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McDonalds Waikiki/ Haupia Pie & Pineapple Dessert

ALOHA all!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my wife and I had some life changing experiences on our recent trip to Hawaii. Those experiences have brought me to where I am right here and now, learning the Fijian language. There is one experience from Hawaii though, that left me in awe. Yes, that experience was when we went to (oh man…) McDonalds in Waikiki!! LOL

Why do I laugh? Hmmm, maybe it’s half disbelief, half embarrassment… I mean… pfft, it’s only McDonalds *face filled with confusion* of all places, RIGHT?

Ok, please allow me a short minute to explain the situation if you will:

We had just arrived in Hawaii and been driven via shuttle to our hotel (Queen Kapiolani Hotel, Waikiki), by the time we checked in, settled into our room and what not, it was about 930pm. We decided to go for a walk and look for a place to eat. We were sooooo hungry. Our minds were to exhausted after the Flight from Jacksonville FL, to Dallas TX, to Honolulu, HI… so we couldn’t be bothered looking for new places to eat. By then, in our tired state, McDonalds was the easiest, less painful, most faimliar choice.

I knew immediately what I wanted… Big Mac meal.

BUT, then I saw a sign up ahead…

haupia pie

On the sign was a Mcdonalds pie, with a flavour i had never seen before in a McDonalds restaurant. It was called Haupia Pie. No, not apple pie, HAUPIA pie. A quick search on google helped me to find out through wikipedia *see link here* what HAUPIA is (even though the picture next to it had coconuts all over it, i still Googled ‘haupia’ as i was soooo excited to see an island name on a McDonalds menu, and wanted more data to quench my thirst for Hawaiian knowledge).

 

We waited ever patiently for our meals. it was a little busy that night. I could not stop talking about this coconut pie i just ordered… still in disbelief that this could even be possible for McDonalds to sell such a pie. (I guess I knew it could be possible… In Australia McDonalds sold an English Pie during the FIFA World Cup which had berries and custard which was very nice indeed, but this time… I was in Hawaii, and I was loving the islands… so…)

When the meals came out and the register lady called out our receipt number. Yeah, that was our number. BUT, I saw our tray of food with an additional two cups of extra yellow stuff. I actually wasn’t sure if they got our order correctly. I asked the register lady about it, and she said: “It is a cup of Pineapple. It comes free with every meal”. I couldn’t breathe!!! The excitement! The passion! The love for Hawaiian food and island tropical fruitiness… this was GOOD.

Haupia Pie & Pineapple

I ate my burger and fries in quick haste with the look of satisfaction on my face. Then, when that was done, all that lay before me was the Haupia Pie & Pineapple. My mouth began watering again. Then there I was, blissfully enjoying the coconut haupia pie which went SO well with the golden Maui pineapple. I thought I was trying to eat them really slow to enjoy the dessert longer… Before I could take a 2nd breath, they were both… gone.

In no way will I ever regret a McDonalds meal ever again in Hawaii. I don’t know how often they make these types of pies, but I’m so glad I got to experience that. It really enhanced the Polynesian experience for me.

taro pie

McDonalds also at times have sold Taro Pies, like the one shown above… I had that on my mind this weekend.

So i went and got me some Taro tea with Tapioca pearls. It was Asian style tea but that doesn’t even matter. The flavours were sweet and still reminded me of the islands, and it was purple  🙂

The Taro tea sure tasted great, though, with all due respect to those milk tea makers, it was no compensation for my unique Haupia Pie experience. YUMM-O!

taro milk tea with tapioca pearls

It’s a kind and warm Haupia Pie Mahalo for this post. So, until next post. Moce Mada! 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in HAWAII, Polynesian FOOD

 

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Video

Who is K’Nova?? …His Music/ His Life

Malo e leilei,

As you’ve may have realised, I personally have a natural passion for Island music. I’ve always had an appreciation for it… Being a guitarist, a bluesman at heart, it wasn’t until my wife and I went to Hawaii that I really, really began to appreciated the type of island and reggae sounds I had grown up listening to… And really come to respect the music even more, and love it to the extent that I do right now (Island music and 50s Rock n Roll is ALL i’ve been listening to since the trip overseas!). I recently discovered some sublime talent since Hawaii back in May: Kiwini Vaitai, Laga Savea, Kabani, Te Vaka, and many more. The other night I had some time to search iTunes for more sweet island music. What was the result of my search? I found this guy: K’Nova.

KNova

I am impressed by K’Nova. The sincerity of his voice, and the raspiness in his voice is unique. He almost sounds like an island version of Lil’ Wayne, minus the gold teef and with a voice that can hold more than just a melody. This just may be what Lil’ Wayne would sound like if he was Polynesian and… could actually sing like a pro. Another thing which also impressed about this album is that it was produced by both George Veikoso (better known as Fiji), and Laga Savea himself. it’s a polished debut album leaving me wanting to hear more.

What is it that draws me to this music? It bring back to my mind the calm that Hawaii brought to my psyche, the trees, the sky, the water, the perfect humidity, the sunshine, and the feeling of Aloha.

Check out this track from K’Nova’s self titled 2012 album “He Ikai Teu Luva” sung in his native Tongan language:

knova - knova

*** Wanna find out about K’nova?? See his Bio below ***


 

K’Nova Bio

The story of K’Nova is just beginning. It’s a tale of a rough upbringing, incarceration and redemption through the healing power of music. Filo Aho-Lelei Kasanova Vaiangina Jr. was born in California’s Bay Area and raised on the mean streets of East Oakland. With an often absent father and six kids to raise, his mom struggled to keep things together. The family moved from place to place and sometimes stayed in a homeless shelter. Before long, the lure of streets took over. “Home just didn’t feel like home to me so at the age of 11 I ran away… I lived with complete strangers. I guess they felt sorry for me and my story and didn’t want me in the streets.”

The next chapter is predictable enough. Like so many others, drugs, gangs and crime became a way of life and repeated trips to jail the inevitable consequences. Remembering those days today, K’Nova says “I had no future, no plans, and no hope”. His only escape was through creativity, writing poetry and raps to wile away the time. “I spent 7 years of my life behind bars for me to realize that it wasn’t for me. ”Released at the age of 19, K’Nova knew that something had to change. His solution: a one-way ticket to Hawai’i where he had cousins willing to take him in and give him a fresh start. They recognized his talent and introduced him to artists like Laga Savea and Fiji who became mentors and encouraged him to get into the studio for the first time. The result is the stunning self titled debut release.

Many artists can sing and rap, not so many can write great original songs. That makes K’Nova all the more amazing when you realize this is an artist who had never before written music or set foot in a recording studio. Not content to recycle cliches, K’Nova possesses an uncanny ability to relate his true feelings and life experience in a very compelling way. “Old Halalani” tells the story of his warm welcome in Hawai’i, while “He Ikai Teu Luva” pays tribute to his Polynesian heritage. Tracks like “There She Goes” and “Mommy” prove that this is an artist unafraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and express real emotion.

Early buzz and airplay indicate nothing but a bright future for K’Nova. In his own words: “When I flew out to Hawai’i, my life changed and I knew it changed forever. I never knew I had the talent nor the passion but I knew deep inside of my heart, I had a story. Music saved my life. In my music I’m free to express the way I feel. In my music I’ve learned what a family truly means and how important it is. And in my music I found home! I’m twenty years old now with a family of my own. I have big dreams that are soon to come to life. My dream is to be the bridge my Polynesian people could cross over. Within my people there is love and where there is love, there is always HOME!!”

 
>> Bio from last.fm here… << 
last.fm

 

What a talent he is. More music coming soon… Until next Poly post, it’s Toki Sio (see you later in Tongan)  🙂

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in HAWAII, Polynesian MUSIC, TONGA

 

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Video

Pacific Island Rugby: Losing its Toughness??

tackles

The game of Rugby holds so much history in the Pacific Islands. Many islands have been around the game of rugby for a VERY long time. Here are the years the game of Rugby was founded for these countries/ islands:

NZ – 1892
Fiji – 1913
Samoa – 1924
Tonga – 1924
Niue – 1952
Hawaii – 1975
Tahiti – 1989
Cook Islands – 1989

Majority of these islands have their own traditional war dance:
New Zealand – Haka
Fijian – Cibi/ Bola
Tongan – Sipi Tau
Samoan -Siva Tau

The traditional dances of these islands are performed before the game in front of the crowd and directed to the opposite team waiting at the other side of the field’s half-way line in order to gain a psychological advantage. Check out this video where we see New Zealand + Fiji + Samoa doing their respective dances:

And sometimes you may even get to watch 2 at once!:

divingRugby has always been known to be as a real man’s game. No Faking. These day’s though, certain happenings have caused some to come to the inclusion that the game of Rugby may be losing the toughness and edge it had in years past. In a world where Soccer (of course – Football – for the fanatics) is officially known as the “world game”, the game of rugby may be taking some influence. Take a look at the NBA for example, where such players such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Blake Griffin, Lance Stephenson, and Argentinian (soccer mad) Manu Ginobili are even using flop tactics in Basketball in order to to win fouls and gain an advantage. This is something you would not have seen too much of as far back as the 90’s. Here’s an example of Dwyane Wade (one of my fave players) flopping hard out of bounds while in possession!!!

Granted, this tactic is now being used in other sports. This interesting snippet from a Sydney Morning Herald article from 2011 had to say about the history of Polynesians and Rugby

The rise of the islanders is a happy confluence of supply and demand: New Zealand has been swamped by Polynesian immigration and they have forced their way into national teams by talent and sheer numbers; the globalisation of rugby has suddenly made Pacific islanders bigger, stronger and faster than almost any other peoples, the men of the match.
Robert Dewey, assistant professor of history at DePauw University in Indiana says: “Rugby, was appropriated as a ”national game” among Tongans, Samoans and indigenous Fijians.
Early rugby played an important role in expressions of village pride and masculinity, partly because so many of the traditional institutions into manhood had disappeared,” 

Hmmm…Early rugby played an important role in expressions of village pride and masculinity??

OK then. So what…. happened…. here….

I’m sure we’ve all seen this video that went viral worldwide a couple months back (apologies for quality. Though I was excited to be watching Arsenio myself on T.V in his late night slot while in USA! Didn’t know he was going to show this video to open the show…lol!). It’s a hilarious video though…!

OK, ok, I’m SURE that flop was only a slight lapse in concentration for the player *cough*notreally*cough*… in reality though, Rugby is most probably not losing toughness any time soon. But hopefully, for the LOVE of the game, we don’t see anything like that flop/ dive again in Rugby… 🙂

Please feel free to leave a comment (comment section bottom right of this post) to let us know your thoughts on seeing Rugby players flop, especially Polynesians… lol

SHOULD RUGBY PLAYERS FLOP/ DIVE DURING A GAME?

Until next post it’s Moce Mada (goodbye) to my computer from here, and Sota Tale (see you later) to the rest of the world! 🙂

P.S Please show us some love by liking our >> Facebook page HERE <<  or to the right of this page (scroll up). “Connecting The Islands” needs your support. MAHALO!

 

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in #Just POLYNESIAN#

 

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SAFEWAY, S’mores, and Honua Kai Resort @ Ka’anapali, Maui

ALOHA! 

Do you want know a good way to live the life of a Hawaiian? Ok not really an authentic Hawaiian who lives off the land and is more in touch with nature. I grew up in Sydney Australia so I don’t know much about living off the land. Sometimes old habits are hard to change, and yes… we were so hungry so we decided to shop for our own food while staying @ the Honua Kai resort in Ka’anapali, Maui Hawaii. So, grabbed a trolley and strolled into SAFEWAY to buy food and supplies for our 4 day stay in Maui.

I was sooo excited. It was almost like was shopping at home back in Australia (SAFEWAY is Woolworths in Australia, though we still have Safeway stores in some States), but it wasn’t. This was Hawaii!! (Re-enactment: *pinches self* “Honey, we’re ACTUALLY in Hawaii… Right… now. And shoppiiiiiiing for grocerieeeees!”). Anyway, here’s how it went down. We went through, bought some beef mince for spaghetti bolognese dinner (i know… so un-island-like…). wait…. You know what?

grocery shopping @ safeway, maui

Here’s our list:

– Beef mince (chop meat)
– Smuckers Grape Jam
– Pasta
– Paul Newmans Bolognese sauce (i’m sure the red wine sauce)
– Tanqueray Gin
– Canada Dry Tonic Water
– Cool Whip (my wife hadn’t been back to USA for 2 years. She  missed the Cool Whip, lol)
– Mineral water
– Cheetos Twisted Puffs
– Milk
– English muffins
– Garlic Bread
– Butter
– Spices + some other things i can’t even remember… maybe bananas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
grocery shopping @ safeway, maui2
 

THEN

we walked past this sign… (*sound of trolley squeaking to a halt…*)

s'mores stand in maui safeway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
before the s'mores
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
add 3x more ingredients:
– hersheys chocolate
– graham crackers
– kraft marshmallows

 

 

 

 

I was about to learn the way of the s’mores eaters, with my wife as my instructor. Yes, this was the very first time i’d ever eaten s’mores (stupid auto correct keeps changing to ‘smokes’. Ewwww). I had never even heard of this weird sounding mashup of ingredients. My wife told me “you’ve NEVER heard of s’mores? Where have you been?? How can you not have heard of S’mores??” etc. etc. (what i heard: “yada yada yada… s’mores”?? I’m joking… I love my wife very much!). I surely didn’t know what i was in for. The s’mores tasted AMAZING. I was hooked, and even ate them cold the next day (maybe that’s the islander in me lol!) Anyways….. Going to Safeway was not a drag. It’s what you make of it. it was definitely all worth it as we got to have our s’mores treats while watching the endless blue ocean from our amazing Maui room at the Honua Kai, and that’s what it’s all about. See below:

Honua Kai resort awesome view

I just wrote a 5 second poem thinking about all this stuff:

No qualms,
chillaxing,
no stress,
no force,
just calm,
the ocean,
the sunshine,
and, S’mores…  →   (i copyright that, that’s MINE) 🙂
 

I know, this post is so not much of an “island post”, but the relaxing part was so very much islander. And it’s in Hawaii (Highly recommend the Honua Kai Resort to anyone who wants to go to Hawaii). We were definitely part of the Aloha spirit, no worries mate! 🙂

I’m very westernised, this is true, but at least i’m still learning my language. By the way, I learned Sota Tale (must say it by using short vowels. That’s the key!) means “see you later” in Fijian the other day.

So, until next post, it’s Mahalo (Hawaiian for thank you), and Sota Tale!! 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in HAWAII

 

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Tahitian Coconut Bread/ Polynesian Cultural Centre, Hawaii

Ia Ora Na! (hello in Tahitian)

My wife and I had the fun task of watching how to make Tahitian coconut bread @ THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTRE back in June 2014. We learned that Tahitians are known for their wild hip shaking hula style with wicked Timbaland sounding island drum beats that he probably sampled himself at some point… The Tahitian folk in this part of the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTRE tour actually made the bread by cooking it in the ground like the old school Tahitians, in fact just like all polynesians would have done (no ovens existed back then. I guess we can call them underground ovens?). Also, and to my own disappointment, you can see below on the right is a poor quality picture of the recipe. Yes I took that hideous picture… (blurry, unreadable, no focus, disappointing…). I did manage to find another better quality pic though…

OK, I’m ready. Let’s make this beautiful thing! 🙂

 

coconut bread at PCCcoconut bread at PCC (good)

Ingredients: grated coconut, flour, baking powder, sugar, water 

 

1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 175 degrees Celsius

2 – In a large bowl, mix coconut & baking powder

3 – Add Sugar & Water

4 – Add flour

Tahitian coconut bread7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(above: gradually adding flour to rest of ingredients)

 

5 – Mix all ingredients to a doughy texture, adding flour as needed so that dough’s not to stick

Tahitian coconut bread5Tahitian coconut bread8

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 – Break dough into 5 pieces of equal size (we used coconut oil to line the foil). Roll each piece into a log and wrap in Aluminium foil, the place on baking tray.

Tahitian coconut bread10

photo 3

Tahitian coconut bread4

 

7 – Bake in the oven for 1-1.5 hours

Tahitian coconut bread2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………..

Check if the bread is cooked through… And there you have it, your very own hot and steamy coconut bread. When you slice the bread while still hot/ warm, the smell is so coconutty and delicious. Might be a little heavy depending on who you are, but absolutely perfect buttered with a nice hot cup of tea. YUMMMmmMM-O!! Stay tuned for more Poly food/ recipes & more on the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTRE!!

TAMA’A MAITAI (Bon apetit in Tahitian) 🙂

Tahitian coconut bread3

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Polynesian FOOD, TAHITI

 

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Robert Louis Stevenson: Legendary Author/ Love for Samoa

Stevenson and the KingOK, now it’s time for some Samoan history… 🙂

You’ve no doubt heard of classics such as Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or Treasure Island, right?

The other day I was told about Robert Louis Stevenson by one of my workmates. When she asked me if I know of the book Treasure Island I said I had heard of it, and was aware of it being a classic story, but unfortunately haven’t read it… These classic novels were written by that man.

Robert Louis Stevenson, an author from Scotland, was known to have moved to Samoa 4 years before his untimely death back in 1894. He was known to have shown great respect for the Samoan people, their lifestyle, and their culture. In the 44 years of his life, author Robert Louis Stevenson produced an incredible amount of works encompassing short stories, novels, essays and non-fiction. His love of travel led him to eventually settle in Samoa, where the author spent his final years drawing inspiration from life in the Pacific. I learned a lot about this talented man through the following websites:

The Culture Trip

 

http://theculturetrip.com/pacific/samoa/articles/robert-louis-stevenson-s-journey-to-samoa/

 

Literary Traveller

 

http://www.literarytraveler.com/articles/robert-louis-stevenson-and-western-samoa/

Robert Louis Stevenson and Western Samoa – Posted on January 1, 2003 

by Thomas H. Booth

Western Samoa claims the largest proportion of full-blooded Polynesians in the world. At last count there were 162,000 of them, a collection of robust, often tattooed, sometimes obese, lava lava clad folks who live on the two main islands of Savai’i, and Upolu. Here too, for many of these people, the tempo, the style of life is much the same now as it was in 1889, when Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny first appeared, and for some of these folks, the conditions of island happiness remains the same. It’s a happiness based on a healthy wife, plenty of children, a Fale for cooking in, some coconut trees, bananas, taro, breadfruit trees, a church, a canoe and a few pigs.

But fortunately or unfortunately, independent Western Samoa is beginning to stir. A new airport has been built, new hotels too, and when word gets out about her beaches, mountains and general beauty, the tourist onslaught will begin. Added to this, Western Samoa is beginning to consider entry into international life, and into a world community that may offer more than subsistence living.

Still, for Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny, who in 1889 first saw these islands, it was the traditional way of life, coupled with its verdant beauty that first caught their attention. All of this was further enhanced by the presence of the small port town of Apia, which offered a few western style amenities, and a handful of amiable expatriates.

It was the combination of all these elements that lured them into paying $US 4,000 for a 314 acre piece of jungle clad property. And, it was here on a cooler than sea level 650 foot plateau, a place nearby a waterfall, a stream, and at the foot of 1,500 foot Mt. Vaea that the Stevensons and helpful Samoans hacked away the jungle and built a modest two story house. It was a house with a red roof, a place that sported two verandas, one upstairs, one down, and with all due ceremony was dubbed Vailima.

The name, Vailima, meaning five streams, may not have been quite accurate since there weren’t that many streams. Still, Stevenson liked the name, it stuck, and in time, when fully built, Vailima became a sort of Mecca for, not only Samoans but for the small expatriate community of Apia: Germans, English, a few Americans, and numbers of overseas visitors who appeared from time to time. Here dinner parties, dances, and picnics were held, all of them lively, happy occasions.

R L Stevenson

However, none of these social events were allowed to interfere with Stevenson’s closely guarded writing discipline, which was done in a room with a view of Mt. Vaea. It was there he wrote such things as Ebb Tide, The Beach At Falesa, The Bottle Imp, David Balfour, and his unfinished masterpiece, Weir Of Hermiston. But, what was Stevenson doing in the South Pacific? What brought him from the hard won scenes of success in both Europe and America? Why did the Stevensons first spend two years wandering about in a variety of ships to Tahiti, the Marquesas, Hawaii, the Cooks, Tonga, the Gilberts, New Caledonia, the Tokelaus and Australia? Why did he decide to spend what would be the last four years of his life in Samoa?

Biographers agree that Stevenson did it because he loved the sea, because he reveled in adventure, and he did it because it would be good for his health, which was never good. He was tubercular, a chronically thin lanky man, who in later years, firmly believed that a life at sea among these myriad islands would benefit his health. This may or may not have been true, but the people who benefited the very most were his readers, the ones who, to this day, continue to find pleasure in one of the best books about the South Pacific, In the South Seas, which was completed at Vailima. Fortunately, for Stevenson, by the time he and Fanny first sailed away from San Francisco on the sailing yacht “Casco” in 1888, he had achieved a literary reputation. His Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Treasure Island, and Kidnapped had come out, and unlike his earlier books that may have been overlooked, these books ensured the economic ability to sail, to travel at will, and to build his dream house, Vailima, in Samoa.

Building that house in early 1890 was rough on the Stevensons. They labored hard, and lived austerely. They got away occasionally, to Australia and other Pacific islands. One of these, an early 1891 junket, required Louis to go to Australia to meet his mother who was coming to Sydney. Fanny stayed in Samoa.

Stevenson met his mother in Australia, but the change of climate caused him to become very ill. Fortunately, help was at hand and it was his mother who nursed him until he was well enough to sail back to Samoa, where at Vailima he recovered rapidly. But, his mother, appalled at the primitive life the unfinished house provided, quickly decided to go back to Sydney and wait until conditions at Vailima improved. By fits and starts matters were improved, and in May 1891 Stevenson’s mother returned. There at Vailima she found herself a part of a congenial family, a family composed of her son Louis, his wife Fanny, Belle Strong (Fanny’s daughter by a previous marriage), her son Lloyd, and Belle’s son Austin. Added to this was a brace of attentive Samoan Servants. It was a big, active, and animated household.

As for Stevenson and Fanny, they were reasonably happy, but because Fanny was several years older it was said that he saw in her more of a mother than a wife. Biographers report little evidence of any display of affection between them, and at Vailima they had separate bedrooms. But all was not completely peaceful in Western Samoa. There were, about 1892, political problems, nearly warfare, that set England, America and Germany at odds. All of this left the Samoans out in the cold, and some of their chiefs were imprisoned for objecting to a foreign takeover. Stevenson took an active part during this bad patch of time. He strongly supported and gave aid to the Samoan cause, and they responded with profound gratitude and Stevenson, known as “Tusitala, the Teller of Tales,” became a revered member of Samoan life. In the end though a foreign power did prevail and Western Samoa was annexed to Germany.

For Stevenson, who by that time had reached literary prominence, life abruptly ended on December 3rd, 1894. That evening while helping Fanny with dinner, Robert Louis Stevenson had a brain hemorrhage and died. Then on the heels of his death, forty Samoan chiefs, who knew that their beloved Tusitala wanted to be buried on the top of Mt. Vaea, appeared and bore his body to a final resting place on the summit. Had he lived beyond that brief span of 44 years, one wonders what further impact he’d have on the literary world or what future benefit he might have produced for the Samoan people.

Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa

* * *

One morning, more than a century later, we left the quiet sanctuary of Aggie Grey’s Hotel, and in the cool of the morning we taxied to Vailima, where the land behind Apia slants upward. We went to the house, now a museum, and now a place that serves as a legacy of the past. Vailima, an important legacy, has in order of appearance been used as a government house by the Germans until they were evicted by New Zealand in World War I, next by the British as the same, and now as the home of the Samoan Prime Minister (who doesn’t live there). The house, however, is open to the public five days a week.

But it was to the summit of jungle-clad Mt. Vaea that we were bound that day. We were making a pilgrimage, a substantial sweat-producing pilgrimage up a rough path that finally fetched up in a clearing. From there Apia lay at our feet, and in either direction the island of Upolu with its line of breaking surf, was spread out below. There where we stood, in the center of that clearing, were the simple tombs of Stevenson and his wife Fanny, who died in California in 1914 and whose ashes were brought back to Samoa. One could see why Stevenson had chosen this place, and on the side of his tomb we read his epitaph.

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie,
Glad did I live and gladly die
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me.
Here he lies where he longed to be.
Home is the sailor, home from the sea.
And the hunter home from the hill.

Not many people make that substantial trek these days. Few Samoans do it, and only a handful of nostalgic Stevenson buffs make the attempt. But the thought surely occurs to those of us who do. How pleased he would be to see that so much of the essence of Samoan life is now as it was then.

Info on the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in Samoa, where his house still stands, can be see here: http://w.robert-louis-stevenson.org/museums/109-samoa-museum-western-samoa

Until next post it’s TOFA SOIFUA from the Poly Hub 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in SAMOA

 

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Video

Kiwini Vaitai & Hawaiian/ Tongan music

Mālō e lelei,

Since my recent trip to Hawaii found myself searching for more island music. It didn’t take me very long to find Mr. Kiwini and make him a regular on my own playlists. His music takes me back to the islands, though the sound is also polished with some auto tune in there and an awesome band that sounds like it COULD be Questlove and The Roots… I love Kiwini Vaitai’s artistry and approach to music. And what exactly do I love about his approach to music? His passion for feel-good music. Island beats have never sounded better with his fresh approach, or as soulful and modern at the same time. Check out his Bio down below, and also one of my fave tracks of his called “Lupeolo” from his Independently Bizarre album released in 2009:

whatitdo-logo>>>>This article taken from The What It Do -The Urban Island Review showing the hottest urban artists out there<<<<

 

Even though fame and the spotlight was never the fuel behind pursuing a career in music, it has come to Kiwini (pronounced Kee-vee-nee) Vaitai simply because his fans can’t get enough of him. Born in Dallas, TX and a local of Waianae, HI, Kiwini (who is half Tongan and half Hawaiian) has really taken the best of both his Tongan and Hawaiian cultures to create music that is enjoyed and loved by many. His style of music is an obvious product of his musical upbringing but his work ethic and passion for music is the very reason he has come to work with some of the biggest Urban Island artists today. Collaborating with the best is a sure way to number himself among the best and Kiwini is right on track and making that a living reality every day.

Kiwini’s given Hawaiian name is Kiwini Kamuela Kanaka Lokomaikai, which means “Kiwini, the bountiful man.” With a name like that, it’s no wonder Kiwini was blessed with a naturally abundant talent for music. Kiwini attributes his musicality to his mother’s side and he has always looked up to his uncle Sam, otherwise known as Uncle Sam Solatorio, a renowned musician in Hawaiian music. Growing up, Kiwini says his mom always played Old School music and the second Kiwini heard Stevie Wonder, it just clicked – the style, the story, the music – and he’s been a fan ever since. Kiwini sang in the choir at church and he didn’t pursue music outside of church until 2007/2008. While Old School music was a great part of his childhood, Reggae music became another influence in his adolescence with Fiji being a huge inspiration.

kiwini.originalBringing Old School and Reggae music together seems almost a norm among Urban Island artists today but Kiwini does so in a way that has so much soul. Kiwini’s soulful delivery of his music is smooth and seamless, which makes live performances all the more enjoyable. With hits like “Can’t Stop”, “Lupeolo”, and “Pina Colada”, Kiwini is stirring up the Urban Island music scene and keeping a steady course with no signs of going anywhere.

Having done “Lupeolo”, a track in his native Tongan language (video below), Kiwini is looking forward to doing a track in his native Hawaiian language. Culture is important to him but Kiwini states, “God first, family second, and everything else follows.” Kiwini is obviously a man of priorities and knows that music and his success mean nothing without his faith and his family. Like any other music artist, Kiwini simply wants to be heard and put out music. Music is that one thing he can run to and all his worries go away and his fans are grateful that his soulful music is something they can turn to when they want to escape their worries.

Having sung backup for Laga Savea, Fiji, and J Boog, Kiwini has learned a lot in his journey to being an independent artist, which is exactly why he is as successful as he is. No one can deny it – Kiwini bleeds music; it’s in his blood, heart, and soul. There’s nothing like soulful, Urban Island music and no one does it better than Kiwini Vaitai.

Be sure to get Kiwini’s latest album Independently Bizarre on iTunes, Amazon.com, or in local retail stores. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

-Article Written By: Juliet Uata

So…There you have it. Until next post it’s Toki Sio (“see you later” in Tongan) from the Poly Hub… OHH, and… CHECK OUT LUPEOLO here:

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in HAWAII, Polynesian MUSIC, TONGA

 

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