October 16: Blog from Kaleo Wong
Aloha hou mai ka moana nui a Kila,
Here we are about a thousand miles into our voyage, and the cold Aotearoa air is still accompanying us. For an outsider looking in, one would think it’s because we only gained about 4 degrees of latitude from where we started. However, after further thought and insight it becomes apparent that there is in fact another possibility. It could be the mana of Tongariro, the kii/kupuna gifted Hikianalia by Ngati Tuwharetoa, and/or Aotearoa itself and the Ngati Tuwharetoa people traveling with us in wind form, ensuring that Tongariro is well cared for and maintains a physical connection to his home. This type of traveling wind is not uncommon for us Hawaiians, as this is yet another affirmation of our mookuauhau and our moolelo including Laamaomao, Keaomelemele, Hiiaka-i-ka-poli-o-pele, and the moolelo of Ka Makani Kaili Aloha (the love snatching wind) of Kipahulu, Maui, just to name a few.
Either way, the wind and the air is chilly, similar to the top of our tall sacred mountain Mauna o Wakea, back home in Hawaii. For the general reader of this blog, it may be best to communicate how the air feels through describing what clothes we wear to stay warm. Both day and night, we are covered from head to toe. On an average day, most people have at least 2 long sleeve layers on top, 2 long pants on bottom, a beanie, socks, and boots. By night, we normally up the layers to 4 layers on top, and 3 on bottom, beanie, socks, boots, gloves, scarf, etc. Even under clear blue skies, as today, the air and wind are cold, keeping us wrapped up in our warm clothes. We have been fortunate that we have not yet gone thru any substantial rain squalls that would make us even colder.
Gary Yuen, our chef extraordinaire, is a big help keeping us warm through his remarkable soups, curries, and whatever creations he comes up with. Coffee and hot cocoa put us through the frosty nights, as we warm our souls with old stories, jokes, and good conversation.