Blog by Hikianalia crewmember Hana Yoshihata
At this writing, Hikianalia’s navigation team estimates that we are approximately at the halfway point between Tahiti and Hawaiʻi. Our journey so far has been full of invaluable experiences, learning not only how to read and connect to nature, but also how to read and connect to one another and our waʻa. Some days are beautiful and steady, while others truly push and challenge the crew; but through squall or shine, we work together and strive on in our kuleana to bring our canoes home to Hawaiʻi.
When not on watch, I have time to reflect on my experiences during the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Every day I’ve spent with Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia has been a privilege and honor. I have been changed and humbled in so many ways by the communities I’ve been blessed to visit and my time on the ocean. With this voyage coming to an end, I have been asking myself: have we done enough? There is no easy answer to this question, but my time in Tahiti brought me closer to one.
When the canoes arrived in Mataiea, the crews were welcomed by students from Nuutafaratea, Mairiphe, and Matairea Elementary. With excited eyes, the children gifted us with songs and stories about the ocean and our shared heritage of waʻa and voyaging. Having the opportunity to witness the pride these children have for their culture and legacy of seafaring opened my eyes to what Hōkūleʻa has done not only for Hawaiʻi, but for communities all over the world in just over forty years. Mataiea hopes to build a canoe of their own for the children, and it is dreams like this that make me believe that our voyage around the world has sparked some amazing things, both at home and abroad. One of the most important lessons the waʻa have taught me is that there are so many directions in which we can move forward into the future together. I believe one of the things we accomplished by taking Hōkūleʻa around the world is planting seeds in the imaginations of children across cultures that will grow to remind them there are countless ways to navigate into the future guided by ancestral wisdom.
Now we are returning home, carrying seeds of hope and aloha from communities across the globe. The Mālama Honua Voyage was not without hardship, doubt, fear, and struggle; we made it around the world because the children of the world helped Hōkūleʻa be strong and overcome any weaknesses. The children of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific carried Hōkūleʻa around the world and now carry us through the last stretch home.
Hōkūle‘a Homecoming – Save the Date
We’ve got more details for you regarding Hōkūleʻa’s historic homecoming in June 2017! Click below to find out more:
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