The Polynesian Voyaging Society is guided by a group of core values two of which are mālama (to care for) and aloha (to love). Wherever Hōkūleʻa travels, these values are overwhelmingly displayed by the communities that she visits. In Florida in particular, complete strangers offered food, shelter, and transportation to a crew of people that they had never met. They simply wanted to help Hōkūleʻa`a and her crew in any way they could. For some of the Floridians who moved there from Hawaii, it was a connection back to a place that they will forever call home. For others, they were inspired by her mission of Mālama Honua. For my family, it was that, and then some…
Stuart ʻohana and Hōkūleʻa crew
I happen to have an Uncle Kalani, an Aunty Ananta, and cousins Tricia, Leilani, and Keala Kamalu who live in Florida, who helped to host and mālama the crew of Hōkūleʻa. They greeted us on the dock, made us `ono food, and were overall amazing hosts. And, while I would like to say that they did it because they had relatives aboard Hōkūleʻa, I know that they would have taken care of the crew, regardless of my family’s involvement in the Worldwide Voyage. But I have to admit that it was a special treat for me to be able to spend time with my family whom I rarely see, and to see the amount of work and preparation that they did in order to make us feel “at home.” What I mean is, the food was broke da mout’! After being away from home for so long, chicken long rice, lumpia, and kalua pig really hit the spot!
Mahalo nui to our Stuart ʻohana for the generosity and aloha
Ultimately, Florida was a reminder that Hōkūleʻa and her mission are not only for those who have the privilege of sailing aboard her, but that she is for the world to appreciate. The people of Florida truly embodied the essence of Mālama Honua, which the crew and I will never forget.
On a personal note, I would like to thank my family for being the awesome people that they are!—Mahalo for everything, and see you soon!
More than Adventure
Beyond a daring expedition, the Worldwide Voyage is quite possibly the most important mission that Hawaiʻi has ever attempted. As people of Oceania, we are leading a campaign that gives voice to our ocean and planet by highlighting innovative solutions practiced by cultures around the planet.
We could not have begun this great journey without your support, nor can we continue to its completion.