Apr 21, 2011

Aloha Oe

Our final Hawaiian Aloha post...and retiring our blog header too. :( sad day. Moment of silence please...

We had our last week in Kailua with people we have come to know and love which has made me super emotional.

I had joined a martial arts class in January and from the first time they took Ryan and I out, they made it very clear we were now part of their family. It is such a gift how fast you can become so close with people in such a short amount of time. They wanted to take us (and my parents who were in town) out before we left. We had our usual night out, dinner at Wailanas and dancing at Jimmy Buffets. Even though it was our usual night routine, this time was very special.

My teacher, Janice, and I. She gave my my flower head piece called a haku.

Our cake! If you can't tell it says Liz & Ryan Aloha Ken-Ka-Kung Fu Club

We ended our dinner with the guava cake they bought. Guava cakes aren't popular on the mainland but pretty big in Hawaii. Delicious.

We headed over to Jimmy Buffets and danced danced danced before saying our good-byes. Ryan and I knew them for 3 months but like I said, we became family early on and we will miss them dearly!

Sunday was also very special too. Ryan and I were not able to meet everyone in our ward because we were asked to be permanent subs in Primary. However, we were surprised that our last Sunday after sacrament, the bishop asked us to come up front so everyone could sing us Aloha 'Oe. It's a tradition in Hawaii that when someone is moving out of the ward, they go up on the last sunday for everyone to sing to them. At the end of the song, everyone can come up and give them leis and say their good-byes.

We had no idea they would even know it was our last Sunday and we were only in the ward for 4 months. I hate getting up in front of crowds, but it was such an amazing feeling having everyone smiling and singing to you. They came up and many had made us leis. I don't think we've ever been in such a loving ward. They were eiher A.) going to miss us or B.) they were happy to see us leave.  

Our last night, a wonderful friend of ours, Marilyn, came over with 2 of her sons, Landon and Parker. When we were evacuated with the tsunami warning, Marilyn took us in and let her stay at her house on the marine base. We were able to get to know her and her family really well that night. :)

When they sat in front of us during sacrament, Ryan would make faces Landon. Landon would hurry and tap his mom's shoulder to show her what this creepy guy was doing. But as soon as Marilyn would turn around, Ryan would act casual. Landon is smart though. He told his mom to pull out a mirror and keep an eye on him. He is hilarious. Parker, her other son, is going to famous some day. He's 14 years old but plays the guitar and sings like no other. They all stopped by to say good-bye to us and Parker brought his guitar and equipment to play a song for us. We appreciate their love and everything they helped us out with during our stay.

I have to say the hardest part about leaving Hawaii was leaving Rita. You don't have to be around her all the time to see how witty and clever she really is. She always had the best one-liners that would get us laughing so hard. Some nights, after I got her ready for bed, i would sit on the edge of the bed and we would sing her favorite song, Over the Rainbow. So, my last night there, that's exactly what we did. We sang Over the Rainbow and You Are My Sunshine.

I was holding back the waterworks as I explained Ryan and I were leaving the next morning. She said I did a wonderful job, "Thanks Rita! You really think so?" and she replied back, "Well, that's what everyone says so I guess I'll believe them."

It's comments like that I am going to miss. We love you Rita!