Kupuna goodies galore

LIHUE — Wanda Shibata was loading up on lychee bread, pineapple bread and the poi cinnamon rolls, Saturday at the senior craft and food fair at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

“I’m going to Honolulu,” Shibata said. “They don’t have things like this over there.”

The breads and rolls were part of the offering from the Kilauea Senior Center who got help from Waipa for this year’s event, adding a supply of freshly made poi as well as the poi connamon rolls baked by Leslie Gushiken.

“I just joined this year,” said Donna Gushiken, Leslie’s wife. “So he baked the poi cinnamon rolls and his usual almond cookies.”

Food was a hot item from the various senior centers that make up Na Kupuna Council with support from the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation,. Over at the Hanapepe Senior Center table, Galyn Wong of Mutual Publishing in Honolulu was surprised at the pickled purple onion offering among the selection of Japanese pickled vegetables, and the persimmon cake among the array of banana and other breads.

“We bring in the entertainment from the different centers because it helps the event,” said Melanie Okamoto, the senior coordinator at the Department of Parks and Recreation. “Everybody loves to watch the kupuna entertain.”

At the Kilauea Senior Center table, donations were being taken for a Pokemon Christmas tree, and a volunteer distributed Pokemon templates for a 3D paper figure.

Other giveaways included hand-stitched quilts, and a plethora of gift cards and other contributions awarded through the random number drawings announced by Marilyn Matsumoto of the Lihue Senior Center.

Hand-crafted items such as a keiki-themed desk set centered around a discarded Spam can, and more joined the bonsai offering from the Lihue Senior Center.

“It’s only been an hour since they opened,” said Pauline Ibia of Lihue. “But I had to come. I always come to the senior fair.”

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