Mālama Kumu in South Africa

November 13, 2015

When you have the chance to visit Hōkūleʻa literally half way around the world from Hawai'i, why wait until you get back to share the experience? On November 13, Chaplain Lauren Buck Medeiros joined the second- and third-grade chapel virtually from dockside next to the Hōkūleʻa. Although the 12-hour time difference meant it was night in Cape Town and the keiki couldn't actually see the Hōkūleʻa, they were very excited to see Chaplain Medeiros, knowing that she stood at the side of the wa'a as they asked her and the other kumu questions about the Hōkūleʻa and about Africa. For the kumu in Cape Town, hearing and seeing the eagerness of the students re-ignited their own excitement, which had been dampened a bit by 32 hours of travel and lack of sleep.

The inspiring moment shared by the keiki at Punahou and the kumu in South Africa was only possible through the assistance of many folks behind the scenes. Matt Awaya and the IT crew set up the Google hangout and made sure the chapel end of the teleconference worked smoothly. 'Oiwi TV graciously loaned the kumu a mobile hotspot that worked in South Africa to provide the connection on the Cape Town side. Several of the kumu got the tech on the South Africa end ready, held the computer as Lauren spoke, and shone a flashlight on Lauren so the students could see her. Thus the Hōkūleʻa and her Worldwide Voyage strengthen connections both between people in distant locations like Hawai'i and South Africa, and between neighbors like the people who made this teleconference possible.

Submitted by Anna Liem, Academy Science Department Head