Educational Outreach and Community Events on Moloka‘i
- Posted on 10 Jul 2013
- In Education
Kaunakakai (Karen Holman) —
[Note: Photos by K. Holman.] Hokule’a has arrived on the island of Molokai where she has been warmly received by the community, the aina, and the kai. Stories circulate about the special relationship Hōkūle’a has with Moloka‘i, and even tales of sails where she is destined for Hawaii Island, but has somehow ‘sailed herself’ to Moloka‘i along the way.
As we share Hōkūle'a with the children of, the canoe's mana is deepened, as is that of the crew, energized by playful children with a strong sense of community. The children are also enchanted with Hōkūle'a, displaying excitement and radiating smiles at being aboard. One young boy named Justice turns to me after a canoe tour followed by educational activities, and says, “can we tour the canoe again?”
While some of the crew shared the canoe with children and community, others went to Halawa valley learn about sustainable living and dig their hands into the Earth to mālama Moloka‘i. [Photo from Hōkūle'a Crew Facebook page:]
In the evening, approximately one hundred community members gathered for a potluck event. Local children performed a moving hula dedicated to Hōkūle'a, and Nainoa Thompson delivered a powerful speech about the history, vision, and purpose of the Worldwide Voyage.
The community responded with both care and insight, offering a gift of kava from Pu'u Hoku, as well as seeds from a wiliwili tree that is now gone. The author Gaellen Quin was also present and gifted a copy of her book “The Last Aloha”.
It was an evening of reflection, for past and future, and all seemed to agree that Hōkūle'a and her Worldwide voyage represents a planting of seeds, and of hope for our children to live in a sustainable, healthy, peaceful, and safe planet Earth. As Nainoa spoke to the community, several images revolved in a slideshow behind him, and one was of the Earth from Space as he spoke of the astronaut Lacey Veach's observation that, “you never know how extraordinarily beautiful the island Earth is until you see the whole thing from space, and from there, you understand the infinite complexities and relationships of the only thing we know that we have on Earth and do not have anywhere else in the universe…” and “that”, Nainoa says with an intensity in his eyes, “is life, and we are screwing it up.”
He went on to pose the haunting and thought-provoking question, “how in the world could we take that precious gift that is inherently our childrens' and take it away from them?”
The room is silent, as the audience takes in the depth and meaning of Nainoa's question, and it is more clear than ever before why we must sail.