Mmmm, I love all the fruit I found on Kauai. The oldest island on the Hawaiian Islands grows guava, mango, banana, papaya, avacado, starfruit, kava and pineapple. Pretty amazing for a volcano that erupted with fire and hot rocks six million years ago!  The “Garden Isle” has a tropical rain forest covering much of the land, and it gets more rain than any of the other “Sandwich Islands” which is an old name for Hawaii.  I normally don’t like being in water, so I skipped the snorkeling and surfing and enjoyed stretching out on the sandy beaches for a nap every day.  I also went hiking in the Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is a large canyon, approximately 10 miles long and 3000 feet deep.  I certainly got my exercise there!  Purrs, Gulliver.

Waimea Canyon

Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands are so beautiful. As soon as I stepped off the boat my hosts put flower lei around my neck as a symbol of friendship and welcome. A conch shell, called a Pū (pronounced poo) was blown to greet the visitors. Traditionally, Pū were used to announce the beginning of a ceremony or to communicate across water to people in canoes or from a canoe to land. Today they are popular at weddings, lu’au and the opening of the Hawaii State Legislature term. When the Pū is blown, how many times and in which directions all have significance to the ceremony. I learned a few Hawaiian words also. Aloha means many things, and can be used for both hello and goodbye. Mahalo is thank-you (always useful) and Ohana is the word for family. Wahine are women and Kāne are men, while Haole describes a non-native or foreign person. Purrs, Gulliver

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Hula Dancing

I went to Hawai’i this past summer and learned how to do a Hula Dance. Can you imagine a cat dancing?   The Hula is unique to the Hawai’ian Islands, though it was created by the Polynesian people who first settled the islands.  The modern form of the dance uses the body, hand and foot motions as well as singing or chanting to tell a story. It is not as easy as a talented dancer makes it appear. I kept losing my place and forgetting which hand motion to use next, which had the teachers giggling at my attempts.  They were nice about it though, and very patient teachers.  Purrs, Gulliver