HPA students listen in on a special call as Africa is sighted from aboard Hōkūle’a.
Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy first graders gathered around a cell phone in the Lynn Taylor Library for a very special satellite phone call at the start of school on Oct. 14.
The excited students waited for Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and pwo (master) navigator of the Hōkūle’a for the Africa leg, to make contact with them as he sailed with his crew at night off the coast of Africa.
The phone rang right on schedule, and the class greeted Thompson with their Hiki Mai chant.
“I wanted to mahalo (thank) you for this opportunity today to connect with you and the crew, and I also wanted to mahalo you for who you are and for what you do for all of us,” Teri Chong ʻ82, first grade teacher, told Thompson.
Chongʻs class and many other students at the Village Campus have been following the voyage of the Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia Polynesian voyaging canoes as they make their way on the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
Now on the South Africa leg of their journey, Thompson told the students some special news – the crew had just sighted the lights of the African coast.