Entries Tagged as 'Education'

Bringing Hawai’i History Back to Life!

‘Ike K???ko?a
Liberating Knowledge, The Newspaper Type Scripting Project

Awaiaulu, Perpetuating Past to Present, or binding that part to the present securely, is hard at work at a project to restore 60,000 pages of long-forgotten newspapers.  I had no concept of just how much Hawaiian text there is out there!  You have GOT to watch this video!  There are pages and pages of Hawaiian newspapers to be put into searchable form! This is so exciting!

Typing Hawaiian newspapers and turning them into searchable text.

I am so very proud of the volunteers who have stepped up to devote some of their time to this project!  Will they eventually translate it all into English?  I don’t know, but we can hope.  Yes, I know, we should all learn to speak and understand the native tongue of our home but, I have to admit, it’s hard to teach old people like me a new language.  In time, maybe?  The main thing is it will assist in the recovery of lost history!

Pssst… if you’ve been caught throwing things out your car window, if you need to put in some time doing community service, this counts against your required community service hours!  I’m just saying.

Suddenly I feel the need to say, God bless ‘Aha P?nana Leo for what they have become and what they have accomplished over the years in keeping the language alive for all!  Those who are the products of the Hawaiian immersion schools will be able to read, and maybe even translate the recovery of this history.

If you can, please get involved!

The Birthing of Hawaiian Royalty

I have wanted to get to this place for the longest time!  I rarely get out to Wahiawa or beyond so, after I got my safety-check sticker, I made sure to take full advantage of this rare and infrequent opportunity!

Over time, the writing of this blog has created a much greater sense of aloha for Hawaiian culture and it has ignited a thirst for knowledge about that culture’s history.  Up until now, Kukaniloko was known to me only as “the birthing stones.”   When I found my way there, I was lucky enough to find a rather interesting group of people.

Students from a University of Hawaii, Manoa Geology class

This was a class of Geology students from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  Apparently, Kukaniloko “is the geographic center of O’ahu…” thus making it geologically important.  They were actually there with their geology professor!  Talk about a stroke of luck!

I tried to get closer so that I could eaves drop on part of what the professor was saying to the class.  I have to admit that I was a little taken aback listening to Dr. Scott Rowland as he told his students how an alii was birthed.  “They did what???” I was thinking to myself, relatively horrified.

I’m not going to get into it but, let’s put it this way, the State of Hawai’i’s flyer about Kukaniloko says, “The birth of a child at Kukaniloko was witnessed by 36 chiefs.”  This stunned me a bit because that is not the kind of birth-giving experience that I would care to deal with while bloody, sweating, and in pain.

Of course there are women today that have an audience during the birthing process.  The whole visual of the process being described by Dr. Rowland just caught me off guard, I think.  Of course, if you’re in that much physical distress, perhaps your only focus is on getting past that pain!  Mothers can weigh in on this.  Seriously, please do!

Dr. Rowland did remind everyone that, back then, this area did not look like it does now.  It used to be a forested area and hence much more secluded and private.  “Good point!”  That made it a little better.   Today, as you can see by the photos, it is wide open to the world!

The group of stones at Kukaniloko

I was quite impressed by how well-maintained this site has been kept after all these years!  Before the class departed for its next stop, Dr. Rowland was kind enough to share a copy of his handouts.  Part of the handout that had been put together for the class stated that Kukaniloko,

“is one of only two locations in Hawai’i where children of chiefs were born (the other was on Kaua’i).  Kukaniloko may have been established as a royal birthing place as long ago as the 12th century.  Fortunately, W.W. Goodale of the Waialua Sugar Plantation as well as the Daughters of Hawai’i made sure that this place was protected and not plowed over for agriculture.”

Thank goodness!  That would have been an archeological and culturally-historical disaster!

Well-kept grounds at Kukaniloko

As I surveyed the area I became curious about the slightly-elevated area pictured above.  Was it ever used for rituals or halau performances or something?  It sort of looked like a hula mound.  Anybody in the know can share your knowledge on this too!

Any woman living in those times would have appreciated the honor it was to actually be giving birth to a chief!  Hawaiians had a great deal of respect for the alii, as they do to this day.  The birth of a new ruler was certainly an event to be celebrated!

Heiau at Kukaniloko

It was really comforting to see how the grounds are so well kept.  I was very pleased but I wanted to know more about this heiau.  Again, anybody in the know on this is welcome to comment!

Close-up shot of the birthing stones

Dr. Rowland indicated that one of these stones was the main stone but I wasn’t close enough to the group to hear which one it was.  The one in the center of the picture above may have been the one but I’m honestly not sure.  I knelt down and touched the surface of the stones — they were unusually smooth and even soothing to the touch.

Kukaniloko sign

This sign posted by the DLNR shows that the land here is protected, as it should be.  The sign has taken a beating over time but the simple message it carries is essential — “Please respect this sacred area.”

I came away moved by the beauty and serenity of this simple site that is listed on both the National and State of Hawai’i Registers of Historic Places.  While feeling a little more educated about this little tidbit of our historic culture, I still remain overwhelmed by the very complex history of our State.  There is still so much to uncover and talk about.  And you thought you were going to get off easy!

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month!

I’m all for supporting a Motorcycle Awareness Month! I saw this announcement in an article about riding on the mainland so I had to find out, “Hey, what about us?”  This doesn’t mean that our local news channels haven’t said anything; it just means that I haven’t heard it.  Apparently, it is also bike (bicycle) month.  The news has spoken about that and a school’s poster contest called, “Make it Safe for Me.”  I like that!

If I wasn’t such a coward I would ride a motorcycle.  But, I also suffer from road rage and a need for anger management so it would be a very bad idea!  We had thirty (30) motorcycle fatalities last year and there were 5,290 fatalities Nationwide in 2008!

Toys 4 Tots motorcycle gathering

In 2007 and 2008 the numbers were horrid, probably because so many people have turned to this more gas-efficient mode of transportation.  More people riding motorcycles means that more motorcycle accidents are likely to happen.

Regular readers know how I whine about biker safety, all of the time.  We had another fatality earlier this week.  I don’t know what the accident total is so far this year but as this is being written, I kid you not; the morning traffic report is talking about a bike down on the windward side of O’ahu.  “Hello?!?  You’ve got to be kidding me!” It says they are clearing it up so I’m going to guess that it was not a fatality.  Thank goodness!

Share the Road!

It’s important to make all two-wheelers safe — be they bicycles, mopeds, or motorcycles.  I’ve actually found myself positioning my car behind bikers on the freeway to protect them from oblivious drivers.  Obviously I’m not the only one.

I Brake for Bikers!

That way they will have the distance they need, and a protective driver will be able to hit the brakes if the need should arise — a buffer of sorts.  “Rear end my car, not a biker.”  I may end up with a nice rear-end smash, but a biker would end up dead.  Simple.  “Look twice, save a life!”  Love those bumper stickers.  Click on the photos and check out these sites.  Pick up a couple for your car to remind your fellow drivers.  It’s Motorcycle Awareness Month!

A Reprieve for the Dogs with the Bad Press

The bull dogs have been one of the most maligned and media-abused breeds on the planet.  The fear mongering that has gone one is just horrendous!  I’ve seen other breeds go through this kind of thing and my internal attitude problem says, “Oh yeah?  That bad?  Show me!”  The UHIB ABKC Club (Ultimate Hawaiian Island Bullys American Bully Kennel Club) did just that.

There’s a full copy of the event flyer here.  This site with the flyer has a great video.  Follow that link — I was fascinated watching the video.  I couldn’t help but think about how people would react to the dog pull.  “They’re going to say it’s cruel, I just know it.”  So, I made an extra effort to watch the animals in the video.  Um, they were enjoying it.  It’s a Bully Pulley!  Yeah, okay, only a woman would call it that!

Bully Banner

My favorite part of the “rules” for this event said something about there being no aggression — dogs or people.  They were more worried about the people.  No surprise there!

Aloha Zone

What got me to this event initially was a Facebook message from Henry Agbayani, owner of the Purebreed Clothing Co.  I always try to figure out a way to go to events where Purebreed will be hanging its banner.  I usually fail miserably, but not this time!

Agbayani family and Purebreed Clothing Co.

This is Henry and Christine Agbayani.  They were under the larger tent so it was kind of dark.  A click on the photo will take you to their website where you can see the fun t-shirts!  I scooped one up at this event!

The other thing that drew me to the Stadium on a hot Sunday afternoon was the concern about protecting a breed of dog that is so dearly loved by so many.  There is so much negative publicity surrounding the pit bull.  What they don’t say is that the information is based on a few unfortunate incidents that happened with dogs belonging to stupid owners.

If you’re one of those abusive dog owners, then you know who you are.  If you feel insulted, tough.  Bite me!  Any dog will bite if you teach it to.  Think about it, didn’t the Dobermans and the Rottweilers have to go through this too?  Why are we so anxious to ban animals, especially by breed, for the mistakes made by a few thoughtless, or ruthless, humans?

Much like messages gotten from vendors like the Purebreed Clothing Co., I have to say, “Don’t blame the breed!”

This Bully Show just gave me another chance to prove a point.  Follow this pictorial story and see if you don’t agree that these bullies are, in reality, a very docile, and adorable, breed of dog.

K9 Kokua

Good animals come from being raised by good people.  The above organization is a case in point.  K9 Kokua is all about health, safety, and the protection of the animals.  They even have an adoption thing going for dogs currently in foster care because, sadly, they’ve ended up being homeless with their owners.  I kept finding my way back to this booth (three or four times at least) for a variety of reasons.  A click on the photo will take you to visit their site.  Maybe you can rescue a dog from being homeless!

Activity at the 2nd Annual Bully Show

A lot of dog owners were in attendance at this event and there was a lot going on.  There were even some cars on display.  But, the focus was on the dogs! Mine certainly was.

I was surprised at the number of vendors and “bully” people that were there.  It was news to me, good news, that the Bully Fancy, if you can call it that, is this well-represented.  In fact, there are probably more people who didn’t even make it to the event.  This was a heartening experience for me — to see this much care and concern for such a media-battered breed was amazing!

Silva Bullet Kennels

How is this for dedication?  They have their own t-shirts even!  Nice looking design too!

Bullies, Inc.

Love the pink shirt!

Dawg Life Bullies

You’ve got to love some of the names of these kennels!

High Roller kennel

As stupid as this was on my part, I had to ask, “um, you guys didn’t, um, you didn’t come here all the way from Vegas did you?!?”  They laughed and said no and that they have a sister organization in Las Vegas.   I had to ask.

Lightenings Edge kennel

Lightenings Edge is a cool name!

King Kong Kennels

This was pretty good too!  Check out the King Kong silhouette in the background of the banner!

Kia’i Moku Kennels

Kia’i moku would be to guard over something. Kia’i Moku Kennels are the Guardians of the Islands.  I like that.  I’m not sure if you can make out the Hawaiian helmet in the silhouette of the banner but it works nicely.  If you had to find a good thing about people’s fear of these dogs, it would have to be that it makes these cuties more effective guard dogs!  It DOES NOT make them killers!

Bulls and babies make up this family

Just to help make my point, in the above picture you will find a dad, a mom, the kids, and the family dog.  Please take note of the dog and the baby stroller.  Gasp!  Pffff!  Repeat after me, “family dog!”  Please also take note of the spray bottle in the little girl’s hand.  It was very warm — uncomfortably so.

Dogs and spray bottles say it all about the heat

Those bottles were a very welcome sight.  The owners were very attentive and kept their animals well watered and joyfully spritzed!  At some point I was envious and wished I had a bottle too!

This guy has the cooling position down!

This little stubby character had cooling down to a doggy science — sprawling out on cool cement is a great way to cool any chubby belly!

Cool guy and his cool little master

He wasn’t moving for his little friend either.  The little girl was more afraid of my camera than the dog was!

Flirtacious bully

I didn’t know dogs could flirt!  If that look doesn’t melt your heart, you need to keep going.

Puppy with really big feet

This puppy had to be the cutest thing!  Of course I had to catch the moment when this adorable guy piddled in his cage and was quickly whisked away for clean-up.  The picture doesn’t do him justice.  Look at those big feet.  This is probably the only time anyone would think of big feet as being something cute.  Huge feet and short legs make for a very cute dog!

Bully with the traditional studded collar

I must confess. I just know that I insulted the owner of the dog pictured in the photo above.  I didn’t mean to!  I couldn’t help it.  The dog’s name is Nightmare.  I just wanted to squeeze his big, chubby face and hearing his name just made me laugh.  I’m sorry!  I couldn’t help it!

Front view of Nightmare

Since I insulted him, let’s talk about him.  Look at the chest on this guy!  He was the picture of health, calmly behaved, and being very obedient and cooperative with his owner.  I just wanted to hug him because he looked so huggable.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t.  Out of respect for the owners, I make it a practice not to touch animals at shows.  I don’t want to risk the transfer of illness from one animal to another.  But, trust me, my hands were itching to reach down and touch or stroke some of the beautiful, shining coats that walked by!

Relaxing bull kicks back amid all the hustle and bustle of people

There was so much going on all over the place but this little lady was just kicking back and people-watching, like I was dog-watching.  She could have taken out several ankles if she wanted to — mine included.  It wasn’t going to happen.  She was just chillin’ with no presence of malice in her pretty little canine brain!


Judging went on here as well.  This was a chance to see different sizes of the breed.  Shorty bulls, or pocket bulls, were fun to watch!

There was also a guest speaker there from Colorado who spoke of legislative changes that freaked me out, as any pet owner would have been!  Some of the horrible legislation that is currently being approved on the mainland is enough to rattle all of our cages!  You can see an example of some of it here.

I missed the gentleman’s name and his full story but they have promised that it will be shown in its entirety on the OC16 channel, but I don’t know exactly when.  I will keep an eye out for it and post the information as soon as I see it!  I’ll try to include a more detailed synopsis of it as well.  It is worth watching.

Part of the reason I made the extra effort to attend was to sign a petition to protect the dogs from being outlawed, banned, or whatever it was that they were trying to do to them.  As it turned out, the materials I had been reading must have been dated.  That piece of legislation was squashed before it made it to committee because of the public outcry.   Even the Hawaiian Humane Society took a stand against it!

I learned these things from Rose Woods whom I contacted after the show to see if I could get things straight.  Rose has apparently been quite a spokeswoman for the bull dogs!  She continues to be an advocate for the bullies while striving to “create education and awareness in the community.”

Rose had quite a bit of knowledge to share and I was impressed with her passion for this cause.  I like the way she spoke and I want to share some of her words of wisdom.  She said, “The issue is not the dogs, it’s the owners.”  Then she went on to talk about the legislature and how the “policy makers have to create policies that address the issues, not that fit the budget.”  Well said!

Rose also shared a desire to reach out to the bad owners and bring them into the fold of proper animal management and community awareness.  No matter what kind of pet you have, you have a right to protect them.  Along with that right, however, is the obligation to do so responsibly!

Bringing pieces of it home!

A couple of brochures from K9 Kokua and my Atomic Dogg bracelet came home with me.  I taped the “bracelet” into my notebook.

My newest Purebreed t-shirt!

Of course I couldn’t leave without a Purebreed shirt!  Relax; the shirts are decorated with fun, tongue-in-cheek expressions. The back of this “deadly force” shirt says “protecting the aina.”  Must be those toxic trash bags after being filled with the trash we find on the side of the street!  I must admit that does tick me off!  But that’s a topic for another post.

Henry and Christine Agbayani at Purebreed Clothing Company

Again, a big mahalo to Purebreed for taking me to places that always seem to get me on a soap box, but always for a good reason!

Preserving Hawaiian Language and Culture

Standing alongside a group of people supporting the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language and protecting the native culture of my home feels like such an honor to me.  It is so important and such a necessary part of our cultural preservation.  Hawai’i’s is a culture that could have very easily been lost.  We have to prevent that from ever happening!  The culture is alive and we have to keep it that way!

The best part is that we’re not alone in this and we’re not just grasping at straws.  The University of Hawaii has taken a position and sees it the same way!  I almost fell over when I saw this and, while bringing me close to tears, it reinforced my resolve to support this endeavor.  Besides, I want to learn the language too!  🙂

What follows is an excerpt from UH News that was actually published back in March.  I had not seen it until now but I was stunned as I read it — pleasantly stunned.  Check this out and be sure to focus on those bullet points:

A new paragraph, 4-1c(3), also was added to BOR [Board of Regents] policy. It states:

“The University of Hawai‘i is committed to diversity within and among all racial and ethnic groups served by public higher education in Hawai‘i. The President, working with the Chancellors, ensures the unique commitment to Native Hawaiians is fulfilled by:

  • providing positive system-wide executive support in the development, implementation, and improvement of programs and services for Native Hawaiians;
  • encouraging increased representation of Native Hawaiians at the University of Hawai‘i;
  • supporting full participation of Native Hawaiians in all initiatives and programs of the University;
  • actively soliciting consultation from the Native Hawaiian community and specifically P?ko‘a, the system-wide council of Native Hawaiian faculty, staff and students that serves as advisory to the President;
  • providing for and promoting the use of the Hawaiian language within the University of Hawai‘i system
  • providing a level of support for the study of Hawaiian language, culture and history within the University of Hawai‘i system that honors, perpetuates, and strengthens those disciplines into the future;
  • encouraging Native Hawaiians to practice their language, culture and other aspects of their traditional customary rights throughout all University of Hawai‘i campuses and providing Hawaiian environments and facilities for such activities; and
  • addressing the education needs of Native Hawaiians, the State of Hawai‘i, and the world at large, in the areas of Hawaiian language, culture and history through outreach.”

Linda Johnsrud, UH vice president for academic planning and policy said, “By clearly articulating UH’s commitment to Native Hawaiians in the mission statement, the BOR sends a message that we take our obligation seriously, and that we recognize the critical role of higher education to the quality of life of current and future generations of Hawaiians.”

OMG!  Sending a huge “Mahalo!” to the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii for stepping up to the plate on this.  We couldn’t have asked for any better support for the continuance of such a significant undertaking.  This is such a crucial step for the restorative nature of this project.

Damn I’m proud to be a University of Hawaii alumnae!

H2'? - Hawai'i Bilingual o HonoluluNow we just need to work on the State of Hawaii officials to get them to recognize the need to carry this through on their end as well.

So, to do just that, the next ILINA WAI prayer service (“a Spiritual and Artistic Vigil to End the Hawaiian Cultural Genocide”) will be at Mauna ‘Ala on Friday the 29th at 6:30 a.m.   This activity continues that same evening.

Ilina Wai logoDate: Friday, May 29, 2009
Time: 6:30am – 7:30am
Location: Mauna ‘Ala – Royal Mausoleum
2261 Nu’uanu Ave
Honolulu, Hawai’i

Here is a full description and more information:

What: ILINA WAI, an H2‘? – Hawai‘i Bilingual sponsored “Underground” Vigil to End Hawaiian Cultural Genocide until the Official Languages Act is adopted by the Hawai‘i State Legislature

When: May 29, 2009 6:30 a.m.

Where: ILINA WAI is a movable private gathering of Hawai’i Bilingual members and their friends, beginning with a 6:30 a.m. prayer & fasting vigil at Lili’uokalani’s Tomb in the Kal?kaua Crypt at Mauna ‘Ala (the Royal Mausoleum).

P? ILINA WAI, a classical chamber music ‘aha mele will be presented bilingually promptly at 7:30 p.m. ON THE SAME DAY, when members and their guests will gather beginning at 6:00 p.m. at 3810 Maunaloa St. in Kaimuk? (where free parking is available on 15th and 16th Avenues) bringing “potluck” p?p? food and drinks to share, plus a suggested $10 musicians’ honorarium (a donation is required for admission).

Please remember that ILINA WAI vigils are private, not public, events for Hawai’i Bilingual members and their friends.

Why: ILINA WAI (“underground stream”) is a Hawai‘i Bilingual sponsored monthly “underground” spiritual and artistic vigil that began on April 30, 2009 at Mauna ‘Ala (the Royal Mausoleum) and will be observed at the end of each month until an Official Languages Act similar to Canada’s and Ireland’s is adopted by the Hawai‘i State Legislature, effectively confirming an END of the era of Hawaiian cultural genocide. Cultivation of Honolulu’s bilingual creative culture is instrumental in articulating Hawai‘i Bilingual’s vision, and since members of the Honolulu Symphony (America’s oldest symphonic society west of the Mississippi River) have endured more than three months without pay, and several members have already quit, ILINA WAI will increase Hawaiian bilingual social & cultural awareness among and beyond the Hawaiian speaking community while supporting Honolulu’s professional musical society by holding monthly bilingually presented chamber music concerts.

All ILINA WAI programs will be presented bilingually in Hawai‘ian and English languages at private gatherings at the end of each month until the State Legislature adopts the Official Languages Act, confirming an end to the era of Hawaiian cultural genocide.

For more information: http://www.causes.com/h2o

It’s worth looking into and it’s a cause worth joining.  I will urge all readers who call Hawai’i home (either ethnically and/or culturally through birth) to look into this cause, take it seriously, and take it to heart!  The culture of our home is worth preserving and the language is the first treasure we need to protect.  All else will stem from that.

Come, join in, and share the aloha!  Here’s a link to RSVP your attendance! You may need to join Facebook, if you haven’t already.  I have found Facebook to be quite useful.  A lot of Twitter members and business people seem to have found it useful as well.  It’s amazing how much you can learn about what is going on around you so it will be worth joining if only just for that.  You will also be able to follow the progress of this project as it moves forward.

Discovery at Mauna ‘Ala

Here’s something different — I’ve noticed that when people are asked about their relationships they often say things like, “it’s complicated.”  Married, single, divorced?  Boy friend/girl friend?  “It’s complicated.”  If someone were to ask me about my “relationship” with my home and its people, I would have to say, “it’s complicated.” There is no question that I am very passionate about my home and there is no doubt that I love its people very deeply. But, just like we all do with members of our family, I get ticked off sometimes.  Whether it be with family or with others, we all have a tendency to fly off the handle about things before we know the full story.

Before sharing my internal grumblings with you guys, I will always try to be sure that I’m right or, as I am about to do now, I will tell you the whole story, all about how wrong I was, and how I corrected my internal strife.

Ho’oponopono is one of my favorite Hawaiian concepts. It is a way that families or groups get together to discuss their differences and resolve any issues they may be having between them. You could call it a healing process.  It’s a process that I’ve always admired and one that I took to heart many years ago.  More recently, I saw it labeled as, “mental cleansing.”  That definition certainly works for me on this one!

So, with all of that in mind, let me share a little story. Don’t “go off” until you’ve read the whole thing!  I already did that.

Torn and Reconciled

On April 20th, I finally got to walk on the grounds of the Royal Mausoleum. I was excited and a little scared. I walked across the lawn looking at things and something suddenly made me stop and think — I couldn’t believe it. Shock and dismay left me questioning my ability to judge character.  “Why? How could they do that to them?!? How could they be so cruel?”

Let me explain.  We need to back up a little to understand this faulty thought process of mine.  It all started with a small bit of knowledge — knowledge that Kamehameha Schools removed the “Bishop” name from their own. They didn’t want a “haole name” in the name of the school. Fine. That’s your choice. Whatever. To be honest, with all of the bad publicity surrounding Bishop Estate, I would have preferred to disassociate from that as well. I shook my head and left it at that. Then I read somewhere about the love between Princess Bernice Pauahi and Charles Reed Bishop and I started to feel badly and very sad about the name thing.

Now let’s get back to the Mausoleum. Stay with me now, this is where I mix things all up in my head.

Entrance to Mauna 'Ala, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawai'i

The gates are open at Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum, and I can go in! There’s the Queen’s burial site! There’s Queen Lili’uokalani’s resting place, the last sovereign of Hawaii. Wow, finally! Who’s next to her? John Dominis. (My mental wheels go screech!) “Huh?”

“Uh, excuse me, what’s more haole than that?”  Okay, there is Error #1.  This is also known as jumping to conclusions without thinking. Can we talk about a time line here? Hint: There is NO connection between these burials and the name of Kamehameha Schools! Moving on…

Charles Reed Bishop monument

They put Charles Reed Bishop out on the lawn all by himself! Enter in my Error #2.

Kamehameha Crypt frome the side with Charles Bishop's monument in the background

“Where’s his wife anyway? Probably down there with the Queen and everybody else and I just didn’t see her name,” grumble, grumble, grumble. As you can see from the picture above, this was Error #3. Bernice Pauahi’s name is with the rest of the Kamehameha family, right next to Charles out there on the lawn! (That’s the crypt that Charles built for them after she died, by the way.)

Yes there were errors but they accomplished something important — they sent me on a mission to understand what happened.  That mission has opened doors to so many things!

Elimination of the Errors

  • Error #1: I had the Kamehameha School thing stuck in my brain and that was recent. Queen Lili’uokalani and Governor Dominis were interred many, many years before that! I get one slap for that one.
  • Error #2: Charles Bishop was put there by his own design. One more slap for me! Kamehameha School might want to rethink the removal of the name of someone with so much caring, respect, and regard for the royal family!  Just a thought.
  • Error #3: She’s right there! Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop is not only right next to Mr. Bishop’s memorial stone, his ashes were actually interred with her in the Kamehameha Crypt before it was permanently sealed! Three slaps for me!

I could not have been more wrong!  My internal dismay and whining changed into something like this:

“OMG! There she is! Charles was put where? OMG! See?!? They didn’t. They couldn’t. They wouldn’t. They could never be cruel! I knew that.”

Research, patience, and understanding leads to an internal drama successfully reconciled.  The fact that Charles’ urn  was placed on Bernice Pauahi’s casket by Prince Kuhio was just wonderful frosting on the cake for me! (Source: Mauna ‘Ala Hawai’i’s Royal Mausoleum, Last Remnant of a Lost Kingdom by Don Chapman with William Kaihe’ekai Mai’oho)  Their love was not overlooked, it was highly respected.  Ponopono = setting it straight; setting me straight!

I’m not saying that Charles was an angel.  I don’t know enough about it all, but I’ll keep digging and I’ll let you know!

SPECIAL NOTE about Kamehameha Schools: Don’t take any of this the wrong way! If I had a child, right now, with Hawaiian blood, I would do everything in my power to enroll that child in the Kamehameha Schools system. They produce fine students! I have only the highest respect for the quality of education that they provide! (It’s not their fault that I’m a mush bucket who jumps to conclusions.)

There’s so much to uncover, so much to tell — I don’t even know where to start.  The stories all link together, the history all links together, my discoveries all link together. I want so much to share — it’s so fascinating. There is so much we don’t know! Did our education system let us down. In this department I’m afraid they did. I’ll share what I find, I promise!

In the mean time, Mauna ‘Ala is a beautiful place to visit and to just sit down for a while and think.  It’s so peaceful and there is such a feeling of safety and sanctity there.  If you have not been there, you need to be sure you add it to your list of places to visit!

In Search of Restoration

Crypt Entrance (photos inside are discouraged)As you step carefully down the narrow stairway, you well see a little plaque on your left next to the gate. You can see it in the picture to the right. On the plaque is written a short little blessing labeled the “Kawananakoa Gate Blessing.” (The Kawananakoa family is there with the Queen too!)

That little plaque reads as follows:



                                               August 29, 1986

It’s not all that old.  I don’t know who wrote it but it’s very beautiful, very touching, and very fitting. In a coming post, “In Search of Restoration,” I will tell you why I say it is so fitting.

For now, I just felt the need to share my little joyful moment of discovery with the World.  Readers know where my heart is. This is my home and this is our history.

Does Mended Trust Still Have Hairline Cracks?

Hawaiian yarn lei with koa embellishments Sometimes, patience is a virtue.  Sometimes falling behind in your blogging can be a blessing.  Check this out, back in January I started to write this post and then, for some reason, I thought better of it, saved it, and held off publishing it.

This is how I started:

“You have GOT to be kidding me!  What kind of a court master would recommend such a thing?  No, I’m not the only one who is reacting this way.   You’ve got to love the Honolulu Advertiser for letting people leave comments and share their opinion!

“For those who don’t know what all of the hollering is about, you might want to check out Samuel King and Randall Roth’s book, Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, And Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust.  See, the corruption that all of us remember so vividly resurfaces whenever something as preposterous as this makes the headlines.  This horrible story made headlines across the Nation about ten or eleven years ago. 

“Let’s put it this way, Bernice Pauahi would have thrown up her hands in horror if she had witnessed these now-historical events.  Of course, she also would have thrown up her hands in horror when they removed the Bishop name from the name of the school.  So great a love should not have been dealt such a horrible blow.  Perhaps we’ll talk about that at a later date.”

As luck would have it, my blogger muse held off pursuing this story, right at that moment.  Part of what held me back was a secret hope that the trustees would do something exactly like what they’ve done!

After the courts approved their raise, the trustees opted to take a 10% cut instead.  I’m serious — they cut their own pay!

In short, the answer to the question in the title of this post is, “No, there are no hairline cracks.  The Trust was mended some time ago and the trust of the people was restored.”

What did they say about it?

“The trustees are committed to the keiki our trust exists to serve, and to the careful management of resources that will allow Kamehameha Schools to educate native Hawaiians in perpetuity.”

A historical resource like this one needs to be protected and it sounds like the trustees are taking their fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities seriously.  Mahalo and kudos to the Kamehameha Schools trustees.  🙂

Kamehameha Schools is a fine institution that produces some very fine graduates.  The students learn the subjects that all the schools teach, of course, but they also learn the history and culture of Hawai’i to a greater degree than most.  The trustees protect and preserve the trust and its ability to educate while the students leave with the benefit and ability to protect and preserve the culture.

I have other stories that I’ve held back on and I’ll share my initial, knee-jerk reaction with you guys and then tell you why I’m glad that I held back.  Yeah, this one could have been two blog posts but I have no desire to cut people down — until I find out that I’m justified in doing so.  I did not say that I would stop being a b*tch if I’m pretty darn sure that I’m right.  🙂

Historical Firsts at Hanauma Bay

This wonderful tourist attraction has come a long way.  Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is like swimming in a giant, salt-water aquarium.  There’s just something about snorkeling with all of those fish!

Hanauma Bay just before sunset

I remember the feeling, especially as a young child, of being in another world while swimming with those fish.  At that age you’re so taken by the underwater world that you forget you’re actually just floating at the surface of the water like a big fat jelly fish.   A kid’s imagination can fill volumes.

Of course, at that young age, we also thought we were immune to danger and we heeded few warnings.  We would make that trek around the rocky perimeter to get to the “toilet bowl.”  Do keep in mind that this is based on an approximately 35-year-old memory.

YouTube Preview Image

It wasn’t the flushing part we wanted so much, it was the fast rising to the top that was the fun part. The videos on YouTube seem to be mostly of teenagers and adults, or so it seems. I was about 8 or 9 years old (stop doing the math). Like I said, we were immune to the dangers and fearless. 🙂

This particular video had a comment with it that said, Old stomping grounds… Can’t wait to go back!!!” and I can certainly relate to that statement. Thank you mtnbiker04 for capturing this great memory.

It was great fun to have that natural bowl of lavarock and coral throw you back up. Maybe they should have called it the “vomit bowl” or something. Okay, that name would not have been quite so attractive; “toilet bowl” is not the most attractive name either. Over the years, it seems that the waves have made the rim of the bowl smoother than it was back then.

Other things have changed, too.  When we frequented Hanauma Bay all those years ago, there was no building with all of this great educational information.  Suddenly, okay maybe not so suddenly, there’s a whole meeting room with exhibits to see and share.

Tile wall at entrance

This building appeared out of nowhere, it seems, and they even took the time to install this lovely ceramic-tile mural.  This is the Hanauma Bay Education Center.  Where was I?  I’ll admit that the East side of O’ahu received little to no attention from me over the 80’s and 90’s but I was a little busy with college, growing up and figuring out how to earn a living, and other boring stuff like that.

Hanauma Bay TimelineA walk through this Education Center will give you a quick lesson about a portion of the history of Hawai’i while getting a detailed history of Hanauma Bay.  There is a tremendous amount of information here that I found quite amazing.  In 1950 the City & County of Honolulu set aside $150,000 to dig up three swimming holes (I thought these were natural occurrences) and make improvements to the park which quickly became one of Honolulu’s most popular places for residents and visitors.

The next to the last picture on the right-hand side of this photo of the timeline shows some kind of blast.  No, it’s not World War II!  If you get close enought to read the text you find that it’s actually a blast to put us in contact with the rest of the world.  In 1956 a channel was blasted through Hanauma Bay for the installation of the very first transpacific telephone cable reaching from Hawai’i to California!

It sounds so destructive but it created a wonderful place for us and a very welcome environment for the most colorful fish and other marine life!  Another important tidbit of information to be found here is that Hanauma Bay became Hawai’i’s first Marine Life Conservation District in 1967.  Based on these descriptions and my own time line, I would have to say that this is the Hanauma Bay of my past.  This is the one that was created for the enjoyment of the generation that would follow — my generation.

The educational material certainly does not stop with the time line.  There are exhibits of different cultural items related to life in Hawai’i and how the ocean is so much a part of that life.  There are displays of woven fishing baskets and the hooks that were used for fishing so very long ago.  Then we get to one of the most important aspects for this venue, a great amount of detailed information about what helps make Hanauma Bay the bay what it is — coral!

Coral exhibit

The education doesn’t stop here.  The best part is that efforts have been made to further educate the public with talks, films and guest speakers.  The UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program, managed by the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant College Program, has put together these educational films and quest speakers to share their knowledge and information about the jobs they do.  Here is a calendar of events to help you plan your Thursday evenings.

For more information, interested parties can either call (808) 397-5840, visit the Hanauma Bay Education Program website, or ask about being added to Shawn Carrier’s email notification list.  Shawn is an Outreach Education Specialist with the UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program and he’s always willing to add you to the list.  My experience in this area has always been good.  He’s going to love me for doing this but I think he’ll get over it.  The more people we can educate the better.

Yes, Hanauma Bay is on the map for travel guides and yes there is much to learn, protect and admire about this natural treasure.  But for life-time residents it’s part of the history of our home and, for some of us, the history of our lives.  We’ve lived part of the history of our home.  You don’t realize the significance of this kind of thing until, well, until it becomes historical.  Man, I feel old.  I told you guys to stop doing the math!  🙂

Who’s Biting Who?

Are sharks wrongly accused?  We don’t often think of them as gentle, peaceful creatures.  These black-tip, reef sharks certainly look peaceful here — swimming around quietly with the other fish in their aquatic home at the Waikiki Aquarium.  If anything, you might even call them friendly.   

Two black-tip reef sharks swim quietly at Waikiki Aquarium

The ones at Sea Life Park hide at the bottom of the tank during the daylight hours but these guys swim by and glance at admirers with mild curiosity.   I remember the first time I saw them up close and personal like this.  I was beside myself with awe and admiration and couldn’t take my eyes off of them.  Even now the sight of them nearly has me in tears. 

Obviously, I’m not the only nut case that has an attraction to this particular ocean creature.  Bobbie, over at The Right Blue, can share the drama from a fish’s-eye view.  Nobody shares the water more intimately with the sharks and the other aquatic wildlife, more than divers do. With that in mind, nobody can feel the pangs of animal cruelty like a diver can either!

The underside of a shark swimming overhead

Yes, they are scary to behold but that’s because some fiction writers (love them as I do) and our own beloved Hollywood movie makers have distorted the true character of these aquatic marvels in the interest of providing us with some great entertainment. 

The truth of it is, these ocean dwellers have little to no interest in us.  We taste junk!  They obvioulsy don’t know our race very well because they mistake us for seals and sea lions and the like.  In other words, they mistake us for lunch.    In reality, their biggest danger is us. 

We need them.  They are essential to the balance of the ecosystem and without them our oceans may end up like so many swamp lands that are either tarnished, polluted, or completely destroyed after the upheaval of their environmental balance.  There have been instances where the loss of just one essential life form was enough to throw the entire ecological system of an area out of whack.  

My philosophy is that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  Our attempts at “fixing” things are exactly what’s leaving them broken!  Our sharks may be joining the humpback whales on the endangered species list if we’re not careful.  Remember insisting on buying dolphin-safe tuna?  We’re going to need a new label soon:  “Dolphin & Shark-Safe” tuna!  

Honolulu Says Aloha to President Sue Wesselkamper

Chaminade University sign

Chaminade University of Honolulu has suffered a great loss that is felt in the hearts of many in the community.  Sue Wesselkamper, President of the college, passed away on January 3rd.  Cancer has taken yet another victim and left a community and one of its educational icons to mourn.

While I didn’t know her personally, I knew her name.  I’m feeling the twinges of sorrow from those community members who did know her.  The Honolulu Advertiser published a wonderful article about Dr. Wesselkamper and the Catholic college she helped to revitalize.

Memorial services were held yesterday, January 10th.  Aloha, Dr. Sue, may the Lord welcome you home.