Ryan and Kyran are staying with us for two nights. They are both students at BYU and are members of a performing group called Living Legends.
Ryan (on the left) is from Vacaville, CA
His mother is Hawaiian and his father is a mix of Polynesian races. He is the youngest of five children and he is studying Exercise Science with plans to attend medical school.
Kyran is from Page, AZ
His father is full Navajo and his mother is half. He has an older sister and he is majoring in Latin American Studies with plans to become a Foreign Service Officer.
Tonight we got to see them perform and I was so impressed. The costumes alone were fabulous, but then you put these bright shiny young people in them and WOW. The show started with a "modern boy" carrying his backpack and looking rather downtrodden. He came onto the stage, looking lost and then put on headphones, while the screen behind him depicted the cacophony—the stream media and noisy information that flows through us everyday that can be so distracting and discouraging. Slowly, fellow students representing his ancestors walked in behind and around him while the screen filled with faces of the past. It was pretty powerful. They began to dance and give him messages of hope. They reminded him that he is the dream of thousands who came before. With my growing interest in family history this really hit home — I too am who and where I am because of the lives and sacrifices of my ancestral family. I have to admit that after it was over I kinda wished there was a dance for me with my melting pot of Northern European ... Danish, English, German and Scottish heritage.
I found a video from a Living Legends performance a few years ago. This gives you an idea of what we experienced!
My wonderful neighbor and friend Sue volunteers with The BYU Management Society (Spokane chapter) and helps organize events like this one, so she was tasked with finding host families for 36+ dancers and tech crew. Which is why we were so lucky. I think one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our children is to invite people into our homes and spend a little time with them. Getting to know another person—especially with a different cultural background—is super enriching. Between rehearsals, the school assembly they did and their evening performance, Ryan and Kyran were only with us a few hours total, but they left a wonderful, encouraging impression on my family.
Ryan said good-bye with this promise, "If I'm ever in Spokane again, I'll let you know!" See? We have made some new friends. What a HAPPY thing!