Friday, September 11, 2009

Polynesian Cultural Center

A hut in the island of Tonga.
Warning: This post is huge. I have so many pictures and I am trying to remember everything but there is so much my brain can't keep it all straight.

My dear friend Elaine lived with her family on Oahu for a couple of years (lucky!) and became my official travel planner. And thank goodness because she recommended the Polynesian Cultural Center and it was not even on my list to do. How this awesome place escaped my research is beyond me. It was amazing. We spent the afternoon walking through the villages and exploring all the Polynesian cultures.
We started out taking a canoe ride of part of the village.

The kids received passports to carry along and have stamped after they visited each "island".
With jet lag we were not able to go to all of the islands but we still saw quite a bit. Tonga had quite a few huts and there were people dressed in all the areas doing demonstrations.

Just walking from village to village is beautiful.

In the school house there were women making authentic Hawaiian quilts. We had read a picture book, Luka's Quilt, about the history of these beautiful quilts before we left home.

Erin is sitting on the steps of the church. We met a very nice lady who gave us the history of the church on the island. Erin wandered around and looked at everything while we enjoyed the stories.

"He will remember the islands of the sea" IINephi29:7 & Isaiah 11:11

"He who endures to the end, the same shall be saved" Matthew 10:22

This sweet lady gave us the history of the church.

We got a turn to play a 140 year organ.

Kyle, our family preacher.

Easter Island

This shows the construction of the huts which were normally the size of a football field.

A home made entirely of stone.

Getting our passport "stamped" in Tonga. This was a cute little drawing they did instead of a stamp.

We went to "Tonga" to see the coconut demonstration. Part of that included how they climb up and get the coconuts. This guy climbed to the top in seconds it was the coolest thing.
Then he showed off a bit!

Then we watched this man (who was so funny) show us how to open the coconut, crack the coconut, shave the meat, and finally make coconut milk. Quite a labor intensive job.

Ethan enjoyed climbing on rocky areas.
Erin and Lindy waiting patiently for the canoe pageant. It was pretty hot!

The canoe pageant begins each afternoon. Each island is part of the procession. The hula dancers preform their native hula, and they narrate about each island as they float by.


Tahiti ladies wore yellow and orange to worship the sun gods.




New Zealand

Mimi received a tattoo in Fiji.

Ethan wanted this for his room but I couldn't figure how to get it home so a picture will have to do. He loves the tiki's.

A war canoe. Kyle is ready to take it to battle.

Tree roots

A canoe driver on the other side while we floated down the river.
More to follow soon!


Laura said...

Oh my goodness Margot, your pictures are gorgeous! It looks like you are all having a wonderful time!

Jennifer James said...

Wow! What an awesome experience! I want to go!!! Glad you guys are having such a great time! We love looking at all the cool photos! I can't imagine how many you have taken on this trip!

Gretchen said...

Everything looks so beautiful and colorful; I have no idea how you fit this all in!