The gentle giant of a young native Hawaiian man, in his mid twenties, stood over me and said quietly “I don’t go to church, but I believe in Akua and I know that I carry his church in my heart”. “I just know that I want to work at giving back to the community that has been kind and giving to my family for so many years”. I am worried about our children and want to help make this place better for them”. Can I help? If I come my boys will come too? (referring to a group of young men gathered in the shadows of the garage of a two story dwelling, that was in need of repair.
It is this home that has been without electricity for over a year, that is the living and gathering place for many close, distant, extended and hanai members, of a not so unusual Hawaiian Homestead ‘Ohana survival plan. The average age of the near 30 occupants of this home is 22! Clearly this can be the beginning of a research project, into the why, of such a gathering of our young, who are making ends meet with the tools and skills that they have learned to live by….
The ages may vary, the cultures and histories will differ and their family size may change, but the realization is that this situation exists in every community, and not just in the Hawaiian community. It is sad however, when such conditions prevail in a culture that is so rich in land based assets, unabated. Oh, I’ve heard the rebuttal to this condition, in terms of, why don’t they just stand up and get to work! Work! the solution to the social ills of a beautiful people and culture, who once thrived, without the dismantling and disabling forces of civilization.
The family has allowed us to post photo’s of their initial effort to give to this community, in a way that is meaningful and Hawaiian. This event took place on December 31, 2013 (New Years Eve) in Waimanalo Beach Park. This family served approximately 70 individuals between 11:am and 3:pm.. An event that mirrored the efforts of so many churches and non-profit groups who are constantly delivering hot food to this special community. Yes, they have made an effort to give back and would like to continue this work. To the 29, we offer our prayers and support……Great Work!