On August 30, 2010 Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool Hawai‘i South took an awesome excursion to Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach. We were joined by 2 presenters: Megan Lamson and Captain Kiko- Kapena Johnston. Megan is a Marine Biologist who volunteered her time to educate and share her passion with us; the ocean. She did an awesome job of creating hands-on experiences for our keiki by diving into the ocean and gathering a variety of sea creatures which the keiki could touch and explore while learning about them. Some of the treasures she found were a brittle star, hau‘uki‘uki, pipipi, wana, and a variety of limu.
Aunty Megan also shared a mo‘olelo of Punalu‘u; Kauila and Honu‘ea. In this mo‘olelo, a mother turtle named Honupo‘okea laid one special egg on the beach at Punalu‘u. This egg was from the union of 2 supernatural honu; Honupo‘okea (mother) and Honu‘ea (father). Before returning to the ocean, Honupo‘okea along with Honu‘ea used their strong flippers and dug deep into the earth forming a fresh water pond near their precious nest. When the egg hatched, Honupo‘okea was right there and marveled at how dark and glossy her little one was. She named her Kauila like the dark, glossy wood. Honupo‘okea guided Kauila to the fresh water pond that was to be her home. She would often rest on the bottom of the pond and blow air bubbles to the delight of the children who lived there. Kauila loved the children and being a kupua she was able to transform herself into a human child and often would be seen running, swimming and playing with the children of the area. The people of Ka‘u cherish Kauila, for she looks after the children who swim and play at Punalu‘u Beach. They were also grateful for the pond that Honupo‘okea and Honu‘ea dug for this was the villages water source.
We also had Captain Kiko share his 3 Wa‘a; 2 Wa‘a Kaukahi and 1 Wa‘a Kaulua. He demonstrated how to lash the ‘ama to the canoe and then paddled it out on the fresh water pond with the help of Aunty Megan. Uncle Kiko then demonstrated how to right a wa‘a that capsizes, unbeknownst to Aunty Megan who proved to be a great sport about the whole demonstration.
Mahalo nui to Aunty Megan and Uncle Kiko, for a most enjoyable and educational day down at Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach.