The visit from the crew of Malama Honua (Hokule’a and Hikianalia) from Hawaii (in Term 1) was the biggest event of the year, not only at our school, but in our Manaiakalani Cluster of schools. Malama Honua means to care for our Earth. On their website it says that “The Worldwide Voyage is a means by which we now engage all of Island Earth—bridging traditional and new technologies to live sustainably, while sharing, learning, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of this precious place we all call home”.
Paige and Collin were two lucky students who were given the opportunity by crew member and media specialist Na’alehu Anthony to sail on the Hikianalia.
On the vaka as part of the crew sailing towards Pt England beach were many important Hawaiians including: Nainoa Thompson and Kalepa Baybayan (traditional navigator and captain), members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and Hawaii Education Leaders.
As the vaka approached Pt England beach I was one of the lucky observers on the vaka to view the incredible scene that greeted us. Approximately 2,000 students from the Manaiakalani Cluster of Schools chanted in unison as the vaka approached the shore. It was such a stunning and memorable sight to witness. The sound of the conch shell could be heard across the water as well as the sound of 2,000 children chanting.
The school leaders who represented each school in the cluster lead the assembled schools in a waiata tira to call the vaka in the for the crew to come ashore. Once on shore the school leaders from our school delivered a mihi and korero.
This was followed by waiata (song) and presentations. Each crew member was presented with a special bone carving necklace.
The crew responded with their own speeches and waiata. Then every child from the Cluster had the opportunity to head down to the beach, file past the crew and give them high fives.
Towards the end of the day, the crew and Hawaii Education Leaders visited Pt England School and took a tour of the school. They were keen to find out how we use 21st Century Learning tools to help our learners who are predominantly from Maori and Pasifika backgrounds.
This was definitely one of the major highlights of the year. The visit from the crew of Malama Honua was a special moment and a reminder for our Maori and Pasifika community to remember that our ancestors were incredible navigators. Our people were creative, collaborative, innovative, and courageous. The children that we teach in our cluster need to be reminded that they too have these same abilities and the potential to be our leaders of the future.
M Honua from Team 5 PES on Vimeo.