Monday, January 28, 2008

Back to Hawaii - Oahu

OK - Flipping a bit between Switzerland and Hawaii. They don't have much in common other than we were in both places. And - due to learning a 'new' alphabet - realized that some of the Hawaiian alphabet pronunciations are more 'European' vs American.

Probably because the Europeans actually got there first - the Americans claimed them later. And I do mean claim. If you study the history of the Islands, you find they were "discovered" during the time of "explore and conquer" by larger European nations. The Hawaiian islands had already been unified by Kamehameha I and maintained a very established monarchy and system of government. They welcomed the information the Europeans/Americans would bring but in doing so, lost their independence government and many lost their lives due to exposure to foreign diseases.

Didn't know you were going to be treated to a little history lesson, did you? Well - that's just a gross overview (gross as in large and general) of a fascinating history - both of our country and theirs. On to the fun stuff:

Here we have Santa Grinch! We first saw Santa Grinch Christmas '04. How many people can say their kids dance to the singing of Santa Grinch every Christmas? As you can see, there is much singing and dancing going on in the Tafisi household. Makes up for the lack of cold weather - Nothing says Christmas like "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!"

The baby gate stayed put until it was time to open gifts. Too bad it covers the view of the entire Oakland Raiders Christmas Village under the tree. Yes, nothing says Christmas like the Oakland Raiders. Or their little dog named Oakland. And here are all the cousins at a neighborhood lites festivity. The whole circle was decorated with over the top Christmas light items - Mickey, Rudolph, Pooh Bear, Nativities and giant trees made of beer bottles that had lights synchronized to Christmas carols. Not the true meaning of Christmas but it was very festive looking.

JT (Jiovanni), Teihanni (Hanni-girl), Rachel, Tavanni and Kendra. You can yell any name with "anni" in it and my sister's kids will respond. Did I mention they were absolutely adorable and how much fun we had with them? I even changed diapers. Had to learn the wrestling maneuvers again but so enjoyed spending time with them.
And here's Santa Neti! Neti showed up at the top of the stairs and it didn't take two seconds for 2 yr old, Tavanni, to yell "Hi Dad." And we thought he was so well disguised!
The girls and JT dressed in various animal costumes at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. If you are on Oahu and want to learn about the cultures that influenced the Islands, let the kids play in a cool learning museum (volcano education) and see beautiful artifacts - we'd encourage you to go. We always enjoy our visits there.
Took the kids miniature golfing. Actually, Bart and I were the only ones who actually golfed (he won). The kids just took off and had more fun hitting the balls into the water features and getting wet than actually trying to drive anything into a hole.
Will have more later from the Big B-day party for Teihanni in a couple of days.

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