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Rant & Rave

By Jesse Barros

Tuesday, January 25, 2000

Memories are what
you make of them

IT'S over. After two weeks and four countries, the Kamehameha Schools Warrior Band and Color Guard is finally home from its millennium performance tour.

For less than $2,500, the participating band members saw different worlds, with different languages and customs, and shared the gift of music with people with their own musical traditions.

I'm glad I went, and not only because it beat sitting at home, which is undoubtedly what I would have done during a break from school.

In the span of half a month, I saw things many people don't see in a lifetime -- the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, the casinos of Monte Carlo and the Roman Coliseum. For a local boy, snow was something to behold, as was pelting Mr. Kramer (our vice principal) with it.

Trouble is, the trip also had a lot of down points, starting the very night we left, when our plane was delayed for 90 minutes because of a leaky water tank and a possible flat tire. Every flight save for one was delayed, but that's not all.

Throughout the trip, I heard complaints of every shape, size, and color.

People were getting sick, we were shut in by a storm in Europe, our bus was consistently late, the water was bad, our uniforms and instruments were lost, and more.

OK, OK! You get the idea! You've probably heard enough of the whining already.

For two weeks, a lot of what I heard was along those lines.

Classmates I spoke to all seemed to hate the trip. It seems that the only positive comments I heard were from our drum major, J.P., who has to be optimistic anyway because of his great position.

When I was 7, my mom always took my sister and me on bus rides around the island. The idea was to teach us how to enjoy ourselves on as little as $15. I learned the lesson well. These "adventures" let me see a good chunk of Oahu without worrying about cash.

These little trips might seem lame today, but they were fun back then. They also taught me enough restraint to spend less than $150 on food and souvenirs in Europe.

NOW, was I hurt by all the Kamehameha band tour delays? You bet. It meant I got to see less, do less, and not look my best.

However, I also realize that these problems just became challenges to overcome, which we did without missing a beat.

When we stepped out of the jetway in Honolulu at the end of the tour, some of the parents described the trip with three "P"s: "p-- (censored) poor planning."

I describe the 3 "P"s a different way: "prayer, persistence and patience." Boy, did those come in handy. The Lord teaches us to keep trying after our setbacks, and to ask for His help when we need it. I think that as a God-fearing school, this is the attitude we need to take.

Some of us had the opportunity to do something the rest of Hawaii only dreams of doing. We spent an entire two weeks with our closest friends, and sometimes even made new ones.

We saw things we'll probably never see again. And, at the same time, we survived through hardships that would have stopped any other band cold.

In my opinion, although the trip wasn't necessarily worth $2,500 because of all the delays and problems, it was certainly worth our time, because it'll be a memory we keep for the rest of our lives. Whether we make that memory a good one or a bad one is up to us.

Jesse Barros is a sophomore at Kamehameha Schools.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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