Sunday, March 8, 2009

One Week

Last week the BYUH campus hosted "One week," seven days dedicated to fostering unity among classmates and cultures. Events throughout the week included a hunger banquet, an open mic night, and a concert by students and community members highlighting the theme "Soul, heart, and hands." A few new friends and I were able to perform a number for the concert, but watching the other performers was my favorite part of the evening by far. The Artimos concert included presentations from the Korean club, who played drums, to the Maori village who presented a traditional chant and song.

To crown the events of One week, a service day was organized. The response was overwhelming. A large number of students and faculty met in front of the McKay building and divided into groups on Saturday Morning. Each team was sent a different direction to help a member of the Laie community. The community members were selected based on need, but also on what they had done to help found the community itself. The team I joined went to the home of "Auntie" Gladys to wash windows and cut trees. Auntie Gladys' family has been in Laie for 10 generations, and she is the renowned historian for the area. I marveled that even though she is in her 80's she has a keen memory and was able to tell us in detail all about the building of Laie. It was a privilege to give back to a woman who had given so much to the place where I now reside. The service we did for Auntie Gladys as well as the many projects performed simultaneously yesterday, gave further meaning to what one week is all about. We were able to become one with the community by helping those who had helped us inadvertantly long ago. The spirit of service must have been in the air because when I went to the landfill to drop off the tree clippings we had collected, the man in line behind us got out of his truck (in the rain) and started helping us unload. Maybe he just wanted to move through the line faster, but whatever the case was, he cheerfully offered his assistance as though he were a part of the BYUH service brigade himself. The opportunities to strengthen unity among community members and students have helped me understand what "Aloha" means, as well as "Ohana." In essence, the words have come to mean unity to me.

Sister Wheelright (wife of BYUH President Steven Wheelright), worked along side us all morning. I was impressed to see that she was willing to get out and serve the community with the students. This week was a fantastic way to grow closer to everyone around me through meaningful service and sharing of culture.

To watch the @rtimos concert visit

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