Heading East

July 2, 2016

In from Malia Ane

After months of planning and preparation, the big day had finally arrived for our kumu trip to the East Coast. We departed for JFK – flying over the vast Pacific Ocean, the mainland United States, and a beautiful new site for many of us, the Great Lakes at sunrise. What a sight to behold.

Following an experience of riding in a careening NY taxi, we made it safely to the iconic Grand Central Station, the one that you see in the movies! It was early morning, and the station was just waking up, just starting to bustle with people buying their tickets and finding their platforms. The train was huge, so many cars and it was full to the brim with people, even some having to stand up for part of the ride. We traveled north for two hours and being on that train, made my mind drift to the times that mom and dad would tell us about the trains that we had in Hawai‘i.

After settling into our New Haven accommodations, we headed out to Grove Street Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark situated in the heart of Yale University. We went to pay our respects to Hiram, Sybil and Naomi Bingham. It was so humbling to be in their presence. We presented our lei, did our oli and had chicken skin. We talked to them about the changes in Punahou’s landscape and we hoped that they would be happy with the way Punahou has continued to serve the needs of our keiki. It truly was a special moment that we will never forget. We agreed that it was worth the 10 hours in a plane, surviving a NY cab and a crowded train just to see the Bingham burial site. We also stopped to pay respects to Noah Webster’s and Eli Whitney’s gravesites. As we walked through the peaceful cemetery we came upon by a beautiful magnolia tree in full bloom.

A side shopping trip to the YALE Bookstore, dinner and a walk in the park was a perfect way to bring this first day to an end. The kumu feel truly lucky and honored to be part of this special experience.

Mahalo, e ke akua,
Malia for the Boston/Connecticut Kumu