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Blog | Haunani Keamo: These Stories are Not Found in Books

This post was written by Haunani Keamo

I cherish every moment spent learning from them and listening to their stories and experiences aboard Hōkūle’a. These moments are priceless and the stories they tell are not found in books.

Hōkūle’a was born out of a vision and dream from a diverse group of leaders who believed in the courage, exploration, hope, and skill that guided the first Hawaiians to their new home. The leaders have laid the foundation of knowledge and values by which we navigate today.

I am very fortunate to be a part of this new adventure of Hōkūle’a, to sail around the world. Furthermore, I feel especially fortunate to serve as crew on leg two (Tahiti to Sāmoa), as I’ve had the opportunity to sail with many of the original crew members from the 1976 voyage. They provide examples of strength and courage and serve as role models for all of us to follow. Their humility is inspiring. I cherish every moment spent learning from them and listening to their stories and experiences aboard Hōkūle’a. These moments are priceless and the stories they tell are not found in books. For the short time I have been sailing with them, I have gained much insight and knowledge that I can take with me and share with my family, friends and especially my students.

As an educator, I have witnessed how these great leaders along with Hōkūle’a have inspired our youth and transformed education. Those who made the original voyage to Tahiti and those who followed their lead have provided the foundation for educators to create curriculum to engage our students.

As Hōkūle’a sails around the world carrying the message of “mālama honua”, she once again inspires people to do their part to make the world a better place. Students in Hawai’i have already been learning about ways they can “mālama honua.” Accompanying Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia are two solar wa’a that were engineered by groups of elementary and intermediate students in Hawai’i. They provide testimony of how Hōkūle’a and the diverse group of leaders who had the courage to make the first voyage are impacting our youth today. I feel a great debt to these pioneers who have paved the way for generations to come.

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