Summer Study Trip Blog

The senior Capstone course is envisioned to be the culmination and synthesis of the values taught at Punahou through an innovative SEEDS curriculum, wherein themes of Social responsibility, Economics, the Environment, empowering Deeds of service and Sustainable solutions are explored. The vision is to graduate students who will be global citizens with passion, heart and intellect who use their talents and skills to design and implement sustainable solutions that create social change.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 18, 2017

    Being able to give gifts to the children and see their smiles meant everything to us and put our first-world privileges into perspective

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 15, 2017

    We started a little earlier than usual to make our way to the giant Buddha statue and temple, known as Kuensel Phodrang, up on a nearby mountainside

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 13, 2017

    Due to the limited use of technology, we were able to create strong bonds and unforgettable memories with the people we met.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 12, 2017

    Students got the chance to be both students and teachers today by teaching the English language to young monks and by beginning to learn the Dzongkha alphabet.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 11, 2017

    The highlight of the group’s five days in the valley was their participation in the Haa Summer Festival.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 10, 2017

    This experience has given us a new understanding of what it means to appreciate and reinvigorate culture and life

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 9, 2017

    The group got bus passes to go to Sylvia Park, a large shopping mall toward the middle of Auckland today.

  • Japan

    July 9, 2017

    After a week in Osaka and traveling around Gifu and Ishikawa Prefecture, the group has made it safely to Tokyo!

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 8, 2017

    Today, the group went into downtown Auckland.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 7, 2017

    The group visited the Tiger’s Nest, a Himalayan Buddhist sacred site.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    July 6, 2017

    Our group worked with a nonprofit called Trail Mix, to help restore the Perseverance Trail here in Juneau

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 6, 2017

    The group spent another day at Manurewa High School today.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    July 5, 2017

    This trip has in many ways prepared us for our college journeys

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 5, 2017

    Today we visited Manurewa school in Auckland.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 4, 2017

    On our 18th day in Auckland, New Zealand, we went to a charter school called Pacific Academy Senior School, which is for kids grades 11 – 13, who have dropped out of school, faced obstacles in life, or even were ex-criminals.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    July 4, 2017

    The group traveled along the Eagle River trailhead, all the while learning about the flora and fauna which live in that area.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 4, 2017

    “Overall it was an extremely peaceful experience. The cold air and the sounds of nature gave the entire monastery a beautiful feeling,” a student wrote.

  • SGLI: India

    July 3, 2017

    I can’t believe one week has already flown by! I know the kids are making friendships and memories that will last forever! It will be difficult to say good bye next week Sunday.

  • Japan

    July 3, 2017

    At the Kagawa Prefecture, students made Sanuki Udon, which takes a lot of work to knead the dough. Students climbed a couple hundred steps to get to the entrance of Konpira Shrine.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 3, 2017

    After breakfast we took a bus to head to the Te Oro Arts Center.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    July 3, 2017

    Students headed to Douglas Island Pink and Chum, a salmon hatchery in Juneau, to learn about the Tlingit way of raising salmon and how they always respect their food.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 3, 2017

    We spent the morning at Karma Ling orphanage, a facility recently opened by a monk to house 30 children either without parents or abandoned by them

  • SGLI: India

    July 2, 2017

    Seeing all the people in the city and experiencing city life up-close is my definition of living.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 2, 2017

    Today, we visited the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    July 2, 2017

    After reflecting in their journals, the students traveled to Northern Lights United Church to do some volunteer work.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 2, 2017

    Students visit Yoezerling Upper Secondary school where 30 students came in on a Sunday to meet with them.

  • Japan

    July 2, 2017

    The group experienced Kobe, the third largest port in Japan, then enjoyed a surprise karaoke challenge, after sampling the famous Kobe beef.

  • SGLI: India

    July 1, 2017

    Overall I had an amazing day, and I learned a lot about farming and the countryside of Hyderabad.

  • Capstone: Bhutan

    July 1, 2017

    After crossing eight time zones and over 25 hours of traveling time, these students have finally arrived at their long-awaited destination.

  • Japan

    July 1, 2017

    Students enjoyed Wagashi or Japanese sweet making in Kyoto, then braved the busy streets while walking up to Kiyomizudera.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    July 1, 2017

    Students visited Eagle beach and reflected on their experiences in Alaska at the Saint Theresa Shrine.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    July 1, 2017

    It is an understatement to say that New Zealand is a country filled with innovative people and rich culture.

  • SGLI: India

    June 30, 2017

    Our first activity of the day was yoga. For me, the yoga session was quite challenging and fulfilling.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 30, 2017

    It is almost time to say goodbye to our new friends and host families

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 30, 2017

    “In our final circle, we were asked to share one word about the evening,” Jeremy ʻ18 wrote. “Our shared experience prompted us to come up with words such as ‘fantastic,’ ‘magical,’ ‘majestic,’ ‘beautiful,’ ‘peaceful,’ and ‘community.’”

  • Japan

    June 30, 2017

    The first full day, we had a great breakfast at Hotel Monterey Grasmere at Namba station in Osaka and walked around the Dotonbori area of Osaka known for its great food and busy streets

  • SGLI: India

    June 29, 2017

    We realized how those relatively normal pictures one would find in a magazine could mean so much for another person.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 29, 2017

    This experience at the Marae was an amazing opportunity to stay in the very heart of Maori culture and life.

  • Japan

    June 29, 2017

    The group has arrived in Osaka after an almost nine-hour flight. Students grabbed some quick food at the airport and were off to their first residence in Tenjinbashisuji.

  • SGLI: India

    June 28, 2017

    Overall I really had a great time today, and I look forward to all the adventures we will have in the coming days.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 28, 2017

    Today, students researched various aspects of salmon in Alaska; topics included myths about the Salmon People, salmon’s economic effects, different types of salmon, and more.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 28, 2017

    On the morning of June 28th we boarded the bus and headed to a Marae, a traditional Maori meeting house.

  • SGLI: India

    June 27, 2017

    Our first stop was the magnificent Chowmahalla Palace. After a short drive filled with constant car horns, we arrived at the Palace. At the Palace, we learned that the time difference between Hyderabad and Honolulu is actually 15 hours and 32 minutes.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 27, 2017

    Jonah '18 reflected on his time in Alaska over the past two days.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 27, 2017

    Today the group went to the farm on the St. Peters campus called Owl Farm.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 26, 2017

    Today, the students and staff of Goldbelt’s Heritage Foundation’s High School Marine Science Academy Camp arrived at the University of Alaska Southeast

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 26, 2017

    Our first destination was the Waikato Regional Council located in the middle of the bustling Grey Street in the heart of Hamilton.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 25, 2017

    Maile and I started our day off with a short walk through Yarndley’s Bush with our host mom, sister and her friend.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 25, 2017

    After a morning of rest and an afternoon of much-needed laundry, the students had the opportunity to make traditional Tlingit drums.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 24, 2017

    The people of Christchurch have proven the power of resilience, resourcefulness, collaboration, and social responsibility.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 23, 2017

    Today was the students' last day experiencing life and culture in Barrow.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 23, 2017

    Today we visited the Canterbury Museum in urban Christchurch.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 22, 2017

    Today the group enjoyed Barrow's main tourist attractions, including “Top of the World,” which is the Northernmost point in Barrow, Alaska, making it the northernmost point in the U.S.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 21, 2017

    With help from Alaskan teachers, students learned how to skin a goose, cut up whale meat, and make fried donuts!

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 21, 2017

    We met with local musician, Adam McGrath, who talked about how he used music and song to heal both himself and the Christchurch community.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 20, 2017

    Today was the first day we started to become immersed in Inupiat culture. We started off the day by listening to lectures and having various discussions about Inupiat language and culture

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 20, 2017

    At around 9 a.m., we arrived at the Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus (EPIC).

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 19, 2017

    We first went to the Sumner school which is for grades 1 – 8, or in America, K – 7.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 18, 2017

    The surprise stay in Anchorage was a nice introduction to Alaska for the group, and now they are excited to begin their journey in Barrow.

  • Capstone: New Zealand

    June 18, 2017

    Today was the group's first day in New Zealand.

  • Capstone: Alaska

    June 17, 2017

    Our unexpected delayed arrival in Utkiagvik (Barrow) brought the group to Anchorage on Sunday, June 18, for an overnight stay

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 25, 2015

    The Capstone Arctic trip came to a close as the group headed back home to rejoin their families in Hawai‘i.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 21, 2015

    The group presented our five methods for extending the reach of the Alaska Raptor Center today.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 20, 2015

    The group visited the Blue Water Dam powerhouse today, which was actually overfilled right now because of the rain.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 19, 2015

    The group was able to perform on an English language TV show in China, where they sang Hawaiian and American songs and danced a hula.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 18, 2015

    The China Capstone group toured Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City, and also visited the Night Market.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 18, 2015

    The Fortress of the Bear was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 17, 2015

    Rainy weather meant that the group wasn’t able to finish painting today.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 16, 2015

    The group continued painting sections of Whitmore Hall’s exterior today.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 15, 2015

    The China Capstone group worked with Beijing Academy to create workshops that share the culture of Hawai‘i with their peers. The workshops focused on lifestyle and health; Hawaiian culture; and art and the environment.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 15, 2015

    Today, the group was able to help renovate the Sitka Fine Arts Camp by painting one of the principal buildings.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 14, 2015

    Today, the China Capstone students were able to learn some martial arts from the local professionals. “The kids loved it!”

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 14, 2015

    The Capstone Arctic group arrived safely in Sitka and began adjusting to the unique beauty of this place, new camp accommodations and focusing on the community work ahead.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 13, 2015

    Today the Capstone team was occupied with preparations to leave Juneau for Sitka, Alaska. “I am excited to visit the Raptor Center and see how they care for the birds of prey,” said Michael.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 12, 2015

    The visit to Xian concluded with a morning bicycle ride around the city wall, an eight-mile-plus ride. “Then, a well deserved lunch consisting of a variety of dumplings.” Later, the group visited a mosque in the Muslim district that was originally built during the Tang Dynasty.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 11, 2015

    Our band of adventurers really enjoyed hiking the Mt. Roberts and the West Glacier trails during our stay in Juneau.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 10, 2015

    “Ni hao, Xian!” The group visited the Terra Cotta Warriors and then made their way to the Wild Goose Pagoda.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 10, 2015

    Today was an intense, jam packed day full of fun and insightful activities.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 9, 2015

    The Arctic group toured the Macaulay Hatchery, located in the outskirts of downtown Juneau.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 8, 2015

    A busy day for the China Crew, consisting of a visit to Beijing Normal University Kindergarten and Primary School, followed by a Kung Fu show and a dumpling-making activity. “Overall, it was a wonderful day!”

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 8, 2015

    The day began with hula lessons for the group, in preparation for the cultural exchange on Friday evening with the middle school camp we are staffing this week.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 6, 2015

    Today the students explored Houhai and the hutongs with their Chinese buddies. They were sent on a scavenger hunt together where they were able to get to know each other a bit more while exploring the area, locating important places, trying some Chinese treats, etc.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 6, 2015

    The group started the day off by visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, where we learned about how glaciers are made and how the current changing climate is affecting the Mendenhall glacier.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 4, 2015

    “Today we were able to experience public transportation on our way to spend the morning at the Beijing Zoo. The students loved seeing the various animals – especially the Giant Pandas!”

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 4, 2015

    Alaska is a very patriotic state. However, the Fourth of July is on a whole new level. Everyone goes out celebrating American independence. It takes them two whole days!

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 3, 2015

    “The students spent the morning learning history about Beijing and China, as well as attended their Chinese classes. I think, however, they were most excited about their painting class today. It was such a treat! We sure do have some talented individuals among us.” The day concluded with a traditional Chinese dinner.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 3, 2015

    During this week, we shared our culture with the youth of Juneau and had our kind Aloha spirit returned with warm Gunalchéeshes (Tlingit language for thank you).

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    July 2, 2015

    Juneau is not on an island but its isolation makes it seem as if it is; Alaska’s capital city is only accessible by water and air.

  • CapSeeds - China

    July 1, 2015

    The Capstone China group visited the famous Great Wall of China. “It was a beautiful and clear day outside. The students enjoyed a good workout hiking up to the wall and exploring different sections of the wall/towers. The sheer scale of the wall is something that never ceases to amaze.”

  • CapSeeds - China

    June 30, 2015

    The Capstone China group arrived safely in Beijing and quickly got organized. In addition to checking into their rooms, they attended an orientation meeting and were able to tour the surrounding neighborhood.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 30, 2015

    To help us prepare for our trail restoration work next week, we took off for a hike up Mt. Roberts from a trailhead right in downtown Juneau.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 29, 2015

    Punahou students volunteered to act as teaching assistants at the Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School Tlingit Language and Culture Camp for elementary students.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 28, 2015

    The Capstone Arctic group arrived safely in Juneau, where they headed to the University of Alaska Southeast to prepare for the next two week stay.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 27, 2015

    The Capstone Arctic group headed to Juneau, Alaska.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 25, 2015

    After four days of preparation and direct assistance at the homes of Whaling Captains Arey Crew and Panigeo Crew, we bundled up with a few more layers in anticipation of 39 degree, 15 mph wind and 30 percent chance of precipitation weather for a long day of Nalukataq service.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 24, 2015

    The majority of today’s work was spent finishing the preparations for the Nalukataq festival.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 23, 2015

    First on the agenda, we took a trip to the Iñupiaq Heritage Center where we met up with Fannie Akpik, Coordinator of Inupiaq Education for the North Slope Borough School District.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 22, 2015

    We started out with some cultural sharing activities with the Inupiaq students who are attending the camp from various villages on the North Slope.

  • CapSeeds - Arctic

    June 21, 2015

    The group arrived safely in Barrow, Alaska, on Sunday morning. "Our hosts at Ilisagvik College have made us feel at home," said chaperone and Academy social studies teacher Bill Waring.