Aloha, ea, and education in Lahaina

“It takes a village…” You’ll probably hear that a lot throughout your lifetime. It’s a proverb that describes the effort it takes to teach and raise a child or the effort it takes to tackle something monumental that requires a lot of hearts, hands, and commitment.

Though what you might not hear as often is that it takes ‘āina, too.

‘Āina is what happens when people, place, and practice come together to create abundance, an abundance anchored in aloha that cradles, enables, and sustains life. Especially in times like these.

The teachers and families who are a part of the Hawaiian language immersion school system have always grounded themselves this way, teaching and learning basic subjects like math, science, and a slew of other “standards” in ways that create and foster intergenerational relationships and connections that enable ‘āina to thrive. And they’ve historically done it with less funding and less facility support than some of their English-only counterparts.

Today, in spite of ongoing challenges and the suffocating losses from the recent fires, they continue to breathe life and bring ea to the spaces they engage; They are leaning even more into the community, leaning into their village, and like they have always done, they are embracing ‘āina. And the ‘āina embraces them back, healing them, teaching them, holding them in aloha.

As kumu Kanoe Steward, her kane Kalama’ehu Takahashi, nā kumu kaiapuni, and the ‘ohana of Maui steadfastly show us: though the houses and physical structures of their towns may have burned down in the tragic fire, they still have a home they are deeply connected to. And they have the foundations and structures in place to restore and rebuild things on Maui in the best ways possible.

To support the teachers and families of kula kaiapuni who have been impacted by the fires:

To support the kula kaiapuni teachers affected by the fires:

Kanoe Steward/Takahashi (Venmo): @Kanoelani-Steward

Liko Rogers (GoFundMe): @bradley-rogers-29

Teva Medeiros (Venmo): @embahh

#lahainastrong #lahaina #maui #mauistrong