Hokulea: Punahou School takes journey to heart

Published On: May 14 2014 07:40:06 PM HST   Updated On: May 14 2014 09:43:03 PM HST

Did you know there are three vessels that will be taking part in the Polynesian Voyaging Canoe's Malama Honua journey?

First is the Hokule'a, second is the Hikianalia and third is the technology. The last is not a name, but a way to allow all of us to come along for the ride.

Click here to watch Paula Akana's report.

Schools all across the state are getting on board, especially Punahou School that's taking the journey to heart.

"I just love the idea that it was so many hands coming together to work on it and that we're all part of a little piece. You know that we all have a little piece in this deck that's a teaching tool and we all have a little piece in the voyage," said Punahou Director of Hawaiian Studies Malia Ane.

Malia showed off a full scale replica of Hokule'a's deck; a dream of a Punahou teacher and Hokule'a's crewmember Ty Crouch built right at the school. It took five months of hard work by students, staff and alumni to bring the dream to life.

Kids of all ages jumped in. They sanded each and every piece of wood and then lashed the wood together. It was no easy feat.

"For our Hawaiian 4 class, we helped to build this deck. It was a long process that we each took our own small part in. We helped to sand and then to lash it together. So, it was a way for us to see that our own small contribution could create something bigger, said Kim-Hee Wong, a Punahou senior.

"It's such a small space to fit the crew and the equipment needed that it really surprised me at how small it is, but it really shows how much they have to work together to actually live on such a small area," said Punahou senior Michael Luna.

It has a lot to offer to students of all ages.

"We have a steering sweep to help the kids understand how it's really guiding the canoe, giving it direction. We talk a lot about how they fish and how fish is important in their diet on the way. We have paper mache animals that were brought on the first voyage and some of the plants that were brought," said Malia.

Even Maxwell Namunamu the puaa, or pig, is there on his cage.

There are lots of learning experiences for all ages, from cooking stations to coolers and packing the canoe, which will be happening soon with the real Hokule'a.

"How do you pack the canoe? When you pull things out you can't pull it all from the same place because it becomes unbalanced, so it's a great math lesson," said Malia.

It's a chance for Punahou students to learn firsthand what crewmembers face, and in their own way, to ride along on this historic voyage.

"Then they have a much deeper appreciation for really what's going to happen and how big this really is and that they are living in history. It's not like I'm reading about it and it already happened. I'm in the history, which makes it very exciting," said Malia.

Through technology crews on board the canoe will be sending video and stories about the voyage, including a look at the ports the canoes will visit.

Using Google Hangouts, crewmembers will be talking story live in video chats with schools around the state.

We'll be following the canoes on their international journey and you can too. Click here for more information.


PHOTOS: Studying and preparing for Hokule'a to set sail

Click here for photos of the Punahou School's replications.


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