“Plan for the best, prepare for the worst” is manaʻo shared by Captain Clay Bertelmann and words that I've taken to heart since my first crew training. Hanauna Mau continues ʻai pono training for ʻohana waʻa and community members not only for long distance voyages but for provisioning our homes, and for occasions such as welcoming newborn babies & mamas, kupuna recovering from surgery, preparing for hurricane season and recovering from devastating fires.
Project Hanauna Mau assisted ʻOhana Waʻa Moʻokiha with their introductory ʻAi Pono Preservation training with their crews from Maui and Molokaʻi in late April. A follow up training was scheduled for Chadd and I to facilitate on the second weekend in August. The day after the Lahaina and Kula fires, an online meeting was held with waʻa Moʻokiha and Puʻu Kukui Watershed Preserve leadership sparking a consensus that the ʻai pono training should continue. “Now more than ever this food preservation training needs to be conducted for all those willing to learn,” echoed Kalā Baybayan Tanaka and Pōmaikaʻi Kanʻiaupiʻo-Crozier. The decision to prepare ʻai pono meals like stew lūʻau, which will not only be nutritious but be a symbol of hope and healing, was made.
Chadd Paishon and I boarded the Thursday morning flight with preserved meals from Makaliʻi crew, ʻohana and community members. Upon arrival we met up with Hōkūleʻa crew member Roman Corpuz who located Uncle Snake and Aunty Myrna Ah Nee safe and in good health. It was great news to reunite and to hear that the Ah Nee home was spared by the fire. Uncle Snake and Aunty Myrna were overjoyed to receive the preserved meals from ʻohana Makaliʻi especially since they were without power and cooking with a camping stove.
Moʻokiha ʻohana, crew members, Hawaiian immersion educators and Kupaianaha members attended the ʻAi Pono Preservation Workshops graciously hosted at hale pule Ekalesia o Kupaianaha the following day. Donations of venison, lūʻau, kalo and fruits overflowed from the communities of Molokaʻi to Kauaʻi. As quick as the meals were prepared they were then delivered to Lahaina families.
Just as quick was the response from The Constellations Culture Change Fund & Initiative, housed at The Center of Cultural Power, the organization supporting my fellowship and our Hanauna Mau project. They generously mobilized and donated a total of $10,000 in mutual aid to Nā Kālai Waʻa to support the important work of rebuilding Lahaina. If you would like to support the ʻAi Pono initiatives for Maui, consider donating to waʻa Moʻokihaʻs organization Hui o Waʻa Kaulua as they continue to build capacity and purchase