Aloha Mai Kakou,
The 2013 paddling year was one of great achievement as well as trials for the Puakea family and foundation. We have gained additional members and thus been extraordinarily busy. This increase in interest is wonderful, but overwhelming and very consuming, which accounts for the absence of the 2012 newsletter. We would like to send our sincere apologies for that.
During the course of this past year, Uncle Bobby has been working on Honolulu Pearl’s canoe that was damaged in 2011 Nanakuli race. With the help of volunteers like Mel Chow, Dennis, Ricky, and the members from Honolulu Pearl Canoe Club, the canoe repairs are progressing nicely. They have been gifted with hands-on learning opportunities on how to repair and maintain the canoe when they get it back in the water.
We also hosted our annual paddle workshops in 2012 and 2013. These turned out to be a great success, and we are in the process of planning logistics for upcoming 2014 event that is to be held in February. It is very rewarding for everyone involved, and has received very positive feedback. What could be better than taking home your very own paddle made with your own hands!?
In his travels, Uncle Bobby also made trips to Kahana Valley to work on the Ululani. The members of the Kahana Valley community came out to support, observe, learn how to care for and maintain the koa canoes. At certain points, there were upwards of a dozen participants there learning how to operate tools, take measurements, and create patches in efforts to refurbish and redesign the canoe.
The canoe has since been moved from Kahana Valley to our Learning Center in Kaneohe so Uncle Bobby can work freely and unhindered by travel. All of the material they had has been utilized, and we are now awaiting the arrival of additional supplies of koa wood so progress can resume on this restoration. The community is eager for the completion of the project, and they desire to get the Ululani fully repaired and functional to be back in the water as soon as possible.
We had a group of young people from Sweden stop by to hear about our canoe center, and paddle-driven culture, and Uncle Bobby was more than willing to share his stories and knowledge with them. We also were visited by another group sponsored by the Lions Club, who came from various countries to learn from, participate with, and observe Uncle Bobby. A group of paddlers on the islands for a semester paid us a visit and they were all very intrigued and eager to lean more about the process and history behind koa canoes.
We were very pleased to have the annual visit from our elementary school children, (about 75 of them), ranging from grades 4 & 5. We look forward to their visit each year as they provide abundant amounts of positivity and enthusiasm. In order to effectively incorporate these large groups, we have additional help from our board members Alana, Mark, and Jerry.
We were also visited by a group from Punahou who came by as part of their Hawaiian history/culture class. There is a constant presence from visitors and locals alike, and Uncle Bobby is always happy to stop whatever he is doing to accommodate and include them in whatever task he is doing at the moment. This is what really makes the experience so special and accessible to a variety of individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life.
The foundation was excited to be invited to participate in the Kualoa Festivals in both 2012 and 2013. It is always a pleasure to be out at Kualoa with exposure to so many individuals that may never have seen this ancient craft being performed. It is a beautiful location and what better way to add to it than with a truly meaningful and treasured cultural practice. The event was complete with all types of activities ranging from swimming, sailing, paddling, and crafts. If anyone is interested in participating as an exhibitor please call Jerry at 783 9577 or Iris at 237 8525.
The foundation participated in the paddle workshop for the Y2Y group from Waimanalo in November of 2012 as well as the 2012 Kaneohe Christmas Parade. We decorated our trailer and joined with Honaunau and Naholokai as well as members of the Honolulu Pearl Canoe Club. We were unable to enter this year unfortunately, but we are hopeful to return in the upcoming year.
In September Uncle Bobby had the honor of being the Grand Marshall of the Catalina Race in California. It was a great experience and we thank the Off Shore Canoe Club for their hospitality. It was truly an unforgettable experience and we were greatly honored to be included.
This year was exceptionally busy with the addition of our fundraiser for our canoe halau that is in the process of being approved and constructed. We have the plans and are now waiting for the permit which we would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to Fran Palama for working on this for us. We are very grateful to the Castle Foundation for giving us a grant to get started. This donation, in combination with the money from the Casino Night Fundraiser, has provided a jump start to the project, and we are well on our way. Mahalo Nui for all the donations support and volunteer hours that were put into making this night possible, as it was a great success.
The Naholokai was moved back to Hanalei this year and was renamed “Kainoa-Naholokai”. Uncle Bobby went to Kauai for the blessing and it was a truly beautiful and rewarding experience to see the canoe back home after such a long absence. It was so good to see her out in the ocean as she should be, pushing up a wake as she floated effortlessly along the ocean’s surface.
We still have three canoes being repaired and a beautiful log all at the Heʻeia Kea Learning Center. We welcome any and all! If anyone is interested in learning or just talking story please stop by or feel free to contact us for more details.
We want to send out a big Mahalo to Alana Burrows for all her help with the foundation these past years. She has left the board to expand her horizons and we wish her well in future adventures. Also a big Mahalo for Roxanne of Barefeetstudios.com for all her amazing help and everyone else who has helped us thru the years.
Sending out our Aloha and wishing everyone a Mele Kalikimaka and Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou!
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The Puakea Foundation of Hawaii Inc
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Puakea Foundation of Hawaii, Inc. P O Box 1799 Kailua, HI 96734