‘...I looked around and saw how moved people were by the stories she shared’

Yesterday, Oct. 21, was day 2 of Mālama Mākua's overnighter in Mākua Valley. I missed day 1. Arrived 7:45 am Sunday, along with Melva and William Aila.

William shared some history of the valley, including the 'ohana who lived there. I hadn't known about John Na'iwi, father of Ivan Na'iwi, whose name is fairly well known by Wai'anae families connected to this area. The history sharing was great!

Those who joined the access made lei and floral hoʻokupu to offer at the Mākua ahu. It's always such an energizing activity because our artistic senses come into play but mostly because those who engage are creating beauty to honor something or someone other than themselves. It's always about remembering and it's always good. The ahu is so much more beautiful because of it.

At the ki'i pohaku we gathered around Vince Dodge and his moʻopuna, Ko'iahi, as she shared the story of her name and its relationship to the valley. Not sure why so many tears started falling but I looked around and saw how moved people were by the stories she shared. Awesome!

Then we all trekked back to the pavilion for lunch and a couple folks took naps while the rest of us sat around talking story. Sparky Rodrigues would have called that ʻāina time, as opposed to ʻohana time, a term that would have been too limiting in this context.

The valley hovered over us, being her usual beautiful self. Lots of wind, a few drops of blessings on us. We had a good time. Vince and crew took their last hike up to Ko'iahi before the sun set. I didn't get pics of that.

Words and photos by Lynette Cruz