Words and photos by Lynette Cruz, unless noted
Mākua access today: Hot. Beautiful!
Very friendly group of mostly photographers. Everyone got along really well. Sometimes the support staff and visitors and Mālama Mākua folks gel and we all feel like family. Happened today.
After we left the Mākua ahu we visited the Kiʻi Pōhaku where our friend, LTC (Ret.) Joe Estorio, shared a wonderful short story about his experience with his tutu in Kāneana, the cave in Mākua, and their connection to a mano in a stream that flowed through the cave when he was a child and when there were streams still flowing. Of course, the stream no longer exists but that history and memory remain.
He went on, in his talk, to share his role in the devastation of Mākua today and his desire to apologize and somehow make amends by sharing his story and kuleana (to fix it). It was a challenging time for many of those who heard him and who felt torn between their loyalty to and service in the U.S. military and also knowing the history of harm perpetrated on Mākua and other places by that same military force, which made promises that were not kept. You can watch Part 1 and Part 2 of his talk in the videos below.
Today was one of those interesting story-full days. Kauluwehiokalani Eli asked for some light mist as we hiked up to Koʻiahi. By the time we got there we had cooled off and it was misting, alrighty! We offered hoʻokupu at both ahu. We remembered Aloha Aina Joseph Nawahi, James Kaulia, William Punohu White, Kuaihelani Campbell, Emma Nawahi, the women of the Hui Aloha ʻĀina, Timoteo Haalilio, and of course our own Queen, our Liliulani.
There were multiple high points in the day, which I'm not even covering. My bad. Suffice to say that we were lucky. Mahalo to Sparky Rodrigues, Nathan Routt, Rowan Alaka'ilenani Kapanui and, of course, Ulu for lifting and holding us up. And for making floral offerings, too!