24 May, 2009

Celebrating the Month

Aloha! Talofa! Mabuhay! Maayong adlaw! As many of you know, May is Asian Pacific Heritage month. This is a time to recognize the contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and a time to celebrate our cultures. Here is Hohenfels we celebrated on May 14th, with a gathering of our community to celebrate.

The celebration opened with comments recognizing our cultures and the many ways we contribute to society. From there, we celebrated our cultures with a wonderful feast that volunteers had cooked. There were many dishes, food from the Philippines, China, Japan, Hawaii, really from all over the Pacific and Asia. There was even a whole pig, cooked in an Imu, Hawaiian style. The guys did such a great job cooking the pig! I made Chicken Adobo. The whole two pans were gone after the first few minutes! It amazed me to see how people loved the Adobo.

After everyone sampled the variety of foods and enjoyed some time to learn about the cultures represented, there was a show. I have to say, the show wasn’t a big fancy thing. There was no band singing, no professional dancers, and no fire show. It wasn’t like anything you’d find at a bigger place. But, honestly, in my opinion, it was even better. Several girls from the community volunteered and practiced so hard to dance several numbers. Also, some of the local men did a couple numbers as well. I know how hard everyone practiced. They had a wonderful woman, Miss Bernie, who volunteered to teach the girls to dance. She’s so patient and skilled at both dancing and teaching! The girls worked so hard for 2 months to get ready.

At first, the smaller girls were going to dance to “Otso Otso.” But none of us knew the steps to do it right! Miss Bernie rescued our girls from being left out. She integrated them into ALL the dances with the big girls! This is one woman with so much patience. She has twins, who were running around playing, Jasmine who is easily distracted (especially by the twins!), and all the others who were trying their best to learn the steps!

Hubby made it to almost all of the practice sessions. He missed a couple because of work, but he made it to the rest. He even stayed after I would arrive from work! He also took lots of photos. I think he stayed mostly for Jasmine and partly because of the music. Hubby loves Polynesian music. He misses all the music from his 10 years in Hawaii, in fact he misses everything from those years. For him it was a little bit like home. Once hubby got a copy of the music from Miss Bernie and discovered whom the groups singing were, he played them a lot and even bookmarked some on YouTube! Whenever he played the music, Jasmine would come in and show her dance to us. She really took the lessons to heart and amazed us both! She was dancing so well at home. Of course, dancing with the group, she felt as if she had to watch the others to do it right. She still did great, though. Jasmine and hubby still listen to the songs and Jasmine still dances to the music.

The lovely Miss Bernie. She is a wonderful teacher and someone who is a real inspiration. To Miss Bernie, your dedication and commitment are an example to all.

I know this post is late. Hubby has like 900 pictures from the practices and show. So far, he has done about 150. He also has nearly an hour of various videos from the practices and show. He edited one video and it took 3 hours to do a 3-minute clip. He finally finished one DVD, but it’s slow going to process everything. He’s trying so hard to get it all done so we can share with others who were there and involved in the big event. We both feel so grateful to all the participants and volunteers who made this year's event such a success.

Things here have been so busy. Not only did we have that going on, but hubby works a lot and so do I. Having a job is a great thing. I also go to the Gym and fitness center with my friends. We have been attending Zumba fitness classes and going to the sauna! Nothing works to take the weight off like exercise! My dear friends were the motivation to start. They said you don't go to the gym to lose weight, you go to take care of yourself. They're right. Now, several of us get together to go as much as we can. Hubby is even getting in on it. He doesn’t go to the gym, but he goes out walking and playing with Jasmine. I’m still doing play dates for Jasmine with our very good friends. And our little princess has started going to ballet again!

Of course, Mother’s Day was very special. We had a big barbecue with some dear friends over. We cooked up some ribs, chicken, Bratwurst, and hot dogs. We also grilled up the potatoes and corn on the cob. It made for a lovely holiday and some extremely fond memories. Life is busy, but with so many rewards and blessings, it’s truly a gift from heaven to live with such fullness.

Of course, I’ve posted some photos of the Asian pacific Heritage Celebration. My other site, Bavarian Angel, has some others. I’ll be posting to my Bravenet account, also. I haven’t posted there in a long time! It’ll be good to get back to my original blog.

Here are some of the pictures, I hope you enjoy them!

The dancers. These girls put so much effort into this event! I really would like to thank everyone involved.

Our "Pineapple Princess!"

Such poise!

The guys worked very hard, too!

They were awesome!

Below are some pics from the gym.

The new fitness center. I'm loving it!

More machines. It's fun to excercise.

The "Sauna Girls" posing for publicity!

And the last picture below is one that Jasmine took herself. She used my camera and set it up herself. She even said she wanted to see the clouds in the photo! She amazes us more every day.

Smile, guys!

I'd like to take the time to thank all the participants for letting me post their photos here. I was impressed by your kindness and good will. Jasmine loved everyone who worked with her on the dancing and hopes to spend time with all of you again. Thanks again! Mahalo!

I send my warmest regards to all of you, and look forward to reading your comments here, and your posts and stories at your sites soon. May the Lord bless each of you with happiness, peace, and love in all you do!


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