Tuesday, May 14, 2013

mahalo, hawaii

the meaning of ohana

The Davis Waldorf School Class of 2013 had the privilege of spending their eighth grade field trip on the Big Island of Hawaii. The young men and women who joined me on this excursion have stories to tell and memories to hold. No words or pictures could do justice to what they now carry in their hearts. They have formed lifelong connections with each other and with this amazing, sacred land. This is the meaning of ohana. Family. We found a family in the facilitators of Hawaii Outdoor Institute. In Waipio Valley, we stayed on a private taro farm where the owner, Les, embraced us with his charisma and we were quickly working the taro paddies, called loi. In this land, he considered us part of one big family. It was the family of earth; we were all stewards of the earth. In Hawaii, where 11 out of 13 ecosystems are represented, where the top ranked beaches reside with some of the highest volcanoes on the planet, the island pulses with the synergy of  ohana. In all its quiet majesty, Hawaii is also home to the most endangered species of animal and plant life.

Engaged in activities that created bonding experiences such as hiking, swimming, preparing food, camping, snorkeling, and sailing together, the eighth graders took ohana into their soul lives. The eighth grade students also learned a life lesson: each of us must take ownership of our world, that it takes each individual to care for our planet and its resources, that we must consider each other and the earth itself as one big ohana, for a family loves, and with love comes compassion.

Mahalo, Hawaii Outdoor Institute. Mahalo, DWS Classof 2013 (for the honor of being your teacher). Mahalo, Hawaii. 

We are ohana.

1 comment:

Celebrate the Rhythm of Life said...

Aloha, and thank you for sharing this blessed journey, it has been an honor to witness you and your work with the children, Thank you,