Kauai: Shaka Steel and Brass Ensemble Tour

Last week, which just happened to precede several important tests, was a perfectly spectacular week. As I mentioned before, it was my best Thursday to Saturday so far (up to that point in my life. This week of course became my best week so far…). Why was it so amazing? you ask. Well, I went to the lovely neighbor island of Kauai! All I can say is we all gasped the moment we flew over the ocean and spotted the speck of the island, and only continued gasping (although breathing normally and taking in the crisp air) for the rest of the week. Gorgeous.

Great parts:

1. The members. Oh boy. They fed us so well! I tend to forget that as I eat at the caf everyday, but there’s a reason polynesians are so big. I honestly gained about 10 pounds, and I’m not making that up. There was some especially good butter mochi that I will never forget.

2. The kids, of course! I think one of the very best parts of a tour is getting closer to everyone, and we really did. This is us:

These are my fellow roomies:

3. Our living conditions. The two beds I was blessed with rival my bed at home, which is making a very grand statement. This is a picture of the first bed Suzie and I slept on:

The second one, that Erika and I had, was the memory kind that Brother and Sister Williams have, that sinks down and forms to your body when you first lay on it. Oh my word, it was amazing. One of the best Sunday naps I’ve ever had.

4. The performances. We performed for the members at the church, and that was really fun. We also performed at a super nice community college, outside an outdoor hotel pool, and at a mall. Each went very well, and I think all the audiences loved them. Steel and brass bands are pretty unique, and very cool to watch/ listen to. What can we say. We’re awesome.

5. The actual island.

You have permission to be amazed. Oahu is lovely, Kauai is a different kind of lovely. I live in Paradise.

6. The music. As I said, steel and brass are two awesome timbres, and playing the steel pans is one of the funnest things I’ve ever done. They sound so cool! I want to make a Jamaican club so we can perform on the steel pans at Culture Night.

7. Just the experience. There was a time that we were eating yummy food under a pavilion out on some beautiful hike, and this other group of tourists came over. (They were a lot of old people.) We sort of told them who we were, and since we were a music group, then wanted us to sing. So Dr. K had us sing I Am a Child of God. Man, the Spirit was so strong! It was great. It was like we were all bearing our testimonies at once, in the way we all do it best. Music does that, you know?

All in all, tour was fabulous. I’m hoping to be in steel band for as much of the rest of my time here as I can. I love being a music major.