Previously, we had reported that Hawaii Tourism started the search for their ideal Aloha Apprentice and, out of over 900 applicants, they found her! After lucky Jaime Scroop was chosen as the Aloha Apprentice, she was given a comprehensive, exhilarating cultural immersion. Take a look at what Scroop learned and why these lessons are so significant to the Hawaiian culture.
Scroop's immersion into Hawaiian culture began in Oahu, home to the State’s capital city Honolulu, and famous Waikiki Beach.
A warm welcome was bolstered by the first introduction into traditional Hawaiian music. Native Hawaiians write and chant “mele,” or songs, that honour people and places throughout the world. Scroop got the unparalleled opportunity to learn firsthand what mele means to the culture when she got a private music lesson with ukulele phenoms Honoka & Azita. These local musical legends travel the world and share the spirit of aloha through their music. Scroop even got to play the iconic ukulele instrument with them!
The second day began by building connection with the Ocean as Scroop had an incredible surf lesson with Waikiki Beach Boy Ted Bush and his nephew Nelson Ahina. Surfing is believed to have originated long ago in ancient Polynesia and later thrived in Hawaii.
Later, Scroop had the chanced to explore Hawaii's traditions with a local cultural expert in the Waimea Valley. There, Scroop got a hands-on lesson in lei making and lei greeting to prepare her for her task in Sydney. Lei are a physical symbol of aloha and they are presented as a gesture of celebration on special occasions.
The third day of the Aloha Apprentice cultural immersion brought Scroop to the Island of Hawai'i. There, she ate as the locals do with a special cooking experience with local Hilo Chef Mark Pomaski of Moon and Turtle restaurant. Together, they were treated to farm-to-table eats with produce from OK Farms.
The cuisine of Hawaii is a harmonious blend of Asian and Pacific foods and flavours. Sharing a meal is the cultural way to build a sense of community between ohana, or family, and friends.
The final day of the cultural immersion brought Scroop to the heights! Thanks to a scenic helicopter tour with Waterfall Heli, Scroop was able to explore the Kohala Coast, Waterfalls, and Valley before landing at Umikoa Forrest. Here, Scroop could learn the value of land to the Hawaiian people. Native Hawaiians believe that humans cannot own something to sacred and beautiful as aina, or land. Instead, they believe that they belong to the aina.
Follow her story and experiences, along with Hawaiian news and offers with the Hawaii Facebook page.