Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kimono Photos Fundraiser for APAH

Some of you might remember that last year I did a last minute mini kimono fashion show at Asian-Pacific Appreciation festival on base. This year I was set on participating and making it bigger and better.

But this year we also got our funding cut completely... so get this, whoever (not sure who, but someone who funds all these events) on base promised us $500 at the beginning of the year, which is nearly not enough but better than nothing, and then about a month ago we were told that we'll be getting NO money at all. ..... ..... ..... And all is good and fine, we really don't have to do anything super big for APAH, and without any money we could have just put some stuff on website and ran a powerpoint on computers, but as one of our organizers said we are more proud of our heritage than that. Plus last year the event was a huge success, and I bet people on base are secretly or non-so-secretly hoping for a repeat so we decided to try and make it as best we can with as much as we got.

So we decided to hold several fundraisers, and the first one was with kimono! We got a booth type deal at one of our local mini malls, but unfortunately we couldn't get a spot at the busy one... so I was pretty skeptical about the success. The busy mall has all the teenagers and dorm kids that could just walk to it, vs the other one that people have to drive to. I also thought that it would have been great to have some kids kimono stuff since it seems like everyone on base have kids, but I don't have any kids.... so I don't have any kids stuff. :angerburst

Well, it turned out to be worse than I secretly hoped for, but better than I was expecting. We got $130 in 5 hours (it was $140 but I took $10 to cover printer paper and ink I bought) through dressing and people randomly donating money to APAH. We actually were/are not allowed to put any kind of donation boxes because there is some kind of super huge Air Force wide fundraiser going on right now, so all donation boxes go to them or something along those lines. People who were randomly donating were people with little kids who really wanted a photo, but couldn't get it. I even had a Japanese lady with a 3y.o. girl ask about Shichi-Go-San, and I almost with tears in my eyes had to tell her I have nothing. The lady had to cancel her trip to Japan this year because of everything that's going on in Japan, and so her girl wouldn't be getting dressed up in pretty kimono. Oh how I wanted to raid Lily's kimono closet at the time :lol: :lol: :lol: (Yup, your Lily Naomi, cuz I know she probably has a collection almost as big as yours now) :blonde:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hanami Picnic in London

Last weekend I went to my very fist Hanami picnic in London. After living for almost 2 years in UK, I just now realized that there are whole bunch of cherry trees around! Call this a very DUUUUUUH moment, but I'm glad that I figured it out later than never. Now I see them everywhere, and even around the area where I live. If I wanted to hold Hanami locally, I totally could! Maybe this is something to consider for next year, because even on base we have a lot of them :)

For our April Kimono de Jack meetup we decided to hiJACK Japanese Conversation Group's  annual Hanami picnic in the Hyde Park. Being the polite person I occasionally am, I emailed them to warn them about our coming. And even got a reply and a promise to send out email to all members, in case anyone wanted to wear kimono too.

We arrived at the Hyde Park a lot earlier than anyone else, and promptly set up under the cherry trees because we were hungry and anxious to try out all the food  we cooked the day  before.