I love being able to help @manuiwa host groups at Ulupō. Every group is awesome and contributes so much, but I have to say that those who are from Kailua and our neighboring ahupuaʻa are the most special because they allow us to engage with our immediate community, help them to reconnect to their kulāiwi, and cultivate a sense of pride for their home that will hopefully reestablish relationships and regenerate responsibilities to aloha ʻāina. This past weekend we got to welcome students and teachers from Kailua Intermediate School who are a reflection of the community described in our foundational moʻolelo of Mākālei; paddlers from Kailua Canoe Club, a hui waʻa who can trace their origins back to community-lead ʻāina restoration efforts at Ulupō; and haumāna of Hālau Mōhala ʻIlima whose hoʻokupu of mele & hula reminded us all of the importance of telling our stories in the exact places that they took place. They all added their mana to our piko of Kailua and they hopefully took home something meaningful as well. I know Kaleo and I did. My goofy, joyful smile in this picture is proof. Eō ko Kailua! We are still here! – Maya Kawailanaokeawaiki Saffery
130 Kailua Intermediate 8th graders walked up the the hill to the piko of Kailua to learn from the land why our ahupuaʻa is the bestes ever.... We had an opening circle and then split them up into 5 stations, mo]olelo (with Maya), kilo/kākau (with David Lau from the YMCA), loʻi (me), heiau (Ryan), and water quality (Derek Esibill, Manning Tate, and Hinano). There was also a wash-up station that one of the KIS teachers manned. We ended with a closing circle. Even though it felt rushed because there was so much students and so little time, it was a great day...The most important crop we can mahi is the aloha ʻāina relationships between our keiki and our ʻāina/wahi pana. – Kaleomanuʻiwa Wong
Thanks to an HTA grant for the removal of invasives at Ulupō, the old common mango tree that was too close to the loʻi (too thirsty, too much shade, too much ph in the wai) is now destined for slabbing and papa kuʻi ʻai. Wahi a Kaleomanuʻiwa: "Ryan Ueunten started work as a Hikaʻalani employee on Sep. 1st. Attached [is a picture] of the tree removal that he and I have been working on for the last few days. This couldn't have happened without him, and I look forward to the removal of the mango tree just next to it with next year's HTA grant and the continual employment of Ryan. He brings a unique skill set and a positive attitude that is hard to find in someone so young and 'eleu. We definitely want to keep him around as long as we can. Not sure if you can see in the photos but taking out this one tree has revealed the ulu trees that were once blocked by the massive mango and can now grow freely. Expanding our kīipuka!"
Trained by our most prized kumu and kūpuna, Kaleomanuʻiwa Wong on the lāhui horizon. As a part of the next generation of Hōkūle’a's core crew, Kaleo was the first Native Hawaiian navigator to chart a course and navigate outside of the Pacific, setting the tone for a number of Mālama Honua firsts. When on land, Kaleo is the full-time kahu (caretaker) for the lands of Kūkanono at the foot of Ulupō heiau along the banks of Kawainui fishpond. Through community-based, land reclamation efforts and cultural education initiatives on these lands, he works with Hikaʻalani, a non-profit organization, to fulfill its mission to restore ʻāina and identity to Kailua. Both on land and on the sea, Kaleo is literally and figuratively charting the course for our people to thrive. – Lisa Okinaga Takatsugi, Next Generation Kanaka Leaders
I am humbled every time I am fortunate enough to spend time with these kupa of Kailua, Oʻahu. The depth of their love and knowledge for their ʻāina, kūpuna, and our lāhui has inspired me immensely since the first time I met them. Yesterday Haley and I were fortunate to again be able to witness and be inspired by the ea and aloha ʻāina they embody in their hālau and ʻohana. Sharing the moʻolelo of their ʻāina through oratory, hula, mele, mea ʻai, and intentional and kuleana-driven hana, the ʻohana of Hikaʻalani and Hālau Mohala ʻIlima are cultivating a kīpuka for the rebirth of pono in their ahupuaʻa, and in setting this example they call us to "kaʻina mai," to proceed forth on this pathway together, no ka pono o ka ʻāina a me ka lāhui. Their words and actions exemplify truths of our existence today as Kānaka, that we are still here, and as Maya Saffery so beautifully put it, "our kūpuna are still here, they can hear their names being said again, and they're just waiting for us to recognize them." Mahalo nui iā ʻoukou e nā hoa, e Kaleomanuʻiwa & Maya, a me ka ʻohana HMI no ke alakaʻi ʻana mai me he huihui ʻiwa lā.
– Noʻeu Peralto of Hui Mālama I ka 'Āina 'Ūlili,
Highlights from our 8-6-17 fund-and-friend raiser at Ulupō Hui;. photos courtesy of Nicholas Tomasello at Nicasello Photography. In part, the words of the accompanying mele (attributed to Nīʻula in Samuel Kekoʻowai's moʻolelo of the Mākālei) ask that:
...the beloved ones of Mākālei return to their source
May the Mākālei generations move to each other
May they strive for the highest point
Until joined, until unified, until bursting forth.
Nīʻula explains it as both "he pule a he mele hoʻi" – as a prayer and a song. As pule, it addresses Haumea in her multiple forms and asks, through the metaphor of branch and fish, for the well-being of her people: enter, enter, enter; enter, nourish, and inspire; may your descendants prevail, wave after wave of us; may we again be united, persistent, and ever-committed to the nu‘u of thought and action.
As mele, it celebrates in lively, even humorous fashion the promise of rejuvenation at Hālauwai – all those fish packed to the la‘ola‘o bursting point in a spring-fed, upper valley pool. They have entered in droves, all in a leaping, jumping, pulsing, creeping procession, all enthralled by the irresistible ona powers of Ka Lā‘au Pi‘i Ona a ka I‘a. (Leo oli: Māpuana de Silva. Slide-video: KdS.)
15 ʻĀpiki (members of the Merrie Monarch class of Hālau Mōhala ʻIlima, many with their husbands, daughters, and sons) showed up last Sunday to help Kaleo and Maya with the final week of their multi-month push to prepare Ulupō Nui for Ka'ina Mai, the first of what we hope will be a yearly, on-site celebration of Hikaʻalani's effort to reclaim aina and identity at Kawainui. – KdS
Leigh Ann Landreth of the Windward YMCA just shared with us this video about the Y's Togetherhood Project – a year-long mālama-'āina effort at Ulupō in which Kaleo Wong and Hika'alani played a significant role. Her public release of this very happy clip coincides nicely with good news received yesterday by Piʻilani Alston (president of the Hikaʻalani BOD) and Māpuana de Silva at the August meeting of the Board of Land and Natural Resources: Hika'alani has been granted curatorship of Ulupō for the next five years. Hūlō! Hūlō! We look forward to positive, ongoing partnerships with the Y and our kaikua'ana at ʻAhahui Mālama I ka Lōkahi and the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club. – KdS