not the destination, but the journey!
Posted By Bonnie Kahape'a
hot sun shines its light and turns the ocean to colors of
blue and green. As we leave our sixth destination behind
us, I reflect on the journey thus far. I am humbled by my
colleagues. Their revolutionary ideas, leadership styles,
humility, and fun-natured need to enjoy each other's company,
has made this experience all the richer. We have gone to
some of the most wild and rugged places on the planet together.
Each day we have become more comfortable and more real with
each other. We are learning to move about our day, giving
space, standing in silence, laughing uncontrollably, and
sharing food, together. We seek each other out, feel the
void when one is on a side mission, and thrive on meaningful
conversation. As a group of people, kanaka maoli
(Native Hawaiians), we talk about saving the world, with
passion. Not like ending world hunger, or saving the rainforests
in Brazil, but saving our own `aina (land and sea,
that which feeds) and teaching our own children! We are
discovering our own kuleana (responsibility), not
only to this group, but also to our communities back home.
Each of our paths' is perhaps long and challenging. We are
each here together on this journey for a reason and together
we now share a common burden. Where is this experience taking
us? What are we going to do when we get home? Rising to
the challenge and accepting the kuleana, we are fueled
by the stories of our kupuna (ancestors, elders).
I am in awe of their accomplishments, of their wisdom, and
of their practicality. Only by working together and persevering,
can we hope to walk in their footsteps.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are ancient. Millions of years
older than our island homes, everything is just simply OLD.
The weathered stones that remain on the landscape hold the
ancient wisdom of our people. They were here. Each step
I take is like traveling back into time. Native birds, plants,
and animals go about their day like they have been for thousands
of years. I joke about it being like National Geographic
and the Travel Channel, but that's what it really is! It
is so isolated and pristine that at times I question my
own footprints in the sand.
each island, we seek connection to our past. What did our
kupuna call this? Did they come here? How did they
live with so little resources? At Gardner
Pinnacles, a monk seal greeted us. As the Captain studied
the swells and planned his approach to the wave swept shore,
the monk seal peered at the zodiac. In his large deep eyes,
he reflected ancient wisdom, and in a silent voice he called
e pae mai, e pae mai!