Lots of happy little fish at Pa‘ani games

PO‘IPU — The net was too small for ulua and there weren’t any anglers in the large crowd Wednesday at the Pa‘ani games.

Instead, the school of specially inked fish basked in the Po‘ipu sun as employees of Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation were occupied with teaching people how to create crickets out of coconut fronds.

“This is one of our most special days,” said Dale Verkaaik, general manager for the Kiahuna Plantation. “Every year, our employees come forward to teach people about some of the activities which took place in Hawai‘i. People learn the Hawaiian games and activities by doing and participating while the resort employees help them pronounce the names of the activities and answer questions they have. And the best part is everything is free.”

The employees, spread out over various stations set up on the lawn near the Twin Bridges, punched participation notches on game cards, a completed card earning the participant a free item from the booth set up by Tracy Tafiti of Tahina’s.

Employees also went all out, exerting creative energy in painting off special designated areas for the different age groups in stations of ulu maika, or lawn bowling, kiloe niu, or coconut toss, o‘olie, or spear throwing, and the kukini, or foot race.

Cameras clicked and video cameras churned silently as participants’ achievements were recorded under the quickly warming Po‘ipu sun, the heat driving people to respite in crafting hand-made souvenirs under the soothing slack key stylings of Steve Mu, who added his own vocals.

The Pa‘ani games, hosted annually by Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, is a part of the week-long Koloa Plantation Days, which wraps up this weekend.

The Kukui‘ula Canoe Club hosts the Paddle Fest Sunday at Po‘ipu Beach Park.

Visit www.koloaplantationdays.com for more information.

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