Seventh graders took a field trip to the Menehune Fish Pond to do some community service. Here are some reflections from some of our students. Well done, everyone!
"During this field trip, we learned about the native and invasive water plants that grow and live in the Menehune Fish Pond. It's in the moku of Puna, the ahupua'a of Niumalu, and the pond of Alekoko. Our first station was digging up Ae'ae and putting it somewhere else. A lot of the people who weren't wearing tobies lost their shoe or got stuck in the deep mud. But luckily for me, I brought a pair of my own. The next station we had was pulling out the invasive species of mangrove that has spread far throughout the river. Dustin and I had a race to see who could go and get the mangrove that was far out into the water. I won the race and got the mangrove that was in one of the deepest parts of the mud. It went all the way up my legs and almost to my waist. Our next station was learning more about the fishpond, how it's used, where it is, and how we catch the fish. Uncle Peleke demonstrated how to use it. And our last station before lunch was to go and pick more mangrove and any drift wood we could find. Linnaea and I had to go grab one of the biggest pieces of drift wood we could find, many toads and animals lived in and around it. I very much enjoyed this field trip and I'm so happy we had the opportunity to go down and atleast help a little to restore our centuries old fishpond. I want to go back and do this one more time, if only we could. Let's just all pray and hope our lovely fishpond doesn't get sold." - Makalapua B.
"I really enjoyed this field trip because we were able to work hard pulling mangrove in deep mud. I find this kind of work very fulfilling and loved learning more about how fishponds work. I'm very grateful for the opportunity my class had to go on a field trip this year. I'm also very grateful to my teachers and the people with Malama Huleia for making this possible and special. I look forward to doing more activities like this." - Linnaea E.
"Before we entered the Malama Hule'ia area we sang a song to gain access to the sacred fishpond. After we entered we started to introduce ourselves and separated into groups, my group was called A'hole'hole. Then we picked up sticks and mangroves for a pile that will be later ground into wood chips. After we picked up Ae'ae to populate other areas to create habitats. Lastly, we picked up mangrove and we got very muddy, then we talked about how the fish were trapped and then we ate lunch." - Zachary White-Tzeng
"Our 7th-grade class field trip to Malama Huleia. was all about education and experience. I experienced picking mangroves and getting extremely muddy. I also learned a ton about the land and what they've done to preserve the land. Our team group was named ama' ama, which I learned, is a type of fish. Everyone had a ton of fun, knocked their socks off...no literally, some people lost their shoes in the mud. To enter the sacred land we had to sing a Hawaiian chant to ask permission to enter. My favorite part was sitting down to eat after all the hard work I felt accomplished and it was good to re-energize. :) Mahalo for letting us come and have a memorable experience." - Lake L.