Ka Loli o ke Au

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Photo: Malia Kukahiwa

Na Malia Kukahiwa, Papa 11 Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalani’ōpuʻu Iki Lab Public Charter School

E nā mamo, nā koa, me nā kaniʻāina mai kēia pae ʻāina aku, e welina mai me ke aloha pumehana! He ʻōlelo kalalea kaʻu e kaʻana aku ai iā ʻoe e ka mea heluhelu, ʻo ia hoʻi kēia ʻaʻohe mea kūmau ma ke ola koe ka loli. He ʻōlelo kēia me nā manaʻo no nā kau ā kau, me nā haʻawina ola. ʻAʻole wau i ʻike i ka ʻoiaʻiʻo o kēia ʻōlelo a i ka hoʻomaka ʻana o kēia maʻi ahulau, ʻo ia hoʻi ka maʻi kolona.

Ma kēia wā o ka maʻi, ua kupu aʻe he mau ālaina i hoʻopilikia iā kākou a pau, keu hoʻi ma ka hele ʻana i ke kula. ʻO kekahi o nā ālaina i kupu aʻe, ʻo ia hoʻi ka hoʻopaʻa pono ʻana i ka manaʻo o ka haʻawina ma ke keleaʻo. Ua nui ka huikau i kekahi mau manawa, akā, ma ka hoʻomanawanui ʻana, ua hiki no ke hoʻopaʻa. Hiki ke hoʻohālikelike ʻia kēia me nā hana a Kumu Kamanā mā, ua pono lākou e hoʻomanawa nui i ka mea i hoʻoholo ʻia e ke aupuni. Ma ia hoʻomanawa nui ʻana, ua hoʻokō, a puka lanakila. Manaʻo ʻia, ʻo ke kula kahi e hoʻōla ai i nā hana kuʻuna a me ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, a he ʻoiaʻiʻo kēlā, akā, he aha ka hana inā ʻaʻole hiki ke hele i ke kula? I kēlā mau pule i mālama ʻole ʻia ai ke kula, ua pau ka mālama ʻana i ka piko me nā moʻokiʻina ʻē aʻe. Ma ka ʻike ʻana i ia mau loli, ua ʻike ʻoiaʻiʻo nō au ʻo ka ʻōlelo ka mea hoʻokahi i kūmau ma koʻu ola.

ʻO ka ʻōlelo ka mea i hiki ʻole ke lawe ʻia mai ke kanaka, a pōmaikaʻi kākou i ka hiki ke mālama i ka ʻōlelo ma nā pōʻaiapili a pau o ke ola. ʻO ka ʻōlelo ka mea e ikaika ai ka lāhui. Inā ʻaʻohe ʻōlelo, ʻaʻohe ola o ka mōʻaukala. E maʻa kākou i ka loli, he ʻaoʻao kanaka nō ia, a pau, akā ʻaʻole poina ma loko o nā wā pilikia, e mau ana ka ʻōlelo me kākou pākahi a pau no ka mālama a hoʻōla ia nō nā hanauna e hiki mai ana.

There is nothing more consistent in life than change. Before being affected by the pandemic I never truly understood the value behind this saying. We were overwhelmed by a lot of changes and obstacles, especially when it came to having to adapt to online schooling. Days turned into weeks of not knowing what we were going to do and the fear of losing our language to an invisible enemy made everyone uneasy.

Something that was personally challenging for me was trying to understand a certain assignment, but when I put my mind to it, I could get it done and I realized I just had to be patient and trust my teachers. I remembered that this wasn’t the first time that our school had to be patient. In the beginning, Kumu Kamanā, Kumu Pila and Kumu Lale had to be patient in waiting for Congress to oppose or agree with the generation of a fully Hawaiian-educated school. Even when things got hard, they persevered and kept going. People thought that school was the only place where we could revive our language. Although there is some truth to that, we knew that language wasn’t a place but a people – it didn’t matter where we were as long as there were people to speak it.

Throughout all the adjusting that had to be done, I realized that the one thing that didn’t change was the love and perpetuation of our language. Whether at school or at home, we were going to keep going because the longer we waited for others, the higher the chance of us losing something we love. Just like at school we could learn and adapt and we were able to keep our language alive. I think that it made us stronger as a school and as a new generation of Hawaiians.