Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Aloha from Hawaii

Aloha from Hawaii! Before I talk about this week, I want to say thank you to all of you who read my blog and post comments. I always try to respond to your comment after you post them, but I have not had a chance to post responses to my last blog. Your comments are always so interesting, thought-provoking, and kind. This past week, I was truly touched by all of your remarks. Thank you for all of the wonderful compliments you give to the cheerleaders and the team. When I read your comments, it inspires me to work harder and be a better cheerleader and human being. So thank you all very much!!

Well — I have been in Hawaii since Monday, and it has been the most incredible experience!! Alex and I flew in on Monday together, and I have only seen her once since then! The Youth Clinic Cheerleaders are staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders are at the Sheraton Waikiki. I have spoken with Alex everyday on the phone, and it sounds like she and the other Pro Bowl Cheerleaders are busy every second of the day! They had an eight hour rehearsal on Tuesday, a four hour rehearsal on Wednesday, and a three hour rehearsal yesterday to prepare for Sunday’s game. On top of that, they are busy attending promotional events for the Pro Bowl and other appearances. Needless to say, they are as busy as they can possibly be! She is having an amazing experience and says the cheerleaders from the other teams are all marvelous. I cannot wait to watch her and the other cheerleaders on the sidelines this Sunday! Alex is going to represent us so well, so watch for her on TV!

As for me, as a Youth Clinic Cheerleader, we actually do not spent very much time in Honolulu. Each morning, we meet in the lobby and head to the airport to fly to a different island. In the mornings, we visit a high school, middle school, or elementary school for an assembly. We get the opportunity to talk to the kids about the importance of staying in school, being active, staying off drugs, and supporting each other. We perform a routine for them at the end of the assembly and also ask them trivia questions for prizes. We give away goodie bags filled with school supplies, football duffle bags, and footballs signed by the players and cheerleaders. It has been incredible thus far! The kids are so excited to see both players and cheerleaders, and they are so grateful for everything. After the assembly, we drive to a different school on the island and hold a cheerleading clinic/football camp. The football players run drills with the kids and also teach them techniques and skills. On the other side of the field, we teach the girls dances and cheers, sign posters for them, and get to know them. The response has been amazing. All of the girls work so hard and are so excited to be at the clinics. It is truly a blessing to be able to spend time with these young girls and have the opportunity to build their confidence and have a positive impact on them. They are so kind-hearted and it is so wonderful to see how happy they are to be learning from us and spending the day with us.

The other cheerleaders I am traveling with are from the Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, and Oakland Raiders. The four of us make a great team, because we all have different ideas that have made the clinics unique and exciting for all the kids. Our first stop of the week was to Hilo on Tuesday. It was pouring with rain all day so we had to hold the clinic inside right next to the football camp – it was very loud!! On Wednesday we went to Kona and yesterday visited the beautiful island of Kauai. All of the visits have been amazing, but my personal favorite thus far was visiting Kauai yesterday. Last January, I went on an Armed Forces Entertainment tour with the Broncos Cheerleaders, and we went to Kauai and performed our dance show on the army base. When I arrived at the camp yesterday, five girls came running up to me and yelled “Hi Romi!” They had all come to our AFE dance show last year, and it was absolutely incredible that they remembered not only me, but all of the ladies who were on our AFE tour! Being able to teach them new dances and spend the afternoon with them was so exciting for me, and definitely one of my most memorable experiences. We are scheduled to visit Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Lanai for the rest of the trip. I can’t wait to meet more kids all throughout Hawaii – and I can’t wait to share those experiences with you!!

Be sure to tune in on Sunday to watch our players and Alex out on the field!


- Romi (2/6/09)