Hula, Pigs, and Poi - oh my!

Tuesday on Kauai was a day of Firsts for me. I attended my first luau. I took my first hula lesson. And I ate poi for the first time.

Okay, let's get the poi out of the way first. One word. YUCK. First of all, it's kind of a grayish-purple, which I did not expect. Second, it runny. I was expecting the consistency and color of mashed potatoes. As for the taste, well, I've heard so many non-Hawaiians talk about how nasty poi tastes, I wasn't expecting much. Which was a good thing. It isn't quite like wallpaper paste, but it's close. However, I made a discovery. If you put seasoned Hawaiian salt in it, you can actually eat the stuff.

There are a variety of luau experiences to choose from. We selected the Luau Kalamaku based on the advice of several locals, and it was definitely a great time. We first attended a free rum tasting (I know, I know...but it was only a tiny sip of 4 different flavors of locally made rum.) 

Then we were greeted by friendly Hawaiians who gave us leis and told us, "Aloha!" We inspected the Imu (an underground oven) where a pig had been roasting since the night before. 

Patti and I took hula lessons. Let me say up front that I am NOT a dancer. But neither am I afraid to try something new, even if it makes me look silly. So here I am looking silly and having fun!

The night was a series of rituals. The unearthing of the pig. The parade of the fire into the center area. Chants and unfamiliar songs. But one song was very familiar to me. The band of entertainers announced that they were going to sing the blessing. When they first started, I realized, "I know that song!" It was the Doxology, sung in Hawaiian. It was beautiful! (I have a video, but it's too big to post here.)

The food was delicious and plentiful, and while we ate we were entertained with dances and fire twirling, and then a full play about a family who came from Tahiti to Kauai long, long ago. The actors were great!

All in all, a fun night. If you ever visit Kauai, I highly recommend Luau Kalamaku.

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