Itʻs Sunday, June 16, 2013. As I sit on Hikianalia, I look to the starboard side and see Ka Lae. I look to the port side and I see the magnificent Hōkūleʻa sailing on the deep blue ocean. It is a surreal feeling and I sit in amazement of what is before my eyes. Hōkūleʻa has grown up with me. She first set sail when I was a newborn. So much has changed since then.
Hōkūleʻa en route to Ka Lae
As a child I donʻt remember learning much about Hōkūleʻa and her voyages. I remember attending a public school that did not teach much, if any, Hawaiian culture. Hawaiian language classes were offered but I remember having the sense that enrolling in such courses would be of no benefit to me when I graduate and start searching for a career. I don’t exactly remember where or how I got these impressions. It is though ironic due to the fact that I have found a career as a Hawaiian language math teacher. As a teacher, I strive to insure that my students never have the same impressions that I did growing up. I hope they believe that they can accomplish anything and that the Hawaiian language and culture are a very important part of their life. Hōkūleʻa has helped me accomplish these goals.
Haunani & Hope on the sweep.
As I teacher, I have personally experienced how the Hōkūleʻa has impacted education. It has provided valuable stories that motivate and inspire. It has also provided a catalyst for developing curriculum in which our youth can connect with. I have used Hōkūleʻaʻs voyages and her many stories to engage my students. I have also used the Hōkūleʻa to teach my students about a variety of math concepts along with values to live by.
Hōkūleʻa constantly inspires to me to believe. Being on the ocean with her today on the first leg of the Worldwide Voyage is very special to me. Today, sailing was smooth; an almost perfect way to start her journey around the world. I hope for a safe voyage for her and her crew. And although I will not be able to look to port and see her full sails on every leg of the voyage, I will
Hoku at Kalapana
be along side her in spirit through every leg of the journey. I mua!