In preparation for this presentation, I decided it might be best if I started with talking about the history of Hāmākua through ʻōlelo noʻeau, wise or poetic sayings, passed on to us by our kūpuna. There are many ʻōlelo noʻeau about our ʻāina, and they often describe important observations made by our kūpuna about the nature of a particular ʻāina and the kamaʻāina born of it. The lessons held in ʻōlelo noʻeau, like those held in moʻolelo and mele, are very important for us today, as they teach us how to properly live in balance with our ʻāina and each other.
Our youth, like the buds of the lehua, hold within them the seeds of change for the future generations. While the time I spent with these particular ʻōpio that evening was short, it influenced me greatly. As our hui grows and moves forward with our efforts, I am confident that the youth of Hāmākua will carry on this work with great aloha for our ʻāina and kūpuna. While that night, I may have been the one standing at the front of the room and presenting, it was the ʻōpio who were truly teaching us the important lessons. In sharing that evening together, I learned a great deal about our community. I even learned that the Pāʻauilo Hongwanji, where we gathered that evening, is actually located in the ahupuaʻa of Hauola. I mahalo the ʻōpio, their ʻohana, and all of our ʻohana of huiMAU, and I look forward to sharing more together in the future.
ʻO wau iho nō,