Today we went to Makaha to work with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership and Kupu Hawai’i. We pulled Guinea roots today but this time it was older than the one in Wai’anae so it was harder to pull out. We learned in two different styles one being strategies with the sickling the Guinea roots, the other being historic information and facts.
To better sickle the Guinea roots you first have to find the roots by digging down and then slowly move pull and cut. Information wise I've learned that the Hale Koa has a tap root and digs deep enough to disturb the water flow which takes out the water. This takes away from our native plants.
I’ve also learned that in the Kumulipo there is a connection with our native life such as wawae’iole which lives in the ocean as seaweed but also a plant up in the mountains, and the ‘aoa which is the sperm whale and sandalwood. They told us about the whaling trade and sandalwood trade that took place and took away most of what once was common into something uncommon. Both ‘aoa went down together, I thought this was an interesting connection between the two. I’ve learned the history of Hawaiian trading but I’ve never heard of the connection. When they clear out the land there, they will be bringing back the ‘iliahi (sandalwood) which is nice to hear. I personally feel connected to the ‘iliahi because it connects me to my family and my Hawaiian heritage. My name is Ke’ala’iliahi which means the fragrance of the sandalwood. There are others who share my name and I’m so blessed to have it because it’s keeping apart of what’s been cut down but not totally gone alive. It’s recognizing the fact that ‘iliahi and our people exist to this day.
Lastly, the group I am with went back to Wai’anae High School since we’re apart of the field school there checked on how our pa’akai (salt) was doing. It was dried out but two trays didn’t dry correctly and all of them had stuff that fell inside of the tray like bugs, pieces of debris and dirt. After that, we had a community circle to close off the day by saying what kind of excellence we’ve shown and what we had learned.
Today we visited Makaha Valley to work on a service project with Waianae Mountains Watershed Project. During this field trip we learned about the mo’olelo of the “Iliahi and the Whale”. Before learning about the mo’olelo we got to remove Guinea Grass from the area, which is a non native, invasive species to Hawaii. After removing grass and learning about the Iliahi and the Whale, Kumu Marie led us on a hike to show us the Native plants of Hawaii that have been planted by Waianae Mountains Watershed Project.