Holding Hands

Kamehameha Schools 6th graders get immersed in learning and service September 23, 2011

Kamehameha Schools 6th graders get immersed in learning and service September 23, 2011

From September 7, 2011 to September 9, 2011, and again from September 14, 2011 to September 16, 2011, PIDF’s Ka Pa‘alana, Hui Nohona, and Nā Pono No Nā ‘Ohana hosted the entire sixth grade class from Kamehameha Schools during a three-day imu and team-building/service learning workshop.

The workshop started with several team-building activities, where students had to use their individual, as well as team, strengths to balance the entire team on a small wooden box, and run through an eating relay course. Several students gave new meaning to the word “hurl” as they tried to stomach natto (fermented beans), entire cans of Vienna Sausage, and dried anchovies among other palatable items.

After the team-building activities, students made tuna sandwiches and handed them out to homeless families at Kea‘au Beach and the Pai‘olu Kaiāulu Shelter in Wai‘anae. Many students walked away from the service learning experience with a deeper understanding of the plight of homeless families, and a desire to continue to help those less fortunate.

The remainder of the workshop focused on the cultural practice of imu. Students immersed themselves in every part of the process—following protocol, gathering pōhaku, preparing the imu and pig, and shredding the cooked pig. While waiting for the fire to heat up the pōhaku, students got a chance to learn how to make lau lau and pa‘i ‘ai (pounded but undiluted taro), which the students got to eat during the last day’s pā‘ina, as well as make a pendant and block print.

And true to the spirit of PIDF and Kamehameha Schools, the students set aside a large portion of the food so that it could be donated to homeless families at nearby shelters.