Education Program Q1 2019

Kids cleaning the patch

Aloha mai nō kākou. As we see a change in season and the lengthening of days following the spring equinox, it is an exciting time at Kapalai!

Today, many students in Hawaiʻi from kindergarten through college will be returning to the classroom to round out the final stretch of their semester. We are still in the malama (month) of Nana, which, akin to the word pūnana, or nest, is a time to welcome new life and growth. According to Handy, Handy, and Pukui (1991):

Zack working with the kids

“[Nana] means ʻanimation.’ Life in plants shows vigor, young mother birds are brooding (kinana), and fledglings (punua) have feathered and are trying to get out of nests. It is altogether a time when nature is full of animation” (p. 31).

One hopes this is met with renewed vigor by those of us, myself included, coming off of a much deserved time to hoʻomaha, to rest. This happens in tandem with the closing of Makahiki, so we say, ʻEleu! E hoʻomau kākou!

I maikaʻi ke kalo i ka ʻohā.* #1232
The goodness of the taro is judged by the young plant it produces.
Parents are often judged by the behavior of their children

Much has happened since our December update. We have been privileged to host some phenomenal kumu (teachers) and haumāna (students) from a variety of schools, including: Keolu Elementary School, Le Jardin Academy, Mālama Honua Public Charter School, Enchanted Lakes Elementary School, and Blanche Pope Elementary.

Pulling Weeds

We are blessed that each of these groups have come to visit previously and that their return has allowed us to deepen our personal connections with one another as well as with ʻāina and with Ke Akua. Each interaction is an opportunity to hoʻokamaʻāina, to become familiar and acquainted with this place, and, on a deeper level, is a step in the journey of understanding and becoming kama, children, of ʻāina, that which feeds and nourishes us. The hope is that by creating a space at Kapalai to go deeper, we will be inspired to mālama this connection with our own wahi (place) as we return home.

O ka makua ke koʻo o ka hale e paʻa ai.* #2424
The parent is the support that holds the household together.

As I think back to the start of this year, I must say that one of the most exciting things for us has been the opportunity to host the families of students we have come to know and to love through Kupuohi, our multi-visit education program. A few of the kumu involved in Kupuohi have asked us to host ‘ohana work days where parents, grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles, and cousins could come to Kapalai to connect, to work, to eat, and to be fed, in all senses of the word. It’s an opportunity for each ‘ohana to support their child, and for the haumāna to share and to share in the learning with their families. This is an honor we don’t take lightly, and our hope is that through the strengthening of our students, their mākua (parents and those of their parents generation who hānai, feed and raise, them), and the entire ʻohana, we lay and strengthen the foundations necessary to maintain thriving hale and kaiāulu (communities). E ola!

Ke aloha nui kākou. As we each continue to mālama the people and places that feed and nourish us, mahalo for the work you are doing. E hoʻomau kākou. Ke aloha ʻāina.

Handy, E. S. C., Handy, E. G, and M. K. Pukui. (1991). Native Planters in Old Hawaii: Their Life, Lore, and Environment (Revised Edition). Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press.

*Pukui, M. K. (1983). ‘Ōlelo No‘eau Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press.