Learning Journey: Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani in Lāhainā

Lāhainā, Maui —

By Sacred Hearts School 8th graders: JP Hill, Erin Tsue, and Chanel Charbonnier.

“God guides us on a new path towards a sustainable future, with enhanced education and a love for the land and each other.” – Sacred Hearts Class of 2014

The mission of the Sacred Hearts School’s Class of 2014 is to enhance and revolutionize education by bringing the students out of the classroom and experiencing school in a more hands-on fashion.

Photo by Shonna Lohman

Mo'okiha. Photo by Shonna Lohman

To know where we come from and become familiar with our sense of place, we need to know what is happening in our own backyard. The Sacred Hearts Middle School students had a perfect opportunity to branch out to our community and learn about our own backyard, while bonding and starting off the year with a learning experience on August 13, 2013.  Students connected with Captain Timi Gilliom, apprentice navigator, Kala Baybayan, and crewmembers Katherine Smith, Shonna Lohman, Vavai, Glenn, Willi, and Gilda at Kamehameha Iki Park where we spent the day learning about Mo’okiha O Pi’ilani which will be launched on December 21, 2013 (winter solstice).  We learned about the ancient Hawaiians ways and the importance of retaining and carrying on those practices. Katherine Smith greeted us saying, “First we need to know our piko, where we come from, before we go out in the world, because it will always be a part of us.”

Hale. Photo by Erin Tsue

Hale. Photo by Erin Tsue

This quote has more meaning than what meets the eye because it applies to many things in life.  For instance, if you are take care of something then it will take care of you. It’s the golden rule that we all learned in elementary school.  Our 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Waldrop always says, ”What you put out into the world will circulate and come back to you.”

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who forgot where they're from.” -Anonymous

photo credit: Erin Tsue

photo credit: Erin Tsue

Sometimes our generation forgets where we’ve come from. We’re all about computers, phones and other electronics. Our ancestors did not have computers, phones and electronics. Instead they had the ocean, the sun and the stars. Some people may not have even heard about the Hokule’a or Mo’okiha O Pi’ilani. That is why the World Wide Voyage of Hokule’a, the launching of Mo’okiha O Pi’ilani, and the changes many other organizations are trying to make are so important. By teaching future generations about where they come from, they will have a Sense of Place.

“If you take care of your canoe, it will take care of you.” – Crew of the Mo’okiha

photo credit: Chanel Charbonnier

photo credit: Chanel Charbonnier

For more information on Mo’okiha, Sacred Hearts School or the 8th grade at Sacred Hearts School visit: http://www.huiowaa.org. www.sacredheartsschool.net, www.shs8thgrade.weebly.com

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