- Posted on 2 May 2000
- In Crew Blogs
On long voyages, under a dome of stars and surrounded by the vast empty ocean, Nainoa came to appreciate the Hawaiian concept of “malama” – of care taking. “Our ancestors learned that if they took care of their canoe and each other,” he has often told his crew, “and if they marshaled their resources of food and water, they would arrive safely at their designation.” Astronaut Lacy Veach, who observed the Hawaiian Islands from space, helped Nainoa understand “malama” from a planetary perspective. “The best place to think, about the fate of our planet is right here in our islands,” Veach told Nainoa. “If we can create a model for well-being here in Hawaii we can make a contribution to the entire world.” From all these teachings comes the next great voyage of exploration – Hokule’a’s journey around the world to “malama honua” – care for the planet.
Nainoa is the recipient of numerous community awards, including the Unsung Hero of Compassion, awarded to him in 2001 by His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama on behalf of the organization Wisdom in Action; and the Native Hawaiian Education Association’s Manomano Ka ‘Ike (Depth and Breadth of Knowledge) Educator of the Year Award. He currently serves as a member of the Ocean Elders and leads Hokule’a’s world spanning “Malama Honua Voyage.”