On September 20, the students of St. Michael School were incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to visit the Loko Ea Fishpond in Haleiwa as well as the Hokule'a Voyaging Canoe, which was docked at Haleiwa Harbor as part of its “Mahalo, Hawai‘i” tour around the islands.
LOKO EA FISHPOND
Students in Preschool through Grade 8 began their field trip at the Loko Ea Fishpond, where they learned about the importance and history of the fishpond especially in this ahupua'a (geographical area). Some students did not even realize this fishpond was located in their own neighborhood.
Students also learned about the different types of fish in the fishpond as well as which are okay to catch and keep or return back into the water depending on the size, type, and time of year (season).
Probably the most exciting part of this visit was learning how to catch fish. For many students, this was their first time using a fishing pole to catch real fish. Some were even successful at catching a fish or two!
Before entering the fishpond, Kalalapaikuanalu Winter (Grade 8) offered the oli (Hawaiian chant) on behalf of St. Michael School. The oli she chanted was based on a traditional oli kahea (welcoming chant) but adapted especially for the Haleiwa area.
(See the video posted above)
Upon leaving Loko Ea Fishpond and heading to Haleiwa Harbor, 8th Graders Kalalapaikuanalu Winter and Ocean Lancaster offered the oli mahalo on behalf of St. Michael School.
(See the video posted below)
Everyone then began the short walk over the bridge to Haleiwa Boat Harbor for a special visit with the world-famous Hokule'a Voyaging Canoe.
HOKULE'A VOYAGING CANOE
The Hokule'a represents one of the greatest cultural achievements especially of the Hawaiian people in modern times. When the Hokule'a was built in the 1970's, it created a symbolic connection to the wayfaring history of the Hawaiians.
Using only the sky, stars, currents, winds, and other natural features as its guide, Hokule'a has traveled successfully throughout the Pacific Ocean and beyond. It is not only a symbol of pride for the Hawaiian people, but truly for all the people of Hawai'i.
Overall, we are very proud of the way St. Michael School was represented. Our sixth-grade boys also performed the ha'a, the Hawaiian version of the haka. (See the video posted below) Through the sharing of these gifts of aloha and the tribute given to the places we visited, there definitely was a cultural, spiritual and intellectual exchange between the people we encountered and the students, staff, and chaperones of St. Michael School.
Like the Hokule'a that has navigated throughout the world using signs in nature to guide it, may we, too, be guided by the signs that come from our Lord Jesus Christ.