Wednesday I worked at WorkStar again. I also shadowed my uncle. His patients were so lively and liked to call him “Doc”.
One was married to someone in a famous band and she gave me really awesome advice about my future. When my uncle left the room, she questioned me about my college, major, and after graduation. I told her I’d probably go to grad school; right now, I’m thinking for audiology. I also told her that I really want to travel. I mentioned that something like the Peace Corps was deep in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t sure when I would that (before grad school, after grad school, after I have a job? no idea). She told me that traveling the world is the one thing she’ll never regret. So do it. Traveling anywhere makes you relate to more people and situations than others who don’t travel. “Travel with a mission. Any break is good at that age. Have adventures. See the world.” And at the end of her visit she hugged and kissed me goodbye.
Another patient was a night diver. He said to night dive properly you had to go between midnight and 3A.M. Also, you have to throw back the best part of your catch to your guardian shark, or ‘aumakua. Each family has a shark that follows you when you night dive, so when you are done the shark comes on shore, gets its share of the food, and leaves. This is real life, y’all. Oh, and don’t ever look a shark in the eyes. He lived out near Hale’iwa where we saw the turtle Saturday. The turtles come on shore to see their eggs hatch under the full moon. The turtles are so huge that they look like rocks. He also said that once he speered his foot and didn’t even know it until he saw blood. But it was no big deal to this guy. He had the brightest smile on his face the whole time he was talking to me. His wrinkles told stories that left me wanting to ask more. This guy was a true Hawaiian.
They all are. The experiences I’ve had with these patients and the stories they’ve shared with me have fed my cultural immersion, which I didn’t really have the time to get last year. They are so relaxed and truly represent the Aloha State that they live in. They are so welcoming and nothing but fun to talk to for hours.
My uncle and I left to eat a really late lunch at the fish yard at a restaurant called Uncle’s (ha). They served all sorts of fish, but I chose the Ono.
After this treat, we went home to grab my aunt and headed back into town. They had to go to a big meeting, so I walked to the mall. Surprise.
I bought too much. Surprise.
I took a lot of pictures. Surprise.
My phone died. Wow this day is just full of surprises.
Thank goodness I knew where to meet for dinner and it was a lot more fancy than I thought, considering it was inside the mall. It was the kind of restaurant that served yummy food, but on small dishes and made it look artsy. We ate with one of the managers, and she asked if I wanted wine. She was completely shocked when I said I wasn’t 21. This was the second time this trip that someone has complimented my maturity. It made me feel good 🙂
Somehow the conversation shifted to cosmetic surgery and it got caught in a loop. This woman knew way too much about it and I actually think she could have gone without it. (I’ll have to do a skin blog one day.)
At the end of our meal, you could see fireworks coming from the beach and it was quite nice.
Thursday, I worked on the social media for WorkStar, and my aunt and I went to see Shangri La.
On our walk there, we stopped by one of WorkStar’s sponsors, so they could show me their new MRI machine. It was basically a beached whale. It just came in within the past few weeks, and they had to take off the one wall of the office for the crane to get it in. Wow…
Shangri La is a house that was built and furnished by the famous heiress Doris Duke. But it’s more than a house; it’s the second largest collection in the world of Islamic art.
When she went on her honeymoon in 1935, she toured the Islamic world before ending in Honolulu. She ended up staying in Honolulu and building a home because she liked the privacy it provided. The people of Hawaii treated her like a normal person, unlike those on the Mainland that tried to constantly watch her. She fell in love with the art that she saw in her travels and based her new home off those styles.
Of course, I was excited to see this house, but I really couldn’t imagine why it was so special. I felt bad for feeling that way after we stepped in the first room. It. was. astonishing.
You can’t take pictures inside the home (it took all that was in me not to do it). You are allowed to take some shots outside so I tried my best to get a view of some inside rooms too.
The tour consisted of us walking through her foyer, relaxing courtyard area (which you can kind of see in the last pic with the gates), her lanai (seen in the picture before last), a more spiritual area known as the Mihrab Room, dining room, back terrace and garden, the Turkish Room (this was her personal project and it took her 5 years to complete), and Damascus Room (it has only been open for about a year).
She had some of her pieces commissioned and some sent over from Morocco, Iran, India, etc. Several of her ceilings were finely crafted in Morocco. The door screens were geometric, like most of the pieces in the house. The tile works were unbelievable. I was amazed that some of the rooms were shipped over here. Like the entire room, in one piece, was shipped here.
The most known piece in the “museum” was in the Mihrab Room. You can see it here (http://www.shangrilahawaii.org/Global/Programs/Tours/Virtual%20Tour/Mihrab%20Room/_TITLE-IMAGE-ShangrilaIMG_0598_sm.jpg). This is the mihrab. Known to point towards Mecca, this one did not. I was pretty shocked when our tour guide said this because so far Doris Duke has proven herself to be quite OCD about her Islamic pieces and their histories. Anyways, the mihrab was originally in a shrine in Iran, and she bought it for $150,000 at the time. She even outbid the Met; however, she did include this other well-known museum in her will to make it up to them.
Calligraphy was on so many pieces in the house, and it looked amazing. I was blown away to say the least.
Before and after the Shangri La tour we also looked around the Honolulu Museum of Art and its school. I loved seeing paintings from some of the famous artists I had learned about in my high school art class and also seeing the children’s art that had just been completed at their summer camps.
I also had another malasada! (And Thai food for my first time for dinner. Not as good as the malasada.)