Bahama Mama

Yesterday morning I awoke to a symphony of men and women all chanting ‘OMMMMM’ in harmony and in several sequences during a yoga/meditation class next door. It wasn’t a bad way to wake up!

Moose's

The previous night I had gone out to Lahaina, about an hour drive from here, with a francophone group of buddies to a bar called Moose’s. The attraction were the 1$ drinks served from 10PM onwards. I have never been one to want to drink excessively, but I made the most of the deal in my own way by ordering some elaborate cocktails, namely some ‘Bahama Mamas’, which were 3$ instead of 8$. The bar  was situated on the second floor of the building, so our table gave on to a balcony view of Front Street, Lahaina’s main road – an entertaining people watching spot.

It was quite an international setting – I was sitting with three French boys, a German guy, a Spanish girl and a Canadian dude. The bar, which I would best describe as a USA sporty type of a place, had its charms but was a bit tacky. Lots of TV screens, framed photos of people drinking beer, road signs, burgers and nachos… It eventually turned into a night club, and out of nowhere it seemed, a lot of very under dressed women, loud men and wet sticky floors seemed to take over the night’s festivities! The music was your average club music – 50 cent, Katy Perry, House of Pain, etc.. I watched the dance floor for a while, thinking I may bust my moves for a bit, but the whole floor was jammed full of not-so-sober bumpers and grinders!

Maoli

Friday night’s festivities were a bit more up my street (and literally too!) – a reggae dub group called Maoli played live at Charley’s. They were amazing, and I’m glad I took some film of them. They had a fresh young style and made the atmosphere in Charley’s the best I’ve seen it since I’ve been here. I very happily danced to them!

Today I went to the kitesurfing spot of Kahului, and watched the impressive amounts of surfers out there. It is pretty cool to watch as you can see all the different kites and their colors dancing in the sky just above the waters. Closer kitesurfers are entertaining to watch because they will occasionally do a trick or two, leaping into the air, twist and turn into all sorts of shapes and land back down onto the water, only to be whisked away again by the kite into another direction. I went up and down the beach, which had lovely sand. Today was super sunny, and I may even have got a bit of a sun burnt nose.

Yesterday I had gone to Paia Bay Café to wait for the bus, I tried their chocolate chip banana bread which was yummy. I had it in mind to go to Kihei, one of the funnest spots I have come across. Whilst I sat there waiting for the bus, another regular of the café, a man in his 50s perhaps, introduced himself to me. A theater teacher, who also practices spiritual healing, and said that he could align my Chakras if I so wished some time. I have no idea what it means, but it was certainly very nice of him to offer! He said that next time he sees me at the caf, we should have tea and discuss this particular topic – so it looks like I’m in for an interesting discussion next time I go for coffee in town.

Wailea

I hopped on to the bus, and having arrived at Kihei, I decided I would stick it out a bit more on the bus and wait until I got to Wailea. Wailea is, I have come to learn, the richest most chic area of Maui – the grass every where is very well trimmed, it has a Beverly Hills air to it, sports cars can be spotted a lot, and everything looks perfect. When I finally got off the bus, I mooched around a bit, and came across an outdoor shopping center. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Guess, art galleries, real estate agents, a very expensive steak restaurant, and some very pricey coffee/ice cream joints. I walked around the high-end shops and boutiques, and found the place really charming – it had impressive water pieces, palm trees and fancy escalators too. I caved in and bought myself a scoop of ice cream at one of these little cafés – coconut, caramel and macadamia nut, and ate it in the sun by a water fountain.

I lent a hand to Ryan this morning by helping him move a big mattress out of his old house up in Haiku. The drive up is nice, and seeing as it was such a sunny day, the views were amazing from up there. Only a week left though until I leave to another island – and I am feeling like I need to make the most of Maui before I leave by really soaking up all the views, the atmosphere, the good feeling as much as possible!

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None but ourselves can free our minds

On one rainy day, I found a good shelter spot in front of store in Paia where there were large cushioned chairs. I had just ran from the beach, where I was laying out in my bikini on a towel, when all of a sudden the whole sky got covered with thick rain clouds and it began pouring heavily.

So as I was resting from my mad dash for shelter, and waiting for the rain to pass, I must of drifted off and started thinking of this that and the other. I heard shouting from the other side of the road, and looked up only to see a guy popping his head out of his truck window with a big smile on his face. “Stop thinking!”, he shouted over at me “Smell the flowers!”, and drove off.

Only in Hawaii, I thought to myself!

none but ourselves can free our minds

These past days have been very exciting – my most memorable at the moment being my visit of the Wailea Mariott Beach Resort. Ras has recently injured his knee, and is now in crutches, he therefore was in need of an extra hand for his performance at the Awesomeness Fest, hosted at the Mariott. The cost of a single ticket to get into the festival: 2000$. The festival hosts all kinds of successful persons from CEOs of companies, to TV producers, to very successful yoga instructors, to spiritual speakers, even the Mayor of Maui was there and gave a speech.

I was invited to help Ras set up his show, do some filming, assist him with various other things he would need. I got to eat at the 5* buffet, which was extremely satisfying as it was like being back home in a Genevan resto. Asparagus, fish, cottage cheese, artichoke, tortellini, garlic baguette, etc. But the cherry on the cake was the dessert table – I went a bit crazy and filled my plate with all the little hors-d’oeuvre: chilled coffee mousse, macadamia nut tartlet, coconut crème brûlée… YUM.

I heard speaker ‘Dreaming Bear’, a guy who played a sort of steel drum, and would dish out funny, inspiring or ridiculous (I thought) quotes. ”Don’t forget to floss”, ”Respect your elders”, ”You’re not as fat as you think you are”, and the such. He also got us all to hold hands and sing the words ”Little by little, we will become stars, we will become love”. I thought it was very funny hearing all these very money-d people singing whilst joining hands ”We will become stars”! It was certainly very interesting.

Dreaming Bear @ Awesomeness Fest

A co-writer of the song ‘Genie in a Bottle’, made famous by Christina Aguilera, came up and sang a song. Her voice was mind blowing, she reminded me a lot of Céline Dion in style. Then a youngish guy was invited to join the stage and talk of business strategy, I thought ”right, let’s listen up here so that I can get some inside tips on how to become rich!!” I don’t remember his first name, but his last name was Boatright.

He came on stage in jeans and a tight black shirt, he was quite a built guy. He began by saying ”So, I could talk to you all about business strategy and how I made my first million dollars at the age of 25, but instead I’m going to do something a little different tonight. I’m going to talk to you about irrationality and intentionality.” I thought what the heck is he on about, only to realize after several minutes into his introduction that he was going to talk about.. love.

He invited his girlfriend to come on stage and sit by him, whilst he went through the history of how they met, connected, instantly got along, felt like they’d already known one another, etc. She was a very pretty Asian girl named Ivy, wearing a bright short turquoise dress.  She sat down and nodded from time to time, and laughed at his jokes. After about 45mins of talking, I felt like I knew everything about this couple’s relationship. I knew what they were going to call their children, they first met in Costa Rica, they had been to China together, and that they liked dressing up as pirates for fun.

He then got a guitar from the stage (actually one of Ras’s guitars!) and sang a song he had written to her. The chorus ”Ivy, you’re the one” was catchy, his voice wasn’t good, but his whole performance was certainly very sweet. She loved the song, blushed and smiled, as one would. After the song, and this is where it gets good, Mr. Boatright got down on one knee, whipped out a small box, and said ”Let’s do this properly”, and proposed to her.

I felt like I was in a Hollywood movie! She began crying, attempted to nod in all the excitement, and threw herself into his arms. We all stood up and clapped. And I had a hard time trying to keep my jaw from dropping, because I have never EVER, and probably never will again, see something like that happen again in my life. Certainly not in Europe, anyway!

Ras Shaggai @ Awesomeness Fest

So after all that excitement, Ras came up to play, and did a good job considering his handicapped state. At this point, people had already gotten up and were chattering and talking amongst themselves, so his music served as background tunes. I took some film of the concert with a camcorder, and was being quite creative about the whole thing – zooming in and out on the moon, then back on to Ras, then on to a candle, then on to a girl dancing to the music, etc.

The resort was phenomenally big – swimming pools in all shapes and sizes, bridges to get from one to the other, tunnels, slides, some pools with very luxurious art on the bottom of them, the sand was perfectly soft and white, the bars were full of very well dressed people and aquariums. The cocktail menu was pricey, but I still treated myself to a Pina Colada, which was extremely good.

After packing all the stuff up from backstage, we headed to the next part of the night, hosted at one of the night clubs of the resort called ‘Tsunami’. Ras treated me there to a Margarita on the rocks, which was also impressively tasty. Seeing as Ras was not very mobile, I sat with him and we talked about music, musical culture, Jamaica and dancing.

Wailea Mariott Beach Resort

It turns out one of my next destinations will be Jamaica, as it is one of the most bustling places in the Caribbean in terms of music business. There is a lot going on, and one promoter is very interested in having me work for her business by feeding the blog, meeting musicians, conducting interviews. It sounds very promising, and full of experience-potential. Woo!

What I’ll be up to..

Update from yesterday’s first introductory session with Ras from 4Pm to 6PM:

Boy, there is a *lot* of work to be done! He has recently moved into his new home in Paia, so he is in a bit of disorganized mess at the moment. My role will be to help him out, act as a sort of agent, help him re-organize. This means taking all his contacts (festivals, musicians, fans, promoters, radios, blogs, etc), getting back in touch with them, sending them promotional material, organizing some concerts, getting people to buy his mp3s online…

I will also be assisting him when he does shows around Hawaii. There is a very exciting special festival he has been invited to, scheduled at the beginning of November, which, fingers crossed, I will be able to assist as his agent. It is called the Awesomeness Fest, and costs about 12,000$ if you want to attend as an outsider! There are 200 to 300 incredible speakers, artists, musicians which attend, and it supposed to be one of the best experiences ever. The author of ‘The Secret’ will be there. It will be hosted in Maui this year, and is only for exclusive invitees. So I’m counting on your positive thoughts, and hopefully I will be able to be part of this festival of awesomeness!! http://www.awesomenessfest.com/

Awesome Fest 2011

I have downloaded this program called Band Manager, which will help me get all his contacts sorted out. This will also be a good addition to my professional experience. Also, getting in touch with all these musical contacts will be great and will hopefully enable me to become more familiar with how the music biz functions.

There is certainly a whole bunch of productive work awaiting me – yay!! It seems I will be able to work from my room here in the Yoga Shala, which is great because it is such a calm, quiet and beautiful spot to work from. I will also be able to couple all this day time activity with yoga classes and exploring the island principally on the Maui bus, which I have got a schedule for. There is a lot to learn and be visited!

Aloha!

my lei

It is a beautiful day on Maui island today. I arrived yesterday afternoon, and was greeted by Ras, a musician whom I will be working with for a little over a month here in Paia. He put a pretty lei around my neck, and I jumped into his white Jeep.

He asked me whether I wanted to go straight to my place, or whether I was up for a little walk to discover on of Maui’s most beautiful spots. Despite my fatigue, I couldn’t resist! I can’t remember the name of where he took me, but it was stunning.

Apparently this was where Jurassic Park was filmed (the part where you see expansive views of vast mountainous regions, and lots of green). It took about 25 mins to get up there in the Jeep, but it was definitely worth it. I walked round with him, admittedly in a bit of daze, saw waterfalls, guava plants, traditional Hawaiian huts, lots of chickens and flowers.

We then drove down to Paia, a small beach town I am currently living in. We drove by the beach, and I saw about 35 dudes surfing the waves. I then met his wife and 2 year old pretty daughter, and had a look round his music studio.

I was totally overwhelmed. I guess traveling from LA to Honolulu and then waiting for 3 hours in Honolulu for my flight to Maui kind of tired me out. And then arriving in Maui just blew me away: the views, the atmosphere, the colors, the vibe.

I am currently staying in a three story house called the Yoga Shala. It is absolutely stunning. On the bottom floor there are yoga classes every day. On the second floor, I am sharing an enormous living room, kitchen, two terraces, bathroom with two persons I haven’t met yet. I think there is a couple living on the third floor.

My room has a very comfy mushy double bed, a couch, and glass doors that give on to the front terrace. The shower has a little windows which look onto the the back of the house and the expansive views behind it. It is so much more spacey than I had imagined. It is calm, and there is a very good vibe about the place, there are Buddha statuettes everywhere, candles, a very large TV, and a swooping couch in the living room.

There are Buddhist prayer flags in my room. There are no locks, which could appear freaky at first, but there is such a positive and calm atmosphere about the neighborhood that I sincerely doubt there is anything to worry about.

I went to bed early last night and got up today around 6.30 AM. It gets dark very quickly here, and light very early. This morning I walked down to Paia’s main town, bought some breakfast in Tiki Bar, and read the Maui Times. I took my soya milk coffee to go, and went down to the nearest beach. I walked barefoot on the sand, and walked across the shore line for a bit, thinking how lucky I am to be here and to see all this.

I have been exploring all morning, getting lost, sitting down in front of the sea and taking photos like a typical tourist. ”Beautiful spot, isn’t it?” said one old couple who was sitting not so far from one of the best views I had found this morning. ”Yes… lovely!” I replied.

And ‘lovely’ is the first word I choose to describe this place.

walking on the beach in hawaii