu Monday at 8:40 a.m. We arrived in Hawai'i around noon, got settled in the hotel in Waikiki, and then headed first to the Bishop Museum and then across island to the Paliku Theatre at Windward Community College for rehearsal. Upon gathering there, we found that Charlie for some reason was not going to be with us, so we spent that evening incorporating Norma, an employee of the Iñupiat Heritage Center with no acting experience, into the show. That meant some reworking of our approach, but at least it kept a representative from Barrow in the program.

Tuesday morning and this morning we did 9:00 & 10:30 shows at the Paliku Theatre to groups of from 150 to 250 students. Despite Norma's inexperience, she has managed to deliver her lines quite well, and the shows have been well received. At the end of our second performance today, after we had introduced ourselves and answered a few questions one of the high school boys began a beautifully sung solo chant, and then was joined by many of the Hawaiian emersion students in the audience in a group chant. If you have not heard traditional Hawaiian chant, it is difficult to describe its power, delivered primarily in a monotone, but with a full richness of vocalization that is simply thrilling. That is a moment I won't forget.

Yesterday was a day off, which I spent mostly rehearsing for my programs at Hanahau'oli School next Monday. Tomorrow we head off for a hike at Palikea, one of the more remote parts of Oahu, and Saturday we'll be off on another excursion to learn about the traditional Lo'i (taro farms) and fishponds. I'll report back in a few days.

permanent link