Friday, May 30, 2008

Polynesian Cultural Center

Buddy and the infamous fire-walking Samoan.
We were told by many, many people that we have to visit the PCC while in Hawaii. Everyone told us the visit and the luau were well worth the admission price. I already knew that was a priority for me because I've wanted to go for a number of years. I remember my grandparents going to Hawaii back when I was young enough to get really excited about the "grass skirts" they brought back from the ABC store. They came home with those grass skirts and lots of stories about the PCC. In the end, visiting the PCC played a big role in our decision to go to Oahu.

Buddy playing drums with the Tongans

Even Pee-Wee was having fun!

Hot and Sweaty after a long day in the sun.

Let me be clear: We loved everything about it! G had already been before, but for Buddy and I, it was better than we expected. And we had really high expectations. My sister's mother-in-law told me that one cool and unexpected thing for her, was how strong you could feel the spirit immediately when you walk in. That was totally true. It was amazing how many visitors there were (as seen at the evening show and luau), but how smoothly things ran. There were no crowds and there were enough BYU-Hawaii student employees wandering around to make each visitor feel like they were the only ones there. I've never really seen anything like it and I spent many, many crowded days at BYU-Provo. (Maybe I should recommend the planners of Education Week and the supervisors at the Morris Center talk with the people at the PCC.)

M and Pee-Wee at the luau

G and Buddy enjoying the delicious meal at the luau. An employee directed Buddy over to the "kids" food table, but of course he passed and enjoyed the roasted pig buffet instead.

I've often wondered if I was approached by full-time missionaries or missionary-minded friends, if I would join the church. I have to admit that I can't imagine myself accepting the gospel that way. So I've always been really grateful that I was born into it. After my visit to the PCC, I kept telling G that I was curious to know how many people become curious about the students or the church after being there. I mean, not only is the PCC a Polynesian cultural experience, but it's a lesson in the way we're supposed to be living as members of the church. You know, courteous, fun, hospitable, Christlike, having integrity, joy, etc. I honestly think that if I knew nothing about the church, I would have high-tailed it over to one of the students and asked them what was "different" about them. And then I would have joined the church. They don't push the church there. The influence is very subtle, but like I mentioned, the spirit you feel there is pretty obvious. I was a BYU student once, but I don't think I as interesting and mature and well, impressive as the Polynesian and gringo students there. In the end, it was hard to leave. We had a really fun time. And now that our trip to Hawaii is over, Buddy still maintains that the fire dancers and playing the drums with the Tongans were some of his favorite parts of the whole trip (that and the snorkeling, of course). And he still can't understand how those Samoans walk on fire. Well, either can I... (I'm just crossing my fingers he doesn't try it. Yikes!)Our beautiful children. How did we get such cute ones?

M and G. Can you tell we were teaching Buddy how to use the camera? Pretty good for his first try!

So, G and I are seriously considering selling all of our possessions, selling the house, and moving to BYU-H. Do they have graduate programs? G could teach, I could go to school, and we could both work there. And play at the beach all the time, of course.


Jax,Jer,Luke and Jared said...

That looks like sucha wonderful trip! I am so jealous. Hawaii is my favorite place on earth... maybe when we reach our ten years we will make it back there with the kids... I will definitely talk to you soon to see how things went.

Emma said...

sounds fabulous. I'm glad you had such a good time there!

crazymamma said...

Oh man i love those pics! Especially the one n took of you and G! Oh that is soooo cute!

StrykerLOVE said...

jealousy! you and greg look great - what a beautiful pic of you that Buddy took - and seriously please call BYU and tell them to get those lessons!

Myndi said...

I agree, that pic that Buddy took is fab. It should be an advertisement for the PCC because I have never seen you look happier! That must have been some trip. Jeri was curious to know if you guys had fun. I told her "Of course!"