Happy, Happy Day !!!!!!! The Amazing Race starts up again, Sunday night on CBS -- it's my all-time favorite show ever. Couples racing around the world, solving problems, conquering challenges, breaking language barriers, experiences countries and cultures and most of all - arguing. How can you spend weeks on the road with a loved one and not argue?
Dave and I started our Hawaiian vacation under travel duress last year. We flew into Honolulu, rented a car and drove to Waikiki and had to navigate to our hotel. Here is where the problem begins. We are completely unfamiliar with the island, with Waikiki, and with the Hawaiian language in general - pronunciations and spellings. I found that every street name started with a K or an L and then was followed by 7 vowels, then an H or an N then 4 more vowels and some apostrophes mixed in. By the time I figured out what the name of the street was on the map, we were 4 blocks past where we saw the street. I just calmly folded up the map and put it away. Dave finally noticed I was no longer navigating. I told him we were just going to have to drive up and down the streets of Waikiki until we happened to run across the Radisson Hotel. Very fortunately for us, the Radisson showed up within 5 minutes of our random searching. If it hadn't we would have been heading for an "amazing" navigational argument.
Speaking of the Hawaiian language. . . my most lovely baby sister lives in Hawaii with her hawaiian husband and a bunch of beautiful hawaiian babies. (ok, some aren't babies anymore, but they are beyond beautiful!) I received a baby announcement for her 4th baby, their first boy. The photo was adorable, and under it was listed the date and time of his birth, his length and weight. Then his name was printed out in big bold letters - KAHIAU. (Admit it, . . . you can't pronounce it either.) I sent her an e-mail and said Hey, I need a pronunciation guide for his name. She responds very sweetly - it's pronounced just like it's spelled. (Hmmm . . . that didn't help). With them living in Hawaii, we don't get to see them very often, so two years go by before we ever see this little guy in person. . . and I still don't know how to pronounce his name. I think that there are some rules of behavior that state you can't ask your own sister the name of her child after 2 years. So I spent the morning listening for someone to say his name. I heard things like "Hey you little monkey" or "Hey little brother" and many other non-name references. I was about to give in to forever calling him "Hey little monkey" when I finally heard my sister say his name loud and clear (in english is sounds like Ka-hee-ow). As the name is a little bit different, it doesn't initially roll off the tongue. I had to practice, practice, practice so today I can proudly state that I can perfectly pronounce the names all 5 of my Hawaiian nieces and nephew, Kamalei, Kokia, Keona, Kahiau and Kapilina -- Amazing!