Today on this huaka'i, we did our oli aloha and learned about the last Kahawai that flows in the Wai’anae mountains. What we also did today was take a tour of Ka’ala and learned that all the lo’i patches that are here were built by our ancestors hundreds of years ago. What we also did today was gather our food for lunch, the vegetables we gathered were kale, laupele, uala tips, kalo, and a variety of other greens. We also learned how to make kim chi pancakes with kalo and wheat flour. Some of the kale that we collected went into a stir fry with garlic and kalua pig, and the other was with the laupele, kale, uala tips and kalua pig. After lunch, we worked in the lo'i kalo taking out the weeds out of the patch. A topic that was discussed with our host was that the water was collected in the reservoirs in the mountains and used to feed the lo’i and therefore people. Also Uncle Eric talked about how the whole area was covered in invasive plants and they are working to bring back the land and restore the lo’i terraces. He also talked about how the fire 3 years ago uncovered football field size lo’i terraces. Also Uncle Butch talked about how this place was the poi bowl of the island because it had a lot of kalo growing in this area and the land was able to sustain a lot of people. What I learned from all of this is that Wai’anae wasn’t just dry and lacking water, it actually had a lot of water and a lot of resources to live off of. This knowledge is important because we know that this place can still be like how it is if we take care of our ‘aina. This huaka’i connected to me by giving me the knowledge of knowing that we can live off the land and be very successful at it.
Today we went on three tours of places we all contribute to in terms of trash. The first place I will talk about is H-power. At H-Power, they burn our rubbish to turn it into energy and is trying to reduce the amount of rubbish going to Waimanalo gulch by 90%. We also learned that they are trying to use our sludge to make energy. H-Power makes money by giving HECO energy and also by the trucks that come and go because they charge them a fee. Next, I’m gonna talk about RRR, at triple R, they take everything that can be recycled and sort it from glass down to the newspaper. And they always ship out the recycling to China and Oklahoma. Now I will talk about PVT, well at PVT all of the demolished concrete and wood from construction building will goes to this place. And also at this place, they have 600 acres of land for this construction landfill. At PVT and H-Power, both of the hosts talked about how they turn everything they get into energy or recycle the materials. This is important because they are finding better ways to be more energy efficient. At triple R, they talked about how they send everything off to China, to me this is important because we should start making our own recycling place down here instead of depending on others to take care of our recycling. This huaka’i is connected to me because it shows how much rubbish and recyclables I make and now I know what I can do to lower my rubbish contribution.
Today we toured Leeward Community College (LCC) and UH West O’ahu (UHWO). The first tour started at LCC’s Pearl City campus. We walked the campus and learned about the different places to hang out and places where we can study, and also where we can go to help beef up our resume -- all at the Halau ‘Ike O Pu’uloa, the Native Hawaiian Student Support program. I also learned that we can have study groups in our own room. A topic that was discussed was about there Hawaiian culture classes. I learned that we can learn how to make mats, baskets and etc.. This is important because it is a good skill to learn. Next we went to UHWO in Kapolei. We went to their Student Organic Garden where we learned about how they built the hale out of natural materials like stones, wood, and thatching. It took them 21 days to build this Hale. A topic that was discussed by Dr. Albie Miles was a program about sustainability that we could join as students. This is important knowledge because I would want to join this program to be more sustainable.
Today we got to visit Mokauea island and its fishpond. But before we got to the island, we had to paddle canoes to the island to get everyone to Mokauea because it's now disconnected from O'ahu. When we arrived to the island, we talked about the different mo‘olelo of this area and how the U.S. military took over Pu‘uloa (Pearl Harbor) compromising the many fishponds that were in this area. But we know now that our people and the Mokauea residents are trying their best to keep that island in good hands. After the mo‘olelo and history part of this field trip, we went on to the reef to help remove debris and also to look for marine life. A success I had today was keeping everyone safe on the island. Another success would also be me getting to steer a canoe back to Mauli Ola (Sand Island). A challenge for me would be not being able to go into the water for swim. An improvement I would make would to be more positive. Today went very well because I got to steer one of the canoes and learn more about this special place.
On the full moon night of Māhealani, we had a huaka’i to the Pā up at Pālehua, above Makakilo. We learned that the Hawaiians that lived up there might have used this site to study the other islands on rocks that looked like the islands. Also they used this site to play games (during the Makahiki), and they aligned the structure so that the sun would rise up at one corner and set in the opposite corner. We also looked at the moon while it was first coming up around 7 pm. We also looked at the stars and planets -- Jupiter and Venus. Some highlights on this huaka’i was riding with my aunty up and back down the mountain. The reason is because we haven’t seen each other in forever. Another highlight was getting my dad out of the house. A topic that was discussed was the hand motions to learn the different moon phases in Hawaiian. This knowledge is important because it will help us remember the moon phases and how the Hawaiians paid attention to the different moon phases. They knew when it was good to grow plants, fishing, or to not even do anything. This is important because this shows that our ancestors were very sustainable and lived off the ‘āina.