“Konnichiwa! Aloha!”

Saki_UchidaThis week, crewmember Saki Uchida shared the message of Mālama Honua—care for our Island Earth—with students from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. Using videoconference technology, she connected with the Tokyo students from her alma mater live from the deck of waʻa kaulua Hikianalia.

Seven years ago, Saki was a student at that very university herself, greeting Hōkūleʻa at port in Japan. Like many of us crewmembers, Saki knew in a moment that she was destined to make the waʻa part of her family and her life. Saki followed her dream to Hawaiʻi speaking no English, full of hope and determination to learn whatever was needed to become part of our ohana waʻa. Saki’s story is an amazing one, destined to inspire children in Japan and around the world to follow their dreams and explore the world with dedication and with heart.

Saki is now a crewmember on the Worldwide Voyage, and since the May launch of Hikianalia, she has been with the waʻa every single day, as a crewmember, watch captain, quartermaster, and apprentice navigator. Saki shared those experiences and more with students in Japan. Students in the classroom took turns asking her questions on topics ranging from navigation to marine science.

Through our “Canoe to Classroom” program, Saki connected to her classroom via a tablet computer and satellite connection on board Hikianalia. On previous voyages, a successful satellite phone call was heralded as a great feat; today, we have the technological capacity to bring the Worldwide Voyage and its mission to Mālama Honua to people and places around the world.

We are out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, celebrating the traditions and values of voyaging in the old way, and using technology to link this experience to learners of all ages across the globe. We embrace technology as an important tool to educate and inspire, show the relevance of our ancient wisdom in the contemporary world, and share in the experiences, wisdom, and values of others. This is our third canoe, www.hokulea.com – our vessel for sharing the wonder, excitement and inspiration of the voyage with the world around us.

Watch Saki’s crewmember profile video to learn more about the amazing journey of preparation that allowed her to join the Worldwide Voyage.

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