Hero of the day

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Ocean Defender

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It’s our Queen’s birthday

So here is a song she wrote, lovingly performed by Weldon Kekauoha & friends.



Queen’s Jubilee written in 1887 by Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha, otherwise known as Queen Lili’uokalani.

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Heroes of the day: the Aldrich brothers

I haven’t done one of these in a long, long time. It’s not that I don’t think of people as heroes, because I see them all the time both in person and in the news. I’ve just been lazy. Really, really lazy.

And busy.

Anyway, I meant to post about these kids a while ago but I didn’t (see excuse above.)

So a while ago, I came across an article about these two kids Noah and Lucas whose amazing parents allowed them to participate in a triathlon.

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Very inspiring to see kids these days doing something other than sitting in front of the TV with their video games, right? But even more inspirational is that they are only 6 and 8 and that the best friends and brothers competed and crossed the finish line of a triathlon together!

Big brother Noah made sure his younger brother Lucas (who has lissencephaly and is unable to walk and talk) was well protected during the race and even added, “he’s just like any other kid out there.”

I can just imagine what the future holds for them.

8-year-old Noah and 6-year-old Lucas competing in a triathlon:

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.58.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.58.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.58.05 PMThe family runs Lucas House, a place where families with children who have life-threatening conditions will be able to go for respite and palliative care once it opens. Go visit their website to learn more about them and to help them get it started.

Read the Amazing Oasis story here.

Lucas House: (from website) "a place where children of Idaho and surrounding regions with life-threatening conditions and their families can come and receive respite and, as needed, end of life care." Click here to learn more and/or donate to this cause.

Lucas House: (from website) “will be a place where children of Idaho and surrounding regions with life-threatening conditions and their families can come and receive respite and, as needed, end of life care.” Click here to learn more and/or donate to this cause.

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Hero of the Day: Kamehameha

Kamehameha The Great

Watercolor painting by Louis Choris

Today is June 11 and that means all of Hawai’i is celebrating Kamehameha Day, so I thought it would be fitting for me to write about our King and his heroic deeds.

Kamehameha (the lonely one) was born during ikuwā or winter in 1836 (Kamakau) and it is chanted that his birth brought a great star that streaked across the sky. This corresponds to a comet that was seen around the time of the, “Celestial Phenomena of the Great Year 1736” which was foretold by Sir Isaac Newton. (Clicking the link will lead you to Harvard’s Astrophysics Data System.)

His birth year has been disputed by scholars over the years however, Kamakau was an Ali’i (chief) a genealogist, and a keeper of stories long before modern American historians became interested in our events.  (Meaning that I trust Kamakau, a man who was alive during much of Hawaii’s history way more than I trust any newbie intent on changing the date for whatever reason and/or benefit.)

Prior to his birth, it was predicted that Kamehameha’s existence would bring the deaths of chiefs so Hawai’i King Alapa’inui insisted that he be killed. When his mother Kekuiapoiwa learned of this, she traveled in secret to Mo’okini Heiau in the district of Kohala on the “Big Island” and gave birth to him at these ancient birthing stones.

Mookini Heiau birthing rocks

He was then given to famed runner and chief Nae’ole, who took him to be hidden and raised by family members in Waipi’o Valley.

As he grew older, his strength, fighting skills, intuition, and intelligence impressed many. He was said to be over eight feet tall and was taught how to win battles by the great and powerful warrior Kekuhaupi’o.

He later went in search of the famed Naha stone, to perform a feat which was said to be impossible. The belief of the people was that whoever lifted it would be the one to unite the islands. Kamehameha lifted the enormous slab alone, which solidified the fact that he was indeed born to unite the islands.

The famed Naha Stone

Here’s where history gets a little fuzzy.

Some say that he went into war with the intent to rule over all and everything, but he was an Ali’i and Hawaiian royals were raised to serve and take care of their people. According to my family’s oral history, he saw that the arrival of the foreign people (during his time it was James Cook in 1779) would bring diseases that were previously unheard of, death and greed.

Cook died the same year Kamehameha was said to have met him, because he tried to take high Chief Kalaniopu’u aboard his boat with him. Cook believed that kidnapping the chief (who was so sacred one could be killed if Kalaniopu’u’s shadow touched them) would force the Natives who were accused of stealing from him to give the trinkets back. This only angered the Hawaiians who killed Cook– a man who was not revered as a God as some continue to say, but a mortal who was treated respectfully as all visitors were treated– because he dared to touch the high ranking chief. Cook’s men then turned their guns and cannons on all the people living in the coastal villages and sailed up and down the long stretches of land killing thousands of innocents.

Kamehameha knew that he was responsible for uniting the islands and did so with the intent to bring all the people of Hawaii together so that they could solidify that they belonged to the islands. With the help of Isaac Davis, John Young, and thousands of fierce men, he did what he was born to do.

By bringing the people together, he was the recognized ruler of the entire archipelago (which consists of 137 islands.) After his death, his rule continued and nation after nation recognized, signed treaties with, and entered trade contracts with the Kingdom of Hawai’i.

Long story short, King Kamehameha was a hero who knew that ‘a’ohe hana nui ka alu ‘ia: no task is too big when done together. In other words, when everyone is united, things get done.

In his words:

“I mua e na poki’i a inu i ka wai ‘awa’awa ‘a’ohe hope e ho’i mai ai.”

which means:

Forward my brothers and drink of the bitter waters of battle for there is no turning back until we are victorious.

Aloha wau ‘ia ‘oe, e Tutu Kane.  I am happy that this day belongs to you.


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Hero of the Day

young maya angelou

I’ve been following Maya Angelou’s facebook feed for years and was shocked when I read the status update on her page when I woke up.

Just two days ago she wrote two posts. The first one read:

“An unexpected medical emergency caused me the greatest disappointment of having to cancel my visit to the Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game ceremony. I am so proud to be selected as its honoree. However, my doctors told me it would be unadvisable for me to travel at that time. My thanks to Robin Roberts for speaking up for me and thank you for all your prayers. I am each day better.”

And the second one said:

And now we come to the day where we can honor the brave men and women who have risked their lives to honor our country and our principles. Our history is rife with citizens who care and who are courageous enough to say we care for those who went before us.

So I was shocked this morning, when her family let the world know that she had passed away.

Growing up in Hawai’i, Maya Angelou’s work was never required reading. We read the standards: T.S. Elliot, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickenson, Shakespeare, but never Maya Angelou– in fact, even when we read African American poetry, it was limited to the time of the Harlem Renaissance. No, I discovered her work on my own when I was in high school and actually, I have the movie Poetic Justice to thank for that.

Throughout the years, I’ve read her words, felt them grow within me, let them simmer into that stuff called motivation, and today, it is so apparent that she’s touched a lot of people from many different backgrounds in positive ways and to me, that makes her a hero.

My absolute favorite poem by her is called, “Still I Rise”:

Thank you for your sharing your soul with the world, Dr. Angelou. May God’s angels guide you home, and may you rest peacefully there.


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