Going dark for Merrie Monarch...
It's going to get quieter around here in the next two weeks.
I'll be intensely preparing for and participating in the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, held annually in Hilo, Hawai'i. Chances are, if you're from Hawai'i or are somewhat knowledgeable about hula and/or Hawaiian culture, you've heard of it. It's a pretty big deal.
I've danced in this competition on and off from 1998. This will be my 13th year participating as a dancer.
I'm not quite sure how to describe this experience in words. I'm not even sure where to begin, so I'll share that I have heard it described as "training for the Olympics", since Merrie Monarch is often dubbed "The Olympics of hula".
Training usually starts towards the end of the year for the next April, with practices increasing in intensity as the competition draws near. The last week of practices, which is the week we're in right now, is such a beautiful and intense machine. We fully immerse ourselves in hula. Hula is life. Life is hula. We live and breathe it.
Although participating in this competition is not new for me, every year brings new challenges, experiences and observations.
So let's talk about the documenting aspect of this experience. Of course.
2012 was the first time I'd ever documented my experience in real time during the trip. In previous years, I'd scrapbooked some of the photos, after the fact, using patterned paper, decorative-edged scissors and stickers. Ahem, 1998 & 1999. But there were no words. I didn't take the time to write down any of the details from the trip...where we stayed, what we ate, how we prepared, how I felt, etc. All of those memories...filed away in one of the many files in my brain, never to be journaled or even remembered...until someone brings the memory up and I vaguely recall what moment they're talking about, if even.
This year, I knew I wanted to heavily document our journey because let's face it...I'm getting older and who knows when my last go at this rodeo will be. I'd initially considered using a Handbook to document this year's experience. Actually, I was pretty set on it. But then I received the Details Mini Album kit for Tina's mini album class and everything sort of fell into place.
I'll be documenting some of the major points and moments from the trip in regular scrapbook layouts and also project life. But I will also be creating a mini album to hold all the tiny, and not so tiny, details of the entire experience.
I'll be back later this week (possibly tomorrow) to show you an overview of the album I've put together to take with me on the trip. I'll be packing my Selphy photo printer and a few supplies so I can document while in Hilo.
I am so excited.