Sadly, we canʻt mālama that ʻāina in the same way, but there are ways... we give offerings

Text and photos Lynette Cruz

I don't think it was the hottest day of the year, but it certainly felt like it! Good group, interested, friendly, kind to each other. We visited Mākua ahu, Ki'i Pāhaku, Kahanahāiki ahu, Ko'iahi ahu, and a heiau with a number for a name, 4546. It was beautiful, even if it only has a number.

Happy to see Noe Lani and Hauʻoli there with hae Hawaiʻi. Happy that the archaeologists opened up the area in front of the structure at 4546 so we could move in closer. At some point, there will be opportunity to see the back side of the heiau, we were told. Even though the relationship between us and the support crew (including military folks) is sometimes tense, mostly it's good. Respectful. Feels pono. We like to think we're training them, especially the newcomers, to feel the valley in the same way we do. And to remind them that the sacredness of that valley will one day manifest for them individually. It shouldn't be hard for them to be in community with us because, basically, we're really nice! Sadly, we can't mālama that ʻāina in the same way that we mālama other places because we can't plant, weed, cut anything, dig any holes. But there are ways, usually when we give offerings.

Every access there's something different going on. We passed by the dip pond near Kahanahāiki and saw a pretty large pig in the pond. Before everyone left, Charles and Dave pulled it out and it ran off into the trees. And then there are the turkeys who like to hang out waiting for snacks. And on the way back to the parking lot we saw another fairly large pig under the bridge on the other side of the fence. Not sure why all these animals are making themselves visible to us lately. Maybe they're feeling friendly, too. Trick is to not look at them as if they're food, I suspect. Later they might follow us around to each site. Now THAT would be hōʻailona.

And, as always, we remembered the mauna. Kukauakahi joined us, as well as Pōhakuloa. They sat on the ahu and waited for us to collect them on the way out. Baby Kukauakahi will stay on the Mākua ahu, linking Maunakea and Mākua Valley for the long term.