By Kailana Ritte-Camara and Ka’imiola Sagario
From a series by O Hina I Ka Malama (Molokai High School Hawaiian immersion students) which focuses on place-based scientific inquiry.
Mai ke kuahiwi ki‘eki‘e ‘o Kamakou a i ke kai hohonu a Ka La‘au, welina mai me ke aloha e ka lehulehu a Moloka’i Nui A Hina. ‘O Kailana Ritte-Camara laua ‘O Ka’imiola Sagario ko maua inoa, he mau pakana maua no ka papa ‘epekema. No keia makahiki holo’oka’a, ua pono maua e noi’i i ka ‘aina ‘o Ka Hina Pohaku i malama ia e ka ‘ohana me hoa a ‘Anakala Leimana Naki.
Aloha e Moloka’i, Kailana Ritte-Camara and Ka’imiola Sagario are our names, we are currently attending the Hawaiian Immersion program called, “O Hina I Ka Malama.” We are both juniors in high school, and recently were assigned to research about the fishpond called, “Ka Hina Pohaku,” located towards the eastern side of the island. We were introduced to ‘Anakala Leimana and his helper Bryson, who are the current caretakers of this fishpond. During our visits to Ka Hina Pohaku we experienced the Hawaiian vibe of working in the footsteps as our ancestors did.
Stepping out of the bus, we started off our visit with the usual protocol that we do, which is to ‘oli kahea (asking to be welcomed into his domain) and being welcomed in with a full hearted, passionate ‘oli komo from ‘Anakala Leimana. Then we had the chance to have a little “talk story” with him about how we as the younger generation should start connecting more with the ‘aina, and our culture, rather then trying to keep up with the technology and the social issues that can impact us everyday, and find a more cultural balance with everyday life.
We had the chance to gather and study native and invasive limu species while helping rebuilding the stonewall at Ka Hina Pohaku. Some of the students also had the privilege to go diving in the ocean along side with ’Anakala Leimana to experience his lifestyle. After spending a couple hours out in the ocean, some of the students were lucky enough to catch some squid, lobster and some ‘ono fishes such as manini, kala and some weke.
On our down time, we occupied ourselves by paddling the canoe in the loko i’a, cleaning the fish that were caught and just talk story with ‘Anakala Leimana. Going to these field trips, helped us gain more knowledge about the importance about sustainability. We as the next generation need to realize that we are the ones to help guide and deliver the message of continuing the Hawaiian culture, tradition, and language that has been passed down from ancestor to ancestor to the younger youth.
We would both like to thank ‘Anakala Leimana along with his helper Bryson for giving us a great experience at the Loko I’a of Ka Hina Pohaku. We would also like to thanks Uncle Mervin Dudoit for driving us around on these field trips. We know that he has a lot of fun with us! Also to Kumu Mahinahou for setting everything up and giving us the opportunity to learn and experience about the marine life. Mahalo Nui Loa for taking the time to read about our experience at Ka Hina Pohaku!