Ho`olaulea comes about every third week in July and is a huge Hawaiian festival of the arts, foods and merchandise of the islands that is sponsored by the Hawaiian Inter-Club Council of Southern California. This year, after two years of attending as guests, Mahina and I went as workers. Mahina's halau volunteered with a local Hawaiian civic community to work the food booth baking Manapuas, Shoyu Chicken, Chow Mein and Wontons. As with most strenuous outings, if Mahina was "volunteered" to go, so was I. We spent most of both Saturday and Sunday serving up fresh Manapuas and lunch plates galore. Hawaiians lived up to their name and consumed their fair share and then some of the food we were serving
When we were dishing out food faster than we could make it, Mahina and I wandered around the fair grounds checking out the latest and greatest Hawaiian merchandise on display. Mahina was slowly making eyes with an ukulele and sending hints my way that she wanted to take up lessons as part of her Halau lessons and dancing. Little did I know that she was also scheming to get me to take up the ukulele and develop some musical talents.
Sunday afternoon rolled around and after being nearly buried alive in food and grease we managed to escape. After one last heavy dose of hinting and nudging we made our way over to the Styles of Hawai`i booth and purchased a Concert Ukulele by Lanikai as well as a hard shell case "to protect from the dogs." As soon as we were in the car headed home, Mahina had it busted out and was fiddling with it excited to be learning to play a new instrument.