Weekly Photo Challenge: One

Diamond Head Light House

Diamond Head Light House

While coming back from Hawaii, I read an article Odyssey Of Mind by Rob Britton (http://hub.aa.com/en/aw/remembering-travels) in the in-flight magazine in American Airlines. The author says that at some point in our life we get caught up when we will have no time to travel. He says,

Although trip recall is often spontaneous, our senses usually are our boarding passes. Our senses of sound, smell, taste and feel can serve as similar tickets to another time and place.

We left Maui reluctantly, thinking we could have spent more time in Maui. Reading this article was a consolation to my mind. Ever since I returned from Maui, I have been revisiting whenever I narrate my experiences to friends or when I wrote posts on this blog about my travel.

Like Rob Britton said in his article, senses of sound, smell and taste take me back. Every morning I close my eyes and breathe the fresh air and the smell takes me to Maui. The sound of running water in a fountain at my office takes me in front of those waterfalls and the black sand beach. I come home and listen to Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia’s flute, and next second I am in Halemano. While cooking, I open the kitchen rack and the tinned Dole pineapple chunks remind me of Honolulu. Pesto Penne Pasta reminds me of Halemano, since we cooked the same at Halemano kitchen for evening dinner.

Looking at the photos that we captured in Hawaii again takes me there and all other places we have visited so far. There’s no 6 hour flight and journey is free of cost.

Re-posting some of my favorite photos, some are taken by my husband and couple of them by myself. The picture of a flower in snow, was not taken in Hawaii.

Koki Beach Park

An island seen from Koki Beach Park

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A distant tunnel seen from Nu’uanu Pali Look out

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A Beetle on a plant

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A man skiing at Ho’okipa Beach Park

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A flower covered in snow

A pineapple at Dole Plantation, Hawaii

A pineapple at Dole Plantation, Hawaii

Scenery on Kamehameha Highway

A tree on Kamehameha Highway,Hawaii

 

Dancing girl at Thanksgiving Parade – Waikiki

Statue of Kamehameha I the great

Statue of Kamehameha I the great

Puua Kaa State Wayside

A waterfall- Puua Kaa State Wayside

Our cottage at Halemano to the left

Our cottage at Halemano to the left

Morning Sun rise

Me sitting on the bench at the edge of the cliff watching the morning Sun rise

Written for : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/photo-challenge-one/

Part 2: A peek into Hawaiian History

Second day in Oahu, Hawaiian Island.

30th Nov

We woke up as early as 4 in the morning to visit Pearl Harbor Memorial. In holiday season tickets for USS Arizona memorial tour are limited and are sold quickly. The park opens at 7 but according to my hubby the queue starts as early as 6. We got ready and had ‘everything bagel’ and coffee at a cafe in front of our hotel. It was dark but not very cold. By the time we reached there were already 30-40 people standing in the queue. The tour hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. In each tour a maximum of 100 people are allowed. After waiting for 30 minutes we got tickets for the first tour. We bought a self guided audio tour. For the next 40 minutes we followed the audio tour. We were shown a short movie for 20 minutes about Pearl Harbor history. After the movie, a ferry waited at the exit, in which we were taken to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. During the World War II, Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and  USS Arizona ship was hit with a torpedo. Arizona sank and became a final resting place to nearly 1177 soldiers even to this day. This catalytic event led US to enter World War II. A memorial is built on USS Arizona that still sits under the water. Traces of oil still seeps from the ship, families of soldiers believe that it’s the tears of soldiers trapped in Arizona bubbling up. Here are some photos:

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We came back to the park and went around to complete the audio tour. There were many more interesting tours but that would require a whole day. We decided to leave for Iolani Palace that is located in Honolulu business district. May be because of Saturday morning, the road was empty and very few cafes and restaurants were open. Those that were open had no vegetarian options. The Denny’s at Kalakaua Avenue was the nearest. We drove back to Waikiki for breakfast. Vegetarian is not just difficult to find but very expensive.

We drove back to Iolani palace after breakfast around 11 a.m.. Iolani Palace belonged to King Kalakaua and his sister and successor Queen Liliuokalani. Iolani stands grand and majestic. A big banyan tree stands next to the palace, as grand and huge as the Palace itself. We didn’t take the tour inside the palace.

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace

In front of Iolani Palace is the Statue of King Kamehameha I or Kamehameha the Great. A brave and powerful warrior, he is said to have conquered all the Hawaiian islands and established Kingdom of Hawaii.

Kamehameha

Kamehameha

Lunalilo, unlike his grandfather Kamehameha I, is said to be the most liberal king. Below pic is the tomb of Lunalilo. He requested a burial at Kawaiahaʻo Church with his mother. His mother Kekāuluohi was excluded from the royal list and was not buried at the Royal Mausoleum, which was mainly for the chiefs.

Lunalilo

Mausoleum of King Lunalilo

Nuuanu Pali State Park Lookout. Battle of Nu’uanu was fought here. Kamehameha 1 fought this battle to unify Hawaiian Islands. A information board displayed warriors falling of the cliff during the battle. For that reason in Hawaiian language it is known as Kalelekaʻanae, which means “the leaping mullet”.

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It was terribly windy at the Nu’uanu Pali Look out. After spending 20-30 minutes photo shooting, we headed back to Waikiki for food. We had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen at Ala Moana Center, Waikiki.

The one thing we were desiring to see in Hawaii was Hula, the traditional Hawaiian Dance. Polynesian Cultural Center has a packaged tour including Luau, a traditional feast accompanied by entertainment. The feast comprises of mostly pig, salmon, chicken and other food. There were Luau at other places but we didn’t find it reasonable to pay an exorbitant amount simply to watch the dance. We dropped Luau and decided to spend rest of the evening at the beach and Waikiki Street.

While exploring each store, we stopped at a huge crowd at Royal Hawaiian Center. In an open garden there was a stage arranged with lights and microphone. After a couple of minutes dancers in native Hawaiian costume showed up. We managed to find a seat at a corner. The Hula dance, which we most wanted to see, began. It was a wonderful experience to see the Hawaiian Hula Dance. I managed to take some videos. From where I sat, there was not enough light for recording. The video recording is shaky. With the help of YouTube I stabilized and auto corrected which is bearable.

In Hawaiian, Laka is the goddess of Hula dance. It is said that the hulahula dancing in Hawaiian was not so much of dancing in usual sense. The dancers act out of hand gestures and movements to convey the meaning of the song. Dances were named from the nature of accompaniment. Like, ka-laau, in which the tune is marked by the striking of sticks, hawaiian puili sticks, the Hula Pahu accompanied by drums.  Dancers wore Pa-u dress with wreaths on head. 

Though the following videos are shaky, it is worth watching. The first playlist has 7 videos, showing Hula in traditional Hawaii fashion. The singer uses the instruments Ipu and Hula Pahu. She beats it for rhythm. Dancers use sticks I believe to be puili sticks made of bamboo.

Second single video is of an artist dressed as Elvis Presley and other dancers. I thought this is modern form of Hula.

Third playlist has 4 videos. We managed to find a seat in the front for this performance. The singer uses a guitar kind of instrument called Ukeke. Dancers use Ipu and puili sticks.

Reference: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~anu/pdf/Brief_History_1891.pdf

Interesting read: http://www.bishopmuseum.org/documents/govdocs//PAM_DU_HIST_8.pdf

Other references: Wikipedia

Submitting for : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/multimedia-storytelling-challenge/

Everyday of my life

First attempt on Haiku. Written for Weekly Writing Challenge: Haiku Catchoo

YOUR CHALLENGE, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT

In the words of Ray Bradbury, “Just write every day of your life…”. Your mission is to write five haikus — one for each of the five days leading up to this Friday.

waking up like a
snail, slowly crawling, lazy
mind, a lazy day

feeling little good,
like a tortoise, moving
relatively faster

two days to Friday
something to cheer me up, like
a Sloth, walking fast

come Thursday, hopping
like a frog, jumping hyper
all around my world

holiday begins
from mid Firday, running home
Sweet home, like Emu

First and unexpected snow

We were sorting out our photos today morning when I  came across some of the old albums. I found these photos of my first snow experience. I was lucky to witness a snowfall just after ten days I arrived in America. It usually didn’t snow in the town we lived. My husband said this was his first snow either in six years of his stay. I was extremely thrilled. Our friends wrapped in jackets, snow hats and gloves, came to our place. We got ready to step out and play with the snow. It was an amazing experience to see the snowfall. I would catch the snow flurries, hold it tightly in my hand and crush it. I open my hand to see nothing but water. We went around the town to see people rejoicing in the first snow of the year. I guess nobody stayed at home. There were snowman everywhere and we made one of our own and took pictures.Oh I felt so nostalgic looking at them today. Here are some pictures of my first and unexpected snow.

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If moon was as close as ISS

I am combining this post with the Daily Prompt topic.

What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it? 

The last thing I searched on Google was ‘Roche Limit’ when I watched the below video.

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What would it look like, if moon were as distant or close as International Space Station – ISS?

How would the rising and setting of moon would appear?

This is an amazing animated video giving us the picture in real.

Even though this is not possible in reality, it put me into thinking or rather imagining things. According to Roche limit or Roche radius, if moon were at a distance of 9496 km from earth, moon would disintegrate and tear apart. Earth would look like Saturn then! (Imagine if Earth had rings like Saturn). Roche limit also called Roche radius is the distance within which any celestial body (in this case moon) which has it’s own gravity will disintegrate under the influence of another celestial body’s (here it’s our earth) tidal forces, which exceeds moon’s gravitational self attraction. Further interested? read this : Roche Limit

But if by any miracle, moon were as close as ISS, to earth, would it remind us daily how small we are, in reality?  Would humankind be more polite and showed more humanity to our fellow dwellers?

First and foremost would man survive? The day and night would be too short. Our life cycle would be different. One day would be less than 24 hours.

Think of the weather, would it be more cold due to earth’s less exposure to sun light? It would snow everywhere.

How would oceans and seas be? How would be the tidal force?

How would moon look if we were travelling in flight? The flights should had to fly within the earth’s gravitational boundary.

Perhaps there would be boundary, where earth’s gravitation surpasses that of moon’s , a neutral zone and moon’s gravitation surpasses that of earth’s? There would be a warning sign for aerial explorers “Entering moon’s gravitational limit in another 100 km!” and so on.

With the enormous advances in space technology in last few decades, would moon be a tourist spot?
Our science text book at school would be completely different. Physics laws, Chemical reactions, Biology would vary!
Stargazing would be difficult!

We should be thankful to moon for it is where it should be, making it convenient for humans to lead a happy life?

Below are two more videos giving us a thrilling comparison of sizes of various planets in our solar system.

What IF MOON were replaced with other planets?

In the day

At night:

Ghastly Ghost

Driving alone,

On a New moon night

Car broke down on a deserted road,

Wolves howling Owls Hooting in unison,

Encompassing spookiness

Thick dense trees by roadside,

Creepy wind

Rustling leaves and Creaky branches,

Unanimously awakening an old Spirit ,

In a nearby cemetery.

Beneath the gravestones,

Rising from it’s tomb

To quench it’s thirst

With long black hair and teeth like Dracula

Dressed in medieval clothing,

grinning like a Cheshire cat, advancing in excitement.

I stand freezing and shivering, grinding my teeth perspiring

and Inspiring  the Spirit

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