Aloha Family & Friends,
Just 3 days ago Ofa and I returned from a 12 day trip in Tahiti where we participated in the Ori Tahiti World Cup. Ofa as a musician and myself as a dancer. It was an amazing trip and we got to learn heaps of information and lessons. We were truly fed. On our last day, I, on behalf of myself and Ofa, was asked the money question by Matani Kainuku of Nonahere..."Would you like to join me for this year's Heiva?" I almost fainted. Following that, we were asked to be back in Tahiti as early as May... you can only imagine how much I wanted to faint even more!
Ofa and I come from a long history of Dancers, Entertainers, and Cultural Keepers. Ofa's grandfather Kolei Kuma and grandmother Linda Kuma started the group Tonga South Sea Revue in 1972 in Fresno, Ca. In time the group was renamed Polynesian Club of Fresno, and most recently gifted the official Tahitian name, No Te Here O Te Hiroa, by Coco Hota Hota of Temaeva. 46 years later, NTHOTH continues as a professional Polynesian Entertainment Company and Dance School teaching and preserving Polynesian traditions and customs through song and dance.
My grandmother Florence Lokelani Kaahanui was the founder of Lokelanis back in the late 1970s. Moving on to 1994, Lokelani's Rhythm of the Islands was reopened by my mother and father, Kathy & Roy Asuega. As of today, we are still up and running, continuing to teach Polynesian dance and music. Yearly, we do shows, competitions, and workshops internationally. Dance and the connection to my culture has given my life purpose and strengthened my relationships between family, friends, and myself.
Since childhood, Ofa and I have been immersed in Tahitian dance and music. We both have dreamt of being a part of Heiva I Tahiti as long as we can remember. To even be considered and asked is a dream come true. We have created this GoFundMe due to the short time we have to get to back to Tahiti. Unexpectedly, we were asked to go to Heiva right after a recent trip...leaving us slim to nothing returning home. We have plane tickets, costumes, and living expenses once we arrive. We are reaching out because this is a blessing we can’t look past. We want to give all our effort to make this happen. In other preparation, Ofa and I have taken on extra hours to work towards our dreams. We truly love and appreciate all of you and the support sent to us! Mahalo, Fa’afetai Lava, Malo Aupito, and Mauruuru Roa from Ofa & Kanani.
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