As Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia await their departure from Palekai in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, Keaukaha community members gathered with Hōkūleʻa crew and ʻohana for an ʻawa launch ceremony and at Palekai.
“I think especially for us, on Oʻahu, were kind of spoiled because, we always get to see Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia, and work on her and sail on her… To be able to share the canoe, and helping to bring the canoes to another place, so people can touch her and experience her is, we’re really lucky to be a part of that.” says Hōkūleʻa crew member, Haunani Kane.
Honored to be a part of sending Hōkūleʻa on this historic journey, this local community wants to continue to engage and be involved.
Haunani says that, “Something that was said today was that – a question that we were asked, here in Keaukaha, when you come and visit these people, what are you leaving behind for them?”
“It is a voyage that intends to bring respect and to aloha, and to make sure that our communities knew that we took the time, and we took the effort, we took the energy to connect with them, to link with them and to, in a respectful, humble way, to explain why we are doing this voyage.” says Pwo Navigator, Nainoa Thompson.
Throughout the event, Hōkūleʻa crew and Keaukaha community members exchanged their gratitude to one another in perpetuating their culture and commitment to educating the future generation of voyagers.
“I’m here to represent the appreciation of our community. A waʻa is a metaphor for all of us in so many ways, and so, for the next generation, our haumāna, our kamaliʻi, throughout Hawaiʻi to learn, to experience, to feel, to touch, to know the lessons, and to have them be a part of the waʻa going around the world today… We’re just blessed to be a small part of this incredible, journey.” says Hawaiʻi County Mayor, Billy Kenoi.
“Just keeping that in mind and being mindful, that we are guests here, and all these people are taking care of us ,and the smallest thing we can do is leave something positive behind for them.” says Haunani Kane.