July 4th

The seals apparently decided to take the week off. We had only a few days of seal sitting this week. It was a good week to get yard work caught up.

Well, the seals came back, we spent Saturday up at the pup sitting on the North Shore. The pup that was born when we first got here, PK1, has been weaned and he got tagged….he is now N30. He is doing really well, after such agony on my part, worried how he would do on his own and is quite plump now, he doesn’t seem to miss mom at all.

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And then we spent the night of July 4th at a beach gathering (16 of us),with pupus (appetizers), fire pit and an abundance of alcohol. Quite a nice evening. Different than past years, but interesting sitting on the beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean and the abundance of stars while listening to the crashing waves.

And then we went to Japan for the weekend. Or at least it seemed like we did. We went to the local Buddhist temple in Koloa, just 2 blocks away. They were having their annual BON dance, and we went both Friday and Saturday nights. The event features individual dancing, although each dancer performs the same movements. The dance features a large circular ring, and the dancers form several lines within the circle. When the music starts, the dancers perform specific arm and hand movements, and at the same time moving in a slow counter-clockwise motion. What’s amazing is that each song has specific movements, and the movements are different from song to song, all of the dancers know the movements, even though the dancers are people old and young, from the general public. Very graceful. And then there was a Japanese style drum performance, complete with mythical monster. A cultural experience without the high cost of airplane tickets!
The BON dances are held throughout the islands in the summer, one could dance almost every weekend if you wished. One of the younger BON dancers

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Then an old dancer

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The first dance lasted for one hour.

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After the first hour we had a “half time” and were entertained by young Kauai drummers, the Taiko drummers, they danced, they drummed, and a monster circled the circle and roared at the children on the sidelines.
The “monster”

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The dancers returned then for another hour…..pretty cool!

This week, we started the installation of our photovoltaic system on the roof. The next step is the inspection after which the panels will be installed. Quite fascinating to watch the process. It will also be interesting to see Charlie's spreadsheets documenting any savings.

This week also included a lecture put on by the National Tropical Botanical Gardens about an extensive irrigation system built by the Hawaiians in the 14th century with aqueducts feeding fields of taro, sweet potatoes, and bananas just to the south of our house in the rocky dry terrain that now grows cacti, was really fascinating. A group of archeology students attended and I was fortunate enough to be able to go too. This system lasted until 1830 when the sugar plantations were established.

The seals returned late in the week, so more time was spent on the beach.

And mango season continues! We almost ODed on mangoes in June – they were so good. And to our surprise the season goes on. In fact we're in the midst of the second yield of Hayden mangoes. Apparently they have 3 crops a year. We're definitely going to OD before the year is over. In fact the mangoes ave become almost dangerous. We have several mango trees in Koloa that border the roads. And they've been dropping like bombs on the road- and probably on cars. The roads under the trees contain the corpses of numerous mangoes that have been run over by vehicles. A most dangerous fruit!

So the coming week brings a change in seal duties. The main seal volunteer on the south shore area is going to SF for about 2 months to be with her daughter, who is expecting her first child. Charlie and I will be needed to fill in many hours vacated by our colleague. We'll be anxious for Donna's return in September!

One last picture of the BON dance monster.

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