Our journey today was broken down into three smaller field trips. Although, we didn't travel far we were able to visit special places (wahi) in our own backyard. Our first stop was at Lyman Ranch, there we were educated by Uncle Eric Enos. He who spoke upon the cultural value on the upper region of our valley. In days of old, the upper region was filled with acres of sweet potatoes (`uala). Archaeologist, have found fish hooks and sinking stones in addition to the artifacts found an alter (ahu) was also found. As we hiked we noticed the various rocks on the trail; the sweet potatoes was grew on mounds of rock in which they believe is the reasons behind the rocks being there. Although, we were unsuccessful in finding the alter (ahu) the time being taught us patiences. As our time at Lyman Ranch came to end our second part of our day began at Zubland's beach. There at Zubland's beach we tested water quality and planted native plants to the left of Honiniwai (commonly known as "Stink Pond"). Creating a juxtaposition between the pond water and water from the ocean students collected and analyzed data such as salinity, pH and, conductivity. When planting alongside of Honiniwai, we planted po'ahinahina and kulekule. Both plants are considered to grow in marsh and dry like areas which made them perfect for that location. Allowing water to percolate through the drug soil gets the roots of the plants to grow deeper.
Today, we went to Mokauea which is located across Mauli Ola commonly known as Sand Island. We had to paddle to get to Mokauea Island and experienced seeing sea animals that have no backbone (invertebrates) on the papa (reef) and saw the last remaining fishpond on this island. We learned about the 5 common phytoplanktons, which are Cyano, Diatoms, Dinoflagillates, Green algae, and Coccolithophores of plankton. Kehau Kupihea is an anthropologist and she studies and teaches different people about the history and cultural significance of Mokauea. We found it interesting that Aunty Joney and her husband live on Mokauea and are caretakers of this place.
Today we had a guest speaker Uncle Nakoa. We learned that invertebrates that don't have back bones such as octopus, eels, jellyfishes, squids and star fishes. He also talked about his background information and where he grew up from. He is originally from the Puna on the Big Island where he grew up fishing and diving and developed a love for the ocean, which is why he works in Marine Science now so he can protect Hawaii's resources. He showed us the shells he collected from all over the islands, they were very pretty.
As we arrived at the breath taking views of Maunawili we were greeted by Uncle Dean Wilhelm. Uncle Dean spoke to us of the endeavoring journey it was to get where he is today. The hard work and dedication it took to clear what was once hau bush and plant kalo. We learned that there at Ho'okua'aina Lo'i the water didn't flow through an `auwai (ditch or channel) like a tradition lo'i would. Instead the water was brought forth via springs (punawai); this overall means that even patch (lo'i) had it own spring. Since the water does not constantly flow the taro (kalo) was planted on elevated mound of soil to keep temperatures down. Reminding each of us to show reverence to such an amazing place uncle dean allowed us to enter a patch to help (kokua). There we removed weeds and invasive apple snails. As our day came to an end we rinsed of and reflected on the hard work that was done.`A`ohe hana nui ke alu `ia , no task is to big when done by all. Although, it was hot and the work was hard we completed the task at hand because we all worked as one.
Accompanied by uncle Arthur Aiu we gathered at the bottom of the trail to offer our oli (chant) to ask for permission to enter and to be guided by our kupuna throughout our journey that day. As our journey begins, we entered the tunnel with the cool water at our feet. The 1,500 feet stretch was filled with `ike (knowledge) of the history and scientific background of the tunnel. As we walked alongside the sixty-three year old pipe, we observed the various characteristics of the tunnel. Once we approached the split in the tunnel, we listened to the numerous mo’olelo (stories) unique to the untouched waters of Waihe’e. Stories of Papa (earth mother) and Wakea (sky father) and the nine month collection time, a mother hauling water for her child and so much more. As we ventured to both sides of the tunnel, we compared both sides to each other. The dry bulkhead hold pipes filled with cement to help flush the water to the wet side of the bulkhead. The wet bulkhead seeped water from the ceiling providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to consume untouched water by choice. Being lead by `anakala (uncle) Arthur, we joined for “E ho Mai” asking for the hidden knowledge in chants and requesting that our kupuna be the steersman of our education.
Today, we were visited by `anakē Kehau Kupihea's, an anthropologist and she studies and teaches different people about Mokauea. She told us that Mokauea is the site of O'ahu's last Hawaiian fishing village and one of the only two left in Hawai'i (the other one is Miloli'i on the Big Island of Hawaii). Some mo'olelos that were very interesting that she told was they used to take care of the sharks and ride them. But today, it's different because the sharks might harm us. The real name of Sand Island is Mauli Ola. We look forward to visiting Mokauea next week to learn about the intertidal area of this special place!
Before we began our journey to Waianae Kai, we were visited by Uncle Paul Roman to gain knowledge about the experience we were yet to encounter. We went to Wai'anae Kai Forest Reserve, which is located on the west side of O’ahu in Wai’anae Valley. We cut down koa haole trees and Guinea grass to clear around the native Hawaiian plants. While cleaning, we saw milo, aweoweo, wiliwili, 'a'alii, and, 'ilima which were planted by many students and volunteers over the past few years. It was important to help because the weeds keep growing back. The native trees are planted in the fire break to stop wildfires and perpetuate the native plants. The highlight of the day was getting to see the work we did. At the end of the day, we felt accomplished, good, and dirty!
Aunty Elsie Ryder is from Alu Like and she came to Field School to teach us about identity and having pride in what makes us who we are and our heritage. On the other hand, she taught us an important oli about our home, Nanakuli. We enjoyed having Aunty Elsie come into our class during the summer because she taught us a lot of native Hawaiian values and how not to be afraid of who we are and where we come from. Eo Nanakuli!
Today was the first day of Field school. We started the day with our morning oli He Aloha No Nanakuli . After doing our oli we went to P3 and did a community circle. The purpose of a community circle is to gather as a family and learn about eachother. Despite it being the first day, we shared our name,grade and reasons why we think Malama Aina is important to us.