Seniors not rained out at learning workshop

The steady rain outside lent itself to learning.

More than four dozen of Kaua‘i’s seniors, many from the various senior centers around the island, descended on the convention hall for the county’s Agency on Recreation’s first Senior Craft Workshop, Wednesday.

“The seniors said they wanted something like this at their last meeting,” said Cindy Duterte of the Agency on Recreation. “So, we got together and got people from Ace Hardware, and some people from the City and County of Honolulu to come and teach the kupuna new things.”

The workshop comes on the eve of the annual seniors craft fairs and bake sales, said Sam Arashiro of the Agency on Recreation.

Saturday morning, starting at 9 a.m., the doors to the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center open for the annual craft and bake sale hosted by the Lihu‘e Senior Center.

“The seniors said they wanted to learn new things so the craft fairs won’t have the same things every year,” Duterte said.

In addition to Ben Franklin/Ace Hardware and the guests from the Honolulu parks and recreation, Duterte said they were asked by the Alu Like program who set up a special table where seniors could learn to make ti leaf wreaths. Vicky Arakaki had her own table where she led a quick course in ikebana floral arranging.

The county’s recreation agency had Susan Cox of the Koloa Neighborhood Center instructing the kupuna on creating rock gardens using specially-created concrete creations that had been sprayed over with black enamel to resemble rocks.

“It’s messy work,” Cox said. “But you use Kleenex or Styrofoam to fill the insides, and with the concrete and black paint, the finished product is light and sturdy.”

Once completed, Cox went one step further by having plants available for the seniors to plant in their new creations a la bonsai style.

“This is perfect,” Duterte said. “The seniors are happy because they’re learning new things, and not just from Kaua‘i. We’re fortunate that the City and County of Honolulu said they could share their knowledge.”

Representing the Honolulu guests were Steven Santiago, a recreation specialist on O‘ahu, who had a full table of people creating paper baskets using a weaving technique.

Adjacent to his table, Jerry Uyeno, a recreation aide on O‘ahu, worked with her group on various craft items.

Yufibian Nagashima, a retired recreation coordinator with the City and County of Honolulu, was busy at her table, working to teach people how to create holiday swags using local foliage which was still wet from the overnight rains.

All of this learning will come into fruition in the upcoming craft fairs hosted by the various senior centers.

Lihu‘e marks the first of the season starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“The doors open at 9 a.m., but that’s too late,” said Pat Viernes, the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center site manager who was monitoring the sign-in sheets. “The good stuff all goes out early, so if you think you’re early at 9 a.m., you’re too late.”

The craft fair runs from 9 a.m. to noon and features a variety of baked goods and craft items from the Lihu‘e Senior Center.


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