Nani Ka Hale
Written By Maile Daniels, 2nd year Cohort 2
This summer has been one of the most eye-opening summers I’ve had by far. I’ve felt myself progress in many aspects of my life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This has been a rough year for all of us in more ways than one, but like all things in life, there is good in everything. This past summer has been so rewarding. When summer first started, we all finally got to meet the new Cohort- and they are nothing short of amazing! They are a group of smart, kind, and hardworking individuals and it’s been such a joy to work alongside them. But with them coming to join us, myself, and I’m sure many others, felt a huge obligation to make sure this new cohort had good people to look to for help, in any aspect further than just work. When I first started this program, I remember that I’d sort of shadow everyone that worked there. I’d use them as examples and take any advice they had for me. That being said, there was the slight chance that this new cohort looks at me and my cohort in the same light, so I wanted to make sure I was a person worth coming to for anything. Once I realized this I feel that I changed my attitude at work from learning to help myself to learning to help others. I’m very grateful to have been put in many situations where I had to teach this summer. It’s definitely something out of my comfort zone but it’s taught me more than I could imagine. I’m more conscious of my actions, my words, my attitude, and my energy. I’m still learning- as we all are, but I’m grateful for this new cohort as they taught me a lot more than I could’ve ever expected.
Another highlight of this summer was being able to learn the traditional Hawaiian building of hale alongside Uncle Earl Kawaʻa, the Wilhelm’s and many others. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I made sure to soak in all that I could. Uncle Earl is a very wise man and being able to learn under him was amazing. I have never seen a hale being built nor have I ever had any experience in hale building so participating in this process was nothing short of humbling. The first day I got to go up on the hale and work, Uncle Earl told me, “you’re learning today to teach tomorrow” and at first that put a lot of pressure on me because teaching others is a huge kuleana that I wasn’t sure I was ready to take on. But over time my confidence built up and looking back, I am so so grateful to have been able to teach volunteers, and some of my friends in the program. The hale is now completed and it is so incredibly breathtaking, I am so grateful to have been a part of it. We might’ve built the hale, but in many ways, the hale also built me.
I have been able to do a lot of reflecting on this past summer and I’ve realized that I’ve implemented a lot of what I’ve learned from work, to my personal life. I can feel myself growing everyday into the woman I know I can become. I have so much more to learn in my lifetime but I can say, without a doubt, that this summer has been one of growth for me. And for that I am so thankful…
My Little Kīpuka
Written By Kaiewa Leota, 1st year Cohort 3
I would like to start off by saying that coming into ASA I wasn’t expecting to fall for the program as I did. It helped to better myself in all aspects of my life because I was taught that if there is something in my life that isn’t going too well it will reflect in my work for everything else, it kept me active and in tune with my culture. I created not just friends but a family and people who will accept and support me through any journey. I have learned how important it is to be taking care of the ʻĀina because it will take care of you in return in many more ways than I could do for it. It’s helped me learn balance, and moving forward into my adulthood I have been so blessed to be able to be surrounded by people who will uplift me. There had only been laughs and good times and a lot of working on myself. ASA has helped me on my journey with confidence and how to be vocal with my manaʻo. I’m excited to see where this program will take me and I know it will take me far and I can’t be anymore thankful for this little kīpuka that I have in my life now.