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Weekly Update

E waikāhi ka pono i mānalo. 

Engage in Upcoming Opportunities

Our Weekly Update

Each week, our office produces an electronic weekly update. This email contains information about upcoming events, gatherings, announcements, job postings, and other interesting news relevant to our community.

Additionally, our office also produces a monthly e-Newsletter to share updates on initiatives we are working on and to highlight various initiatives across campus that are helping our university to become a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning. 

This Week of June 27th - July 3rd, 2022

Sunrise in Waimānalo

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ke holopono nei kā ‘oukou Pō‘akahi.

Ua ala wau i ke kakahiaka nui me ke kanikani o nā manu ma waho o ko‘u puka aniani. Ia‘u e ho‘olohe ana iā lākou, no‘ono‘o ihola wau e pili ana i kēia leka uila iā ‘oukou a pau. He aha ana ka‘u i kēia lā? ‘O ka ma‘amau, ho‘omālie wau ia‘u iho a nalu ihola: he aha nā mea nui a me nā mea ko‘iko‘i ma mua o‘u? Ma mua o kākou?

A i kēia kakahiaka, ua kau ka no‘ono‘o i ia mea ‘o ke aloha. Ke aloha no ka ‘ohana, no nā hoa, no nā kūpuna, no nā haumāna, no nā hoa hana, no ka ‘āina, a no ka lāhui nō ho‘i. Mai hea mai ia aloha? Pehea e hō‘ike aku me ka ‘olu‘olu a me ke ahonui a pehea ho‘i e mahalo i ke aloha i makana ‘ia mai?

I kēlā pule aku nei ka wā o ke ala polohiwa a Kāne; he wā no ka pule, no ka nalu ‘ana, a no ke kia ‘ana no ka pono. Ua noho wau ma kahakai ‘oiai ‘o Kānehoalani e puka mai ana mai loko mai o ke kai a e no‘ono‘o pono ana no ia mea ‘o ke aloha. Ua nonoi wau i nā kūpuna e hō‘ike mai i ke ala pono no ia mea ‘o ke aloha; ke aloha aku a me ke aloha mai.

He aha kāu mea e kia nei?

Nā waiwai o kēia pule:

Aloha nui,

Punihei

 

English Summary:

Aloha mai kākou,

I hope your Monday is already going really well.

I woke up very early this morning with the sound of birds chirping outside my window. And while I listened to all of them, I thought of this message to all of you. What would I share today? Usually, I try to calm myself and reflet: what is important and real in front of me? In front of us?

And this morning my thoughts turned to aloha: love of family, of beloveds, of kūpuna, of students, of colleagues, of ‘āina, and of our lāhui. Where does this aloha come from for each of us? What’s its foundations? How can we express it with kindness and patience and how do we also receive it with grace as it is gifted to us?

Last week was summer solstice; a time for prayer, for reflection, and for focusing on what is pono. I sat at the beach during sunrise and concentrated on aloha. I asked my kūpuna to show me the right pathway to giving and receiving aloha.
What are you focusing on right now?

Resources for this week:

Aloha nui,

punihei

Links to Resources

*No upcoming events this week

Hawaiian Philosophy Classes for Fall 22 @ UH-Hilo:

Register now for our [free] summer Social Justice Reel Camps!

The White House Launches First Time Paid Internship Program applications due by June 24th

M Think Paid Summer Intern Send resume and references to Christine Koroki at koroki@mkthink.com

Institute on Descriptive Process or Descriptive Inquiry Deadline July 1st

AAC&U Presents A New Course! Introduction to Bandwidth Recovery

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)- Get Internet Federal Program

Kilo Malama 2022 Pānānā Collective – SPECIAL HOA ʻAIMALAMA makana

Stream the theatre production- Hoʻoilina

Get your FREE at-home COVID test kits!

Answer the Kahea! Sign Up for Red Hill Action Alerts-text “Redhill” to 808-435-2621

Red Hill Petition

Resources to Help the people of Ukraine

Donate now to support relief efforts in Tonga

Early Registration Now Open! Annual Native Hawaiian Convention

SOCS 396: Topics in Indigenous Social Sciences (Wai)

  • Wai Public Policy Matters: Wai, Kanawai and Native Hawaiian Issues
    Kawika Riley
    MW 2:00 – 4:05 pm
  • ʻŌiwi Thought – On Water
    Kaʻimi Watson, PhD
    WF 4:30 – 6:35 pm
  • Critical Wai Geographies
    Kawena Elkington
    TR 3:00 – 5:05 pm

MBIO 710: NEW course in Fall 2022

BAM pathway (Interdisciplinary studies: Sustainability – GEO)

Survey-Your Input Needed regarding Online BA program in Hawaiian Studies

Serve the Lāhui!-Apply for Office of Hawaiian Affairs OHA Grants

BIPOC Scholarship for LGBTQ Students Program

Residential Youth Services & Empowerment (RYSE) Hygiene Cosmetic Drive

Summer Course: HWST 307/SUST 317 Mālama ʻĀina Resource Management Visual Technologies

Fall 2022 Course: POLS 110 WATER- Intro. to Political Science

Fall 2022 Course: Graduate Seminar in Contemporary Native Hawaiian Education (EDCS 671)

Call for proposals-the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) Tribes and Climate Change Program

Hawaii Residents: Input Needed Regarding Tourism (HTA Survey)

Purple Maiʻa presents-Lau Maiʻa Scholarship

Summer Program Courses: SOCS 396-Topics in Indigenous Social Sciences (Wai)

Participants for Asthma/Covid Study Needed!

Resources from Kaʻiwakīloumoku-Pacific Indigenous Institute

Rural Health and Primary Care Workforce Study Survey

Positions:

Please check out our link to see all positions.

Call for Papers or Submissions:

Applications for CoHLI Cohort 2 Are Now Open!

2023 Smith Fellows Request for Proposals Announced!

We Are Ocean People: Indigenous Leadership in Marine Conservation

Wellness Resources:

Please check out our link to see all wellness resources.

Articles or Publications:

Please check out our link to see all articles and publications.

Support & Donation Opportunities

Past Updates

June 13th – 19th

Photo of me and a young man at the canoe races

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ke ho‘omaka nei kā ‘oukou Pō‘akahi me ka hau‘oli, me ka mahalo, a me ke ola kino maika‘i.

E like me ka‘u i kēlā pule aku nei, ua ho‘i wau i ka hoe wa‘a ‘ana. I ka Lāpule ua mālama ‘ia ka heihei ma Kailua. Nui ka makani e pā mai ana a no laila nui ka maka‘ala o mākou a pau.

Ua pa‘i ki‘i ‘ia ke ki‘i o luna nei he 10 paha minuke ma mua o ko‘u heihei. Eia nō wau e kū ana me kekahi ‘ōpio i aloha nui ‘ia. E maka‘ala pū ana māua i ke kai.

E like me ko māua lole e hō‘ike aku nei, hoe wa‘a māua no ‘elua hui ‘oko‘a. Nui nā ‘ano mea ‘ē a‘e i ‘oko‘a ma ko māua mau ola. He ‘ōpio ‘o ia. ‘A‘ole paha wau he ‘ōpio i ia mau lā. He kāne ‘o ia a he wahine wau. Hānai ‘ia ‘o ia ma ka ‘ao‘ao Wai‘anae a hānai ‘ia wau ma ka ‘ao‘ao Ko‘olau. A pēlā wale aku.

Eia na‘e, pili māua kekahi a ua kūkulu ‘ia ia pilina ma loko o ia mau mahina ‘eono i hala aku nei ma o ko māua ho‘oikaika kino pū ‘ana, ke kama‘ilio ‘ana no nā ali‘i o Maui (he mau mo‘opuna māua a Pi‘ilani), ka pā‘ina pū ‘ana (‘ono loa māua i nā waffles), a me ko māua makemake e lanakila i nā heihei hoe wa‘a.

Ua pa‘i ki‘i ‘ia kēia ki‘i e kekahi o ko‘u hoa me ia nīnau ‘aka‘aka “I wonder what they’re talking about. Waikīkī v. Kailua.” ‘O ka ‘oia‘i‘o, ‘a‘ohe kū‘ē ma waena o māua. He pilina. A ma loko o ia pilina e nānā pū ana māua i nā heihei a me ka holo ‘ana o nā wa‘a ma ke kai hānupanupa. E kama‘ilio ana māua no ko māua mau heihei pono‘ī a e ho‘ā‘o ana e ‘ike i ia mau heihei a me ko māua mau kuleana kiko‘ī. He ho‘okele wau a he hoe wa‘a ‘o ia no laila e wehewehe ana māua i kekahi i kekahi i nā mea pili a me nā mea ‘oko‘a; nā kuleana o ko māua mau kulana ma loko o ka wa‘a ho‘okahi. Ma hope o ia kama‘ilio ‘ana ua hō‘ea mai ka wā o ko‘u heihei. Mea mai ‘o ia ia‘u, “Good luck, Aunty!” Ma hope o ka heihei, e kū ana ‘o ia ma kahakai e ho‘omaika‘i mai ia‘u. He nani maoli nō.

Ma loko o ia mo‘olelo aia nō he mau ha‘awina:

  • Ma loko o ka ‘oko‘a ua hiki nō ke pili
  • He nani ka ‘oko‘a ‘oiai mai laila mai nā akamai like ‘ole
  • ‘A‘ole paha māua ‘oko‘a loa
  • He aha hou aku paha nā ha‘awina āe e ‘ike nei?

Mahalo nui wau i nā ha‘awina o ke aloha a me ke kāko‘o a me ka mālama ma waena o nā kanaka a me nā hui like ‘ole. E ho‘omau kākou i ia ‘ano pilina i hiki ke ‘ike pū i ka lanakila o kākou a pau.

Nā waiwai o kēia pule:

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English Summary:

Aloha mai kākou!

I hope you are all starting your Monday with joy, gratitude, and health.

As I shared last week, I went back to paddling. This past Sunday the race was in Kailua. It was really windy so we were all paying extra attention to the conditions in the ocean.

This picture was taken about 10 minutes before my race. I was standing with a beloved young man and we were paying attention to the conditions together.

Like our shirts demonstrate, we paddle for two different clubs. There’s lots of other things that are different about us. He’s young. I’m not so young. LOL. He’s a male and I’m a female. He was raised on the Wai‘anae side and I was raised on the Ko‘olau side. And the list could really go on.

But we are actually quite connected and we have built a relationship over the past 6 months via working out together, talking about the ali‘i of Maui together (we are both descendants of Pi‘ilani), eating together (we both love waffles), and wanting to win paddling races together.

This photo was taken by a friend posing the question: “I wonder what they’re talking about. Waikīkī v. Kailua.” Truth be told, there’s no competition between us. Just pilina. And within this pilina we were both watching the races and the way the boats were moving in the choppy waters. We were discussing each of our races and trying to envision what our races would look and feel like in our distinct roles. I’m a steersperson and he’s a paddler so we were sharing our unique kuleana and perspectives in each of those roles and how those roles work together in a single canoe. After our conversation ended it was time for my race. As I grabbed my paddles he said to me, “Good luck, Aunty!” And after the race, he was standing on shore congratulating me. It was really beautiful.

In this story there are so many lessons:

  • Even in difference there can still be pilina
  • Difference is actually quite beautiful because that’s how we ensure diversity in intelligences
  • Maybe we aren’t so different
  • What other lessons do you see?

I am so grateful for all the lessons of aloha and support and care that I get to witness and learn from that occur between different people and groups. Let’s continue this kind of pilina so that we all win together.

Resources for this week:

Aloha nui,

punihei

June 6th – 12th 

canoe at the beach

Our canoe, Tutu, surrounded by people who love her

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua puka ‘oukou i waho i kēia hopenapule ‘oiai ka lā a me ka makani ‘olu e pā mai nei.

I kēlā pule aku nei ua ho‘i wau i ka hoe wa‘a ‘ana ma hope o 20 makahiki! Ma ka Pō‘alima ua hālāwai ko mākou hui holo‘oko‘a a ua mo‘olelo mai ke alaka‘i, ‘o ‘Anakē Luana, no nā kanaka i ho‘okumu i ka hui, no nā waiwai o ka hui, no nā kūpuna i hala, no nā keiki o ka hui, a no kona mau mana‘olana no nā haunana e hiki mai ana. Ua wehewehe pū ‘o ia no ko mākou wa‘a koa. ‘O Tutu kona inoa. He tutu ‘o ia no mākou ‘oiai mai ke kumu koa mai ‘o ia. A me ia inoa, mōakāka ke kuleana e mālama iā ia.

‘Oiai wau e ho‘olohe ana iā ‘Anakē Luana, ua mino‘aka nui wau. Eia nō ‘o ‘Anakē Luana e hō‘ike mai ana i ka mo‘okū‘auhau o ko mākou hui hoe wa‘a a me ko mākou mau kuleana ma loko o ia ‘ohana. Ua pili loa kēia me kā kākou e hana nei ma ke kula nui nei:

  • He aha nā mo‘okū‘auhau a me nā mo‘olelo?
  • ‘O wai nā kaikua‘ana a me nā kaikaina ma loko o ia mau mo‘okū‘auhau?
  • A pehea ana kākou e aloha aku i kekahi i kekahi?

Me ia mau mana‘o a me ia mau nīnau, ua ho‘omākaukau ko mākou ke‘ena i kekahi mau kāko‘o hou. ‘O kēia ka maka mua o ka ho‘ā‘o ‘ana i ia ‘ano kāko‘o ma o ka pūnaewele no laila mahalo nui i ke ahonui a me ke aloha. Inā he mau mana‘o hō‘ikaika, e leka uila wale mai: nhpol@hawaii.edu.

Nā waiwai o kēia pule:

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English Summary:

Aloha mai kākou,

I hope you all got some time outside this weekend while the sun was shining and the breeze was blowing.

Last week I went back to canoe paddling after 20 years of being away from the sport! And on Friday we had our club meeting and our club president, Aunty Luana, shared stories about the founders of the club, the values and goals of the club, the kūpuna of the club, the keiki of the club, and her hopes and dreams for the future generations of our club. She also shared about our koa canoe. Her name is Tutu. She is a tutu for us because she comes from a koa tree which is a kupuna for us. And of course with this name our kuleana to take care of her is clear.

While I was listening to Aunty Luana, I smiled so big. Here she was sharing with us the mo‘okū‘auhau of our canoe club and the kuleana we each have within this ‘ohana. This is exactly what we are striving to learn how to do and live into here at UH Mānoa:

  • What are the genealogies and stories we each carry and that connect us?
  • Who are the various roles we each carry within those genealogies?
  • And how do we learn to aloha one another within those connections?

These are the guiding principles and questions that led us to create these new tools. This is the first time we have created these types of online resources so mahalo for your ahonui and aloha. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email us: nhpol@hawaii.edu.

Resources for this week:

Aloha nui,

punihei

May 30th – June 5th 

Keiki joy that we need to protect

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaha ‘oukou i kēia hopenapule lō‘ihi aku nei. I ko‘u mana‘o, ma ke ‘ano i hiki, he wā ko‘iko‘i kēia no ka ho‘omaha a ho‘onā ‘ana i ka na‘au ‘oiai kākou e ‘ike nei i nā pilikia like ‘ole ma Hawai‘i, ma ‘Amelika, a a puni ho‘i o ka honua.

I kēlā pule aku nei ua kama‘ilio wau me nā makua. Lua ‘ole ka ‘eha a me ka hopohopo no ka palekana o kā kākou mau keiki hiwahiwa. Pehea kākou e ho‘omalu ana i nā keiki o Hawai‘i a me nā keiki o ke ao? 

‘A‘ole ‘o wau ho‘okahi e mālama ana i ka‘u mau keiki no ka mea ‘a‘ole lāua noho pa‘a me ia‘u a ao ka pō a pō ke ao. A e like me kākou a pau, ho‘ouna wau i ka‘u mau keiki i kēlā me kēia lā i ka malu o ke kaiāulu me ka hilina‘i e palekana ana lāua. Ma kekahi ‘ano, he hilina‘i kupaianaha kēlā. 

Hō‘ikaika ‘ia ia hilina‘i ‘ana ke pili wau me ia mau kaiāulu: ‘o ke kula ‘oe, ‘o ka hālau wa‘a ‘oe, ‘o ka hālau hula ‘oe, ‘o ke kime pōhili ‘oe, a pēlā wale aku. A ma loko o ia mau kaiāulu like ‘ole, he kuleana ko‘u e hō‘ikaika i ka pilina a e aloha aku iā lākou i hiki iā lākou ke mālama a aloha aku i ka‘u mau keiki. 

Eia na‘e, ‘ike wau, i kekahi manawa  – no nā kumu like ‘ole  – pa‘akikī ka hō‘ea ‘ana e kūkulu pilina. A ‘ike pū wau, ‘o ka pilina ma waena o nā ‘ohana a me nā kaiāulu kekahi o nā mea ko‘iko‘i loa no ke ola o ka lāhui. A no laila, pehea kākou e kāko‘o i kekahi i kekahi ma loko o nā ‘ohana, nā ‘oihana, nā kula, a me nā hui like ‘ole e hāpai i ka waiwai o ka pilina a e hō‘ikaika i ka pilina ma waena o kākou a pau ma nā ‘ano like ‘ole? No ka mea ‘o ka pilina ke kahua o ke aloha. 

Mahalo iā ‘oukou a pau e kūkulu nei i ka pilina i kēlā me kēia lā. E ho‘omau kākou!

Nā waiwai o kēia pule:

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English summary:

Aloha mai kākou!

I hope you all got some rest during this long weekend. I think, as it is possible, this is an important time to rest, rejuvenate, and tend to our na‘au as we are witnessing so much tragedy in Hawai‘i, in America, and across the world. 

Last week I spoke with so many parents. They all felt unimaginable pain and worry for the safety of all of our collective children. How are we going to protect the keiki of Hawai‘i and the world? This concern is heavy on our minds and hearts.

And the thing is, I can’t alone take care of my children (no single parent can) because they aren’t with me day and night. So like all other parents, I send them off into the world into different communities and hope and pray and trust that they will be safe. This trust is sort of amazing and magical and terrifying all at the same time. 

I know that this trust is strengthened when I am closely connected to the communities I send my children into, whether that be their school, their paddling teams, their hālau hula, their baseball teams, and other such spaces. I know that I have a kuleana to grow and strengthen the pilina and the aloha within those communities so that they have enough to draw from to mālama and aloha my keiki. 

But I know that sometimes – for all kinds of reasons – it’s hard to show up and build pilina. And I also know that the pilina in our families and our communities is one of the most important things for the health of our lāhui. So how do we support one another in our ‘ohana, our businesses, our schools, and all of our groups to elevate the importance of pilina and to strengthen pilina between all of us in all the ways we know how? Because pilina is really the foundation of aloha.

Mahalo to all of you who are building pilina each and every day. Let’s continue this important work!

Resources for this week:

Aloha nui,

punihei

May 23rd – 29th

Sun rising at Malaekahana

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaha ‘oukou i kēia hopenapule.

No‘u, ua ho‘omoana wau ma Malaekahana a he nani maoli nō. Ma mua o ko‘u ho‘omoana ‘ana, wehewehe mai kekahi hoa ia‘u no kona hele ‘ana i kai i kēlā me kēia kakahiaka e ‘ike maka i ka pi‘ina a ka lā. Noho ho‘okahi ‘o ia no 5-10 minuke ‘oiai ka lā e puka mai ana. Iā ia e wehewehe mai ana, ulu ka hoi i loko o‘u. Eia na‘e, no‘u, ke ho‘omākaukau nei wau i nā keiki no ke kula ‘oiai ka lā e puka mai ana.

Akā i kēia hopenapule ua ho‘omoana wau ma Malaekahana no laila ma‘alahi ka iho ana i kai e hui pū me Kānehoalani ‘oiai ‘o ia e puka ana mai loko mai o ke kai hohonu. Iā ia e pi‘i mai ana, piha a‘ela ko‘u na‘au me ka mahalo no ia makana ‘o ka lā hou; no ia makana ‘o ka hiki ke ala me ke ola kino maika‘i a me nā waiwai e ke‘eke‘ehi me ke aloha.

Inā paha pa‘akikī ka hiki ‘ana aku i kahi e ‘ike i ka pi‘ina a ka lā i ke kakahiaka, eia ma luna nei he ki‘i ‘o ka lā e puka mai ana ma Malaekahana. E mālama ‘oe a e ho‘i hou e nānā inā he kōkua ia ki‘i nei e ho‘omana‘o i nā pōmaika‘i o kēlā me kēia lā.

Mahalo wau iā ‘oukou no kā ‘oukou ho‘opōmaika‘i ‘ana i ka lāhui.

Nā waiwai o kēia pule:

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English summary:

Aloha mai kākou,

I hope you all got some rest this weekend.

For me, I went camping in Malaekahana and it was just beautiful. Before I went camping, a friend of mine shared with me that every morning she goes to the beach to watch the sunrise. She takes 5-10 minutes to be alone and ground herself as the sun rises. I was so inspired by this story and practice of hers! But most mornings I am getting my children ready for school or some other activity and so I miss sunrise.

But this weekend I was camping at Malaekahana so it was easy to go down to the beach and meet Kānehoalani as he emerged out of the deep ocean. And as I watched him rise, I was filled with gratitude for the gift of that new day; for the gift of being able to wake up in good health and all that I need to walk in this life with aloha.

If it is difficult for you to get somewhere to see the sunrise, I wanted to share the photograph above of the sun rising at Malaekahana this past weekend. Keep this photograph and return to it when you need a reminder of the blessings that emerge with the dawning of each new day.

Speaking of gratitude, I am grateful for all the ways you bless our lāhui.

Resources for this week:

Aloha nui,

punihei

May 16th-22nd

My friend Mahina with her mom and grandma at graduation

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua piha kā ‘oukou hopenapule me ka hau‘oli a me ke aloha. No‘u ua piha nō ho‘i me ka mahalo; ka mahalo no ia mea ‘o ka noke ‘ana. I ia wā o nā hō‘ike hope loa a me ka lā hemo kula, ua ‘ike a ‘ike hou wau i nā mo‘olelo o ka noke ‘ana a he nani nō.

I ka Pō‘ahā i hala aku nei ua makana ‘ia wau ‘elua la‘ana o ka noke ‘ana. I ke kakahiaka, ua hui wau me kekahi haumāna a wehewehe mai ‘o ia ia‘u i kona kaumaha no kona holomua ‘ole ‘ana ma kekahi papa ‘oiai ua pa‘akikī loa ka hō‘ike hope loa. Mahalo akula wau i kona kaumaha ‘oiai he mea maoli nō ia. A, ua ho‘omana‘o pū wau iā ia, ‘a‘ole ‘o kēia ka hopena o ke ola. Mahalo ke akua, ua puka hou mai ka lā ma ka hikina a ua makana ‘ia ‘o ia kēia manawa kūpono no ka ho‘ā‘o hou, no ka noke ‘ana. Ua mino‘aka ‘o ia.

A laila, i ke awakea, ua hui wau me kekahi wahine i holomua a ho‘opau i kāna hō‘ike GED. Ma hope o kekahi mau ālaina ma kona ola a ma hope o kekahi mau ho‘ā‘o ma ka hō‘ike GED, ua puka no ka mea ua noke a noke mau ‘o ia. Ua piha ‘o ia me ka hau‘oli a ua ha‘aheo maoli nā kumu, nā hoa papa, a me nā hoa paipai. Ua makana mai ‘o ia i ka ha‘awina ‘o ia ho‘i ‘oiai e pa‘akikī ana kekahi mau mea a ‘a‘ole paha holomua ma ka ho‘ā‘o mua, inā nō e noke a hō‘ikaika i kēlā me kēia ho‘ā‘o, ua hiki ke holomua nō. Nani!

A laila i kēia hopenapule hele akula wau i ka lā hemo kula no UH Mānoa. Piha ka hale ‘o Stan Sheriff me kekahi mau haneli haumāna i noke a noke mau a hiki i ka puka ‘ana. A ‘o kekahi o ia mau haumāna ko‘u hoapili. Ma hope o kona puka ‘ana mai ke kula ki‘eki‘e, ‘a‘ole ‘o ia i hele i ke kula nui. Ua hana ‘o ia a hānai i kona ‘ohana, he ‘ehiku mau keikikāne. A laila, ua ho‘oholo ‘o ia e ho‘i i ke kula no ke kēkelē laepua. Nui nā ālaina ma ia ala, eia na‘e ua ‘imi ‘o ia i ke ala pono a noke mau. A laila ua ho‘oholo ‘o ia e ho‘i hou i ke kula no ke kēkelē laeo‘o ‘oiai ‘o ia e mālama ana i kāna mau keiki, kāna mo‘opuna, kāna mau keiki hanauna, a me kona kupunawahine. A i ka Pō‘aono nei, ua puka ‘o ia: ka lālā mua o kona ‘ohana me ke kēkelē laepua a laeo‘o nō ho‘i. A no kona noke mau ‘ana mākaukau ‘o ia me nā pono e mālama i kona ‘ohana a me kona kaiāulu. Ha‘aheo maoli wau iā ia!

A no laila, he leo ho‘omaika‘i kēia i nā haumāna a pau e noke mau ‘ana no kā ‘oukou pono a no ka pono ho‘i o ka lāhui. A he leo mahalo kēia iā ‘oukou a pau e kāko‘o, e hānai, e ho‘omalu, a e mālama ana i ia mau haumāna, nā alaka‘i o Hawai‘i nei.

No nā lou:

Aloha nui,

punihei

English Summary:

Aloha mai kākou!

I hope your weekend was filled with happiness and aloha. For me, mine was filled with gratitude and I am especially grateful for the practice of perseverance. In this time of final exams and graduations, I saw so many examples of perseverance and it was really beautiful.

Last Thursday I was gifted with two examples of perseverance. In the morning, I met with a student and she shared with me how upset and disappointed she was because she failed one of her exams and consequently wouldn’t be passing the class. I honored her disappointment and sadness because that was very real and alive for her. And I also reminded her that while failing an exam might feel like the end of the world, it actually isn’t. Mahalo ke akua, the sun still rose the next day in the east and she was given an opportunity to try again, to persevere. She smiled.

And then at noon I met a young lady who had just passed her GED. After several challenges along her personal journey and many attempts at the test, she passed because she persevered. She was so filled with happiness and her teachers, classmates, and cheerleaders were so very proud of her. She gifted all of us who were there with her the lesson that while things might get tough and we might not get all the way to the finish line on the first try if we persevere and strengthen our work each time, we can succeed. So beautiful!

And then this weekend I went to UH Mānoa’s commencement ceremony. Stan Sheriff Center was filled with hundreds of students who persevered and reached graduation. And among these graduates was my best friend and her beautiful story. After she graduated from high school she didn’t go to college. Instead, she went to work and raised seven sons. Eventually, she decided to go to school and earned her bachelor’s degree. There were tons of challenges and setbacks during that first journey in college, but she kept her eye on the prize and persevered. And then she decided to return for her master’s degree while she continued to take care of her children, her granddaughter, her nieces and nephews, and her grandma. And on Saturday, she graduated! She’s the first person in her immediate family to earn a college diploma. And because she persevered she now has more tools to care for her family and her community. I am so incredibly proud of her.

So congratulations to all the students who continue to persevere in all the ways you do for the betterment of yourselves and also for the betterment of our lāhui. And mahalo to all of you out there who support, nourish, protect, and care for these students, the leaders of Hawai‘i.

Finally, some links:

Aloha nui,

punihei

May 9th-15th

Photo by Dragos Blaga on Unsplash

Aloha mai kākou,

E kala mai i ka lohi o nei leka uila. Ua ‘ōma‘ima‘i wau inehinei akā ua ola hou i kēia lā! Me kēlā mana‘o, e ‘olu‘olu e ho‘olohe a mālama i ko ‘oukou mau ola kino. I kēia pule o nā hō‘ike hope loa, e maka‘ala i ka hiamoe a me ka ‘ai pono. A i kēia hopenapule o ka lā hemo kula, e ‘olu‘olu e mālama a e akahele ma nā alanui a me nā wahi e ‘ākoakoa ana ka lehulehu. E aho paha ke komo ‘ana i ka makaki‘i. Ho‘omaika‘i i nā haumāna puka kula!!

Aloha nui,

punihei

English summary:

Aloha mai kākou,

I’m sorry that this email message is coming out late. I was sick yesterday but totally better today! With that said, please listen to your bodies and take care of yourself. Especially this week during final exams, please be mindful of getting enough sleep and eating well. And during graduation this weekend, please be careful on the roads and take care in big crowds. It might be helpful to wear masks in those large crowds. And most of all, congratulations to all the graduates who have worked so hard!!

Check out akahele this week.

Aloha,

punihei

May 2nd – 8th

Halau o ke aalii ku makani at may day 2022

The band Keauhou and dancers from Hālau o ke ‘A‘ali‘i Kū Makani at Bishop Museum.

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o he Pō‘akahi kēia piha i ke aloha a me ka hau‘oli.

No‘u, ua ala wau i kēia kakahiaka me nā maka pehu ‘oiai i ka pō nei ua komo wau i nā lei pua melia no ka ‘aha mele Lā Mei a ua loa‘a wau i ka pāheu i nā pua onaona. Auē kēia ‘ōlapa, ‘eā?!!

‘Oiai ua pehu nā maka, ua ala pū wau me ka pu‘uwai piha i ke aloha a me ka mahalo no ia ‘aha mele i ho‘omaka ‘ia e Kumu Robert Uluwehi Cazimero a ke ho‘omau ‘ia nei e Keauhou me Kāhuli Leo Le‘a. Ua nani wale nā mele a me nā hula o ka pō nei. A ‘o ka‘u mea punahele ka no‘ono‘o a me ka wehewehe pono ‘ana i ka pilina o nā mele me ke aloha ‘āina. Ma o nā mele e ho‘omana‘o a ho‘olaule‘a ‘ia ka pilina o ke kanaka me ka ‘āina a me ka pilina o ke kanaka me ke kanaka ‘ē a‘e ma ka ‘āina. A, he ala nā mele a me nā hula e kama‘ilio me ka ‘āina kekahi. ‘Oiai mākou i mele, oli, a hula no ka wai, ka makani, a me ka ‘āina, iho maila ka ua a pā maila ka makani. He makani uihā nō ho‘i ia a he nani ho‘i kau!

A no laila i kēia pule, ‘oiai e mālama ‘ia ana nā ‘aha mele Lā Mei ma nā kula a me nā kaiāulu, he leo mahalo kēia i nā limahana e ho‘omau ana i ia ho‘olaule‘a o nā mo‘olelo a me nā mele Hawai‘i. ‘A‘ole ia no ka hō‘ike‘ike wale nō. He ala kēia e ho‘opili aku me ka ‘āina, me nā kūpuna, a me Hawai‘i nō ho‘i. E ola!

No ka nānā ‘ana i ka ‘aha mele Lā Mei, e kaomi ma ‘ane‘i.

No ka nuhou o kēia pule, e kaomi ma ‘ane‘i a inā makemake e nānā ma ka ‘alemanaka, e kaomi ma ‘ane‘i.

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English Summary

Aloha mai kākou,

My hope is that this Monday is filled with happiness and aloha for each of you.

Funny enough, I woke up this morning with slightly swollen eyes from wearing plumeria leis last night at the May Day Concert because I’m allergic to fragrant flowers. What a hula dancer, right?!

While my eyes were swollen, I also woke up extremely grateful for the May Day Concert tradition started by Kumu Uluwehi Cazimero and now being continued on by Keauhou and Kāhuli Leo Le‘a. The hula and the mele last night were just beautiful. And my favorite part was the intention and clarity in describing the connection between mele and aloha ‘āina. As so many mentioned last night, it is through mele that we remember and celebrate the pilina of people with ‘āina and also the pilina that people build with each other in particular ‘āina. Also, it is through mele and hula that we can be in conversation with ‘āina as well. And sure enough as we sang, chanted, and danced about water, wind, and ‘āina, the rain came down and the wind blew through. We described it as a uihā (celebratory, fun) wind and it was so beautiful!

So this week as schools and communities throughout Hawai‘i celebrate May Day in their own ways, I want to mahalo all those who make those events possible. As I was reminded last night, May Day isn’t just for show. It really can be a pathway to connect with ‘āina, with kūpuna, and with Hawai‘i.

Click here to watch the May Day Show.

Click here to learn about the word mele and feel free to listen to all the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i below.

Aloha nui,

punihei

April 25th – May 1st

Piʻikea Merrie Monarch 2022

Pi‘ikea Lopes dancing at Merrie Monarch 2022

Aloha mai kākou,

Inā ‘oe i nānā iā Mele Manaka a i ‘ole i hele kino i ka hana keaka ‘o Ho‘oilina, ua piha kou hopenapule me ke mele, ka hula, nā mo‘olelo a me nā ka‘ao, ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, nā wahi pana, ke aloha o ka ‘ohana a me ka lāhui, a me ke aloha ‘āina nō ho‘i. Pōmaika‘i maoli kākou!

Ma ka Pō‘alima nānā akula wau i ka ho‘okūkū Miss Aloha Hula. Nani wale ka nui o nā la‘ana o ke aloha a me ka pilina i ka ‘āina. ‘O kekahi o ia mau la‘ana nā hula a Miss Aloha Hula 2022 Pi‘ikea Lopes, he haumāna o Mānoa nei. ‘O kāna hula kahiko, he mahalo iā Puna, ka ‘āina o ko kona māmā ‘ohana. ‘O kāna hula ‘auana, he mahalo iā Kohala, ka ‘āina o ko kona pāpā ‘ohana. ‘O kekahi o nā ha‘awina āna e makana ana mai: mai poina i nā ‘āina e hānai a e ho‘omalu ana iā kākou i kēlā a me kēia hanauna. Ola kākou i ia mau ‘āina!

Ma ka Pō‘aono hele akula wau i ka hana keaka ‘o Ho‘oilina ma ka hale ‘o Kennedy. Ua ho‘omaka ka hana keaka me ka mahalo aku i ka ‘āina. Eia hou he la‘ana ikaika e a‘o ana i ka ha‘awina ko‘iko‘i: i kēlā me kēia kekona o ko kākou ola, ke hi‘ipoi nei ka ‘āina iā kākou. ‘O wai nā inoa o ia mau ‘āina? He aha ko lākou mau mo‘olelo? A pehea kēlā ‘ike e a‘o mai iā kākou i nā hana kūpono e mālama aku i ka ‘āina? A no laila, mahalo nui iā Ākea Kahikina no ka hana keaka helu ‘ekahi a me ia ha‘awina aloha ‘āina kekahi.

I ia pule hope o ‘Apelila, ka mahina mālama honua, ke ho‘onani aku nei wau i ke kupaianaha o ko kākou po‘e kūpuna a me nā alaka‘i o ia au – e like me nā kumu hula, nā ‘ōlapa, a me nā haku hana keaka – e a‘o ana iā kākou i ke ko‘iko‘i o ke aloha a me ka mālama ‘āina i kēlā me kēia lā, ‘a‘ole no ho‘okahi mahina wale nō.

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English Summary:

Aloha mai kākou!

If you watched Merrie Monarch or went to the play Ho‘oilina, then your weekend was filled with song and poetry, hula, stories, ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, famous places, aloha for ‘ohana and lāhui, and aloha ‘āina. We are so blessed!

On Friday I watched the Miss Aloha Hula Competition. It was beautiful to see so many examples of aloha and pilina with ‘āina. Some of these stellar examples came from the hula presented by our new Miss Aloha Hula 2022, Pi‘ikea Lopes, who is a student here at UH Mānoa. Her hula kahiko was a tribute to Puna, where her mother’s family is from. Her ‘auna was a tribute to Kohala, where her father’s family is from. One of the lessons from her choice of mele: never forget the ‘āina that nourish and protect us throughout the generations. We live and thrive because of those various ‘āina!

On Saturday I went to Ho‘oilina at Kennedy Theatre. The play began with an awesome land acknowledgment. Here again is another strong example teaching us an important lesson: every moment of our lives, ‘āina is embracing us. What are the names of those ‘āina? What are their stories? And what can we learn from their names and stories that can teach us how to take care of that ‘āina? So mahalo nui to Ākea Kahikina, director of Ho‘oilina, for the masterpiece and also for this important lesson.

In this last week of April, also Earth Month, I am celebrating how amazing our kūpuna were/are and also our leaders of today – like the kumu hula, dancers, and hana keaka creators – who are constantly teaching us how important it is to aloha and mālama ‘āina everyday, not just during April’s Earth Month.

Check out ko‘iko‘i and feel free to listen to all the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i below.

Aloha nui,

punihei

 

 

April 18th-24th

Students learning at Ka Papa Lo‘i ‘o Kānewai

Aloha mai kākou,

‘Oiai ua mālama ‘ia he lā nui i kēia hopenapule, ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ‘olu‘olu ka hui ‘ana me ka ‘ohana a me nā hoa. No‘u, mahalo nui wau i ia hui ‘ana. A, mahalo pū wau i ka iho mai a ka ua e ho‘okena ana i ka ‘āina.

Ia‘u e mahalo ana i ka ua a me ka wai, e no‘ono‘o ana wau iā Mānoa nei a me ka nui o ka wai mai nā kahawai, nā punawai, nā wailele, a me ka ua nō ho‘i. A ua kau ka no‘ono‘o iā Kānewai, ka ‘ili ‘āina ma ka hikina o ke Kula Nui ‘o Mānoa, kahi e kū nei ‘o Kamakakūokalani a me ka Papa Lo‘i ‘o Kānewai. Kaulana ‘o Kānewai no ka wai a Kāne lāua ‘o Kanaloa i ‘imi a loa‘a ma ia ‘āina nei. He ho‘ōla ia wai i ke kino. A i ia mau lā he ho‘ōla nā mea e a‘o ‘ia nei ma Kānewai no ka lāhui. No laila he leo mahalo kēia iā Kānewai a me nā kumu like ‘ole i a‘o a e a‘o nei ma ia ‘ili ‘āina hiwahiwa.

I kēia pule, e ‘imi paha i nā inoa pili i ka wai ma kou mau ‘āina pono‘ī. A e ‘imi pū paha i nā mea e ho‘ōla ana iā ‘oe, kou ‘ohana, a me ka lāhui. Pehea kākou e mālama aku i ia mau mea/kanaka/‘āina i hiki iā lākou ke ho‘omau i ko lākou ho‘ōla ‘ana mai?

E kaomi ma ‘ane‘i no ka palapala ‘ili ‘āina o Mānoa.

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English Summary:

Aloha mai kākou,

Since there was a holiday this weekend I hope that meant you all got to spend some special time with family and friends. For me, I was really grateful for the small gatherings we had. I was also grateful for the beautiful rain that quenched the thirst of our ‘āina.

As I was appreciating the rain, I thought about the abundance of water in Mānoa coming from the streams, the springs, the waterfalls, and from the rain. And that all led me to think about Kānewai, the ‘ili ‘āina that sits at the eastern gate of UH Mānoa, where Kamakakūokalani and Ka Papa Lo‘i ‘o Kānewai are located. Kānewai is famous and named as such because that’s where Kāne and Kanaloa found fresh water and of course we celebrate how water is such a necessary life force. What I find beautiful is that today what is being taught in the ‘ili of Kānewai is also helping to restore health and healing to our lāhui. So this is a mahalo to Kānewai and to all the kumu who have taught and currently teach in this precious ‘ili ‘āina.

This week, let’s explore any possible wai names in the areas each of you are located. And perhaps you can also explore the ways that you, your ‘ohana, and the lāhui are being nourished by various elements of that place. Finally, how do we mālama all of those nourishing things/people/and ‘āina so that they can continue to give us life?

Click here for the ‘ili map of Mānoa.

Also, check out ho‘ōla this week and feel free to listen to all the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i below.

Aloha nui,

punihei

 

April 11th-17th

Manoa Valley

Looking into the back of Mānoa Valley

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaha ‘oukou i ka nani o ka pā mai a ka makani i kēia hopenapule.

Mahalo wau i ‘elua hoa i kono mai ia‘u e nanea i ka ‘olu o ka makani. ‘O kekahi hoa, iā māua e hālāwai ana ma Kailua, ua kapa ‘o ia i ka makani he makani hali‘a aloha. ‘O kekahi hoa ‘ē a‘e, iā māua e hui ana ma Kāne‘ohe, mea mai ‘o ia, “He makani ‘ono kēia.” Ua mino‘aka wau. No‘u, mahalo nui wau i ia mau hoa ‘elua no ko lāua hui ‘ana he alo a he alo me ka makani a me ko lāua pilina a mahalo i nā hi‘ohi‘ona o nā makani o ko lāua mau ‘āina pono‘ī. No‘u, he aloha ‘āina kēlā.

Ma Mānoa, ‘o Kahaukani ka inoa o ka makani o ke awāwa nei. Noho ‘o ia i uka me kāna kōko‘olua, ka ua Tuahine, ma nā ‘ili ‘āina ‘o Haukulu me ‘Aihualama, kahi ‘o Lyon Arboretum. Huaka‘i pū lāua a puni i ke awāwa ‘o Mānoa a hiki aku i ke kula nei. Ke hui kākou me Kahaukani, e luana iki paha kākou a e mahalo i kona mau hi‘ohi‘ona like ‘ole. A inā ‘oe ma kekahi ‘āina ‘ē a‘e, e luana iki me ka makani o ia ‘āina.

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English Summary:

Aloha mai kākou,

I hope you all got some rest this weekend in the beauty of the blowing winds.

I really appreciate two friends who invited me to pause and enjoy the delightful winds over the past week. One of my friends, while we were meeting in Kailua, described the wind as nostalgic. Another friend, while we connected in Kāne‘ohe, said to me, “Isn’t’ this wind so ‘ono?!” I smiled wide. I so appreciate these two friends for their gift of presence with the wind and for their pilina and appreciation of the fine qualities that the wind embodies and brings to us in the ‘āina they are so connected with. To me, that’s a beautiful example of aloha ‘āina.

Kahaukani is the name of the wind in Mānoa Valley. Kahaukani lives i uka with their partner the Tuahine rain up in the ‘ili of Hakukulu and ‘Aihualama where Lyon Arboretum is located today. Together they travel throughout Mānoa and even come to visit us here on the main Mānoa campus. When we meet Kahaukani perhaps we can take a moment to get to know them and appreciate all of their qualities. And if you are in a different ‘āina, take a moment to enjoy that wind.

With all this said, I invite you to look into hi‘ohi‘ona and listen to all the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i below.

And click here for this week’s resources.

Also, please know that you can click here for a calendar view of events we highlight each week.

Aloha,

punihei

April 4th-10th

group of people learning chant

A group of folks learning to chant Welina Mānoa together

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke holo wale nei kēia makahiki 2022, ‘eā?!

Eia nō kākou ma ka mahina ‘o ‘Apelila, ‘o ia ho‘i ka mahina mālama honua. A no laila, i kēlā Pō‘alima aku nei ma ka lā mua ‘o ‘Apelila, ua ‘ākoakoa mai kekahi hui kanaka e a‘o i ke oli ‘o Welina Mānoa. Iā mākou e aloha ana iā Tuahine lāua ‘o Kahaukani, ua hō‘olu ‘ia mākou me ka iho mai o ka ua a me ka pā aheahe a ka makani. Nani maoli ia kama‘ilio ‘ana me ka ‘āina.

Iā mākou e a‘o ana i ia oli, e noho ana mākou ma ka poli o ka ‘ili ‘āina ‘o Pilipili, kekahi o nā ‘ili ‘āina e hānai a ho‘omalu ana i ke Kula Nui ‘o Mānoa nei. Kaulana ‘o Pilipili i ka pālolo, he lepo momona a ‘ono nō ho‘i i ‘ai ‘ia e nā kupa o nei ‘āina. A, ua ulu ka pilipili‘ula – he ‘ano mau‘u – ma Pilipili.

I kēia lā noho kekahi hapa o ke Kula Nui ma Pilipili: mai ke Alanui ‘o University, a puni iā Campus Center, a hiki loa aku i ka Hale Waihona Puke ‘o Hamilton, a ma uka aku ‘o ke Ala ‘o Maile. E nānā i ka palapala ‘āina ma kēia lou.

No laila i kēia mahina a kākou e kia ana no ka mālama honua, no ka mālama ‘āina nō ho‘i, e aho paha ko kākou hui ‘ana he alo a he alo me nā ‘āina e hi‘ipoi ana iā kākou. He aha ko lākou mau mo‘olelo? ‘O wai nā po‘e manu, po‘e ua, po‘e makani, a pēlā wale aku e noho ana ma laila? He ho‘omaka kūpono paha ia ‘ano pilina no ka mālama maika‘i ‘ana iā lākou.

I kēlā me kēia pule ma ka mahina ‘o ‘Apelila e ho‘olauna aku wau i kekahi o nā ‘ili ‘āina ma ke kula nei.

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English Summary:

Aloha kākou,

This 2022 year is flying by, isn’t it?!

Here we are in April already, which also happens to be Earth Month. So last week Friday on April 1st a group of folks gathered to learn the oli Welina Mānoa. As we were greeting Tuahine and Kahaukani we were cooled by the rain and the gentle wind. Several folks noted how beautiful it was to be in conversation and relationship with the very ‘āina we were chanting to.

As we were chanting we were sitting in the heart of Pilipili, one of the ‘ili ‘āina that nourishes and protects us here at UH Mānoa. Pilipili is famous for the pālolo, a sweet and edible mud that the people of this area would enjoy. Also, pilipili‘ula – a type of grass – used to grow in Pilipili.

Today the majority of the UH Mānoa campus is situated within Pilipili: from University Avenue, circling around Campus Center, all the way to Hamilton Library, and up around Maile Way. You can see the map at this link here.

During this month when we are focusing intentionally on taking care of grandmother earth let’s perhaps spend some face-to-face time with her. What are her stories? Who are the bird people and the rain people and the wind people of our places? Exploring these questions and connecting in these ways might be a good first step in learning how to take care of them.

Each week during the month of April I will introduce us to a different ‘ili on campus. Until then, feel free to take a walk outside and get to know this ‘āina (or any ‘āina you are on) a little better.

This week, check out pilipili‘ula, and also feel free to listen to the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i recording below.

Aloha nui,

punihei

March 28th-April 3rd

 
Aunty Grace

Aunty Grace in her backyard

Aloha mai kākou,

Eia nō kākou ma ka hopena o ka mahina ‘o Malaki, ‘o ia ho‘i ka mahina ho‘ohanohano wahine. A eia pū kākou e ne‘e papa nei i ka mahina ‘o ‘Apelila, ka mahina Mālama Honua. A no laila, kau ka no‘ono‘o i nā wahine aloha ‘āina, mālama ‘āina nō ho‘i. Pōmaika‘i kākou ma Hawai‘i no ka mea ‘ike ‘ia nā mana wahine aloha ‘āina ma nā kula, ma nā kaiāulu, a ma nā mo‘olelo kekahi. Ke no‘ono‘o nei au i nā wahine e like me Loretta Ritte, Pualani Kanahele, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, Mehana Vaughan, Malia Akutagawa a pēlā wale aku. Lō‘ihi loa ka papa inoa!

A, ke no‘ono‘o pū nei au i nā wahine aloha ‘āina i kēlā me kēia lā eia na‘e ‘a‘ole paha kaulana ko lākou mau inoa. Kau ka no‘ono‘o i nā wahine e like me ko‘u makuhine kōlea, ‘o Aunty Grace. No Samoa mai ‘o ia akā ua ne‘e ‘o ia i Hawai‘i he 30 a ‘oi makahiki aku nei a noho ‘o ia ma Kahana. Mālama ‘o ia i kāna pā hale i kēlā me kēia lā. Ulu nā ‘ano meakanu like ‘ole ma kona ‘āina e like me nā lemi, ka ‘ohe, ka ‘ulu, ke kalo, ka pua kenikeni, ka avocado, ke kō, ka niu, ka ‘awapuhi, a me na mea ‘ē a‘e āna e ‘ono a e hoihoi nei. ‘O nā mea āna e ulu ana, ‘ai ‘o ia a hānai ‘o ia iā ha‘i. A inā he pua, kui ‘o ia i lei a ho‘onaninani ‘o ia i ka hale. Pili loa ‘o ia me nā meakanu a me ka ‘āina ma Kahana no ka mea hui ‘o ia he alo a he alo i kēlā me kēia lā. Aloha ‘o ia i ka ‘āina a aloha ka ‘āina iā ia. 

Mahalo wau iā Aunty Grace no ka mea a‘o ‘o ia ia‘u i ke ko‘iko‘i o ka hui ‘ana, he alo a he alo, me ka ‘āina i kēlā me kēia lā. Pēlā e hō‘ikaika ‘ia ka pilina i hiki i ka ‘āina ke hānai i ke kanaka a ke kanaka e mālama i ka ‘āina. 

A no laila, he leo mahalo kēia i nā makuahine, nā ‘anakē, nā kupunawahine, a me nā wahine ‘ē a‘e e ho‘omau ana i kēlā pilina me ka ‘āina i ola kākou a pau. 

Aloha nui,

Punihei

English summary:

Aloha kākou, 

Here we are at the ending of March, Women’s History Month, and entering into April which is Earth Month. So my thoughts are turning to wahine aloha ‘āina who care for our ‘āina everyday. We are so blessed in Hawai‘i because we have mana wahine aloha ‘āina in our schools, in our communities, and also in our mo‘olelo. I’m thinking of wahine like Loretta Ritte, Pualani Kanahele, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, Mehana Vaughan, Malia Akutagawa, and so many others. Oh my, the list is long!

I’m also thinking of wahine who aloha ‘āina everyday but whose names are not necessarily famous. I think of wahine like my step mom, Aunty Grace. She is from Samoa but moved to Hawai‘i over 30 years ago and she has made her home in Kahana Valley. She takes care of her yard every single day. So many kinds of plants thrive in her yard like lemons, bamboo, ‘ulu, kalo, pua kenikeni, avocado, sugarcane, coconuts, ginger, and all kinds of other yummy and beautiful things. She eats from her yard everyday and also feeds anyone who comes by. She also makes lei and beautifies everything with her flowers. She is so close and connected to her yard and to the ‘āina of Kahana because she is out in ‘āina face to face everyday. She loves that ‘āina and that ‘āina loves her. 

I have so much mahalo for people like Aunty Grace because she teaches me the importance of building a face to face relationship with ‘āina. That’s how our pilina gets strengthened so that ‘āina can nourish us and we can know how to best mālama her. 

So I want to mahalo all the mothers, aunties, grandmothers, and other women who continue that pilina with ‘āina everyday so that we can all thrive. 

This week, check out hō‘ikaika and listen to all the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i in the recording. 

Aloha nui,

punihei

 

March 21st-27th

Leanne Ferrer during Pasifika Film Fest 2020

Merata

Merata Mita on set of a film project

Aloha alo piko o Wākea!

Eia nō kākou ma ia wā kūikawā ‘o ka lā e kā‘alo ana i ke alo piko o Wākea; ka wā e kaulike ana ka pō a me ke ao; ka wā e ho‘omaka ana ke kau kupulau; ka wā e ho‘opili aku i nā kūpuna a e noi ha‘aha‘a no ke alaka‘i ‘ana mai. Eia kekahi wikiō me Dr. Kalei Nu‘uhiwa e wehewehe ana i ia wā.

A, eia hou, ‘o kēia ke kolu o nā pule o ka mahina ho‘ohanohano wahine. I kēlā pule aku nei ua hana wau me ka hui ‘o Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking. A no laila i ia wā e no‘ono‘o ana wau i nā wahine ha‘i mo‘olelo a me nā wahine hana nui e paipai a e kāko‘o mau ana i ka ha‘i mo‘olelo ‘ana. E no‘ono‘o ana wau i nā wahine e like me Merata Mita lāua ‘o Leanne Ferrer, ‘elua wahine i ho‘i aku e noho me nā kūpuna. E no‘ono‘o ana wau i nā wahine e like me Kumu Haili‘ōpua Baker lāua ‘o Vera Zambonelli e a‘o nei a e kāko‘o nei i ka hanauna e hiki mai ana. A e no‘ono‘o ana wau i nā kaikaimahine e like me ka‘u keiki ‘o Hā‘ena a me nā kaikamahine ‘ē a‘e i komo i ka papahana me Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking i kēlā pule aku nei. Piha lākou me nā mana‘o a me nā mo‘olelo like ‘ole a waiwai kākou a pau ke lohe a ‘ike ‘ia.

Eia hou. Ke no‘ono‘o nei au i nā kupunawahine a me nā makuahine like ‘ole o ke ao nei e mālama a e makana ana i nā mo‘olelo o nā ‘ohana, o nā kaiāulu, o ka ‘āina, a o ka lāhui nō ho‘i. A ke no‘ono‘o nei au i ko‘u kuleana e ho‘omau i ia mau mo‘olelo, e mālama i nā kānaka i hiki iā lākou ke ha‘i i ko lākou mau mo‘olelo, a e ho‘oulu i kā kākou mau keiki. I ia wā o ke alo piko o Wākea, e noi ana wau i nā kūpuna e alaka‘i ia‘u ma ia hana.

Mahalo ho‘i iā ‘oukou a pau, nā wahine e ho‘omau ana i ka ha‘i mo‘olelo ‘ana ma nā ‘ano like ‘ole. Ola ka lāhui i kā ‘oukou hana nui.

Aloha nui,

punihei

English Summary:

Happy spring equinox!

Here we are in this special time of year when in the northern hemisphere the sun crosses the equator heading north; when the length of day and night is nearly equal; when spring begins; and when we might pause to connect with our kūpuna and ask them for guidance. Here is a link for a video with Dr. Kalei Nu‘uhiwa as she discusses spring equinox from a Hawaiian perspective.

Also, this is the third week of Women’s History Month. Last week I spent time working with Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking. So I’ve been thinking about women storytellers and women who do so much to create space for storytelling to happen. I’m thinking of women like Merata Mita and Leanne Ferrer who are both with our kūpuna now. I’m thinking of women like Kumu Haili‘ōpua Baker and Vera Zambonelli who are teaching and supporting our next generation. And I’m also thinking of girls like my daughter Hā‘ena and the other girls who were part of the spring break program at Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking last week. They are so filled with amazing ideas and stories that when shared enrich all of us.

Here’s another thing. I’m also thinking about all the grandmothers and mothers throughout the world who are keepers and sharers of the stories of their families, their communities, of their ‘āina, and of their lāhui. And I’m thinking about my kuleana to ensure that certain stories live on, to take care of people so that they can share their stories, and to also create space for our next generation to be inspired and have the tools to share their own. In this time of spring equinox, I’m going to ask my kūpuna to guide me in this important work.

Mahalo to all of you women out there who are continuing the art of storytelling in so many amazing ways. Our lāhui thrives because of you!

Aloha nui,

punihei

March 14th-20th

Photo of Pauahi. From ksbe.edu.

Aloha mai kākou,

I kēia ka lua o nā pule o ka mahina hoʻohanohano wahine a ma hope o ka hoʻokūkū mele ma Kamehameha, e noʻonoʻo ana wau iā Pauahi. E noʻonoʻo ana wau i kona aloha, kona lokomaikaʻi, a me kona akamai. Nui koʻu mahalo iā ia no kona ʻike pāpālua i ka waiwai o ka ʻāina a me ka ʻimi naʻauao. Ua pōmaikaʻi maoli ka lehulehu, ka lāhui nō hoʻi.

Eia hou: I kēlā Pōʻalima aku nei ua kono a hōʻole ʻia nā haumāna e komo i ke Kula ʻo Kamehameha. No kekahi mau keiki, he lā piha i ka hauʻoli. Hoʻolauleʻa ʻia kēia mau keiki no ko lākou akamai a he nani maoli nō.

Eia na‘e, no nā keiki ʻē aʻe, he lā kaumaha paha inā ua hō‘ole ‘ia. No kekahi o lākou, he ‘ano kaumaha e noho ana me lākou no nā kau a kau ‘oiai pili ka ‘ae a hō‘ole ‘ia i ke Kula ‘o Kamehameha me ko lākou (a me ka ‘ohana paha) ha‘aheo i ke akamai o ke keiki. Akā ‘o ka ‘oia‘i‘o, akamai nā keiki a pau. He mau pua hiwahiwa lākou pākahi.

A no laila inā pili paha i kekahi i hō‘ole ‘ia i ke Kula ‘o Kamehameha, e mālama a e hi‘ipoi iā ia. E mahalo paha i kona hana nui, kona hana pono, a me kona mau makana. ‘O ka ‘oia‘i‘o, ‘o lākou a pau kā Pauahi mau pua.

English summary:

Aloha mai kākou,

In this the second week of Women’s History Month and right after Kamehameha Schools’ Song Contest, I am thinking a lot about Pauahi. I’ve been thinking about her aloha, her generosity, and her brilliance. I’m so grateful for her vision and understanding of the importance of ‘āina and education. We are all really so very blessed by her.

Here’s another thing: Last week Friday students who applied to Kamehameha were either accepted or denied admissions. For some children, this day was filled with joy as they received their acceptance letters. These children were likely celebrated for their intelligence and it really is a beautiful thing. Many families likely cried tears of joy.

But for other children, it was likely a very sad day and weekend. For some of them, they will carry a sort of sadness with them always as being accepted or denied to Kamehameha shapes the way they (and sometimes their families) view themselves and their intelligence and worth. But the truth is, they are all brilliant. They are each precious children.

So if you know someone who was denied acceptance to Kamehameha last week, love them and cherish them. Celebrate and appreciate out loud how they work hard, how they do good in the world, and all the gifts that they bring to their families and communities. Because the honest truth is, they are all Pauahi’s children and they are all gifts to our lāhui. Let’s make sure they know that.

Check out hiwahiwa.

Aloha,

punihei

March 7th-13th

Grannie Angie

A photo of my Grannie Angie on her wedding day

Aloha kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaha a ho‘olaule‘a ‘oukou ma kekahi ‘ano i kēia hopena pule.

‘Oiai ‘o kēia ka mahina e ho‘ohanohano i nā wahine – nā wahine kaulana a me nā wahine i kaulana ‘ole paha – e no‘ono‘o ana wau i kekahi mau wahine kupaianaha a me ko lākou mau mo‘olelo i ha‘i a lohe kaka‘ikahi ‘ia.

Inehinei ko ko‘u makuakāne lā hānau. I kēlā me kēia makahiki hā‘awi ‘o ia iā makou – nā keiki a me nā mo‘opuna – i makana. I kēia makahiki ua hā‘awi ‘o ia ia‘u i ‘ekolu puke me ‘elua ki‘i. ‘O kekahi o nā ki‘i he ki‘i o ku‘u kupunawahine, ko ko‘u makuakāne makuahine, ma kona lā male. Kapa ‘ia ‘o ia ‘o Grannie Angie e mākou nā mo‘opuna. Ia‘u e nānā ana i kona ki‘i, e ho‘omana‘o ana wau iā ia a me kekahi o nā mo‘olelo o kona ola.

He wahine li‘ili‘i ‘o ia eia na‘e ikaika loa ‘o ia. Ua hānau ‘o ia he 12 keiki a ua hānai ‘o ia i nā keiki a me nā mo‘opuna hou ‘ē a‘e. He wahine hana nui ‘o ia. Hana nui e ‘imi i ka ‘ai no nā keiki; hana nui e mālama i ka hale li‘ili‘i e ho‘omalu ana i ka ‘ohana; hana nui e ho‘ouna aku i nā keiki i ke kula, a pēlā wale aku. ‘A‘ole paha ‘o ia i ho‘omaha iki a ‘a‘ole loa i ma‘alahi kona ola. Kama‘aina ‘oukou i ia ‘ano wahine?

‘O Grannie Angie, ‘a‘ole loa ‘o ia he wahine kaulana ma loko o nā puke a i ‘ole ma ka punaewele. Eia na‘e he makuahine a he kupunawahine nō ho‘i i hana nui no kona ‘ohana. A no kona hana nui, ua ola mākou kona mau pulapula. A i kēia lā ‘o kāna mau mo‘opuna he mau loio, kumu, kahu ma‘i, ha‘i mo‘olelo, hana no‘eau, mahi‘ai, a pēlā wale aku e kōkua ana i ko lākou mau kaiāulu.

No laila i kēia pule, ke ho‘ohanohano nei wau i nā wahine hana nui, nā wahine kūpa‘a i ka makani; nā wahine i ‘ike ‘ole ‘ia ma loko o nā puke mō‘aukala. E aho paha ko kākou ho‘omana‘o ‘ana i ia mau wahine. ‘O wai ko lākou inoa? He aha ko lākou mau mo‘olelo? A pehea ho‘i lākou i hānai a ho‘oulu paha iā ‘oe? E ha‘i paha i ko lākou mau mo‘olelo i kēia pule.

English summary:

Aloha kākou!

I hope you all got some rest and did something fun to celebrate life this weekend.

Since this is Women’s History Month in which we get to celebrate women – both the famous and perhaps less famous women – I’ve been thinking about some amazing women whose stories are rarely shared.

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. Every year he always gives us – his kids and grandkids – a gift on his birthday. This year I got three books and two photographs. One of the photos is of my grandmother, his mother, on her wedding day. She is known to all of us grandchildren as Grannie Angie and when I look at her picture I think of some of the stories of her life.

Grannie Angie was a small yet incredibly strong woman. She gave birth to 12 children and cared for countless other children and grandchildren. She was such a hard worker. She worked hard to find food for her children; she worked hard to take care of the tiny house that sheltered her large family; she worked hard to send her children to good schools. I doubt she ever rested and her life was surely not easy. Do you folks know women like this?

Grannie Angie was surely not famous in the ways we usually think of fame. But she was a mother and grandmother who worked extremely hard for her family. And because of that, we as her descendants live on and are serving our communities as lawyers, teachers, medics, storytellers, artists, farmers, and more.

So this week, I’m honoring and celebrating the hardworking women, the resilient women; the women who don’t necessarily make it into the history/herstory books. Let’s remember them together. What were their names? What were their stories? And how did they shape and inspire you? Perhaps share their stories this week.

Aloha nui,

punihei

February 28th-March 6th

Alice Ball

He kiʻi ʻo Alice Ball

Aloha kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaha a ho‘oikaika kino ‘oukou i kēia hopena pule.

I kēia lā, ka lā 28 o Pepeluali, ke ho‘ohanohano ‘ia nei ‘o Alice Ball, he haumāna a he kanaka ‘epekema akamai loa. Eia kekahi ‘āpana li‘ili‘i o kona mo‘olelo. ‘A‘ole na‘e ‘o kēia kona mo‘olelo piha. A ‘oiai he wahine akamai loa ‘o ia i hele kula ma Mānoa, ‘a‘ole kama‘aina ka hapa nui o mākou iā ia a me kona mo‘olelo. No ke aha la? Pehea paha kākou e ho‘omana‘o i nā me‘e like ‘ole, a ‘o nā wahine pū kekahi?

No laila, ‘oiai kākou e ho‘omana‘o ana iā Alice Ball i kēia lā, makemake pū wau e ho‘ohanohano i ‘elua wahine hou aku a ho‘omana‘o i ko lāua mau mo‘olelo kekahi.

Kēhaulani Makaila

He ki‘i ‘o Kēhaulani Makaila

‘O ka mua ‘o Kēhaulani Makaila. No Waimānalo mai ‘o ia. Aloha nui ‘o ia i ka ‘ike a me ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i a nui kona ‘i‘ini e a‘o aku i nā kamali‘i o Waimānalo. ‘O ke aloha ka mea nui loa iā ia; ke aloha no ka ‘ohana, no nā kamali‘i, no Hawai‘i, a no ka lāhui nō ho‘i. Inā ua kama‘aina paha ‘oe iā ia, e a‘o aku i kou mau hoa e pili ana iā ia. E aloha i kekahi i kekahi e like me kāna i hana ai. Pēlā e mau loa kona inoa, kona mo‘olelo, a me kona aloha.

Kumu Mele Pang and Kumu Lilinoe Ka‘ahanui

Hema a i ka ‘ākau: Kumu Mele Pang & Kumu Lilinoe Ka‘ahanui

‘O ka lua ‘o Kumu Lilinoe Ka‘ahanui. He kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ‘o ia a ‘o kēia lā kona lā hānau. ‘O Kumu Lilinoe ka‘u kumu papa ‘ekahi me papa ‘ehā ma ke Kula Kaiapuni o Waiau a laila ka‘u kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i makahiki ‘ekolu ma Kamehameha. He kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ‘o ia no kekahi mau haneli, kaukani paha haumāna no kēia mau makahiki he 30 i hala aku nei. Piha kona pu‘uwai me ke aloha, ke ahonui, a me ka ‘olu‘olu no kāna po‘e haumāna. Inā ‘oe kama‘aina iā ia, e ha‘i aku i kekahi hoa e pili ana kona aloha i kēia lā. E puka aku i kekahi hua ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i i kēia lā. E mino‘aka i kekahi i kēia lā. A pēlā nō e ola ana kona inoa, kona mo‘olelo, a me kona aloha.

Pōmaika‘i loa kākou i ka nui o nā kanaka kupaianaha e hō‘ike ana i ke aloha ma nā ‘ano like ‘ole. Ko‘iko‘i ko kākou ho‘omana‘o ‘ana iā lākou i hiki i ko lākou mau makana ke ola a mau loa aku.

Mahalo ho‘i iā ‘oukou no kā ‘oukou aloha aku a aloha mai i kēlā me kēia lā. E ho‘omau kākou.

English Summary:

Alice Ball

A Photo of Alice Ball

I hope you each got some rest and exercise this weekend.

Today, February 28th, Alice Ball is being honored. She was a brilliant student and scientist. Here is a tiny piece of her story. But this is definitely not her full story. And while she was an amazing woman who studied here at UH Mānoa, most of us don’t know her nor her full story. Why is that? How can we perhaps do better at remembering these heroes, and especially our female heroes?

So, since we are remembering Alice Ball today, I’m inspired to remember two other women and their stories.

Kēhaulani Makaila

A Photo of Kēhaulani Makaila

The first is Kēhaulani Makaila. She was from Waimānalo. She loved Hawaiian language and studies and had a deep desire and commitment to teach the keiki of Waimānalo. Aloha was the most important thing to her; aloha for her ‘ohana, for children, for Hawai‘i, and for the lāhui. If you knew her, tell your friends about her. Love one another like she loved. That’s how her name, her mo‘olelo, and her aloha will live on.

Kumu Mele Pang and Kumu Lilinoe Ka‘ahanui

Left to right: Kumu Mele Pang & Kumu Lilinoe Ka‘ahanui

The second person is Kumu Lilinoe Ka‘ahanui. She is a Hawaiian language teacher and today is her birthday. Kumu Lilinoe was both my first and fourth-grade teacher at Kula Kaiapuni o Waiau and then she was also my 3rd year ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i teacher at Kamehameha. She has been a Hawaiian language teacher for hundreds if not thousands of students over the past 30 years. She has always been filled with love, patience, and kindness for her students. If you know her, tell someone about her aloha today. Say something in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i today. And smile at someone today. That’s how we can honor and celebrate her and that’s how her name, her mo‘olelo, and her aloha will live on.

We are so blessed to have so many amazing people in our communities who show us aloha in so many ways. It’s important for us to remember them and tell their stories so that their gifts can live on.

And mahalo to each of you who give and receive aloha every day. Let’s ho‘omau!

Finally, check out kaiapuni and listen to our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i recording below.

Aloha nui,

punihei

February 21st-27th

Kēhaulani Makaila at graduation last semester. Mahalo to Siobhán Ní Dhonacha & Kristin Bacon for sharing this photo.

Aloha nui kākou,

‘Oiai ‘o kēia ka pule hope o ka mahina ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, ua no‘ono‘o wau e mahalo aku i ke Kula Nui o Hawai‘i ma Mānoa. ‘O ia ho‘i nā kumu, nā limahana, a me nā haumāna e ho‘omau a ho‘ōla ana i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i i kēlā me kēia lā no 100 makahiki (ua ho‘omaka nā papa ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i mua i ka makahiki 1922). ‘A‘ole nō kēia he mea ma‘alahi ‘oiai mālama ‘ia ka hapa nui o nā papa, nā hālāwai, nā hale kū‘ai/hale ‘aina, a me nā mea ma‘amau ‘ē a‘e ma ka ‘ōlelo Haole. ‘O kēia ‘ano noke a kūpa‘a mau ‘ana no ka pono o ka ‘ōlelo ma loko o kēia wahi ‘ōlelo Haole, he mea kūpaianaha a nani nō ho‘i. A no laila, he leo mahalo kēia i nā kanaka pā kahi e ‘auamo ana i ia kuleana nui.

I kēia lā, makemake wau e ho‘ohanohano i kekahi haumāna i puka i kēlā kau hā‘ulelau aku nei. ‘O Kēhaulani Makaila kona inoa. Ua puka ‘o ia me nā kēkelē ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i me ‘Ike Hawai‘i. ‘Oiai ‘o ia e hele kula ana, he kumu kōkua ‘o ia ma ke Kula o Waimānalo. Ma laila ‘o ia i a‘o aku i nā kamali‘i, me ka paipai a kāko‘o ana iā lākou e a‘o i ka ‘ōlelo a me ka ‘ike Hawai‘i. Ma loko o ko Kēhau mo‘olelo ka pō‘aiapuni ho‘ōla ‘ōlelo ma Mānoa: mai ka lumi papa me nā kumu kamaha‘o a i ka haumāna ‘eleu piha i ke aloha a i ke kaiāulu i nā keiki a me nā ‘ohana. He nani maoli nō.

‘Akahi a nīnau kekahi hoa ia‘u: no ke aha ‘oe e hana nei ma ke Kula Nui? I mea aha kou hana nui ma laila? A ‘o ka pane pōkole paha: no ka mea hō‘ike mai nā haumāna e like me Kēhau ia‘u i ke ko‘iko‘i o ke Kula Nui. He kuleana ko ke Kula Nui o Hawai‘i ma Mānoa e hānai a e mālama aku i nā kaiāulu: nā keiki, nā ‘ohana, ka ‘āina, ‘o ka lāhui nō ho‘i ma o ko kākou mau haumāna. A no‘u, makemake wau e mālama i nā kumu a me nā limahana i hiki iā lākou ke mālama aku i nā haumāna – nā alaka‘i nō ho‘i – me ke aloha, ke kuleana, a me ka pilina iā Hawai‘i nei.

Inehinei ua ho‘i ‘o Kēhau e moe loa me nā kūpuna. He kūpuna ‘o ia no mākou i kēia manawa. A no‘u, e alaka‘i a ho‘oulu mau ana ‘o ia ia‘u e noke mau i ka hana nui o ka ho‘okahua ‘ana i ia kula nui nei ma ka ‘ōlelo a me ka ‘ike Hawai‘i i ola pono ko kākou lāhui.

Aloha nui iā ‘oe e Kēhaulani Makaila.

English Summary:

Aloha kākou,

Since this is the last week of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i month, I thought I would mahalo UH Mānoa and specifically the kumu, the staff, and the students who have been continuing and reviving ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i for the last 100 years (the first Hawaiian language classes began in 1922). This is not an easy task given that the majority of all classes, meetings, stores/eateries, and just everyday exchanges are in English. This type of commitment and continuation despite the English-majority environment is amazing and beautiful. So mahalo to each person who has been shouldering this kuleana.

Today I want to especially honor and celebrate a student who graduated last semester. Her name is Kēhaulani Makaila. She graduated with dual degrees in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies. While she was in school she was a teacher’s aide at Waimānalo Elementary. She taught children there, with a specific focus and passion for teaching them ‘ōlelo and ‘ike Hawai‘i. Kēhau’s story is an example of the cycle of Hawaiian language revival at UH Mānoa: from the classroom with our amazing teachers to our energetic loving students and out to our communities to our children and families. It is so beautiful.

A friend recently asked me: why do you do what you do at UHM? Why do you work so hard there? And the short answer is this: because students like Kēhau remind me of how important UHM is. We have a kuleana at Mānoa to nourish and care for our communities: our children, our families, and our ‘āina; our lāhui via our students. And for me, I want to help to mālama our faculty and staff who ultimately shape our students – our future leaders – with aloha, kuleana, and pilina to Hawai‘i.

Yesterday Kēhau returned to rest with our kūpuna. She is a kūpuna to us now. And for me, she will continually guide and inspire me to continue to work hard to help re-ground UH Mānoa in ‘ōlelo and ‘ike Hawai‘i so that our lāhui can thrive once again.

All my aloha to you, Kēhaulani Makaila.

Aloha,

Punihei

Check out kupaianaha. Recording of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i attached.

February 14th-20th

Photo of a heart from Unsplash: Visual Stories || Micheile

Aloha nui kākou, 

‘Oiai ‘o kēia ka Lā o Lono-i-ke-aweawe-aloha a ‘o kēia ka mahina ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, ua kupu mai ka mana‘o e haku i leka aloha i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i:

Aloha e ku‘u ‘ōlelo makuahine, ku‘u kilohana,

He leo mahalo kēia, he leo aloha nō ho‘i no kou mau makana a me kou mau pōmaka‘i lua ‘ole.

I ku‘u wā li‘ili‘i, ‘ekolu wale nō o‘u makahiki, ua lohe mua wau iā ‘oe e puka ana mai na waha o nā kamali‘i ma Pūnana Leo a ua kupu mai ka ‘i‘ini i loko o‘u e launa pū, e noho pū, e hele a kama‘āina, a e lilo kāua i hoapili.

Iā kāua i hele a pili, ua nā ko‘u na‘au. Ua ola loko i ke aloha. Ua piha ku‘u pu‘uwai me ka ‘oli‘oli.

Iā ‘oe e noho ana ma loko o nā mele hula, nā mele oli, a me nā mele ‘ē a‘e, he ‘ono a nani maoli nō! He ala ‘oe e ho‘opili ana ia‘u me ko‘u mau kūpuna kupaianaha, me ko‘u kulāiwi, a me ke aloha palena ‘ole no ku‘u lāhui.

I ku‘u wā hāpai a hānau keiki, he hāli‘i pumehana ‘oe no mākou. He waiū ‘oe e hānai ana mai ka poli o Hawai‘i nei i ka ‘uhane a me ka na‘au o ku‘u mau keiki aloha.

I kēia mau lā he hoa ‘oe e kūpa‘a mai ana ia‘u i ka makani nui. He lamakū ‘oe e alaka‘i mai ana ia‘u ma ke ala pono.

Aloha nui wau iā ‘oe e ku‘u ‘ōlelo makuahine.

Me ke mahalo palena ‘ole,
Punihei

English summary:

Aloha kākou!

Since today is Valentine’s Day and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i month, I thought I’d write a love letter to ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i:

To my dearest mother tongue, the best and finest,

This is a message of gratitude and love for all your amazing gifts and blessings.

When I was little, just three years old, I heard you for the first time from the mouths of toddlers who were students at Pūnana Leo and a deep desire grew within me to connect with you, to sit with you, to become acquainted with you, and to become dear friends with you.

As we became close, my na‘au was comforted. I was alive because of the aloha I found within you. My heart was filled with joy.

As you live within hula, chants, and songs, it is simply delicious and beautiful! You are a pathway that connects me to my amazing kūpuna, with my beloved homeland, and my endless love for my lāhui.

When I was pregnant and when my children were born, you were a warm protective covering for us. You were also a mother’s milk nourishing the spirit and na‘au of my keiki from the bosom of Hawai‘i.

Today you are a dear companion helping me to stand firm during the high winds. You are a light guiding me on the right path.

Oh beloved ‘ōlelo makuahine, I love you dearly.

With endless mahalo,
Punihei

 

February 7th-13th

Punihei and her mom

Me and my mom at Waiau Elementary when I was in kindergarten. The newspaper ran a story on Hawaiian immersion and the sacrifices parents were making to send their children (like driving from Ka‘a‘awa to Waiau).

Aloha Pō‘akahi iā kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaha iki ‘oukou i kēia hopena pule.

I kēlā pule aku nei ua ho‘omaka wau i ka mahina ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i me kekahi mau hali‘a aloha o ko‘u ala ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. No laila i ia pule ‘elua o ia mahina kūikawā, e ho‘omau wau me kekahi mau mo‘olelo ‘ē a‘e.

I kēlā pule aku nei ua mahalo wau i kekahi o ko‘u mau kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i mua ma ka Pūnana Leo o Honolulu. Eia na‘e, ‘o ka ‘oia‘i‘o, ‘o ko‘u makuahine ko‘u kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i mua. ‘Oiai ‘a‘ole mākou i ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i wale nō ma ka hale, nāna nō i a‘o mai i kekahi mau hua ‘ōlelo a nāna nō i a‘o mai i nā mele, nā oli, a me nā hula a ma loko nō ho‘i o ia mau mea ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. Nāna nō ho‘i i ha‘i mai ia‘u i nā mo‘olelo Hawai‘i e like me Kamapua‘a, Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, a me Papa me Wākea. Nāna nō i ho‘oulu i ko‘u ‘i‘ini e ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

‘O kekahi mea ‘ē a‘e: Nāna nō i kalaiwa ia‘u mai Ka‘a‘awa a hiki aku i Kalihi e hele i ka Pūnana Leo a ma hope o kēlā mai Ka‘a‘awa a me He‘eia a hiki aku i Waiau no ke kula kaiapuni. I kēlā mau makahiki mua o ka papahana ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, ho‘okahi wale nō Pūnana Leo a ho‘okahi wale nō kula kaiapuni ma ka mokupuni ‘o O‘ahu. A ‘a‘ohe ka‘a ‘ōhua kula! I kēlā me kēia lā ua kōkua aku a kōkua mai nā ‘ohana i kekahi i kekahi. ‘O nā ‘ohana ma Ko‘olauloa: kalaiwa pū mākou. ‘O nā ‘ohana ma Kona: kalaiwa pū lākou. A pēlā wale aku. A pēlā i ikaika ai ka pilina o mākou ke kaiāulu kaiapuni. He nani nō!

No laila, iā kākou e ho‘ohanohano a ho‘olaule‘a ‘ana i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i a me nā mea i ho‘okō ‘ia, e ho‘omana‘o a mahalo kākou i nā ‘ohana i ‘auamo i nā kuleana o ka ho‘okō ‘ana i ia papahana ho‘ōla ‘ōlelo. No kēlā me kēia keiki e a‘o ana i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ma loko o nā Pūnana Leo a me nā kula kaiapuni, aia nō he mau mākua/kūpuna/‘ohana e kāko‘o ana i ia keiki a me ko kākou ‘ōlelo makuahine. Kupaianaha ka nui o ka hana a me ke aloha! E ho‘omau kākou!

‘Elua ho‘olaha nui!

English summary:

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all got at least a little bit of rest this weekend.

Last week I started ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i month with some fond memories of my own Hawaiian language journey. I will continue to do so here in our second week.

Last week I shared about some of my first kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i at Pūnana Leo o Honolulu. But the truth is my mom was my first kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. While we didn’t speak Hawaiian at home all the time, she was the one who taught me my first Hawaiian words and she’s the one who taught me mele, oli, and hula and from within those texts I began to learn Hawaiian. She also would tell me bedtime stories about Kamapua‘a, Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, and Papa and Wākea. She’s really the one who planted a seed of desire in me to learn ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

But here’s another thing: My mom also drove me from Ka‘a‘awa to Kalihi every single day so I could go to Pūnana Leo and then later from Ka‘a‘awa and He‘eia all the way to Waiau so I could go to Hawaiian immersion elementary school. And in those days, there was only one Pūnana Leo and one Hawaiian immersion school on the whole island. And there were no buses! So every day families would help each other. All the families from Ko‘olauloa would carpool. All the families from Kona would carpool, etc. And that’s how we built this amazing immersion community. It was really beautiful!

So, as we honor and celebrate ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and all the things we have accomplished (while recognizing there’s so much more to continue to do), let’s remember all the ‘ohana who have and continue to shoulder so much of the kuleana to revive ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. For each child in the immersion programs, there are parents/grandparents/‘ohana supporting them and also supporting our dearest mother tongue. The amount of work and aloha is amazing! Let’s please ho‘omau!

Two important announcements:

Finally, check out the word ho‘omau and listen to the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i recording below.

Aloha nui,

punihei

January 31st-February 6th

ʻAnakē Lolena Nicholas

‘Anakē Lolena Nicholas. One of my first kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

Aloha mai kākou,

Eia nō kākou ma ka hopena o Ianuali a me ka ho‘omaka ‘ana o Pepeluali. Ke holo wale nei ka manawa!

‘Oiai kākou e ne‘epapa nei i ka mahina ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i e ho‘omaka ana i ka lā ‘āpōpō, e kau mai ana nā hali‘a aloha o ku‘u mau kumu ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i mua. Ho‘omana‘o wau i ko‘u mau lā mua ma ka Pūnana Leo o Honolulu i ka makahiki 1987. ‘A‘ole wau i ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, eia na‘e ua maopopo ia‘u i kekahi mau hua ‘ōlelo. ‘O ‘Anakē Lolena, Kumu ‘Ulu, a me Kumu Ipo kekahi o ko‘u mau kumu mua ma laila. ‘Ōlelo mai lākou i kekahi mea ia‘u a pane wale wau me ka “‘ae” a i ‘ole “‘a‘ole.” ‘A‘ole wau ‘ike iki i kā lākou mea e ‘ōlelo mai ana. ‘Aka‘aka wau ‘oiai wau e ho‘omana‘o ana i kēlā mau lā mua. Nui ko lākou ahonui me mākou nā keiki. ‘A‘ole wau ‘ike i kā lākou mea i no‘ono‘o ai, ‘oiai he mānaleo lākou a eia mai mākou he mau keiki namu Haole. Mahalo ke akua no ko lākou aloha, ko lākou ‘ae ‘olu‘olu e ho‘ā‘o i ia mea hou ‘o ka Pūnana Leo, a me ko lākou kūpa‘a i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. A mahalo ho‘i i ka ‘Aha Pūnana Leo no ko lākou wiwo‘ole e ho‘ōla i ko kākou ‘ōlelo makuahine, ke kilohana ho‘i o ka lāhui.

I kēia makahiki 2022, e ho‘omau kākou ma ke ala ho‘ōla a ho‘okuluma nō ho‘i. E kipa i kēia lou no nā papahana like ‘ole no ka mahina ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. A e kipa pū ho‘i i kēia lou no kekahi mau waiwai ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ‘ē a‘e. E ola ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i!

English Summary:
Aloha kākou!

Here we are at the end of January and the beginning of February. Time is flying!

Since we are moving into Hawaiian language month beginning tomorrow, I’ve been thinking about some of my fond memories of my first Hawaiian language teachers. I remember my first days at Pūnana Leo o Honolulu in 1987. I couldn’t speak Hawaiian but I knew a few words. ‘Anakē Lolena, Kumu ‘Ulu, and Kumu Ipo were some of my first kumu there. They would talk to me in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and I would just answer with either “‘ae” or “‘a‘ole.” But I honestly had no idea what they were saying! I’m laughing now thinking about those first days. But they were so patient with us. I don’t know what they must have felt and thought, but there they were as mānaleo and here we were kids who had been raised predominantly in English. Mahalo ke akua for their aloha, their willingness to try this new thing called Pūnana Leo, and their commitment to ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. And mahalo also to the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo for their courage to step into this journey to revive our mother tongue, the dear and precious foundation of our lāhui.

In 2022, let’s continue to revive and renormalize ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. Please click here to access a list of events happening during Hawaiian language month. And also click here to access ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i resources on our office’s webpage. Let ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i live on in perpetuity!

Aloha nui,
punihei

January 24th-30th

hometown beach

My hometown beach. One of the places I go to rejuvenate.

Aloha Pō‘alua iā kākou!

E kala mai i ka lohi o nei leka uila. ‘O ka ma‘amau, ho‘ouna ‘ia ma ka Pō‘akahi. ‘Auē! Ua hiki mai ka Pō‘alua.

‘O ka ‘oia‘i‘o, ua ‘eha a ‘ōma‘ima‘i ka ‘uhane inehinei a no laila ua noho wau ma ka hale e mālama. Ma kekahi ‘ano, ua pa‘akikī loa kēlā no‘u ‘oiai nui ka hana e hana ai. Ma kekahi ‘ao‘ao ‘ē a‘e, ua ma‘alahi ‘oiai, pehea ana wau e holomua a ho‘okō pono i nā kuleana ‘ē a‘e inā pilikia o loko? Mai hopohopo, maika‘i wau. ‘A‘ole loa kēia he noi no kekahi e hopohopo no‘u. Mali‘a paha he noi kēia e mālama kākou iā kākou iho i hiki ke mālama i ka ‘ohana, i nā haumāna, i nā ‘ōpio, i nā kūpuna, i ke kaiāulu, i ka ‘āina; i ka lāhui nō ho‘i.

English summary:

Happy Tuesday!

I apologize that this email is coming late. As you all know, this message usually comes on Monday. But oh my gosh somehow it is already Tuesday!

The honest truth is my spirit was unwell yesterday so I took the day off to tend to it. On one hand it was really difficult to take a day because “there’s so much work to do!” On the other hand, it was actually really easy to make that decision because how am I going to take care of any of my kuleana if I’m not well inside? Don’t worry, please. I’m okay. And this is in no way a request for anyone to be worried. I think what this is is a request for each of us to mālama ourselves, to tend to our spirit, so that we can mālama our ‘ohana, our students, our youth, our kūpuna, our communities, our ‘āina; really our lāhui. Imagine the vibration of mālama that will emanate!

This week check out ho‘okō and listen to the recording of the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i above.

Aloha nui,
punihei

January 17th-23rd

National Day of Racial Healing Announcement

National Day of Racial Healing Announcement

“E noho oukou me ke aloha a me ka oluolu, e nana aku a nana mai, a na kekahi ka olelo malaila e hoolohe aku ai, a e nana i na kupuna akua o kakou oiai oukou a pau loa ke noho nei ma keia mau aina.” – Keaomelemele (Kupua Hawai‘i)

“Remain here in aloha and ‘olu‘olu, watching out for each other. When one speaks, let the other heed, and mind our kupuna akua, for you are all dwelling on these islands.” (Borrowing elements of the translation from Mary Kawena Pukui)

Aloha kākou!

Mahalo to some of my TRHT team members for helping me to craft the mana‘o for this week.

As some of the co-designers of UH Mānoa’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, it is our kuleana to recognize this 6th Annual National Day of Racial Healing. Indeed this week holds significant dates for both Hawai‘i and the United States.

Yesterday, January 17th, 2022 marks the 129th year since the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This event was motivated by racism, settler colonialism, and other forms of oppression that continue to shape each of us living in Hawai‘i today. There is still much healing that is necessary on individual, family, communal, and systemic levels.

This year, commemoration of the overthrow coincides with the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his work to build the beloved community. As described in a 1956 speech:

“…the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.”

The challenges of racism in Hawai‘i and across the United States are great. But there is also great hope, as seen in the wise words of our kupua like Keaomelemele to the visionary work of Dr. King to the innovative steps being taken by so many of our young people today.

It is with this hope that we find courage in putting forth our UH Mānoa TRHT Campus Center vision:

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa TRHT Campus Center envisions a Hawai‘i in which each individual, family, and community can recognize and live into their collective and interdependent kuleana – irrespective of race – to aloha one another and the ‘āina throughout Hawai‘i.

In order to reach this envisioned future, healing is absolutely necessary and it is for this reason that we want to recognize this day.

National Day of Racial Healing

Dr. Gail Christopher, one of the leaders of racial healing in America, describes the National Day of Racial Healing:

“It’s a day that we set aside to stand up for the belief that our country can actually eliminate and overcome the harms of racism. Yes, we believe that we can. And in fact, we must eliminate racism. That is what the National Day of Racial Healing is all about. It’s a time for communities to come together and embrace and honor the humanity of all people.”

You can watch and listen to her longer statement here and you can access the National Day of Racial Healing Website (with resources) here.

So what do we do today? 

The answer is, there are many things each of us can do and we want to honor that there is so much being done already! And we want to recognize that truth telling and receiving, racial healing, relationship building, and creating transformative change is all hard work, and we are feeling the toll in real ways right now.

As so many of us have turned inward over the past two years, becoming more aware of our individual and collective health and healing, it is valuable to consider the ways that we can use those same strategies and tools to work towards racial healing. Racism exists in the body as well as the mind, so racial healing also requires physical healing.

Therefore, on this particular day we invite you to pause and pay attention to your kino; the kino that has inherited so much – both trauma and resilience – from generations past, the kino that is surviving through unprecedented times of global pandemic and social isolation, and the kino that has so much potential to create healing for the generations yet to come.

Kūpuna and healer Nana Veary describes the kino:

“This body is a temple, and sitting here right in the center of my being is that spiritual part of me which is pure, which is never imperfect and which nothing can disturb. It is there holy, pure, and beautiful. This body is a shrine encasing this little, beautiful light that is within you. From this light comes love and faith” (pp. 76-77).

Resmaa Manakem, healer and trauma specialist, further discusses our kino as it relates to healing:

“The body, not the thinking brain, is where we experience most of our pain, pleasure, joy, and where we process most of what happens to us. It is also where we do most of our healing, including our emotional and psychological healing” (p. 12).

“We need to metabolize this trauma; work through it with our bodies (not just our thinking brains); and grow up out of it. Only in this way will we at last mend our bodies, our families, and the collective body of our nation…” (p. 10).

We lean into these words today because in this larger work of racial healing, we want to honor you; your kino that holds so much for the current and future ola of both people and ‘āina, our lāhui.

Mālama Kino for Healing 

Drawing on the two healers named above, we offer some practices to mālama your kino today and in the many days to come.

From Nana Veary:

“…I recommend meditating twice a day as your own kind of ho‘oponopono: once in the morning to give thanks to the source, once in the evening to ask for forgiveness. This cleanses your life daily and nurtures a reverence for life” (p. 36).

From Resmaa Menakem:

“Your body has internal checkpoints – physical sensations that activate when something feels unfair, frightening, dangerous, or otherwise not right. They are signals from your soul nerve. They might alert you to something real, something perceived, something possible, or something imagined. (To your body, these are all identical).

These signals might include a tingle at the back of your neck, a sinking feeling in your belly, a tightness in your shoulders, or some other unpleasant sensation. You’ll know these sensations when you experience them. These checkpoints are your body’s early warning signals. They alert you when you are headed for a fight, flee, or freeze response.

If you’re paying attention, when one of these signals goes off, you can stop what you’re doing and take steps to settle your body. This helps you avoid a flight, flee, or freeze response. It also gives you a chance to change the dynamic of the situation by leaving it, stepping back, or saying something like, “You know what? I’d like to do this differently.”

Whenever one of your body’s checkpoints signals you, investigate it. What do you experience? Where do you experience it? What emotions, thoughts, or images are rising with it?

Then ask yourself, “What is this sensation telling me? What is it urging me to do? What movements do I need to make? What action needs to be completed? How do I respond from my deepest integrity – the best part of myself?” The answer to this last question will point a way forward.

With practice, you’ll get more familiar with your body’s checkpoints. Over time, you’ll learn to recognize each signal as as soon as it activates, and you’ll know what it’s telling you” (pp. 173-174).

Invitation to Aʻo, Alu, ʻAuamo

In addition to paying attention to your kino, we know that many of you yearn for other concrete actions to take with yourselves, within your families and communities, in your classrooms, and within your organizations. Below is a list of just a few suggestions to get you started or to support your ongoing journey. By no means is this an exhaustive list.

A‘o (To learn, teach, and council)
If you love to read books, here are a few at the top of our list right now (and sending you to local and Black-owned stores):

If podcasts are your thing here are a few of our favorites right now:

And if you want to browse sites, here are a few that we suggest:

Alu (To connect, collaborate, and work together)
One of the many ways we can connect is through Pilina Circles. Pilina can be described in English as “association, relationship, and connection.” In some of our work we have leaned into an additional English description for pilina: deep relationship, connection, and interdependence with one another and ‘āina. Over the last several years we’ve been reminded how much life really is a pilina circle, whether we like it or not. What we breathe out someone else will breathe in; how we treat the earth will shape how the earth can nourish us. And the circles just continue. We believe that all of our ancestors at one point understood pilina in profound ways, and we as their mo‘opuna are so fortunate to inherit that wisdom if we choose to take the time and effort to uncover it.

Pilina Circles are borne from the genealogy of Racial Healing Circles in which folks of various backgrounds are brought together to find our common humanity; to begin to heal from the ways that racism and other oppressive structures have divided and disconnected us from ourselves, from one another, and from ‘āina or our natural environments.

So Pilina Circles are spaces where we can focus on re-building pilina by sharing personal mo‘olelo, listening deeply to those mo‘olelo, and thus re-discovering our connections – our pilina – through that process. We find that pilina circles are an important first-step in our TRHT work and excited to share space with you.

If you are interested in participating in a future Pilina Circle, please sign up here to receive our weekly announcements.

Connect with other organizations doing great work:

‘Auamo (to engage and carry kuleana)

Engage what you’ve learned to give back to your immediate and broader community. Here are some suggestions of ʻāina-based organizations that inspire us:

Final Thoughts
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

Indeed, it is our sincere hope that you take a moment to check in with your kino today and to make it a daily habit. And to be clear, in alignment with Dr. King’s words above, we encourage this not only for your personal benefit, but also because to mālama ourselves is an important step to mālama the ola of our ‘ohana, kaiāulu, ‘āina, and lāhui. E ola!

Aloha nui,

Members of the UH Mānoa Lead Team:

  • Siobhán Ní Dhonacha
  • Makanalani Gomes
  • Kawehionālani Goto
  • Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu Lipe
  • Creighton Litton
  • Charmaine Mangram
  • Eileen Nalley
  • Katey Peck
  • Pua Souza
  • Monica Stitt-Bergh
  • Sonya Zabala

January 10th-16th

 

UHM students learning to mālama ʻāina together

Aloha kākou,

Eia nō kākou e “ho‘i ana i ke kula” i kēia pule ‘oiai ma kekahi ‘ano ‘a‘ole he ho‘i maoli ‘oiai e ho‘omaka ana nā papa ma o ka zoom a me nā ‘ano mea pūnaewele ‘ē a‘e. Eia na‘e, no‘u, mahalo nui wau i ia koho no ka mea he koho e mālama ana i ko kākou ola kino. I ko‘u mana‘o, he koho piha i ke aloha a me ka mālama. ‘A‘ole na‘e he koho ma‘alahi, ‘oiai ‘ike ‘ia ka waiwai o ka hui ‘ana he alo a he alo no ko kākou hau‘oli a no kekahi ‘ano ola ‘ē a‘e ma loko o kākou pākahi a pau. Eia na‘e, makemake wau e ho‘i i ia mea ‘o ka mālama.

I kēlā pule aku nei ua hō‘ike aku wau i kekahi mo‘olelo mai ka nūpepa mai e kāhea ana i nā makuahine a me nā makuakāne e mālama pono i ka lāhui ma o ke a‘o pono ‘ana i kā kākou po‘e keiki i ke aloha palena ‘ole no Hawai‘i (Eia ka mo‘olelo piha: KA PONO NO HAWAII. Helu 2.)

No laila, eia nō wau ke nalu nei: Pehea paha kākou e kāko‘o i kekahi i kekahi ma loko o ia kuleana ko‘iko‘i? Pehea kākou nā mākua a me nā kūpuna e hō‘ikaika i ko kākou aloha no Hawai‘i i hiki ke a‘o aku i nā ‘ōpio? Iā kākou e ho‘i ana i ke kula i kēia pule, e aho paha ka mālama ‘ana i ia kāhea i loko o ka pū‘olo iā kākou e a‘o ana, e a‘oa‘o ana, e hana ana, a e alaka‘i ana. E holomua pū kākou!

English summary:

Aloha kākou!

Here we are “returning to school” this week although perhaps it could be considered not a true “return” since we will be on zoom and other online mediums to begin the semester. I’m grateful, though, for this choice that prioritizes our health in these health-challenging times. I think it really is a choice rooted in aloha and mālama. At the same time, I recognize that it is not an easy choice since we also know and feel the value and importance of meeting face to face for the joy and comfort it brings to so many of us. But I want to return to this idea of mālama for a moment.

Last week I shared an article from a Hawaiian language newspaper calling on mothers and fathers to mālama our lāhui by teaching our keiki endless love for Hawai‘i (Hereʻs the article in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i: KA PONO NO HAWAII. Helu 2.) Last week I shared a summary. This week I want to share a translation done for us by a dear friend and colleague, Ha‘alilio Williams-Solomon:

“We should all agree that the most significant advantage the Hawaiian nation could receive lies within the next generation. If that generation becomes one that acts in mischief or ignorance, then there’s no telling how mischievous and ignorant they will be when they reach adult age, which is how people become useless, and useless lots end up disappearing and fading out, with nothing to save them. If the next generation is one of propriety, and if their intellectual growth matches their physical growth, then this nation shall be an intelligent one, since “knowledge is power,” as it is welfare.
Fathers and mothers of this land, it is true that those who will one day administer this nation in the years to come are in your hands and under your instruction. They will either support the en masse revival of this nation, or they will aid in the expiration of the natives of the land, bringing Hawaiʻi’s name to an end.
In the instruction of children lies prosperity, and without that, the nation expires. Have you considered this, o parent, o teacher? The importance of this idea is extraordinary! It is true. Neither you nor anyone else can refute the truth of such a claim, in the instruction of children lies prosperity, without it, the nation shall perish. And so, o parent, within your own hands lies Hawaiʻi’s greatest virtue, which is your child, and if you love them, and if you love your own land and nation, and if you wish for your child to become a great blessing to this land, one who is renowned and loved by all those of the land, then guard that child with perpetual vigilance. And when their faulty lips fail trying to produce their first words, then begin teaching them so they absorb the love for their nation and for their homeland like they took of their mother’s milk. Teach your child, o parent, that there is no land like this land; there is no nation like this nation. Turn your home into a place of comfort, a safe haven for your family so they can go about in your shelter, spared from the burdens, troubles, and evils of this world.
And when it’s the right time, gather your young family, and tell them the story of this precious land; tell them of all of its virtues, its splendor, its bounty, its prosperity, and its value, and tell them that it is a land left for Hawaiʻi’s children, for them personally. And then, tell them the story of our ancestors, Hawaiʻi’s own very first children, and of their strength, and their esteem, and the important things they achieved. Tell them the famous names of their ancestors, and of the aloha they have for the children of this land. Tell them about the arrival of some foreigners here who brought the beacon of enlightenment to help this nation by showing them the path of life; tell them also about the arrival of the enemies of this nation, and of their desires, having sown the seeds of despair upon the far reaches of this wonderful place, and of the gradual decline of our population from that time until now. Tell all of these things, o parent, to your children with the voice of care like a parent who has aloha. And when the desires of their young hearts rise, and their tears flow, and their aloha wells up like springs for the ancestors, and for our homeland, then, tell them that this land, here and now, is for them and that the life of the nation is in their hands, as is the endurance of Hawaiʻi’s name. Teach them to recoil from the visitors coming here to incite the demise of this people. Teach them to fear God as the reason for living. Teach them to commit all of their efforts and their life in support of this difficult task, which is to reinvigorate Hawaiʻi. The great benefit of this land is remarkable when all children are instructed properly.”

With this said, I’m left wondering: How do we support one another in this important kuleana? How do we as mākua and kumu strengthen our own aloha for Hawai‘i so we can pass that on to our youth? As we return to school this week, perhaps we can mālama this call from the 1860s and hold it close as we go back to teaching, advising, working, and leading in our various ways. Let’s do this together!

Also, we will be sending out our e-newsletter this month which will be a special edition highlighting our collective accomplishments in 2021. Please be on the lookout for that.

And finally, check out ‘ōpio this week and feel free to listen to the recording of the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

Aloha nui,
punihei

January 3rd-9th

Front page of Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Hae Hawaiʻi

Frontpage of Ka Hae Hawaiʻi

Aloha makahiki hou iā kākou!

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua mālie a palekana ‘oukou a pau i ia mau pule i hala aku nei. ‘O wau, nui ka nalu ‘ana a me ka heluhelu ‘ana. I kekahi ahiahi, e huli ana wau i nā nūpepa ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i no kekahi mau mana‘o pili i ia mea ‘o ka pu‘uhonua. A ia‘u e huli ana, ua puka mai kekahi mana‘o i kākau ‘ia ma ka nūpepa ‘o Ka Hae Hawai‘i i ho‘opuka ‘ia i ka makahiki 1860. Nani loa nā mana‘o o loko a ua no‘ono‘o wau he kūpono ka ho‘omaka ‘ana me nā mana‘o o nā kūpuna e alaka‘i mai iā mākou i ka ho‘omaka ‘ana o ia makahiki 2022:

…E na makuakane a me na makuahine o keia aina, he oiaio ke waiho nei iloko o ko oukou mau lima, a malalo o ko oukou ao ana ka poe nana e hooponopono i keia Aupuni i na makahiki e hiki mai ana. E kokua ana lakou e hoola nui i keia lahui, a i ole ia, e kokua ana lakou e kahili aku i na kupa o ka aina, a e hoopio i ka inoa Hawaii.
Ma ke ao ia ana o na keiki, malaila ke ola, ai ole ia, ka make o ka lahui. Ua noonoo anei oe i keia, e ka makua a me ke kumu? Manomano ka nui o keia manao ! He oiaio. Aole loa hiki ia oe, aole hoi hiki i ka mea e, ke hookahuli ae i ka oiaio o keia, ma ke aoia ana o na keiki, malaila ke ola, a i ole ia ka make o ka lahui Hawaii. Nolaila, e ka makua, ke waiho nei iloko o kou lima ka pono nui no Hawaii nei, oia kou keiki, a ina he aloha kou ia ia, a i kou aina ponoi a me kou lahui, a ina makemake oe e lilo kou keiki i mea hoopomaikai nui i keia aina, i mea kaulana, a aloha nui ia e keia aina a pau, alaila e kiai oe i kela keiki au me ka makaala mau. A i ka wa i loaa ole ai i kona mau lehelehe hemahema ka hua olelo mua, e hoomaka no oe i ke ao ana ia ia, i omo pu oia me ka waiu o kona makuahine i ke aloha i kona lahui, a i kona aina hanau. E ao oe, e ka makua i kau keiki, aole he aina ma ka honua nei e like me keia aina, aole he lahui e like me keia lahui. E hoolilo oe i kou home i wahi oluolu, i puuhonua no kou ohana, i hiki ia lakou ke holo iloko o kou malu, a pakele i na luhi, na kaumaha, a me na ino o ke ao nei.
A i ka wa kupono e hoakoakoa oe i kou ohana opiopio, a e hai aku ia lakou i ka mooolelo o keia aina makamae; e hai aku ia lakou i na pono a pau o ka aina, kona nani, kona momona, kona ola, a me kona waiwai, a e hai aku oe he aina e waiho mai nei no ko Hawaii poe keiki, no lakou ponoi. Alaila, e hai aku oe ia lakou i ka mooolelo o ko kakou poe kupuna, ko Hawaii nei poe keiki ponoi mua, ko lakou ikaika, ko lakou kaulana, a me na hana nui a lakou i hana ai. E hai oe ia lakou i na inoa kaulana o ko lakou poe kupuna, a me ko lakou aloha i na keiki o ka aina…
(Eia ka mo‘olelo piha: KA PONO NO HAWAII. Helu 2.)

I ko‘u heluhelu ‘ana i kēia, mōakāka a nani ke kuleana a me ka hana: e a‘o kākou i ke aloha palena ‘ole no Hawai‘i i kā kākou po‘e keiki. Pēlā e holomua ai!

An English summary:

Happy new year to us all!

I hope you had a safe and calm couple of weeks in what is an in-between time for many of us. For me, I spent some time wondering and pondering and reading. One evening I was looking into the Hawaiian language newspapers as I was doing a search on pu‘uhonua. And while I was doing that search I came upon an article in Ka Hae Hawai‘i published in 1860. The mana‘o in this particular article was so beautiful I thought that it would be a nice way to start off our 2022 by turning to the wise mana‘o of our kūpuna to guide us.

I have asked a dear friend and professional translator to provide a translation of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i for next week. For this week, I give a brief summary:

The author calls on all mākua to be intentional and careful about raising their keiki because their keiki are the hope of the future of Hawai‘i. The author directs mākua to teach their keiki to love Hawai‘i with all their hearts and souls by teaching them the mo‘olelo of this place and the mo‘olelo of their kūpuna and all their amazing deeds. The author also directs mākua to make their homes pu‘uhonua for their children where they can be protected and safe from the trials of the world.
(For the full article: Look for the title “KA PONO NO HAWAII. Helu 2.“)

As I read these words, our kuleana and work seems so clear and beautiful: teach our keiki to love Hawai‘i completely and totally.

This week, check out mākua and I invite you to wonder how you see yourself in this kuleana, whether you have biologically created children or not.

Mahalo for all that each of you do!

Aloha nui,
punihei

 

December 20-26th

Ānuenue, East Oʻahu

Ānuenue over east O‘ahu. A hō‘ailona for me.

Aloha nui kākou,

Eia nō ka wā ‘o ke Ala Polohiwa a Kanaloa. Mahalo wau i ko‘u makuahine no ke a‘o ‘ana mai ia‘u i ke ko‘iko‘i o ia manawa a mahalo pū wau i kāna mau kumu e like me Dr. Kalei Nu‘uhiwa me Dr. Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele.

Mea mai ‘o Māmā, he wā kēia no ka ho‘oku‘u; no ka ho‘oku‘u ‘ana i nā hewa, i nā mea ‘ino, i nā pilikia, a me nā mea aloha i hala i kēia makahiki i hiki iā lākou ke ho‘i aku i ka lewalani me nā hōkū. Ua hō‘ike pū mai ‘o ia he wā kēia no ka nalu ‘ana a no ka noi ‘ana i nā kūpuna e alaka‘i mai i ke ala kūpono. A no laila, i ka lā ‘āpōpō, ‘oiai ka lā e napo‘o ana, e aloha ana mākou iā Kanaloa me ke oli a e inu pū ana i ka wai no ka huikala a me ka ho‘oma‘ema‘e, a e hō‘ā ana i nā lā‘au no ke ahi e ho‘oku‘u i nā mea ‘ino a me nā mea hewa. E maka‘ala pū ana wau nō nā hō‘ailona mai nā kūpuna mai.

Mahalo nui wau i kēia mau hana e alaka‘i mai iā mākou ma ke ala pono a mahalo nui wau i nā kumu e mālama a e a‘o nei i ia mau loina. Aloha nui iā ‘oukou pā kahi a pau! E ‘olu‘olu e mālama pono.

English Summary:
We’ve entered the time of Winter Solstice, a time in Hawai‘i when we turn to Kanaloa. I’m so grateful to my mom who teaches our family about this important time and I also mahalo her teachers like Drs Kalei Nu‘uhiwa and Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele.

My mom teaches our ‘ohana that this is a time of release; a time to let go of negative feelings and things that didn’t work, and also to honor those who have passed away this year so that their spirits can go to the heavens and live among the stars. My mom also shared with me that this is a time of deep reflection and to ask our kūpuna to guide us. So tomorrow as the sun sets we will give our aloha to Kanaloa via oli, we will drink a cup of water for cleansing, and we will burn wood chips to release negative thoughts and feelings. I will also be paying attention to signs from our kūpuna to guide my next steps.

I am so grateful for these ceremonies and these intentional moments of reflection to help guide us and channel our energy and I mahalo those who are keeping these traditions alive and teaching them to others. Aloha to all of you and please take care of yourselves and each other!

Check out nalu this week (make sure to check out the second definition) and listen to recording of all the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

Aloha nui,
punihei

December 13th-19th

Hiʻilaniwai waterfall framed by green trees and with bright sunlight shining from behind

Hi‘ilaniwai in Ko‘olaupoko. Photograph by ‘Elia Akaka

Aloha mai kākou,

Kau mai ana ka no‘ono‘o iā ‘oukou pākahi, i kā kākou mau mo‘opuna, a i ko kākou ‘āina a me ka wai pū nō ho‘i. He aha ia mea ‘o ka wai ola? ‘O wai ‘o Kāneikawaiola? Inā ua poina paha kākou, e huli ho‘i i ka ‘ōlelo hiwahiwa o nā kūpuna. Aia ka wai a Kāne e holo ana, e puna ana, a e iho mai ana mai kekahi kapa a kekahi kapa aku o ka pae ‘āina. A ua ‘ike paha ‘ia, ‘o ka wai ka mea e ola ai kākou a pau. No laila, eia nō wau e nūnē nei:

E ka lāhui ē! Pehea ana kākou e mālama i ko kākou wai?

  • E nā pua e puka kula ana i kēia pule: Pehea ana ‘oukou e lawe i ke a‘o a mālama i ka wai? Inā paha ‘oe he ha‘i mo‘olelo, he loio, he kumu, he kaha ki‘i, he mahi‘ai, he koa, a pēlā wale aku?
  • E kākou nā kumu a me na mākua: Pehea kākou e a‘o aku nei i ka waiwai o ka wai? E ho‘olako nei i ka lāhui me nā pono no ka mālama ‘ana i ka wai? Pehea ho‘i kākou e huli ana i nā kūpuna e alaka‘i i ko kākou ala?

Eia nō nā mea a‘u e nūnē nei i kēia kakahiaka. Mahalo piha iā ‘oukou e nā kia‘i wai e alaka‘i mai ana i kēia kuleana nui.

English summary:
I woke up this morning thinking about each of you, each of our mo‘opuna, and of our ‘āina and wai. What really is this thing we refer to as our life-giving waters? Who is Kāneikawaiola? I was reminded of this beloved mele and teaching from our kūpuna that tells us that wai is flowing, springing forth, and raining down from one side to the other of this pae ‘āina. Water is everywhere and water is life. So that leaves me wondering:

E ka lāhui ē! How will we mālama our wai?

  • For those who are graduating this week: How will you take what you have learned in school and use it to mālama wai? Whether you are a storyteller, a lawyer, a teacher, an artist, a farmer, a soldier, or anything else, how can you use your skills and talents to engage in this most important kuleana?
  • For those of us who are kumu and mākua: How are we teaching our keiki about the importance of water? How are we equipping the lāhui with the tools they need to mālama wai? And how are we looking to our kūpuna to guide us?
    These are some of the things I am wondering about this morning. My deepest mahalo to those of you who are leading us in this ultimate kuleana.

Check out wai and listen to the recording below.

Aloha nui,
punihei

December 6th-12th

Shoreline of Hakipuʻu with puddles in the grass, gray skies, some coconut trees and a view of Mokoliʻi

Hakipu‘u between rains yesterday

Aloha kakahiaka kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omalu ‘ia ‘oukou pā kahi a pau i ka ua loku a me ka makani nui.

I ka pō nei ua haku mua wau i kekahi mana‘o pōkole:
Eia nō wau ke noho nei ma kahi o ko‘u puka aniani e ho‘olohe ana i ka ua e helele‘i mai ana. Ua pau ka ua loku – no kekahi wā – a he ua li‘ili‘i wale nō i koe. No‘u, he kani ‘olu‘olu ka ua e helele‘i mai ana. Eia na‘e, ‘akahi a ho‘omaka ka oeoe o ke ka‘a lawe ma‘i, a he ho‘omana‘o nō ia ‘o ka hana nui a nā kanaka kinai ahi, nā kahu ma‘i, a me nā maka‘i i ia mau lā/pō o nā ua nui, nā kai nui, a me nā ‘ano ‘ino ‘ē a‘e. No laila, he leo mahalo kēia iā ‘oukou nā mea mālama ola e mālama mau ana iā mākou.

A ma hope o ka haku ‘ana i ia mau mana‘o ua ho‘i wau i ka hiamoe. A ma kahi o ke aumoe ua ala wau i ka hao mai a ka makani a me ka ua e loku iho mai ana. Ua huli ko‘u maka i waho o ia puka aniani like a ‘ike ‘ia ke kumu ‘ulu a me nā kumu niu e naue mai ana. Ma kekahi ‘ano he nani ke ‘ike aku. Eia na‘e, ua kupu mai ka mana‘o: he nani paha ‘oiai ho‘omalu ‘ia wau ma lalo o ke kaupoku pa‘a a ma loko ho‘i o nā puka aniani. Pehea ho‘i ko kākou po‘e e noho ana ma kahakai? Ma kahi o ke alanui? Me ka ‘ole o ka malu o ka hale ikaika? Ua kau mai ka ka hopohopo a me ke kaumaha.

E ka lāhui ē! Pehea kākou e mālama nei i ko kākou po‘e aloha i ho‘omalu ‘ia kākou pā kahi a pau? ‘Ike wau he hana nui kēia. Eia na‘e, inā kākou a pau e no‘ono‘o a e kūlia ana no ke ola a me ka palekana o kānaka, ma loko o nā mea nui a me nā mea li‘ili‘i a kākou e hana nei, he ho‘omaka maika‘i paha kēlā. A no laila, he leo mahalo kēia iā ‘oukou e alaka‘i mai ana ma ia ala.

E ‘olu‘olu, e mālama pono i kekahi i kekahi i ka ua a me ka makani nui! Aloha!

English summary:
I hope this message finds each of you safe and dry in all this wind and rain.

Last night I first wrote a short message to all of you that went something like this:
I am sitting near my window listening to the rainfall. The heavy rains have stopped here – at least momentarily – and it is just drizzling now. For me, I love the sound of the rain. But, just as I write this, I now hear the siren of an ambulance driving past, and I’m reminded of the firefighters, EMTs, and police who all work so hard during these times of heavy rain and big tides and other types of storms. So, I’m sending a great big mahalo out to all of the people who commit to taking care of us during these times.

Shortly after writing that I went to sleep. But then at about midnight, I woke up to the sound of heavy wind and rain. I looked back out that same window and saw my ‘ulu and coconut trees dancing in the wind. While a little scary, it was mostly beautiful to me. But of course, it was beautiful to me! I’m safe under my secure roof and within my strong windows. And then only half awake it dawned on me: What about folks living on the beaches? On the side of the roads? What about all the people who do not have secure homes tonight? I laid there sleepless in concern.

Beloved people! How are we taking care of our most vulnerable so that each of us is truly protected? I know that this is hard work. But I wonder: if each of us strives for the health, wellness, and safety of our communities, within the systemic and direct ways we might have an impact, that might be a really good start. So a great big mahalo to all of you who are leading us on this important mission.

Please please stay safe and take care of one another in this weather!

Check out palekana and find the recording attached.

Aloha,
punihei 

November 29th-December 10th

Old Hawaiian Newspaper cover clipping with a Red, white and Blue Hawaiian flag and

Image of Lā Kū‘oko’a Announcement

Aloha Lā Kū‘okoa iā kākou,

‘Oiai ‘o nehinei ka Lā Kū‘oko‘a, e no‘ono‘o ana wau i ia mea ‘o ke kū‘oko‘a. He aha ia mea ‘o ke kū‘oko‘a o ka lāhui? O ke kino? O ka no‘ono‘o? O ka ‘ōlelo? O ka mālama keiki? O ka mālama ‘āina? A pehea i pili pū ai ke kū‘oko‘a o ka lāhui me ia mau mea ‘ē a‘e? Eia nō wau e nūnē ana no ka pono o ka lāhui; no ka pono o kā kākou mau keiki; a no ka pono ho‘i o ka ‘āina. ‘Oiai mālama ‘ia ka Lā Kū‘oko‘a ma ho‘okahi lā, ka lā 28 o Nowemapa, e aho paha ko kākou ho‘omana‘o ‘ana i ia lā nui i kēlā me kēia lā. A e ho‘omau paha kākou i ka nūnē aku a nūnē mai no ka pili o nā kū‘oko‘a ‘ē a‘e me ke kū‘oko‘a o ka lāhui. Mahalo ho‘i iā ‘oukou nā lamakū e alaka‘i mau ana iā kākou ma ia ala!

English summary:
Since yesterday was Lā Kū‘oko‘a, I’ve been thinking about this idea of kū‘oko‘a. What does it really mean when it comes to our lāhui? What does it feel like in its many forms? And what about the kū‘oko‘a of our bodies? Of our thoughts? Of our ‘ōlelo? Of the way we care for our children? Of the way we care for ‘āina? And how is the kū‘oko‘a of our lāhui connected with these other pieces? These are some of my wonderings as I think about the pono of our lāhui; the pono of our keiki; and the pono of our ‘āina now and in the future. While Lā Kū‘oko‘a is only held on November 28, let’s perhaps keep the importance and significance of this day in our mind always. And maybe we can wonder together about how our various personal kū‘oko‘a are connected with the kū‘oko‘a of the lāhui. Mahalo to all those who are lighting the pathway in this area!

For ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, there are lots of words to choose from above! Also, a recording of the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i is attached.

Aloha nui,
punihei

November 22nd-28th

The yellowish full moon in the dark night sky slightly shrouded by a cloud

Full moon rising above Kāne‘ohe Bay

Aloha nui kākou,

Uihā! He pule pōkole kēia! Ma kekahi ‘ano, he maika‘i. A, ‘o ia mau nō ka pilika ‘o ka ho‘oholomua ‘ana i ka mo‘olelo o “Thanksgiving” (Lā Ho‘omaika‘i) me he mea lā he mea maika‘i nō ia. Eia na‘e, ke nui mai nei nā kanaka i ‘ike i ka hewa o ia mo‘olelo a ke loli iki nei. Eia kekahi la‘ana. No laila, ke holomua paha nei nō kākou ma kekahi ‘ano, ‘eā?

‘O nā mo‘olelo, he mea nui nō ia. He mana ko ka mo‘olelo. A e like me ka mo‘olelo o ka Lā Ho‘omaika‘i, inā hewa ka mo‘olelo he pilikia nui ‘oiai hele a ma‘a kākou i ka mo‘olelo hewa a me he mea lā ua pololei nā mana‘o o loko. A no laila, mahalo nui wau i nā kanaka a me nā hui like ‘ole e noke mau ana ma ke ala e a‘o aku i nā mo‘olelo maoli; nā mo‘olelo ‘oia‘i‘o o Hawai‘i a me ke ao nei. He hana nui nō ia.

I kēlā pule aku nei, ‘oiai e poepoe mai ana ka mahina, ua ‘ākoakoa kekahi hui ma Zoom a ua lu‘u piha mākou i loko o ia mea he haku a he ha‘i mo‘olelo. No‘u, ua pū‘iwa wau i ka nui o nā mo‘olelo ‘oia‘i‘o ‘ole a mākou e ha‘i mau ana iā mākou iho; nā mo‘olelo ‘oia‘i‘o ‘ole i a‘o ‘ia mai ai mai nā ‘ano wahi/kanana like ‘ole. A, ma kekahi ‘ano, he pū‘iwa pū ka ho‘omaopopo ‘ana i ka mana ma loko o kākou e ho‘ololi i ia mau mo‘olelo no kākou iho a no kā kākou mau keiki pū kekahi. A no laila, he makana a he pōmaika‘i ia hui ‘ana o mākou ‘oiai ua ho‘omana‘o wau i ka mana o nā mo‘olelo i haku ‘ia e ha‘i a me ko kākou mana e haku hou, a e ho‘i hou paha i nā mo‘olelo o ka ‘āina, nā mo‘olelo o nā kūpuna, a me nā mo‘olelo o nā mo‘opuna o ka wā e hiki mai ana. Hū! He mahalo piha ko laila!

An English summary:
Oh my gosh thank goodness it is a short week! On the one hand that is of course a great thing but on the other hand, the whole Thanksgiving narrative and fallacy continues to be problematic. Although, I will say there seems to be more and more consciousness-raising around the issue. Here’s a good article if you need to share one as we all work together to help get some truth out there. 🙂

I am continually reminded about how important stories and narratives are and how those narratives can become “truths” over time, just like the false narrative surrounding Thanksgiving. I want to say mahalo and give a shout out to the individuals and groups who tirelessly add to what I might call a ʻtruth project’; the work of sharing truth in the midst of so much that is still false that is taught and spread every day and eventually causes harm in so many ways.

Last week as the moon got bright and full, a group of us gathered on zoom for 6 consecutive nights to engage in what we called a ʻNarrative Design Workshop’ where we worked to strengthen our skills to discover and share our own narratives and stories. I was particularly moved by how many false narratives we discovered that we tell ourselves over time, undoubtedly shaped by so many factors in the environments we are consciously and unconsciously immersed in every day. At the same time, I was also moved in remembering that we have the power to shape our own narratives; to re-story our stories (as Miguel and Francisco Guajardo taught me). And I don’t mean to change the facts of our stories, but to see our stories in a new light and with different lenses. The workshops of last week were really a gift for me as I remembered the narratives that were created by others, in many instances to erase and do harm, and also our power to create and tell k(new) narratives guided and grounded in ‘āina, our kūpuna, and the generations yet to come. What a gift! This is what I’ll be giving thanks for this weekend.

Check out mo‘opuna this week and see attached for a recording of the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

Aloha nui,
punihei

November 15th-21st

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaka kā ‘oukou Pō‘akahi me ka mālie a me ka maka‘ala nō hoʻi. No‘u, ua ala wau i kēia kakahiaka nui me ka māluhiluhi ‘oiai i ka pō nei ua ‘ā ko‘u lumi i ka pā kōnane a ka mahina. He nani wale eia na‘e he he ho‘āla kekahi. No‘ono‘o iho au i ke ki‘i ‘oni‘oni ‘o Moonstruck i ka wā a nā me‘e e kāhea aku ana i ka mahina, “La luna! La luna!” Ua ‘aka‘aka wau ia‘u iho. (:

I kēia pule e nanea kākou i ka nani kamaha‘o o ka mahina a me kāna mau mana like ‘ole. ‘Oiai e poepoe ana ka mahina, e kilo kākou: Pehea nā meakanu ma waho o kou hale? Pehea nā manu? Pehea nā ao? Pehea ‘oe? Kou kino? Kou na‘au? He mea nui ka pilina ma waena o kākou a me nā mea like ‘ole ma ka honua nei. ‘O ke kilo ‘ana, he ho‘omaka paha nō.

English summary:
I hope you all have started off your Monday calm but also alert and ready to go. I personally woke up a bit tired today because last night the moonlight was so bright shining in my window that it woke me up and kept me up for quite a while. I had a good laugh as I thought about the movie Moonstruck when the couple calls out to the moon: “La luna! La luna!” That’s one of my favorite parts of the movie!

Since the moon is getting rounder this week, let’s enjoy her and pay attention to her mana. Let’s kilo together: How are our plants doing? What do the birds do? What do the clouds look like? How are you? What’s going on in your body? What’s going on in your na‘au? While I’m still learning about all the ways we are connected with the rest of the natural world, I know those connections are important. And I think beginning by witnessing and observing what’s going on inside of us and also all around us might be a good start.

Check out na‘au this week (recording of the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i attached).

Aloha nui,
punihei

November 8th-14th

Various mixed race women filmmakers

Images of women highlighted in Reel Wāhine of Hawai‘i: Season 3

Aloha mai kākou,

Ke lana nei ka mana‘o ua ho‘omaha ‘oukou ma kekahi ‘ano i kēia hopenapule a ua ho‘i i ka hana/ke ke‘ena me ka maka‘ala a me ka ‘eleu i kēia kakahiaka.

No‘u, ua hiamoe iki wau inehinei eia na‘e ua ho‘omaha wau ma kekahi ‘ano ‘ē a‘e kekahi. I ka ‘auinalā o nehinei hele akula wau i kekahi papahana ma lalo o HIFF e ho‘olaule‘a ana i nā wahine e alaka‘i ana i nā ki‘i ‘oni‘oni mai Hawai‘i nei. ‘O ia ho‘i, nā wahine ha‘i mo‘olelo; nā wahine haku mo‘olelo ma o nā ki‘i ‘oni‘oni. Kapa ‘ia kēia papahana ‘o Reel Wāhine of Hawai‘i: Season 3. Nui nā mea a‘u i no‘ono‘o ai a i a‘o pū ai ia‘u e nānā ana i ia mo‘olelo o Reel Wāhine of Hawai‘i. Ho‘okahi o ia mau mea ‘o ia ho‘i ke ko‘iko‘i o ka ha‘i mo‘olelo ‘ana. Ko‘iko‘i nā mo‘olelo nui e like me ka luku ‘ana o nā hale ma Sand Island a ko‘iko‘i ho‘i nā mo‘olelo o kahi tūtū iā ia e hele wāwae ana kēlā me kēia lā. ‘O ka mea nui: ko‘iko‘i nā mo‘olelo. No‘u, he mea nui nā mo‘olelo o kēlā me kēia kanaka, o kēlā me kēia ‘āina no ka mea ke a‘o ‘ia, ke lohe ‘ia ka mo‘olelo o ha‘i, pēlā e kūkulu a hō‘ikaika ‘ia ka pilina a me ke aloha. A inā he pilina a he aloha paha, ma‘alahi ka mālama ‘ana; hele a ma‘amau ka mālama ‘ana. A no laila, he pōmaka‘i kēia mau mana‘o ia‘u e noho ‘ana ma ka hale ki‘i ‘oni‘oni ‘o Kahala inehinei. He ‘ano ho‘omaha a ho‘ōla ia papahana no‘u. A no laila, he leo mahalo.

An English summary:
I hope everyone got some rest yesterday and was able to start your Monday off energetically.

As for me, I was able to sneak in a tiny tiny nap yesterday. But I was also able to rest in some other ways. I was gifted a ticket to a HIFF event that celebrated female filmmakers from Hawai‘i called Reel Wāhine of Hawai‘i: Season 3. Watching this collection of stories helped me to reflect on so much. One of the many things it helped me to remember is how important storytelling is. I really loved the women that were celebrated because it celebrated the variety of stories that they tell from the big events like Sand Island Eviction to the stories of grandmas who take long walks with their granddaughters each day. But the biggest thing I walked away with yesterday was a reminder of how incredibly important all of that storytelling is; the stories of people and the stories of places. And for me in particular, I think I am called to the power of storytelling and story-receiving because I think it helps us to grow our pilina and thus our aloha for one another. And if there is pilina and aloha between two entities, then I think being able to mālama that entity because almost natural. Gosh, I’m so grateful for Reel Wāhine of Hawai‘i and what it gifted me yesterday; a different type of rest and revival that I sorely needed.

Check out mo‘olelo this week and listen to the recording of the ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i attached.

Aloha,
Punihei

November 1st-7th

A graphic designed by Kanaeokana to promote Hawaiian Language

 An ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i image created by Kanaeokana

Aloha kākou,

I kēia hopenapule i hala aku nei ua hui au me kekahi hoa. He hoa ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ‘o ia; hānai ‘o ia i kāna mau keiki a me kāna mau mo‘opuna ma ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. Kūpa‘a ‘o ia ma ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. A iā māua i hui pōkole ai ma ka hale kū‘ai, ua kama‘ilio māua ma ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. Ma hope o kēia hui ‘ana, ua ho‘omana‘o wau i ko‘u ‘ono i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i a ua no‘ono‘o wau ia‘u iho: pehea paha wau e ho‘i i ko‘u ‘ōlelo makuahine? ‘O ka hapa nui o ko‘u lā, aia nō ma ka ‘ōlelo Haole. He mau kumu like ‘ole no kēlā. Eia na‘e, ua hiki nō ia‘u ke koho i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i kekahi. No laila, eia nō wau ke koho nei i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ma‘ane‘i.

Nani wale ka mana‘o a Native Hawaiian Student Services i hāpai mai nei i kēia kakahiaka no ka Mahina Kū‘oko‘a a ua ulu ka hoi i loko o‘u e ho‘opili aku me ko Hawai‘i kū‘oko‘a ma o ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. I ‘ike le‘a kākou a pau, ‘a‘ole loa hemolele ko‘u ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. He ho‘ā‘o wale nō kēia. A he leo mahalo pū ho‘i kēia i nā lamakū o ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i e noke mau ana i ka ho‘ōla ‘ōlelo i poina‘ole ‘ia ka ‘ono o kā kākou ‘ōlelo kilohana.

This is NOT a direct translation of what is above:
This past weekend I bumped into a dear friend. She’s a Hawaiian-speaking friend who has impressively raised her children and now grandchildren in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. For me, she has really been a living example of an unwavering commitment to ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. And while we chatted for a few minutes, we also spoke Hawaiian. In fact, I don’t think there has ever been a time when she has spoken English to me. That’s one of my favorite things about her. After our short time connecting, I walked away but our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i stayed with me. Those few moments speaking Hawaiian with her reminded me of how ‘ono ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i is to me; how speaking Hawaiian awakens a part of me that makes me feel more alive, more me. This all led me to ask myself: how can I return to ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i during my day? Right now most of my day is spent in English and there’s a ton of reasons for that. But I can also choose ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i in more of my day than I currently do. So I’ve decided to choose these weekly blogs as one of those times when I do. Don’t worry, I’ll always include an English piece below as I’m doing here.

Serendipitously, Native Hawaiian Student Services came out this morning with their monthly newsletter celebrating Mahina Kū‘oko‘a or a month-long celebration and recognition of Lā Kū‘oko‘a which happens later this month on November 28th. Between my experience this weekend with my friend and NHSS’s call out for Mahina Kū‘oko‘a, I was inspired to think of how I can personally connect and live into Hawai‘i’s Independence, and choosing ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i feels like a good way to do so. To be very clear, my ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i is not at all perfect (and I think that is one of the reasons I shy away from writing because once it is in print, the critiques can come flying in). But I’m going to approach this as a good faith attempt; as an act of love and kū‘oko‘a.

Check out kilohana this week (recording of this word and the above ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i attached).

Aloha nui,
Punihei

October 25th-31st

Flyer for the event

Aloha kākou,

This weekend DEFINITELY went by too fast for me. I found myself a bit exhausted throughout the weekend and between the busyness of getting kids to hula practice and baseball games, I couldn’t really muster up the energy to do much more. That’s unlike me so I think it is a sign I’m getting a bit burned out. So I’m trying to be mindful of that and check my practices to ensure that I’m doing enough to take care of myself so I can keep going.

While I am recognizing my own exhaustion, I’m also mindful that so many folks in our communities have and continue to be challenged by so many intersecting issues related to COVID and multiple systems of oppression.

With that in mind, I’d like to invite all of you to a conversation we are holding THIS Friday, October 29 from 2-3 pm where we will be creating space to hold courageous conversations about how COVID has impacted our communities, and particularly the disparate impact on Native Hawaiian and LGBTQ+ communities. Moreover, we will discuss how we can work together to support one another moving forward.

Come be in conversation with each other and with guest panelists Dr. Keawe Kaholokula, Nā‘ālehu Anthony, Kunane Dreier, and Maddalynn Sesepasara. The event will be co-facilitated by Camaron Miyamoto and me. RSVP before the event IS required so please click here to do so. Please also see the attached flyer and feel free to share it with your networks.

What I love about these spaces is that they tend to fill my cup back up as I’m inspired by the stories I hear and I get to connect with new and old friends. Hope to see you there!

And for our hua‘ōlelo Hawai‘i this week, check out kaiāulu.

Aloha,
punihei

October 18th-24th

an image of a lamakū candle burning

A lamakū

Aloha Pō‘akahi iā kākou,

Hello Monday and goodbye weekend. If you’re like me I sometimes need a little pick-me-up to get me going on Monday morning. With that in mind, here’s a little good news that will hopefully get you going:

You might remember that a few months ago I shared that my son was pretty distraught after seeing the American flag raised above the Hawaiian one. But because he spoke up and suggested that another flagpole be constructed, the school is on its way to doing that. And that alone is really good news. But there’s more! A couple of weeks ago I got forwarded an email about the Power of Youth Challenge in which young people could apply for mini-grants to work on a project to do racial healing, equity, and/or cultural awareness work. So I asked my son if he wanted to apply to help move his flagpole project along and he said yes. Come to find out, he was too young so his older sister applied as his partner. And long story short, they were selected!

Here are the questions they were asked and how they responded:

1. What does racial healing mean to you?*

My 10-year old brother explains it as “When people are in tough situations and you help them to understand different things.” Building on his ideas, I think of it as helping people who have been discriminated against and those who have been discriminatory to talk and to stop discrimination and racism. I also think of it as learning how to have conversations in safe spaces and being able to talk about racism in a safe space so for the person who is being racist they can learn to apologize, learn how to be better, and move forward in being accepting and compassionate towards all human beings. For the person who has experienced racism, I think about racial healing when they are treated equally, when they are seen as full human beings, and when people actually want to learn their stories so they don’t incorrectly assume and/or judge who they are.

2. How will your project promote racial healing, equity, or cultural awareness?*

Our project will promote racial healing and cultural awareness by uplifting truths. Most people in Hawai‘i and at our school have little to no understanding of Hawai‘i’s history. They don’t know anything about our place and often they have been taught things that are untrue. That means that they then teach those truths to others even though those truths are lies and it hurts when they promote those lies as truth. For example, my 10-year-old brother is in 5th grade and one of their class’ responsibilities at our school is to raise and lower the flag each day. When he saw the American flag raised over the Hawaiian flag his heart ached because he knows that America is in Hawai‘i illegally and there was no recognition of that in the flag protocol. But when he said something to the class, many of his classmates told him he was wrong and they almost got into a physical fight. Instead of fighting, my brother called my mom and told her he had a really sore tummy, which he did, and that he wanted to go home. I think his tummy hurt so bad because this lie of America being here in Hawai‘i legally is everywhere and hardly anyone knows that it is untrue. I also think his tummy hurt because his friends refused to hear him. They refused to hear his story. I think this is part of racism, too. So our project is two parts: We are working with our school to get a second flag pole to fly the Hawaiian and American flags side-by-side, which is allowed in Hawai‘i. But the part we are asking for funding for in this grant is to also get a plaque that goes next to the Hawaiian flag that teaches anyone who walks by about Hawai‘i’s independent history and to help raise awareness around the fact that we still have a lot to figure out with America still in Hawai‘i today. I know that this is risky to bring this truth up to an organization that probably doesn’t fully understand this, but I’m hoping it is worth the risk.

3. What do you propose to do about it? *

Think about things like:
How many young people do you expect will serve with you?
How are you recruiting them?
How many people do you hope and expect will be helped? Served?

We are requesting funding to get a plaque that teaches about some of the history of Hawai‘i that will be situated near the second flag pole that we are going to get. We think that at least 10 students (if not more) will be willing to help do the research and write the text that will go on the plaque. We have already started to be in conversation with our friends at school about this project and they are very interested. Once the flagpole is erected and the plaque is in the ground, it will be available for all 180 students and their families and our teachers and staff. And because the plaque will be permanent, it will continue to serve more and more children and families over time. Also, we are working with our Head of School and our teachers to create an annual event for the whole school to pause and learn about Hawai‘i’s independence. This holiday is called Lā Kū‘oko‘a and was celebrated in the 1800s and some communities in Hawai‘i celebrate it today. We want to bring it to our school.

I’m grateful to my children and all the young people who help to give these concrete examples of what truth, healing, and transformation are all about and how we can move towards becoming a NH place of learning.

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i word this week, check out lamakū 

Aloha nui,
punihei

October 11th-17th 

 
an open chapter book with soothing candles surrounding it

Candles, coffee, and more. Photo by Kat von Wood on Unsplash

Aloha kākou,

I want to first apologize for incorrectly listing the date of an event last week in the body of my weekly email. I’m the type of person who double and triple checks everything and somehow that still snuck through. I think it was a sign of a bit of overwhelm and exhaustion.

I don’t know about all of you but the last couple of weeks have felt really heavy. Some might say it is October and thus a very busy time of the semester. Others might say it is because of the planetary conjunctions at the moment. And of course, ah yes, there’s still this crazy pandemic that is somehow not yet done with us even though we would very much like to be done with it!

All this to say, I’ve noticed in myself a need to take a break for my own physical, mental, and emotional health. So this week as my children are on fall break I’m taking some time off to hang out with them and also have a moment to myself. I’m also momentarily stepping away from email and from meetings to get some work projects done.

Whatever taking a break looks like to you, I hope you do it as you realize you need it. The heavy work of making UHM an NH place of learning and healing our spaces from the oppressive structures we are entangled in is definitely hard work. Perhaps today, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we might take an extra moment to reflect on the generational work that continues.

For ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i this week, check out ‘ōiwi (recording attached).

Aloha nui,

punihei

October 4th-10th

Aloha kākou,

Whew! Where did the weekend go? I want to start off by saying mahalo for the outpouring of aloha shared last week about Cami’s passing. We are still mourning her loss and while I don’t speak for the family at all, I can imagine that they have a long road ahead. So please continue to send your aloha their way.

Last week I mentioned this notion of “returning to normal” and suggested that maybe that’s not the best way forward. I’m not the first to say this and I doubt I’m the last. While there is a push by some to return to the way things were, I think many of us yearn for a (k)new way forward; a path that is reflective of the wisdom of our ancestors and the intelligence of ‘āina. More than yearning, I want to celebrate all of the people who are doing the hard work of leading us to a (k)new future and I also want to celebrate all those who take the time to listen, to consider, and to trust in this important work. The list of resources that we share each week is meant to lift up that kind of work and to help all of us to a‘o, alu, and ‘auamo together.

Our office has a few events happening this week and in the next several weeks that we want to invite you to in the name of collectively creating those (k)new futures where each person knows what their kuleana is and has equitable opportunities to experience as well as to contribute to communal well-being. We hope to see you at some of these events and please share with your teams:

To learn more about TRHT Tuesdays, click here. And to learn more about Aloha ‘Āina Fridays, click here.

Finally, a great big shout out to Kaipu Baker and his hana keaka crew putting on “He Leo Aloha” this week. Buy your tickets here!

For ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i this week, check out leo (recording attached).

Aloha,

punihei

September 27 – October 3 

Rainbow arching over UH Manoa campus

Ua ho‘i ka u‘i o Mānoa

Aloha kākou,

I’ve been thinking about all of you and about writing this email for several days. On the one hand, I don’t feel like I have a lot to say this week. And on the other hand, I feel like there’s more than I can put into words.

I don’t know about all of you, but I had a REALLY rough week. I started out by setting my intentions during Alo Piko o Wākea as I shared. And maybe one way to look at it was that my intentions were tested: Do I really want to a‘o, alu, and ‘auamo? I felt like the world was challenging me to see if I was up to my commitments.

Among other challenging moments, someone I knew passed away. Someone many people knew and loved and was inspired by, passed away. Her passing was unexpected and sudden and tragic. I sobbed in a way I hadn’t in a long time. I sobbed for her, for her husband, for her keiki, for her mākua, and for the countless people who loved her. And when I was done crying, I took a breath and went for a walk and did a small pule for her and her ‘ohana. In the moments and days following, I kissed my children a little longer, held my husband a little tighter, and connected with my parents a little more. I know many others did as well. So now what? Do we “go back to normal” or do we pause and consider how our dear tita’s passing might leave some lessons about how we a‘o, alu, and ‘auamo just a little bit more, just a little bit deeper, and just a little bit better together?

I lift up our dear Cami Kameaaloha Kanoa-Wong as just one of the many who have left us to be in the realm of our kūpuna and ‘aumākua. But of course, there are so so many others who are now there with her. I cannot help but wonder what each of their lives as well as their passings can teach us about the work we have the privilege of carrying out every day to leave this place better than we found it.

Aloha nui,

punihei

September 20 – 26

Image of Akua moon rising

 Akua Moon Rising

Aloha Alo Piko o Wākea iā kākou!

Did you all see the Akua moon rise tonight (Sunday) as we enter into this time of Alo Piko o Wākea (fall equinox)? My mom came into our living room this morning to remind us of this auspicious time and to invite us to pause and set our intentions for this next season. For me, I’m wanting to focus on the things that really matter.

On our office’s homepage we say that we believe our work starts with at least three pathways:

  1. A‘o: To teach and learn with one another
  2. Alu: To connect and cooperate
  3. ‘Auamo: to take on the work, and particularly to do so collectively

I want to set my intentions are doing these things really well. I want to keep learning truths that help to strengthen my foundation so that I may be a more rooted teacher. I want to connect with others in meaningful ways so that we can create strong relationships that allow us to create spaces of healing and transformation. And I want to engage in the heavy yet necessary work with those I’m in relationship with so that we can make UH Mānoa a NH place of learning and thus be the stellar university that our communities and keiki deserve.

With that said, I’m grateful to all of you who are contributing to the ways I a‘o, alu, and ‘auamo every day. While we cannot provide a perfect list, we include everything that we know is going on with the goal of connecting you to more learning, more networks, and more opportunities to engage. I want to give a shoutout to just a few:

  • Aloha ‘Āina Fridays Series: I want to mahalo all those who helped us kick off our series last week Friday with a dialogue circle. We were so honored to have you all present and willing to connect and share in real ways. We can’t wait for future sessions with Nōweo Kai as well as Kauila Kanaka‘ole and Ku‘ulei Perreira-Keawekane.
  • Hawai‘i Papa o ke Ao Leadership Series: I can’t wait to feature Nalani Balutski and all her work/research/re-birth of King Kalākaua’s Hawaiian Youths Abroad Program.
  • The Bravethrough Series with Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng: I’m really excited to get to connect and learn from Maya, Kamuela Enos, Grande Lum, & Sam Chaltain.

So as we enter into this week, I hope we each have time to pause, reflect, and set our intentions. Maybe even do it under the light of the full moon!

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i word this week, check out ‘auamo (recording attached).

Aloha nui,
punihei

September 13 – 19
Image of the author and her keiki at the Zoo

 Author and her silly Keiki

Aloha kākou,

I don’t know about all of you, but after a three-day weekend, this two-day weekend felt waaayyyy too short! I vote for four-day workweeks and three-day weekends. Can we get that started, please?

Part of why I personally need three-day weekends is that there is just so much family kuleana to get done on the weekends that I don’t have the time to get done during the week. At the same time, I want to honor all the extra work parents are doing during the week as well. I was speaking with a colleague the other day and she was sharing the challenges of parenting during the pandemic. The following is a list of some but not all of the extra things parents are dealing with right now:

  • Constant concern regarding keiki health and well-being
  • Sad keiki who want to get together with friends but are not allowed to because of COVID concerns
  • No after-school care: So that means parents have to organize to have their children picked up long before the “normal” workday is over either around 3 pm or even as early as 12-1 pm on Wednesdays at some schools. This means parents have to leave work early, pick up kids, take them home, and then work from home some more. 
  • Long drop-off and pick-up lines at school: Because of COVID there are various forms of daily checks that parents have to go through before their child can step onto campus. That usually includes waiting in some long car line at school and hoping that all the check-in technology works so that their child can actually get out of the car and that they don’t have to drive around the block again. At the end of the day, parents are not allowed to get out of their cars so again they have to wait in long lines in their cars to pick up their children.
  • Stay-at-home days when there’s a COVID case in school: As soon as there’s a COVID case, keiki have to stay home for over a week. That means parents have to juggle care for their keiki in an environment where babysitters aren’t a very safe option. This usually means parents have to work from home and do all their work kuleana while also taking care of their keiki and helping them transition to zoom school.
  • Unpredictable sports and extracurricular activities schedules: Parents and keiki are yearning for sports and other activities to return to normal. Kids miss their activities and parents are hoping their keiki get to move around and socialize more after school. But again, with COVID cases, practices and games can quickly get canceled leaving sad keiki and scrambling parents. 

Of course, there’s more but I’ll stop here. This isn’t to say that folks who are not parents aren’t also carrying a lot right now. Everyone is working so hard and juggling so much. Parents happen to be holding a heavy and unique load as well. So next time you connect with someone who is in a parent role, maybe take a little extra time to ask “Hey how’s it going?” and maybe just give them a little extra care and aloha.

Of course, one way we can all help parents and keiki right now is doing our part to get the numbers down. Let’s definitely wear our masks, keep our distance and not gather in large crowds, and if it makes sense for you and your ‘ohana consider getting vaccinated. We can do this, folks! And let’s especially do it for our keiki. After all, whether they are our own keiki or not, if we are of parent age, from a NH perspective, we are all their makua.💜

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i word this week, check out makua (recording attached) and also look it up in the ‘Ōlelo No‘eau Book.

Stay safe everyone!

Aloha,

punihei

Septemer 6 – 12

Image of Queen Liliʻuokalani

Queen Lili‘uokalani (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Aloha kākou, 

I hope you all had a safe weekend with your ‘ohana and got some rest and also did something fun. In our house, we mostly kept to ourselves even though we had some friends and family who had a few gatherings and one group even went camping. My kids were so bummed because of course they wanted to go, too. Ugh, so hard right now!

It was really lovely to see all the celebrations and tributes to Queen Lili‘uokalani last week and one in particular that celebrated how she worked so hard during the 1881 smallpox outbreak and the difficult decisions she had to make to contain the disease. I donʻt know enough about the history of that time period to fully know how the people of Hawai‘i reacted to the then-Princess’ version of lockdowns and quarantines, but what I have learned from some of the readings is that she was able to prevent the outbreak from reaching the outer islands and kept it contained on O‘ahu. That was seen as a success. I wonder what we can learn from the stories of that time period: how Princess Lili‘uokalani stood firm in her decisions to shut things down; how the guards kept their posts to ensure people stayed in their homes; how communities were set up to continue to feed themselves; how various experts came together and organized. And of course, how this all happened before any of the communication technologies that we have today is pretty amazing. So that has me wondering about the aloha – the respect, trust, and care – that had to exist within communities across Hawai‘i and with their ali‘i that allowed these feats to occur. 

It further makes me wonder how we rebuild that kind of aloha today; with one other and between us and those in leadership positions. Things have definitely changed. Our communities are different, our leadership is different. But I can’t help but think about what it would take for us to get back to some sort of space in which our leadership has so much aloha and concern for us and we have so much aloha and respect for them that we worked together to overcome these huge challenges to make a healthier future for our keiki and mo‘opuna. I am trying to imagine what that future looks like and how we might take steps now to get there. I see glimmers of light throughout our communities doing this work and I mahalo all of you who help to make that happen. 

This week, check out the word ali‘i (recording attached). If you have the ‘Ōlelo No‘eau book, maybe look at the proverbs associated with ali‘i.

Aloha nui,

punihei

August 30 – September 5

Image of Queen LIliʻuokalani Building on her Birthday

 The Queen Lili‘uokalani Center for Student Services Building draped in purple cloth for the Queen’s birthday

Aloha kākou,

I hope you all had a safe weekend. My prayers and positive intentions have been sent to many this weekend, including those in Louisiana who are dealing with Hurricane/Storm Ida. For those who have ‘ohana there, please let us know how we can be helpful. 

As I look forward to this week, my heart has been with our Queen. Short story:

Last week I took a short break between my zoom meetings and did a walk around the building. In doing so I saw the Queen Lili‘uokalani Center for Student Services Building draped in purple in honor of Queen Lili‘uokalani’s birthday happening this week on September 2nd (she was born in 1838). A few days later a friend shared with me a poster card of the Queen with some awesome facts about her life. It seemed that these reminders of her were an invitation to reflect on what I know about her (and also what I don’t know). 

To be clear, I am not an expert on her and I know some of you are. So first, mahalo to those of you who continue to do great research about her so that we can all learn from and be inspired by her remarkable life. While I don’t know all the details of her life, what I know is that she had an unwavering love for her country, her people, and each of the communities throughout the pae ‘āina; she loved Hawai‘i. I also know that she lived through not one but several incredibly challenging periods throughout her life, including but not limited to waves of disease that killed members of her own ‘ohana as well as the larger community and of course the horrific experience of being overthrown. Then, as my kumu Manu Boyd always reminds us, she went on to live for 24 more years after the overthrow in an unimaginable situation within her own homeland. But she never stopped leading with a profound aloha for Hawai‘i and always keeping the most vulnerable and underserved prioritized. Further, even when she was stripped of her thrown, she was steadfast in her commitment to restore pono to Hawai‘i. 

In all the work we are doing to help UH Mānoa become a NH place of learning, to heal from the many forms of oppression that have caused so much harm and disconnect here in Hawai‘i and across the world, and to survive this pandemic, what better a leader to look up to than Queen Lili‘uokalani? What a gift the many lessons of her life can be to us!

If you haven’t read Hawai‘i’s Story by Hawai‘i’s Queen, please click here for a free online version of her book

Also, let’s use this week to learn how to say her name (see recording).

Finally, please click here to see our Calendar of Upcoming Events.

Aloha nui,

punihei

August 23 – 29

Image of US and Hawaiian Flags

 The American and Hawaiian flags fly side by side

Aloha kākou,

I’m writing this on Sunday night and thinking about the rain and wind we might get over night and hoping that you will all be safe, dry, and warm. 

I don’t know about you, but this past week felt like a storm of its own kind. In our ‘ohana we continue to juggle the moving parts of COVID, which is definitely enough if that was all that was going on. But of course, there are other things that are swirling around in the air and one of them last week was my children going back to school. That meant I had to wake up waaaaayyyy earlier (😭) and we had to get back into a much more busy and rigid routine. 

My partner and I are the kinds of parents whom the teachers and principal can’t quite figure out if they love or hate; if they should be excited that we are calling or if they should be hesitating on answering. We will do anything to help out AND we expect excellent levels of care, teaching, and decision making. So of course we were asked and we said yes to doing a workshop on what they called “DEI work” and what we called “kuleana.” We each shared a little bit of how we have found and continue to find and live into our kuleana; me as a Native Hawaiian (NH) woman born and raised here and my partner as a non-Hawaiian who moved to Hawai‘i to marry me.❤ Long story short, we wanted to stress how important we believe it is for every keiki who grows up in Hawai‘i (NH or not) to learn and live into their kuleana to mālama one other and most importantly to mālama ‘āina. And of course, we stressed that we believe it is a kuleana of the school to help foster that. I think our honesty and recognition that this is hard but necessary work was welcomed and appreciated. I think we built a little bit of pilina with the school staff and faculty that day. And gosh was I happy about that for the part that comes next.

The second day into school our 10-year-old son went to the office complaining of a tummy ache. HIGHLY unusual for him. When we got the call to pick him up, of course, the first thing I thought of was COVID. Hello! Talk about scared and nervous mommy! When I spoke to him on the phone and asked if he could explain what was wrong with his tummy, he just said it really hurt. Did he have to go the bathroom? Nope. Was it a sharp pain? Nope. Did he have a fever? Nope. But he REALLY wanted me to pick him up. So off I went. When I got to the school I scooped him up, put him in the car, looked his tummy over, and asked what he thought might be causing his sore belly. 

“Mom,” he said. “They raised the American flag above the Hawaiian flag today.” 

Ohhhhh, deep deep breath. 

“Is that why your belly is sore, my love?” 

“Yes, Mommy. I told them not to. I told them that it was wrong and that we are still our own country; that America is here illegally. But they rose it anyway.” 

I held his hand. More deep breaths and a few tears down my cheeks. What followed was a discussion about how flag-raising was part of his 5th-grade class’ responsibilities and that that day the teacher was showing them how to do it. Then he shared how two of his best friends argued with him and told him that he had no idea what he was talking about. He said he almost got into a physical fight with them. He then brightened up a little bit when he shared that another friend whose parents immigrated here from Poland stood up for my son and said he believed him; that he knew about the Hawaiian Kingdom from his parents. After all of that, I told him, “Well it makes sense that your belly got so sore. That’s your na‘au. Always listen to your na‘au.” He smiled. 

Later that day I went back to his school to pick up his older sister. Of course, instead of just driving through the pick-up line I parked and went to the fence where I could connect with the teachers, principal, and emotional support specialist who were all conveniently (for me at least) helping with pick-up. Since we had just had such a lovely DEI/Kuleana professional development day the prior week, they greeted me with smiles.😎 And then I told them the story. Among other things that were discussed, I shared why in Hawai‘i we can fly two flags. The principal answered, “Well we are school and that means we learn. We learned something new today. So let’s get another flag pole.” 

The flag issue is real but there are other important points, most of which I will not point out here. But I will point out what might be the most obvious for me: I hate that my son had to experience that kind of tension in his belly; that his truth-telling was largely met by disbelief/erasure/deaf ears. AND that will not be the last time he will have that conversation and many others like it. So let’s continue the work, right? And let’s rev it up like never before. 

The pain I feel – the tension in my tummy when I think about his experience and the heartache I feel when I see him again and again in my mind sitting outside the school office carrying all that weight in his na‘au – lights my fire. And his bravery, his commitment, and also his Polish friend’s courage to speak up and stand next to him all inspire me and remind me how important our work as a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center really is. 

Mahalo for the ways that you folks speak truths, receive and learn from truths, and encourage that in the next generation. Mahalo also to those of you who do the healing work that is required within ourselves, with one another, and with ‘āina so that we can build foundations for transformed, healthier, and more just futures for our keiki and mo‘opuna. 

Stay safe everyone! And check out pono this week. 

Aloha nui,

punihei

August 17 – 22

image of TRHT Staff discussing forms of oppression

UHM TRHT staff, faculty, and community members in conversation about forms of oppression.

Aloha nui kākou,

As I sit down to write this I’m just starting out with a deep breath as I think about all of you and I think about all the things that are whirling around in the air around the world right now. And as I think about all of that, my mind wanders to a book and author that one of my dear mentors, Dr. Miguel Guajardo, introduced me to: Turning to one another in conversation: Simple conversations to restore hope to the future by Margaret Wheatley. I might have mentioned her before. I’m sure there are many other amazing people who write about turning to one another in conversation. I just know her work the best. She simply says, “I believe we can change the world if we start talking to one another again.” She also says “Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.” 

These sentiments are on my mind and heart this weekend after thinking about, hearing of, and witnessing some of the extremely polarizing situations we find ourselves in both locally and globally. Never mind all the situations that have created deep divides in the last several years here in Hawai‘i. But wow! This pandemic has become fertile ground too. Can we be surprised when for far too long we have stopped being in real conversation; when we have stopped truly sharing and listening and realizing how connected we are? Iʻm not at all saying that turning to one another in conversation will fix things overnight. I completely recognize that many of our challenges are deeply rooted in systemic forms of oppression. AND turning to one another – whether it be 40-year friends who suddenly find themselves on different sides of political and pandemic points of view or a parent and child who are struggling to find their way or a leader and their constituents who are seeking clarity and connection – to be in conversation just might be a good starting point. But conversations are hard and we don’t always learn the art very well. So in case they are helpful, here are a few tools that I’ve learned along the way. They are borrowed from the Center for Courage and Renewal and are applied to conversations in circle spaces where these tools are emphasized and practiced. By no way are they end-all and be-all strategies. These are just some that have helped me on my ongoing journey of becoming a better conversation partner; a better partner in connecting and building pilina. 

  • Listen deeply. Listen intently to what is said; listen to the feelings beneath the words. “To ‘listen’ another’s soul into life, into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another” (Douglas Steere). Listen to yourself also. Strive to achieve a balance between listening and reflecting, speaking and acting.
  • Suspend judgment. Set aside your judgments. By creating a space between judgments and reactions, we can listen to the other, and to ourselves, more fully, and thus our perspectives, decisions, and actions are more informed. 
  • Identify assumptions. Our assumptions are usually invisible to us, yet they under-gird our worldview and thus our decisions and our actions. By identifying our assumptions, we can then set them aside and open our viewpoints to greater possibilities. 
  • Speak your truth. Say what is in your heart, trusting that your voice will be heard and your contribution respected. Your truth may be different from, even the opposite of, what another has said. Speaking your truth is not debating with, or correcting, or interpreting what another has said. Own your truth by speaking only for yourself, using “I” statements.
  • Respect silence. Silence is a rare gift in our busy world. After you or another has spoken, take time to reflect & fully listen, without immediately filling the space with words. 

When things get difficult, turn to wonder. If you find yourself disagreeing with another, becoming judgmental, shutting down in defense, try turning to wonder: “I wonder what brought her to this place?” “I wonder what my reaction teaches me?” “I wonder what he’s feeling right now?” 

I hope these might be helpful to you in these challenging times. 

Also, check out the word kama‘ilio.

Aloha nui,

punihei

August 9 – 16

Image of Author and daughter wearing masks at the mall

Author and daughter wearing masks at the mall

 

Aloha kākou,

I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve been having mixed feelings of concern for the health and safety of not only my ‘ohana but of all ‘ohana throughout Hawai‘i while also feeling frustrated and even guilty about not doing more to help keep the numbers down. With that feeling of wanting to do something while also seeking to recognize my kuleana within the context of the pandemic, I thought that maybe even sharing strategies that have been helpful to me might also be helpful to others. It can’t hurt, right? So here it goes. 

My focus has shifted over time as information has also shifted. At the beginning of this pandemic, the major concern and focus was on my mom and my step-dad since they are the oldest in our house. Simultaneously, I also had a major focus on my dad and my step-mom who live about 20 minutes down the road and are no spring chickens themselves. That seems like such a simple strategy from so long ago. Clearly, things have changed and become a bit more complex.

We’ve really honed in on our keiki and especially on our not-able-to-be-vaccinated 10-year-old son. The question we ask before we do something is: Will this be safe for our son? What are the ramifications of our decision on him?  As I share this, I want to make clear that I’m not saying other folks are not also vulnerable for other reasons. But in a house of vaccinated and fairly healthy folks, our focus has pivoted towards making the best decisions we can to protect our 10-year-old boy. By doing so, we also know we are taking measures that are actually protecting the rest of the ‘ohana too. 

But what does that look like in practice? Here’s where it gets a bit trickier to actually live that out. These are some of our strategies and stories:

  • All those eligible have gotten vaccinated. Again, I’m not saying that this is what’s appropriate or even desired by anyone else. This is just what our ‘ohana chose. And it wasn’t totally an easy decision. My parents got vaccinated as soon as they could. My husband and I…we were a little hesitant. In fact, I’m a bit vaccination weary most of the time. But when it was offered to UH employees, I had to make a pretty quick decision, and based on my own health history, it seemed like the best thing to do. At the time, I didn’t get the vaccine with the idea of protecting my son. It was really to protect me so that I could continue to take care of him. But that was back in March and the conversation and my own clarity have really grown since then. The hardest decision we had to make was whether or not to vaccinate our 14-year-old daughter. Ugh, talk about a stressful situation! On the one hand, we had some doctors telling us to do it. On the other hand, we had some doctors telling us to wait because she’s healthy and can fight if she gets COVID. One of our doctors said that she’s worried about some unknowns with the vaccine for young people in the long run. Let me be clear: I share this here not to scare people away from the vaccine but to be real and recognize that those concerns are out there. We share those concerns, too! At the end of the day, we decided to vaccinate her because it is a layer of protection for her AND if she does get exposed and contracts the virus, it minimizes the possibility of her passing it on to her younger brother. 
  • Masks, masks, and masks. I consider our ‘ohana to be a pretty hard-core mask family. We wore masks to visit my dad even when everyone at his house looked at us like we were crazy. We make our kids wear masks to play sports even if none of the other kids are wearing them. We have conversations with our kids constantly about wearing masks where ever they go. I even made them wear two masks for a little while at the end of this past school year. But I’ll be honest, we got a little tired. The constant stares and the “Stop being so nervous, you can take off your mask with us!” comments wore us down. I stopped wearing a mask at my dad’s house and while I would be nervous when someone got close to me without a mask, I wouldn’t say anything. But with the unprecedented rise in numbers lately, we realized we had to re-focus, not only but especially for our unvaccinated son. So we sat everyone down in our house and we said, “We don’t care who it is. If you are around someone outside of our household, you WILL WEAR A MASK.” That includes when you go see Tutu or Grandpa or any of your uncles or aunties. At the same time, I had to reach out to my mom, my dad, and the few families that we spend time with and tell them, “Please don’t take this personally, but we are going to wear masks every time we see you and we would appreciate it if you do the same. Please know this has nothing to do with us trusting you or you trusting us. We just don’t know if we are carrying any germs and don’t want to make you sick and we still have an unvaccinated child in our house, so we really need to protect him. None of us vaccinated people want to take the risk of getting sick either.” Those initial conversations were a little uncomfortable. But the more consistent we’ve been, the easier it has gotten for everyone involved. And honestly, everyone benefits. 
  • Keeping our distance. Let’s be clear: I’m a hugger. I have a REALLY hard time not hugging someone when I first see them. The other day I saw my uncle – like my best friend’s dad who helped raise me – and I was so excited that I ran up and hugged him. I had my mask on and so did he. But after he left, my husband said, “Hello! You can’t just run up and hug people. You know Uncle has some health conditions. You should have asked if he was okay with a hug first.” And while I hate to admit that my husband is ever right, he totally was. 😭  The distance thing became extra real for us a couple of weeks ago when someone who sat next to my daughter without a mask on for over 15 minutes tested positive a few days later. We are so happy that she had her mask on, but it was a real scare: Rush to get testing. Canceled her small birthday gathering. It was a scary day! That experience reminded us how important distance is, especially if someone isn’t masked. And with this delta variant, we know that it can get through even vaccinated folks. So again, for our family, we are keeping our distance because what if we are too close to someone for too long of a time and we pass the virus on to our son? We donʻt want to take that risk.
  • Conversations. The last thing I’ll say is that conversations matter. That has been a thread through all of this. My husband and I have had to steal moments (all of you with kids know how few moments there are to actually have a convo with your partner) to pause and consider and strategize. We’ve had to have serious and even uncomfortable conversations with my mom and dad: “Please don’t take this personally, but you have to put a mask on when you see your grandchildren.” And we’ve also had to have a lot of conversations with our kids. We’ve even had to practice with them so they know what to do/say when we aren’t there: “Kids, if someone comes up to you without a mask on, what can you do or say?” And even at work I’ve had tons of conversations with my team and even in leadership meetings. I want them to know my realities and I want to hear about theirs. That way we can figure out together the best strategies to keep everyone healthy, especially all our keiki. 

I hope this sharing of stories is helpful for at least one of you. That will make me happy. Finally, again, in no way am I trying to say that my way is the only way. I just think that if perhaps more of us can share stories and strategies, the more we can work together to do what we can to get these numbers down and keep our keiki safe. 

If you aren’t familiar with the word keiki, check it out this week! 

Aloha nui,

punihei 

August 2 – 8
Image of woman meditating

 Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Aloha kākou,

Wow, what a week and weekend! Do any of you feel that way?

There are so many stories I could share but I think they can all be summed up in the idea of self-care. I was reminded this past week that self-care looks different depending on so much including but not limited to the people involved as well as the context and environment. The young people at Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking in their Mental Wellness Reel Camp for Girls last week reminded me that self-care is about standing up for yourself and saying “real friends don’t mistreat and bully people.” They also reminded me that self-care is about dancing when the music moves you, laughing loud and often, and taking breaks when necessary. So true, right?!

I was also reminded in different situations last week that self-care is also about saying “Please put your mask on and give me some space” and in another situation “Don’t erase me.” 

I guess self-care has a lot to do with setting boundaries. But it seems that to set boundaries we need to be in tune with what we need and love ourselves enough to courageously care for ourselves in systems and environments that often don’t support that. And maybe – just maybe – when more of us fearlessly practice and model self-care, we can transform those systems.

Mahalo to all those who practice and teach us self-care in both unique and similar ways.

For our hua‘ōlelo ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i this week check out mālama.

And lastly, please keep your masks on and stay safe!

Aloha nui,

punihei 

July 26 – August  1
Image of birthday cake

Author’s birthday cake earlier this year

Aloha mai kākou,

How was your weekend? Mine was full of some unexpected twists and turns but all things are good now and I know how fortunate I am to say that. 

I am actually writing this message on Sunday, the eve of my daughter’s 14th birthday. A very good friend of mine also gave birth yesterday so I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on my kuleana as a mother and what my child/our children teach us and inspire us to do and be. 

It was actually my daughter’s birth and my experience as a mother of a young child while working at UH Mānoa that inspired me to think deeper and more expansively about what it could really mean and look like to become a Native Hawaiian place of learning. At that time, the strategic plan included the word ‘ohana, among a few other Hawaiian words, and I wondered how we as a campus could truly embody ‘ohana in all that we did. You can imagine how being a new mommy might help hone that focus. 

Just shy of 14 years later, I still see how beneficial it would be for our campus to fully commit and live into the concept of ‘ohana. I cannot begin to comprehensively list the benefits that could be had. While we have not fully arrived, there are many spaces on campus that are leading in this area and I am so grateful to the people who give so much of themselves to shape the culture of their spaces. 

Being a mom has also helped me become hyperaware of the healing that needs to occur not only on our campus so that we can truly become a NH place of learning but also the healing that needs to occur around the world in order for all our children and grandchildren to have any chance at surviving and thriving; the healing within ourselves, with each other, and with our earth. I look at the floods in Zhengzhou and the unprecedented heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest (as just two of too many catastrophes) and my heart races as the urgency for that healing is palpable. Along this journey of motherhood and life, I have come to realize that the knowledge systems, practices, and values of Hawai‘i and of each of the Indigenous communities around the world – like ‘ohana but of course not limited to that – are so important in our path towards healing. The ‘ike is all around us.

Long story longer, I’m so grateful to my daughter (and my son) and all our children for inspiring us, motivating us, and helping us to connect the dots. So, hau‘oli lā hānau to my dear Hā‘ena and cheers to all our keiki for all that they bring into the world. 

Finally, check out the word hānau.

Have a great week and consider saying mahalo to a young person for just being them.❤

Aloha nui,

punihei

July 19 – 25

Photo of sleeping cat by Bradford Zak

 Sleeping Cat (Photo by bradford zak on Unsplash)

Aloha kākou,

I hope you all got some rest this weekend; like for real. I know I say it every week, but I really mean it. I hope this for you because rest contributes to well-being and we need to be consistently taking steps to keep ourselves well so that we have wellness to share and grow in our various spaces and communities. 

Related to rest, I have been in conversation with a friend who is in a month-long writing retreat. Like me, she’s a mom/wife/daughter/aunty/sister and also has lots of kuleana at her university. The thought of spending a month away from all of that to write was both exciting and almost unfathomable to me. I was excited for her because she has such amazing writing projects to work on and she is often so busy giving of herself to others. But gosh, what does it feel like to have all that time to yourself and to write?

I spoke to her after the first week she’d been there. I was giddy thinking about the gift of time. She was excited about the meals brought to her door and the plans she had to get some writing done. I then just spoke to her last Friday after the second week. She said week two was different. She started to miss her family and her body just sort of went into rest mode. She told me she couldnʻt produce very much and that she felt guilty about it. 

As she shared her story with me, I thought about some conversations I’ve had with others about a type of addiction to work that I’ve definitely noticed in myself. I find myself feeling an urge to constantly produce and feelings of guilt when I take time to rest, unwind, and just be. It is definitely shaped by external factors, but I also recognize that I ultimately choose to engage. This leads me to wonder: how do we find the balance of taking time to be present with ourselves, with each other, and with ‘āina while also working hard on the concrete steps necessary to create spaces of truth, healing, and transformation like Native Hawaiian places of learning? Or perhaps building that pilina IS the work? Hmmm

I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I appreciate these moments to wonder, to reflect, and to think about how less really is more. As this arrives in your inboxes, I hope it invites each of you to pause and think about how you take time to rest unapologetically. 

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i word this week, check out ho‘omaha.

Aloha nui,

punihei

 

July 12 – 18

Image of Kaʻaʻawa beach

 Kaʻaʻawa Beach at sunrise this weekend

Aloha kākou, 

Where did the weekend go?! This was one of those weekends where I really wish there was a third day. I donʻt know about all of you, but for me this weekend was jam-packed. And while that’s exhausting, it is also so nice to see sports being played on the fields and small gatherings happening where family and friends can celebrate again. So while I’m a little tired, I have nothing to complain about. 

Every week I share something small in this email that I am reflecting on; something that is present for me. In the busyness of this weekend and even the last couple of weeks, one of the things I’ve been reflecting on and working to be more intentional about is maintaining and even fostering new pilina with folks. Whether it is a cup of coffee to catch up, eating lunch to plan and dream, or sometimes even a quick phone call to check in, I’ve been reminded lately how much those moments matter. Of course, the pandemic made all of this so tricky and maybe that’s why I’m relishing these moments even more now. 

One of my mentors in graduate school once commented on a paper that I wrote, “Punihei, you write as if you are alone. Are you?” He was right! I did write as if I was alone because I sometimes felt that way. But that was the narrative I had created for myself. I was actually never alone. My kūpuna were always with me; both inside of me and all around me in the mountains and the trees, in the winds and the rains, in the sun and the ocean. I also had friends and colleagues that were always there for me. What I have come to realize over time, though, is that if I don’t cultivate my pilina with all those entities, I will feel alone. And this work that we do cannot be done alone. More so, it feels so much better to do it with others!

So on this Monday, I invite you to think about all the entities that show up for you whether you always notice them or not. And perhaps you can think of ways to cultivate the pilina you have with them so that you remember they are there for you and you for them. 

In relation to this talk about relationships and connecting, go check out the word hoa. It is a fun one! 

Aloha nui,

punihei

June 28 – July 4

Image of ducks and ducklings

 Literally in Pilina

Aloha kākou,

I hope you all had a great weekend and took advantage of the beautiful weather! My weekend started off on Friday afternoon with a small gathering of folks celebrating a number of things including a friend/colleague in town, tenure and promotion for some in the circle, and also the completion of the week-long TRHT Institute that I mentioned last week. 

There were a number of different aspects of the Institute, including plenary talks, team time, consultations with mentors from various universities, and workshops. This year I was asked to do a workshop on a pretty interesting and perhaps controversial and sensitive topic: white fragility. I was honored to have one of my colleagues co-lead this workshop and hold the loving and reflective space necessary for this topic (both for the participants and also for ourselves as presenters). 

While I won’t go into the details of our presentation, one of the things that we did was present in conversation. So we literally sat next to each other and turned our chairs towards one another in front of my computer camera so that we could be in conversation while also on zoom. Our goal was to demonstrate that topics such as these are really best addressed in conversation. As Margaret Wheatley says, ” We can change the world if we start listening to one another again.” Part of our reflection about the importance of being in conversation was how we are able to even be in conversation on this topic. How did we build our pilina over time? How do we foster that pilina? How has the nature of our pilina allowed us to dive into this topic with love and respect? The time we shared reflecting on these questions for ourselves and also our audience was so helpful to me, most importantly because it reminded me of how important pilina building really is. 

As we look to the many areas we care about, and maybe the ones that are the most difficult, I wonder how turning to one another in conversation might help and how we build our pilina with those who need to be involved in those conversations. I look forward to continuing and building pilina with each of you!

And for our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i word for the week, check out pilina here and anywhere else you can find it. Hint hint: There’s an awesome dissertation that was recently written on this topic. 🙂 I’m also adding a recording so you can practice saying it.

Finally, I want to make a correction to my post last week: I wrote that the Hawaiian term for summer solstice was “Alo polohiwa a Kāne.” It should have been “Ala polohiwa a Kāne.” 

Aloha nui,
punihei

June 21 – 27 

Image of Sunset over the Koʻolau mountains

 Sun Setting Behind the Koʻolau Mountains

Aloha mai kākou,

Aloha alo polohiwa a Kāne! I’m sitting here in my office taking a deep breath as I think about this important time when folks across Hawai‘i (and the world) are pausing to recognize summer solstice. I have been taught by some of my teachers that this is an important time to slow down and reflect, plan, and set clear intentions for things we’d like to manifest in the world.

On this particular day, I am planning for a week of meetings and engagement with folks from 78 different campuses across Hawai‘i and the US who are committed to doing their part in jettisoning racism. Clearly, this work will not happen overnight. But the intentional steps we take every day are important. During what is known as the TRHT Institute, each campus will work on its plans of action. I am hoping that the last bits of planning I’m doing today (and over the last several weeks) will support the long-term planning of the campuses that I am mentoring and the overall engagement during the institute. 

Some might ask: What are we planning towards? Each campus is asked to envision their communities when racism has been jettisoned. Another way of putting this is: What is the future you want for your children and grandchildren? What does it look, sound, feel, taste, and smell like? I have found these to be very powerful questions that invite us to imagine and then create. 

So in this time of alo polohiwa a Kāne, I invite you to take a moment – perhaps during sunset this evening-  and imagine your family/organization/community when racism (and other forms of oppression) are gone. What do you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell? Picture it, hold on to it, and then find people you trust to share and manifest it with. That is my invitation today. 

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i for the week, go check out the word Kāne and see what you can find!

Aloha nui,
punihei

June 14 – 20

Aloha mai kākou,

Aren’t 3-day weekends the best?! I just feel like it is a more balanced way of life. And having said that, my weekend was packed with both planned and unplanned events that were are filling my heart and head in so many ways. 

My heart: I have a friend who has a newborn. Baby #3. What a blessing. But babies #1 and #2 are still quite small and daddy works a lot away from home. So sheʻs home with a newborn and two other little ones whose schools havenʻt fully opened up yet. She’s also working from home. Whew! I’m tired just writing about it!! As anyone who has had a newborn can recall, she finally hit a wall and was exhausted and decided to call me to ask for help. Because I only live 5 minutes away, it was easy for me to jump in the car. When I got there, I swooped up the newborn (cuddle time!!!) and fed the two older ones. Meanwhile, I told my friend to go take a long hot shower, take a nap, and that I didn’t want to see her again for a couple of hours. The most important thing to me in this mo‘olelo is that she reached out to ask for help. I’m not going to get into the details of why mommies have such a hard time asking for help. But even in our work, I notice that we sometimes have a hard time reaching out. In this instance, my friend needed a baby break and then later on an open ear and heart to listen. Whatever kind of break we need, it is sooooo important for us to recognize that within ourselves and be able to reach out to someone. Of course equally important is being open to receiving that request as we are able to. The work we are engaged in is hard work and then we added a pandemic that hasn’t gone away for over a year now! We deserve a break here and there and my heart is full to see the ways folks have connected to create that loving space. 

My head: Some of you might know that the Polynesian Voyaging Society has launched another voyage called Moananuiākea. Regarding the voyage, PVS states, “Over the next six years, the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) will embark on a circumnavigation of the Pacific to elevate and amplify the voices of the Pacific and to inspire, illuminate, and ignite the next generation of 10 million Navigators and their voyages for a thriving Future Island Earth.” Nainoa and PVS definitely want UH to be involved and my head is full with the ways so many of you might participate! With that said, Hawai‘i Papa o ke Ao  (HPOKA) and the Office for Indigenous Innovation (Kamuela Enos, director) who are working with PVS, are requesting your kōkua to gather information on 2 items:

  • List activities/initiatives that members of your faculty/staff/students, on behalf of your unit, are currently contributing to and/or actively participating in the PVS Moananuiākea Sail.
    • Name & short description of the activity
    • Contact information
  • List activities/initiatives that members of your faculty/staff/students would like to participate/contribute to the PVS Moananuiākea Sail.
    • Name/Contact information
    • Short description of the proposed activity
  • CAVEAT:  We acknowledge that given the press for time — your list may be incomplete. That is okay for now as this is an initial survey of our UHM landscape, which will assist us with next steps.

We are seeking this initial information by Friday, June 18, 2021. If you work at UH Mānoa (other folks are reaching out to other campuses) Please fill out this quick form here and/or feel free to share with others across your UH Mānoa units. If you donʻt work at UH, don’t worry! There are tons of ways to participate so please visit the PVS website to learn more. 

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson for the week, I have attached a recording of pronouncing “Moananuiākea” and I invite you to google the term to learn more about what it means. Hint: It is not in the dictionary. 🙂

Aloha nui,
punihei

June 7 – 15

Image of ʻUlu breadfruit

ʻUlu fruit that will be oh so yummy soon!

Aloha mai kākou,

I hope you all had a good weekend. The weather was beautiful so our ‘ohana managed some beach time, some park time, some pool time, and some cleaning yard time. I didn’t get everything done on my to-do list, but I’m trying to be less rigid with the lists and more flexible with doing what feels good (like jumping in the ocean on a sunny day). 

One of the things I did get done this week was prepping my kitchen for a plant-based meal plan. Ever since my daughter did a project about plant-based meals this past year in which we watched the film “Fork Over Knives” we’ve been trying to track that way. We’ve taken some steps over the last several months to eat healthier like reducing/eliminating added sugars and adding more veggies in general. And then a couple of days ago when I was in a little store on Wai‘alae Avenue, a plant-based cookbook caught my eye. The author is a mom and she just made everything look so yummy and doable! I took my finding of that book as a sign so I bought it, went home, and made a plan. 

I have noticed how food totally shapes my well-being, my productivity, and my moods. That was the original reason I worked hard to cut out sugar: it just makes me too moody! Also, as we engage in the hard work of moving UHM to become a NH place of learning, of speaking truth and making space for others to do so, and of creating places of healing and transformation, it takes a toll on our physical bodies. No doubt. So I’m constantly searching for ways to keep me and those around me as healthy as possible so we can continue to do this work. I have LOTS to learn about health, but what I do know is that it is central to anything we want to do. 

So I’m not selling you plant-based diets or anything else, but I do hope you are taking steps to take care of yourselves within whatever means you have. I also completely recognize that some of these health conversations and practices are spaces of the privileged. I’m humbled to work alongside many of you to change that. 

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson this week, check out the word ola and think about what it can mean in your life and the lives of those you touch. 

Aloha nui,
punihei

May 31 – June 6

Image of a Flower arrangement of plants from Hawaii

Table centerpiece made of plants from Hawai‘i

Aloha kākou,

I apologize that this is coming out on the second day of the workweek instead of the first.

I spent yesterday helping to shoot a commercial about UHM that will air during Merrie Monarch and I just couldnʻt finish this email in the few spare moments I had. But that was also a blessing in disguise because it helped me to clarify what short thought I might be able to share this week.

The picture above is a centerpiece on a table at a small in-person baby shower I helped organize this weekend for a dear friend. I’m the party person who helps to organize logistics, but not the person who makes things beautiful. There were other ladies who led that part and did such an exquisite job. You know, the kind of people who can take an empty yard and turn it into a magical space of celebration. Yeah, that’s not me. But I have SUCH an appreciation for it! And so I was going to write to you all about how impactful and special and memorable spaces and experiences are when we take the time to make them beautiful (and I donʻt mean expensive beautiful, but just intentionally well put together in ways that invite love and happiness).

But after yesterday’s shot spent with wonderful people who love Hawai‘i and reflect Hawai‘i in some unique yet similar ways, I want to take a moment here to celebrate some of the beautiful things about this place that I think have deep roots in long-held values:

  • Never come empty-handed. I gave a colleague a ride and though it was not necessary at all, she packed me a small bag of snacks to say “thank you.”
  • Work hard and help out. We were a small team yesterday with quite a number of moving parts. We all helped out, nobody complained, and we all cheered each other on.
  • Relationships matter. Each of the people who showed up yesterday to be talent in the commercial made time in their busy schedules because we have pilina. I don’t take that lightly. That means a lot to me and I know it is my kuleana to answer their calls as well. Sometimes this type of pilina gets mistaken for a one-to-one exchange or even some type of political investment. But it’s not. Instead, it is what I’ve heard my mom refer to as “hā’awi wale me ke aloha” (to give freely out of aloha), confident that it will come back in reciprocity but also not having to make some sort of contract about it. The pilina is instead what binds us.

These are just some of the things I witnessed over the past couple of days that reminded me of the beauty of this place. Of course, the ‘āina itself is also gorgeous: the Ko‘olau mountains, Kāne‘ohe Bay where I spent some time this weekend, Kānewai Lo‘i that is cared for so well, and even so many spaces throughout our campus that are like no other. I’m grateful that I get to work with all of you to uplift these pieces of Hawai‘i as we seek to find ways to take better care of one another and our island home.

Aloha nui,

punihei

May 24 – May 30

Aloha kākou,

Whew! What a weekend! I think there was a lot of energy in the air for a number of reasons, including graduation and other exciting events. A huge congratulations to all those who graduated and all those who supported folks towards graduation!  

I had a ton of things going on this weekend; some expected and some not expected. One of the many lessons I was reminded of is how important teams are. The following situations helped me remember that: 

  • When things fell apart and the show needed to go on, life was made so much easier having a team to fall back on.
  • When I needed perspective, it was sooo good to have a team to bring diverse hearts and minds.
  • When things got scary for others, I was so happy that I could reach out my hand.
  • When it was time to celebrate, it felt good to do it with others.

These are just a few instances this weekend that reminded me of the power of teams, partners, and friends. In this work we are doing to create a NH place of learning, end racism and other forms of oppression, bring healing and transformation to our spaces, and speak our truths, it is indeed important that we do not do it alone. In fact, it is impossible to do it alone. So today I celebrate the amazing teams out there who work together, support one another and bring honest and loving perspectives to all that they do. Let’s at some point pause this week and say mahalo to those peeps who link arms with us in all the good work we are doing. And of course, mahalo to all the teams that make all the events and opportunities possible this week!

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson, let’s learn the word hui

Aloha nui,

punihei

May 17 – May 23

Image of a balloon rainbow at a graduation celebration

My neighbor’s graduation celebration

Aloha mai kākou,

Happy graduation to all the graduates and all those who supported students on their journey to graduation!

My neighbor is among those who earned BA degrees from UH Mānoa this weekend. She had a drive-by event with aunties and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, friends, and neighbors coming by to celebrate her achievement. She comes from a humble home. Her parents did backflips to send her to both high school and college, always sacrificing so much for her education. They were both beaming with pride this weekend and it was just really beautiful to see.

As I thought about my neighbor and all the other students who graduated, I thought back to my own educational journey and some of my reflections that guide my work today. Several years ago I was invited to give a talk about “student success.” As I reflected, on the one hand, I was a very “successful” student. I earned nearly straight As from BA through Ph.D. I was also a Native Hawaiian female with a Ph.D. All good and impressive things. While I am proud of my accomplishments, I started to reflect on what those degrees meant in different situations. For example, could I feed my children from the earth rather than from the grocery store? Did I know how to do my part in slowing down carbon dioxide emissions? Do I know how to support love and kindness in communities? Do I have the skills to utilize ‘ike Hawai‘i to guide my kuleana? As I thought about the ideal future I want to help create for my children and grandchildren, I realized the ways my formal educational experiences have prepared me and not prepared me in different areas.

While these reflections help me recognize some of the gaps in formal education, they also allow me to see bright spots in what currently exists and help me to imagine what could exist in the future. This is why I care so deeply about how UH Mānoa can embrace, re-ground, and head towards truth, racial healing, and transformation as well as mālama and aloha ‘āina: because I have hope that one day (sooner than later) those values and principles can shape each of our students so that they graduate knowing how to feed and take care of one another and the earth in much more sustainable, abundant, caring, and just ways rooted in ‘ike kūpuna. I know we have tons of work to get there and that’s why my commitment is unwavering. My mahalo to each of you who do this work every day and are leading lights for all of us!

In thinking about the future and those who will be graduating before we know it, for our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson: ‘O _______ ka‘u kaikamahine (_______ is my daughter).

Aloha nui,

punihei

May 10 – May 16

image of a white Pua aloalo

A white Pua aloalo in the St. John Botany Garden

Aloha kākou,

I hope you all had some time to celebrate the mothers and mother figures in your lives this weekend. Every time I pause to reflect on my mom and grandma and other influential women in my life, I’m always amazed by something new I discover about their strength, love, and resilience. Indeed, that reflection is so necessary as I strive to embody those qualities for my own children and communities.

I had another gift of focused reflection time last week in our Aloha ‘Āina Fridays programming with Nōweo Kai. She took us to a small garden in St John’s Building in the ‘ili of Kauwala‘a. There Nōweo invited us to pick a plant and spend some kilo time with that plant. She asked us to consider: What does it feel like? Smell like? Sound like in the wind? Why might it look the way it looks? As we reflected on these and other questions and even sketch the plant from our chosen perspective, I had the time to reflect on the practice of kilo itself. I was reminded how we need to slow down and pay attention in order to kilo. I realized that as I sat with my plant, I had the ability to notice finer (and important) details that I would have missed had I just been passing by. I notice now that I remember more about the plant because I took just a little extra time to get to know her. I think these are such gifts.

As we finish up the semester and transition to summer – whatever that might mean for each of us – I hope we take some time to slow down and kilo. Whether we take the time to pay attention to ourselves and our bodies, to each other, and/or to ‘āina, I think there are many gifts to be found in those times of paying attention and reflecting on what we discover. Importantly, I think that this time to slow down will help us be even stronger agents of strength, love, and resilience; those qualities taught to us by our mothers and mother figures in our lives.

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson for the week, I share: ‘O ________ ko‘u kupunawahine (_____________ is my grandmother).

Aloha,

Punihei

May 3 – May 9

Image of Ducks crossing the street

Ducks crossing the street

Aloha mai kākou,

I don’t know about all of you but I just needed some extra rest this weekend. I was crawling to Friday afternoon and worried that I wouldn’t make it to the finish line.

As I start this week, I could frame it in a couple of different ways. On the one hand, I could say that it is off to a rough start with multiple challenges in various spheres of my life. On the other hand, I could say that my week is starting with multiple opportunities for reflection, slowing down, prioritizing, and deep breathing. The ducks in the photo above are a great example of this duality. The photo was taken last week as I picked my children up from school. We were rushing off to get my son to baseball practice on time and lo and behold a team of ducks walked out in front of our car and ever so slowly waddled across the street. Woosaa!

Of course, my children thought it was hilarious. I could have looked at the situation with irritation (which I sometimes do), but instead, I just laughed, put the car in park, and got out to take a photo. I often refer to these entities as ‘angels of patience: ducks or people or whatever else that provide me the opportunity to slow down and take a breath. These angels are actually everywhere.

In the work of healing from racism and other forms of oppression, helping UHM to become a NH place of learning, and working hard on a ton of other things each day, there are so many opportunities to become overwhelmed. I’ve been working hard, though, on looking for the invitation and opportunity to see those difficult moments as gifts; as moments to glean beautiful lessons about life. I’m not perfect at it by any means. But if this strategy sounds helpful to you, join me! I can always use the company. (:

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson this week, I share: “‘O ______ ke kai” (_______ is the sea).

Mahalo for all the wonderful people who make the events and opportunities listed here come to fruition.

Aloha nui,
punihei

 

April 26 – May 2

 
Image of Pua kenikeni buds

Pua Kenikeni tree about to bloom

 

Aloha mai kākou,

I hope all of you got outside during yesterday’s beautiful weather. As soon as I woke up in the morning I looked at my husband and said, “Let’s go to the beach!” We only really go to one beach, which is Ka‘a‘awa Beach where I grew up. When I was a girl, the beach was lined with coconut trees and kamani trees. Kamani were my favorite to climb and take naps under. Most of those trees are dead now, as the one in the picture above. Much of the road is also collapsing as higher and higher tides come in with more regularity.

As I was sitting on the beach next to that coconut tree watching my children swim and enjoy their childhood, I was reminded of the work of Dr. Chip Fletcher (and many others) warning us of how much we need to do very quickly in order that the next generation will have any beach left. 

While I was thinking of Chip, I was also thinking of all the people who once lived in Ka‘a‘awa four, five, six, and more generations ago and I was trying to imagine all their intelligence in the ways they took care of each other and that ‘āina. I was wondering what we can learn from them even though they are no longer with us to guide us to take better care of our island home. At the heart of that care is definitely mālama ‘āina and aloha ‘āina, philosophies and practices that are so hard to translate into English. Ultimately, though, they are intimate relationships of love and reciprocity and commitment between kanaka and ‘āina and they are ways of living that I yearn to return to for the health and well-being of our human and non-human relatives. I am convinced that mālama ‘āina and aloha ‘āina are the most important things that we can focus on as individuals and collectives and I mahalo all of you who help me to learn more about how to do this well every day.

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson this week I share: ‘O ______ ka moku (_________ is the moku). Moku refers to the larger land divisions that ahupua‘a sit in. Visit this siteto learn more about what moku you live or work in. Knowing our ahupua‘a and moku is a first step to building a relationship with that ‘āina. I invite you to do so. 

Aloha nui,

punihei

Here’s an audio sample of this week’s ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi lesson, “ ʻO Kona ka moku”

April 19 – April 25

Coconut tree at Kaʻaʻawa beach park

Niu tree at Kaʻaʻawa Beach

Aloha mai kākou,

I hope all of you got outside during yesterday’s beautiful weather. As soon as I woke up in the morning I looked at my husband and said, “Let’s go to the beach!” We only really go to one beach, which is Ka‘a‘awa Beach where I grew up. When I was a girl, the beach was lined with coconut trees and kamani trees. Kamani were my favorite to climb and take naps under. Most of those trees are dead now, as the one in the picture above. Much of the road is also collapsing as higher and higher tides come in with more regularity.

As I was sitting on the beach next to that coconut tree watching my children swim and enjoy their childhood, I was reminded of the work of Dr. Chip Fletcher (and many others) warning us of how much we need to do very quickly in order that the next generation will have any beach left. 

While I was thinking of Chip, I was also thinking of all the people who once lived in Ka‘a‘awa four, five, six, and more generations ago and I was trying to imagine all their intelligence in the ways they took care of each other and that ‘āina. I was wondering what we can learn from them even though they are no longer with us to guide us to take better care of our island home. At the heart of that care is definitely mālama ‘āina and aloha ‘āina, philosophies and practices that are so hard to translate into English. Ultimately, though, they are intimate relationships of love and reciprocity and commitment between kanaka and ‘āina and they are ways of living that I yearn to return to for the health and well-being of our human and non-human relatives. I am convinced that mālama ‘āina and aloha ‘āina are the most important things that we can focus on as individuals and collectives and I mahalo all of you who help me to learn more about how to do this well every day.

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson this week I share: ‘O ______ ka moku (_________ is the moku). Moku refers to the larger land divisions that ahupua‘a sit in. Visit this siteto learn more about what moku you live or work in. Knowing our ahupua‘a and moku is a first step to building a relationship with that ‘āina. I invite you to do so. 

Aloha nui,

punihei

Here’s an audio sample of this week’s ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi lesson, “ʻO Kona ka moku”.

 

April 12 – April 18

Image of Kaneohe Bay in the afternoon

Overview of Kaneohe Bay in the afternoon

Aloha mai kākou,

So, going from 3-day weekends back to a 2-day weekend was a little rough for me. How about you???

I did get a lovely surprise yesterday in that one of my friends announced that he is walking 40 miles with his wahine to celebrate his 40th birthday. So when they got close to my house, I walked the last 2 miles until they reached the house they would be sleeping in before starting again this morning. While I walk a lot near where I live, I don’t walk in the direction they were headed so it was lovely to get to know that ‘āina on foot. We chatted and caught up and took photos along the way. Taking time to be on this little stretch along Kamehameha Highway was such a nice way to slow down (albeit a little scary with the narrow pathway) and appreciate things that I usually quickly drive by. One of those things was this gorgeous view of Kāne‘ohe Bay and Mōkapu in the distance during the time called ahiahi.

All of this also made me think about the interest in land acknowledgments and introducing ourselves to ‘āina while also taking the time to let ‘āina introduce herself to us. I have TONS more to learn about He‘eia, the ‘āina where I live, and yesterdayʻs walk reminded me that that means taking the intentional time to get to know her (because when I usually walk I’m walking for speed/exercise rather than to build a relationship…eek!).

While I’m not suggesting anyone do a 4-day 40-mile walk, let’s continue to support one another in the ways we connect with ‘āina both in our personal lives and also in our professional work. And mahalo piha for all the opportunities and events listed this week that help us do that!

Finally, for our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson this week: ‘O ______ ke ahupua‘a (______ is the ahupua‘a). This is a way to introduce the ahupua‘a being recognized. Have fun and donʻt forget to practice 100 times! (:

aloha nui,

punihei

Here’s an audio sample of this week’s ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi lesson, ” ʻO Waikīkī ke ahupuaʻa”.

 

April 5 – April 11

Image of a Caterpillar on a crown flower leaf

Caterpillar on a crown flower leaf

Aloha kākou,

Oh three day weekends, please don’t end! Every morning this weekend was cold and rainy and total stay-in-bed weather. It was also great cleaning house weather. My children were less appreciative of that one, though. (: In any case, I hope you all got some well-deserved rest.

Last week for our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson I shared “Pehea ‘oe?” which gets translated as “How are you?” and this week I promised to share how to answer it. Simply, the answer is “Maika‘i au” (I am good). The underlined part can be replaced with any adjective you find appropriate. Two great online resources include: 

Wehewehe

Wehewehe Wikiwiki

While on the one hand, this is such a simple question, it’s so much more, isn’t it? I don’t know about all of you, but I find it easy enough to say “Maika‘i au” or “I’m good” without really checking in with my heart or body. In the work we do, whether it is moving UHM towards becoming a NH place of learning, striving to aloha ‘āina amidst systems that make it difficult to do so, healing folks from oppression, finishing a term paper, or anything else in between that often requires resilience and love and strength, the honest truth of how we are doing is almost always much more than just “fine.” This makes me think about the time and space we might want to create when we ask “Pehea ‘oe?” so that the respondent might be able to give an honest answer. In all this hard work we do, the time we take to take care of one another by asking intentionally, responding honestly, and listening deeply might be part of the solution we are working so hard for. 

Mahalo for all that goes into the events & opportunities listed for this week and in the upcoming weeks! Oh, and yes, we purposefully added an image up top. We’ve been yearning for something visual that connects us to ‘āina, to Mānoa, and to each other. Hope you like it.

Aloha nui,

punihei

Here’s an audio sample of this week’s ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi lesson, “Maikaʻi au”.

March 29 – April 4

Aloha kākou,

Raise your hand if you agree that three-day weekends are the best. It just feels more balanced, right?! I DO hope that you snuck in a little something extra like extra naps or walks or snuggles with your loved ones.

I did a bunch of snuggling with my daughter as she rides the teenage rollercoaster. As I was laying with her one night I was reminding her that some of how we feel is highly dependent on how we take care of our bodies: what we eat, how much sleep we get, and how much we exercise. I reminded her that if we do all those things, we are better prepared to face the external challenges that come our way. As I said these words out loud, it was also a good reminder for me. You see, starting in January our family cut out all refined sugar and gluten. I also work hard to get in some yoga, a short workout, and a walk every day. But between spring break and two birthdays in one week in our house, we fell off track a little bit. And boy did I feel it! I was more tired, more easily agitated, and just felt more junk in general. And as I described to my dad, “I felt junk about feeling junk.” My daughter agreed that feeling junk is so junk!

All of us are carrying a lot and meeting tons of challenges every day. Whether we are working to make UHM a NH place of learning, healing from racism and other isms, supporting folks through COVID, or even just trying to make it through the semester, how we meet those challenges has so much to do with how we are taking care of our bodies. So this is just a little encouragement to take the time to do what you need to do to take care of yourself so you can continue to do your amazing work. And of course, a special shout out to all the awesome opportunities and events below that help us to take care of ourselves, each other, and ‘āina. 

Two last notes:

We created a calendar on our officeʻs website where you can connect events listed in this email to your calendar. Check out the calendar here (you need to scroll down just a bit).

For our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson for the week, I introduce the question: Pehea ‘oe? (How are you?) Next week Iʻll show you how to answer. This week, just practice asking the question 100 times. 🙂

Aloha,

punihei

March 22 – March 28 

Aloha Alo-Piko-o-Wākea iā kākou,

I hope you all got some form of rest last week. I snuck one nap in on Sunday but I think my body is needing more!

As we were wrapping up our spring break on Saturday, my mom popped her head into our living room and excitedly said “Aloha Alo-Piko-o-Wākea!” to mark the beginning of spring equinox. For our family, we embrace this moment because it marks the birth of our son; one of his names honors his entrance into the world during this special time. But in addition to this being my son’s birthday, my mom reminded us that this is a time to be intentional, to focus our thoughts on our goals, and to plan how we are going to get there.

Throughout spring break one of the things I had the privilege of doing is co-teaching and facilitating in a Racial Justice Film Camp with Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking. In relation to this idea of setting our intentions, one of the exercises we did with the participants was to ask them to close their eyes and imagine their world without racism. Some of them ended up making 60 second short films about their visions. Needless to say, their films were AMAZING! So I thought I’d share that exercise with all of you during this time of goal setting and intentionality:

I invite you to take a few moments, perhaps close your eyes, and imagine your community when all the forms of oppression are gone. Another way to think about this, as Dr. Gail Christopher reminds us, is to imagine the future you want for your children and grandchildren. It might be helpful to envision your family or the grocery store or your school or going out to a restaurant or maybe even a walk through your neighborhood. What does it look, sound, feel, and maybe even taste and smell like? After you’ve envisioned it for a few moments, I invite you to jot some notes down or maybe even draw what you saw (or make a film if you are so bold!). Be specific if you can. And then share your vision and find others who feel connected to it. And then work towards it every day. That work is the gift of this time.

Of course, so much of what is listed below can also help us have bold visions and give us tools to make those visions a reality. Mahalo for all these gifts!

Finally, for our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i lesson of the week, we learn to ask: “‘O wai kou makuakāne?” (Who is your father?).

Aloha nui,
punihei

March 15 – March 21

Aloha mai kākou,

I know for many of you it is spring break and so I hope you are getting some time to rest, exercise, and take care of yourselves. And even for those of us who are working through spring break, let’s make sure we are mindful about our health as well.

Part of my spring break work includes doing some guest teaching/facilitating in a Racial Justice film camp with Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking. It was such a gift for me to be with intelligent, articulate, compassionate, and honest young people. On the one hand, being with them reminded me of why I do what I do – in partnership with so many of you – at UH Mānoa: to shape a campus that will embrace, celebrate, and foster the brilliance of these young people. I’m going to be honest, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the obstacles that stand in our way to get to that ideal, loving, Hawaiian-grounded campus of truth, healing, and transformation. Sometimes the institutional racism, sexism, and ageism (among other forms of oppression) in certain spaces just feels like too much. For example, this weekend I had to explain why mansplaining is a thing and why it is inappropriate.

Woosah…deep breaths.

On the other hand, being with these young people today reminded me of some advice a mentor of mine shared about fostering someone’s brilliance. He said, “The best thing we can do is get out of their way and let them do their thing.” The young people also inspired me to think about how we can get out of their way and let them do THEIR thing. In reflection, we need to do both. We need to create nourishing environments so that they can do their brilliant things with support and encouragement. As you can tell, they were the boost of energy I needed! And of course, mahalo for all that you do for young people and mahalo to all who make the events below a reality!

And finally, for our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i moment for the week, to introduce your father: ‘O _______ ko‘u makuakāne (My father is ________). The attached recording says “‘O James Anthony ko‘u makuakāne” (My father is James Anthony). Don’t forget to practice 100 times!

Aloha nui,
Punihei

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