Throughout the week that Hōkūleʻa was docked in Mānele Bay, community members of Lānaʻi and visitors alike were encouraged to visit the canoe, take tours, and learn about the vessel and its upcoming worldwide mission. One of the student groups that joined in were the haumāna of Nā Pua Noʻeau Lānaʻi.
“I think its very important for Lānaʻi kids because being on a rural island, we hardly get experiences like this, so I think it’s a good cultural experience for all of our students to come down.” says Nā Pua Noʻeau Lānaʻi Site Coordinator, Chantell Schilling.
Sadie Schilling, a haumāna of Nā Pua Noʻeau Lānaʻi says, “I always wanted to see what it looks like…so, it was a good experience and I enjoyed it.”
“It’s been good because, I got the opportunity before I leave, because Iʻm going off to college in a couple weeks, and my grandma sailed the Hōkūleʻa 16 years ago to Oʻahu, and I got to greet her yesterday, picking her up on the canoe…so it was a good experience.” says Tiana Bala, another haumāna of Nā Pua Noʻeau Lānaʻi.
The excitement level was so high, that not even rain would discourage people from greeting Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia as they sailed into Manele Bay.
“Oh it was so emotional and just a feeling of “ahh.” Even though we were all in the rain and everything, all the kids were like “I no care, we just stay outside there…” and we’re just happy to welcome her in to our home. And so was really, was really maikaʻi. I hope for the kids to take away and actually even just touching the boat, it just um, I think it’s a huge experience because I was not able to do that when I was young. So I’m excited that my kids and our kids of Lānaʻi get to experience that.” says Chantell.