Aloha! It is hard to believe that 2018 is nearly half over! We have been busy at Ka‘ala and would like update everyone on Ka‘ala happenings. We thought a summer blog series would be a good way to share about a Ka‘ala activity or two that happened in each month.
In that spirit, welcome to the first blog in our six week summer series! We were honored to host Kaiser Permanente’s providers, staff, and their families for the 4th Annual Ka‘ala Farm Community Give Back day. On January 15th over 130 people (including volunteers from UH West Oahu) came to mālama ‘āina—to love, respect, and care for the land to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Three opportunities to aloha ‘āina took place at Ka‘ala Cultural Learning Center on Monday, January 15:
- ‘Ohana Gardens: families and community members of all ages learned how to plant and harvest dryland kālo (taro), weed the māla (garden), pound kālo, prepare and taste kālo flatbreads, and make kukui nut tops.
- Clearing the ‘Auwai: volunteers cleared vegetation that clogged the ‘auwai (waterway).
- Lo‘i Restoration: volunteers helped to rebuild embankments and mākaha (embankment) for lo‘i kālo (taro patches), weed the lo‘i, and stomp the lo‘i and plant huli (taro cuttings).
After a good morning’s work the volunteers gathered and were asked to introduce themselves, what activity they participated in, and to describe their prescription for health. Many thanks to Reyna and Brent from HACBED for documenting the day’s work and for the following quotes and photos!
“I’m in the office all day so this was really nice. It was well orchestrated. Everyone knew what they had to do. It was fun – the kids just loved it. We had a hand in everything and it feels like we contributed. It was wonderful to hear the legends and work with each other. If I had little kids I would bring them here as kids today don’t have relationship to the land – what you get from the land, how to work it. We have a responsibility to keep the land safe so it can give back to us.” Holly, Support Staff, Kaiser
“We helped to gather medicine, plant, pull out weeds, and to make more food!” Dallin (age 7)
Clearing the ‘Auwai
“It was a great experience, but I can’t keep up with Kawika. We really opened up that corridor like open heart surgery!” Surgeon, Kaiser
“I really appreciate what we learn from people here – talking to volunteers and seeing how things have evolved as this is my 4th year here. It’s also nice to see each other’s families, to talk to them and see how they’re doing.” Samuel, Physician, Kaiser
“We were like dentists patching cavities all day. It’s amazing what a lot of hands can do – laulima.” Volunteer
“We really want to thank Uncle and the staff for the opportunity to be together. You could hear laughter ringing from all parts of this place.” Volunteer, Kaiser
We would like to thank Kaiser Permanente, their staff and families, and all who came to mālama ‘āina for their enthusiasm, willingness to get in the mud, and make a difference! Mahalo nui loa!