Packing Hilo-Style

Monday Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.

So the girls were off in separate directions this weekend. My older one headed to Las Vegas, her first trip to the “City of Lights” (it didn’t feel appropriate to call it by its better known nickname, Sin City!). She traveled there with her club volleyball team for a major 3-day tournament at different high school gyms around the city.img_0441They were told to pack what you would expect: team uniform, toiletries, an outfit for off the court.img_0446But there was something some of you might not expect: a can of Spam and a Ziplock bag with 5 cups of white rice. Yes. Every player was to pack these items so the two “aunties” (chaperones) who went with them could make them Spam musubi in their hotel kitchenette. This way the girls would have that quintessential Hawaii energy bar to get them through the matches.img_0442For my younger one, we piled in the car and drove the now only 1.5 hours (thanks to the new Saddle Road! Love it!) to Kailua-Kona on the other side of the island for her major Tahitian competition: Heiva I Hawaii. This free two-day event is held at the Parks & Rec gym every Presidents’ Day weekend. It featured solo competitions on Saturday and group competitions on Sunday. It is/was a spectacle!img_0443Her packing list included: fake eyelashes, a coconut bra, a “helmet,” which is the big headless they wear, and lots and lots of “fresh” materials — ti leaves, ferns, birds of paradise — all materials she wove to make her solo and group competition head and hip pieces. It was gorgeous!

For me, these are not conventional packing list items – flowers and Spam! – but for them it’s all a part of growing up local. I still can’t help but marvel at it.

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