Early Mornings and Late Nights

This morning all the SGLI students were split two groups for early morning field trips. Mr. Ahmed, Chloe, and Molly left the dorms at 4:30 in the morning to greet and “wake up” the sun with a Hawaiian chant. We stood on a hill overlooking the ocean and watched the sunrise over Oahu. Afterwards, we walked through an 800 year old fish pond which served as a food source for the native residents of Hawaii. We also cleared away parts of a mangrove patch by severing the roots of the trees and burning the braches. It was hard work which left us pretty muddy, but it was very rewarding

Leena and her group traveled to Kahili Valley to a place called Ho’oulu ‘Aina, a nonprofit organization which owns 100 acres of rainforest land. When we arrived, we started off with an aloha circle and prayer, then got to work. As we trekked up through the trails many people were slipping and sliding because of the mud. So to solve this problem, our job was to put mulch down on the trails on top of the mud so they are easier to navigate. We filled up buckets of mulch and made an assembly line along the trails, passing buckets from person to person until they got to the front of the line, and then passing empty buckets back. After almost an hour and a half we only finish about half the trail, but were exhausted. We finished the day by seeing some wild pigs and learning more about Hawaiian culture, then wrapped up with a mahalo circle where we shared what we were thankful for.

In the evening, we had our Community Night at Punahou School. We listened to a variety of speakers talk about subjects relating to cities. Some examples are “Urban Agriculture,” “Solutions to Traffic Congestion in Cities” and “Cities in the 21st Century: The Big Picture.” The talks were given by a variety of speakers with different viewpoints: farmers, professors from University of Hawaii, and we were especially honored to hear from the mayor of Honolulu! The speeches were really interesting, and gave us much to think about as we start planning a project about cities to bring back to Palo Alto.

Although our day sounds packed, we did have time to stop at the beach, and to enjoy some famous Hawaiian shaved ice with kids from across the world. We have some funny stories about our conversations with them, but we’ll save them for next time!

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