The pictures below were taken by Kaipo Kīʻaha
I bit Manaiakalani* again about a month ago and just like my Uncle Billy says, “I’m hooked” on waʻa and sailing. I can’t get enough of it and to be honest, it’s consuming my life; waʻa is my work, my curriculum, my free time.
I’m lucky to be training today, that hoʻokele waʻa (navigation) still exists. It’s all because of Papa Mau. Without him and his decision to give his knowledge away to others outside of his culture, I wouldn’t have a job and I definitely wouldn’t be doing what I love to do. Every person that I’ve met on the waʻa has taught me something, from sailing skills to life lessons. I’m grateful that people choose to share their knowledge with me. There’s been some pretty good stories too.
Along this journey, I found my waʻa/hula/teaching/Kānehūnāmoku sister, Darienne. We literally stay on the phone for hours at a time talking about anything related to the waʻa and she’s positively influenced me to look at every sail with an education point of view. Which by the way, are all related to STEMS2**. Here’s a snapshot of the long list of all the waʻa related projects we have in mind:
We use the inspiration we experience on the waʻa into the lessons we teach and the curriculum we develop to further support the concepts that students are learning in school. Can’t wait to share these lessons with all of you! Just amazing, the things that the kūpuna (ancestors) already knew!
*Referring to the constellation, Maui’s fishhook
**The name of my grad program: science, technology, engineering, math, social sciences and sense of place
Kumu Kaʻai previously taught at Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy and Hawaiian Studies at Wilson Elementary School to K-5 students.