May 18: New friends from Hawaii, by Mie
The entrance of the inn becomes noisy, yes; the guests from Hawaii arrived now. We came up to this Onsenkaku inn in order to meet them.

In early March, I got an E-mail from Hawaii, saying "I will visit Beppu in May. I came up to your homepage by searching the word Oita. I am a Sansei, the third generation of a Japanese American. My name is Sayuri, I live in Maui."
Sayuri and her husband came up to Beppu leading a party of a Hula Dance team that would perform the dance on the day after tomorrow to cerebrate the opening of APU (Asia pacific University) newly opened in Beppu City this April.

A welcome party was held tonight at the inn sponsored by APU. Many people joined the party including APU teachers and local senior volunteers. Tasty Japanese dishes are on the table.
(right) Mrs. Stephanie Sayuri Ohigashi, the manager of the team, introduces the members of Hula Dance team. She is a very nice-looking lady. (left) Her husband Mr. Lee A. Ohigashi also makes a few words in a Hawaiian style. All the people from Hawaii wear Yukatas very well.
This is the teacher of Hula Dance. She is a plump wonderful lady with a gentle smile. On the right is professor Takamoto of APU.
Local volunteers introduce themselves in English fluently. Most of them have some ties with Hawaii.
Ms. Tahara is in charge of receiving the guests from Hawaii this time. She had once been learning in Hawaii, she said. She is very delighted to find a CD of a hit chart title keali'i Reichel "melelana." The CD was a very sweet song album.
(left)Mrs. Sayuri is in the same age as me. She is a wonderful lady indeed. Until today, we talked much through the E-mail, but this is the first face-to-face meeting today. I felt as if we have long been acquainted with each other. Sayuri makes a finger language meaning "Aloha." (right) Mr. Clifford Beppu of Hawaii and my husband Ken talk as if they have been old friends. Mr. and Mrs. Beppu are the friends of Sayuri and enjoy a tour together with the Hula team. He made us laughing saying, "I am Beppu from Hawaii coming to Beppu."
Sayuri put a white flower on Ms. Hara's hair and yellow one on me. I was very delighted.

Let's dance Hula. After the demonstration by the team, we learned how to dance a Hula. The movement of fingers, hands, and waists are very difficult for us. We burst into laughing by strange dancing just like a Japanese Bon Dance. We have had a pleasant night.

The party is at its height. We took a we-were-there-picture. Mr. Ohigashi is an attorney at law, Mrs. Sayuri is a coordinator of Home Stay Program, Educational Excursion of Maui Japanese Chamber of Commerce. The Hula teacher is a member of Aloha Air Lines. Other members are a nurse, an independent fashion coordinator, and two high school students. They dance Hula as their outside interests.
Sayuri carries an unusual camera covered with a Coca-Cola print. After the party, Sayuri and I enjoyed chatting late at night in the lobby of the inn.
I got a cookie recipe through the mail before. When I wrote her back that macadamia nut was not available, she kindly brought it as a souvenir. She presented me a lot of Hawaiian goods such as Hawaiian fruit jams, cookies, a funny doll of pineapple, and a bin of rare dry onion. The cookie bags of "Maui on Mind" wee also beautiful.

I gave her a pochette and a dishtowel, a bookmark of aborigine I brought back from Australia last month, and recipes of Japanese cookies translated by my husband.

On May 19 morning, we took breakfast together. The two high school students looked like unfamiliar with Japanese food. In the morning, they enjoyed free time by wearing wonderful green T-shirts. The senior volunteers picked them up for sightseeing and shopping in Beppu. We said them to see you again tomorrow on their performance and went back Oita.

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