Aloha, peeps!

Feeling a lot better today and even have a voice … well, sort of.  We played at a Waikiki Volleyball fundraiser down at the Aloha Tower Marketplace last night and I really struggled.  Yesterday was the first time that my voice started coming back and I really shouldn’t have pushed it so hard.  But since our performance was only an hour I decided to chance it … which wasn’t a good move because I felt like crap afterward.  So this morning I’m back to the herbal tea, salt water gargling, and lots of rest!  I want to send a big mahalo to Barney & Terri Choy for inviting us again this year, to Gavin Kaina for taking care of our stage needs, and to our Japan friends Yuriko and Tammy for making a special effort to come down to see us!

I thought I’d use today’s blog to acknowledge and thank many of people who made last week’s Project Aloha goodwill tour to Japan one of the most memorable experiences of 2011 for me.  First of all, I’d like to send a sincere mahalo to the Japanese Community & Cultural Center of Northern California (JCCCNC), and especially to trip organizers Diane Matsuda and Paul Osaki for inviting ManoaDNA to be a part of this wonderful journey.  Next I’d like to thank our new “ohana” from San Francisco – Kristi, Brett, Lori, Donna, and Jennifer – who took care of all the trip logistics while also trying to look after us.  These guys really busted their tails and we truly appreciate everything they did.  And I can’t forget our Hawai’i ohana – coordinator Robyn Omuro (who had to put up with our b.s.), Jesse “Takamiyama” Kuhaulua (who’s still as big and strong as ever! Ouch!), Wayne Miyao (Mr. Sake), and of course, my man .. Braddah Noland!  Next, I’d like to thank Okubo-san and Japan Airlines for the great TLC during our flights, and to Hiratsuka-san of Kintentsu Travel and to Ito-san, our translator, for looking after us on the ground.  I’d also like to send a big mahalo to the staff of Spa Resorts Hawaiian, Matsuzaki-san, Dr. Takashi Oda, Dr. Nakagawa (Tohoku Univ. Hospital), “Pumpkinhead”(yup, that’s really his name!) and all the rest who worked very hard to make this trip very special for all of us.  And to my “flock” – Nick, Alex, Mark, Sarah, Tilo, and Chantelle – thank you for being such great ambassadors – you guys really made me proud!  And finally to my wife Carla for being our inspiration and #1 cheerleader!  Thank you!

We will not be at Kani Ka Pila tonight (thank goodness) so I’ll be able to continue my recovery …

Aloha, “D”