The new year has started out quickly

We have had seals almost every day and many times multiples at different places, so it’s been hectic.  We are getting new volunteers but mostly short termers.  EKK, E Kanakapili Kakou has started again every Monday and we have so far, had two concerts.  The concerts are very popular and Charlie and I are both greeters and money counters.  Both of the first two have been full (over 400 people).  Since we remake the list of attendees every year, the first concert is particularly intense because everyone had to re-register.  The music is outstanding: week 1 featured 3 local “boys”,Paul Togioka, Kenny Rapoza, and Ernest Palmeira with slack key guitar, steel string guitar, ukulele, and even a banjo.  This event attracts nationally known artists, some of which have earned Emmys and is a steal at a requested $10 donation.  The first week, I was also lucky enough, between jobs, to get my first foot massage.  Contrary to how it sounds, its a massage where the masseuse uses his feet to massage…….it was heavenly, though intense and slightly uncomfortable but rejuvenating.  The young man that provided it, a Hawaiian, is also a hula dancer.  He provides the massage at this event, for a hug or hand shake before the concert starts.  But $20 donations are also welcome.

We also attended the annual West Kauai softball party at Charlie’s home field in Eleele.  We were in charge of decorations, so strung lights around the shelter.  The food (heavy pupus) was local and excellent.  The players, their wives and former players all had a good time.  We even played a “washers” game, where your tossed washers onto a board with 3 numbered holes.  The goal was to total exactly 21 points.  The holes were numbered 1, 3, and 5.

IMG_0030Here’s some of the players, the lady in the red visor is the only female on the team.  The ball field is in the background.IMG_0033

My plate with all the yummy food.

Jim Messina also held a concert in Lihue, that I went to with Donna and a couple of other EKK volunteers…..since we had put posters up all over the south shore, we got free tickets.  The venue was sold out, we have many 70’s vintage folks here on the island.  He was very entertaining.IMG_0676

The second Monday of EKK featured the Hiipoi Kanehele Songbird of Ni’ihau, 3 sisters from the island of Ni’ihau, the small island off Kauai that is so private that one has to be invited to go there.  The 3 sisters and their cousin sang Hawaiian songs, a cappella.  Absolutely outstanding voices.  All are very large in stature as well as their voices.  They have performed all over and have several CDs out.  The nicest most down-to-earth folks you can imagine.  Hugs all around to the volunteers as typical of Kauai.  All in all an awesome experience, the music keeps getting better for the 10 week program.  Its been fun greeting familiar faces from year to year.  Charlie didn’t make this event, as his softball team had a practice game with another team.  He did well though, from what I heard, so missing EKK wasn’t all bad.

The seals too have been attracted to the south shore lately, perhaps because of the big swells north (30′ to 40′ surf) but who really knows.  All I know is that we’ve been very busy and enjoying being with some of our old friends, K90, 1KY, G22, F30, K31, 4DP and so on.  When I first started doing this, I couldn’t imagine that we would get to know them individually, but when we see them frequently, we become attached.  We are always eager to welcome new volunteers though, since we are on the beach almost every day.

We are glad to see that K90’s ugly cookie cutter shark bite is healing well.  They look so awful that many visitors ask us why we don’t intercede.  The answer is that they heal quite well on their own and we want to minimally intercede.

Note, the wound has almost dried up.

Midweek, Charlie went to Oahu for his first meeting with his new project.  He’s going again this coming week, so we’re not sure how the hours are going to work out.   It was supposed to be 30% to 50% time, but already feels like more.

We have had quite a bit of vog in the last week, vog, is volcanic fog.  Whenever we get a SE wind, it blows up from the Big Island from Kilawea, the still-erupting volcano.  The weather gets warm, the air is hazy and sometimes your eyes burn from it.  The trades are supposed to return on the weekend….thank heavens…..that will blow it away.  People with asthma really suffer.





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