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E Komo Mai, Mr. Governor

Leaving bustling Oahu and its crowds behind, Hawaii’s new Governor Neil Abercrombie made his first official neighbor island stop on Molokai last week. After the state inauguration on Dec. 6 with political figures and famous musicians, Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz joined representatives of Molokai’s health care community, local artists, Ahahui Ka`ahumanu Society members, and a representative of the Dali Lama for a special confirmation service.

Kumu Opu`ulani Albino of Kualapu`u School’s immersion program was joined by her sister, Vanda Hanakahi, in welcoming Abercrombie and Schatz at a Hawaiian ceremony in Kalaniana`ole Hall on Dec. 8.

The ceremony, called an aha aina, is rarely practiced and is “an intimate way of cementing the relationship,” between the new governor and his people, according to Hanakahi.

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