July 4: Thank you’s from Kamaile Academy
- Posted on 4 Jul 2012
- In Education
Dear Nainoa, and the rest of the P.V.S crew members
I would like to thank you guys for this great opportunity that has happened to me and my classmates of Kamaile Academy. We got to see the one and only, his holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday for the private visit and Sunday for the blessing of the Hokule’a. This opportunity that we got to see the Dalai Lama would stay with me for the rest of my life. This is why I joined P.V.S, because of opportunity and the knowledge that I have gain for the past two years. I got to work with Hokule’a and witness with my own eyes when she went back into the water. That is the best opportunity that I could ever imagine and not everybody got to see this.
Dear PVS ‘ohana,
First off, I would like to thank you for the wonderful two days that I spent with you. It was an honor to be with all of you during those two days. You guys are truly a blessing and inspiration to my life. I would like to give a special mahalo to uncle Nainoa, Jenna, Kaina, and Uncle Bruce. The days we spent with you were amazing. Thank you for inviting me to join you on the events held for the Dalai Lama. I appreciate you very much. Thank you for treating us so much like family. Thank you for not only this weekend but also for giving us your time on Thursdays when we get to go down and do drydock with you. We really have an amazing time there. You guys are very fun to be around and I hope I never lose connection with you all because you are very fun and interesting people, each with a unique trait that makes us all want to be just like you! I love the stories that uncle Matt tells us about all the cool things you all do. I would like to say that you all teach us so much. This past weekend was so much fun for me. It was a great experience. I will never forget it. It was one of the best days in my life. I feel honored to have been able to spend the weekend with you all. I look forward to the new things we will learn from you all, but I also look forward to thursday nights. The experiences you give us are something I will treasure for the rest of my life. I am thankful for meeting all of you. Once again, Thank You So Much for all you do for us. Thank you for the wonderful weekend. I am blessed to have you all a part of my life. All appreciation goes to you for your dedication and hard work!
With Much Thanks,
I am from the crystal blue oceans, of the chained linked islands
I am from care and family with Aloha and love for friends,
I am from the hot steaming sun, that gives my back sunburn, but
the wind renews my body, and flows with the clear ocean current,
I am from lashing and knots, that help make me a firm foundation,
I am from large red sails, that make me cut through the wind, and call to a new generation,
I am from Kualoa, the vast bay of my birthplace, and just last month was my new birthday,
I am from the sad passing, of Eddie Aikau, to relaxing in my hale’ with Hawaiian traditions and lau lau,
I am from those long old sails, just gliding gracefully across the water, to feeling the blazing sun getting brighter and hotter,
I am from ropes and traditions from left to right,
from starting a new journey pushing with all my might,
I am from Nainoa’s guidance, and Kaina as a captain
from breaking through the waves that are simply overlapping,
I am from the dry dock, that has helped make me lighter faster, and stronger,
I am from the new plans that has made me wider and longer,
I am from “The plans never stay the same”, to keep on going,
even through the rain, I am from great humble men Nainoa and Mau,
to watching the Dalai Lama gracing my bow.
I Am HOKULE’A ,
Thank You: Uncle Nainoa, Jenna, Kaina, & the whole PVS Ohana.
I would really like to thank all of you for putting in time and effort for all of us, thank you for seeing that our school has potential to get out of our “waianae” stereotype. You guys all treat us like we were your own kids, there is so much love and respect in the air every time we all see each other. I didn’t join PVS until the middle but yet you all treated me as if I was there from the beginning, that’s what made me want to keep coming back and getting more into the voyaging style, learning more about the native hawaiians and how they did things, learning how and why Hokulea herself is so important to not just the Hawaiian islands and hawaiian people but all races and over the world. Seeing Hokulea go back into the water and everyone happy about it really helped me see the true beauty of PVS and Hokulea. Then going to meet the Dalai Lama actually listening to him and Uncle Nainoa talk brought enlightenment, two wise men talking on a panel together, who wouldn’t want to be in our shoes. If I wasn’t apart of this, if I wasn’t taken serious by Nainoa Thompson himself , Jenna, and the whole PVS Ohana then I wouldn’t have all these fantastic and once in a lifetime opportunities.
Thank you everyone for everything!
Sincerely, Tazjaun Freitas
Thank You PVS
Thank you for everything you do and that is a lot of things especially giving us the opportunity to meet the his holiness the Dalai Lama . That was an AWESOME experience and I can’t find the words to thank you enough But the hole kamaile would like to thank each and every one of you guys from the bottom of our hearts .
Mahalo Nui Loa
By Kenny Ferenchak – Kamaile Academy Educator
Two young men with grins of pure happiness and eyes of unflinching pride look out onto a crystal ocean on a voyage they will never forget.
A boy whose life has forced him to be a man far, far too early finds his identity and passion in the night sky.
A young lady begging for attention finds a family that forces her to see her unmistakable value within.
A young man teetering on the brink of losing himself down the wrong path is allowed to be who he truly is—a courageous leader—by getting into the ocean.
A girl who hides her insecurities in haughtiness discovers both true pride and true humility by being forced to be a member, rather than just a leader, of a crew.
A boy whose new community rarely treats his nation with even basic dignity is given a deep sense of honor in his culture and people for saving the art of voyaging for the people of Hawai‘i.
A kid struggling with what it means to be a “man” meets men of legitimate strength and toughness that help him to come from behind his false shields and show the first real signs of becoming a man.
A young person who on a daily basis faces more verbal abuse than any human being should be subjected to in a lifetime finds a place that allows him to be accepted as the truly compassionate and thoughtful young man he truly is.
A girl whose individual tenacity has already allowed her to rise out of unthinkable origins to greatness is allowed to realize that sometimes relying and trusting in others can still bring happiness.
The lines above could read as taglines for epic novels or heart-wrenching films, yet they are all snippets of reality. I’m not too sure anyone would be able to adequately express the significance of Hōkūle’a and the Polynesian Voyaging Society. As a young man from a place far removed from the context of the Pacific and Polynesia, I am at an even greater handicap in trying to put words to it. What I do know, however, is that as a person who tries to live simply through his heart, this canoe and this group of people has had a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals. On a very personal level, I have seen their remarkable power in shaping the lives of a group of young people very near and dear to my heart.
What is it about this canoe and this group of people that holds so much power and influence? I would never claim to be able to even begin answering that question—and believe me, I’ve struggled in trying to formulate a response a number of times when the question has been put to me. The best I can offer at this point is that this vessel and organization represent an opportunity for individuals from all walks of life to connect and contribute to something bigger than any of us.
The true teachers and leaders within PVS may have a clearer vision of what that “something bigger” actually is, but I really think that the power of the “something bigger” is that it’s a little bit different for everyone involved. When I posed the question of “Why are you involved with PVS?” to a group of ten students, I received ten different answers, all ten being incredibly insightful with none better than the rest. You have a mass of people coming together from different places and for different reasons, yet they all congregate around this one canoe.
On a broad level, this is some awesome power.
We live in a world of technology advancing at brain-numbing speeds, yet the inherent power to connect is often overwhelmed by the flood of profit-seekers and brainless entertainers. Education and communication have reached new heights for human beings, but politics are approaching levels of dysfunction and detachment that are simply embarrassing. Productivity and transportation have allowed us to satiate our needs and desires as never before, yet rather than aiming for harmony and happiness economics somehow creates wants we never knew we had and draws profit from sources we don’t even fully understand. Science has unlocked secrets of the universe and nature that leave those with even the basest understandings completely awestruck, but the human race still cannot find the will even to slow our pace toward our own annihilation, yet alone to begin repairing some of the damage we have left in our wake.
And yet here is this canoe. Hawaiians born and bred of this ‘aina join hands with outsiders that have no connection to these islands more than an appreciation for their wonder. Master navigators who have dedicated their lives to the study of wayfinding work alongside teenagers who are learning how to tie a simple knot. Volunteers who never finished high school find a deep personal connection with academics holding the most advanced scientific distinctions. These distinctions are not magically swept away under the label of PVS, but room is found for everyone to contribute their own unique gifts and talents to this one broader purpose. The technology is not always the most advanced, but human innovation is present everywhere. Leaders are respected and followed because everyone understands why they are the leaders, and still no one’s voice ever goes unheard. Regardless of from where people are coming, personal needs and tastes have an uncanny way of melting together into a harmonious reality where what is best for the group truly is best for all. And whether you are a scientist who understands the wonder of the ocean at a molecular level or a fisherman who possesses intimate knowledge of the bounty of the ocean, all understand deeply in their own way the significance of mālama honua.
Perhaps even more significant, however, is the awesome power present on a personal level. Hōkūle‘a, I believe, does have the power to change the world. Yet, in an illustration of her deep wisdom, she somehow understands that the world is changed through an ongoing series of small, incremental advances rather than great, elaborate breakthroughs. And those small steps do have the power to change lives, change families, and change communities—I am a witness to this very process unfolding before my eyes with our students. The leading lines of this letter are not small anecdotes intended to pull at heartstrings—they are legitimate evidence of the impact being had on individuals and the ripples that come out of that. These are the ripples that build into the waves of reform and compassion that are needed to get people at a global scale back on the right track.
And to top it all off, all of this globe-shifting force is delivered with a grace and humility that would almost be laughable to an outsider but is a perfect embodiment of this special place on island earth. No one within PVS would ever take credit for having some profound impact on anyone, and I’m sure Hōkūle‘a herself would take the same humble approach on the issue. Nothing special is at play besides a simple sprit of aloha—but Hōkūle‘a and PVS prove how special that simple spirit truly is.
I apologize for being so drawn out in all of this, but I simply mean to extend a humble and heartfelt mahalo for all that you do. Thank you for impacting the lives of our students on levels that I’m not sure you can imagine. Thank you for giving real and vivid hope in a sometimes very bleak time. Thank you for truly embodying the special values of this place that speak to hearts on a universal level. And thank you for allowing me the indescribable honor of playing some role in all of that.
Hōkūle‘a is, in fact, just a canoe built out of wood and rope. The Polynesian Voyagaing Society is, in fact, just a group of people who come together through a common interest. But what great, great things come out of that wood, rope, and people!
Mahalo and aloha,