Educational Outreach on Lāna‘i
Manele (Karen Holman) —
After visiting Kaho‘olawe from July 1-3, Hōkūle‘a returned to Maui, then sailed with Hikianalia to Manele, Lāna‘i. See photos of the sail below. [Photos by Karen Holman.]
Children are our greatest teachers, a truth especially apparent on the small island of Lanai, where the youth has grown up with an intimate knowledge of the relationship of land to sea, witnessing first hand the importance of caring for our Earth as an integrated and whole living system.
The children of Lanai took part in a variety of educational activities alongside Hokule’a, learning about the ocean from the microcosmic level of plankton to envisioning the vastness of the sea through the magnitude of a journey as far reaching as the Worldwide Voyage.
They explored depths completely invisible with the eye by actually collecting water from Manele harbor themselves and observing the living, moving microscopic creatures under a cell scope.
Sol Kahoohalahala gave a lively presentation about the star compass, which allowed students a virtual understanding of voyaging and celestial navigation.
Students were able to step aboard Hokule’a and experience life on board, with hands on experiences including trying on a safety harness, practicing with the steering sweep, and sitting in the navigator’s seat. They were also able to learn about the science that will take place during the voyage as well as gain insight into the urgent challenges facing our oceans, such as ocean acidification.
When we asked the children to share their own insight, the effect was profound. They made ‘peace flags’, small cloth squares upon which they could express their message to the world. We explained that their flags would be sewn into one large tapestry that will sail the Earth with Hokule’a and in this way their own mana would travel with her and touch other children around the planet. The thought that their own flag might be sewn alongside a child’s flag from far away places seemed to elevate the task to a high level of importance for them. They took great care in their drawings and messages, writing of world peace and compassion. Children are our future, and an incredibly inspiring vision of hope.