This brings greetings and best wishes to each of you for a blessed Christmas with family and friends. As President of Ka ‘Ohana O Kaluapapa, I wanted to provide you with a look back at our year’s accomplishments to keep you updated on our progress.
This year was one of the most important yet for Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa. We began a concerted effort to help teachers and students learn more about the history of Kalaupapa, visiting schools on Oahu, Maui and Kaua`i. We traveled across the islands to reach more and more descendants of people who were sent to Kalaupapa. We produced new educational materials and our first book. As a result, the ‘Ohana has met more sons and daughters, siblings, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Kalaupapa who are joining with us to keep the legacy of their Kalaupapa kupuna alive.
Some highlights from our exciting 2011:
Kamehameha Schools Play
|Boogie Kahilihiwa, President of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, gathers with the 5th grade teachers of Kamehameha Schools Oahu campus during production of the play, “Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa.” ‘Ohana leader Mara Bacon Chang is on the far left.
Photo courtesy of Mara Bacon Chang
The ‘Ohana is fortunate to have Mara Bacon Chang, a 5th grade teacher at Kamehameha Schools on Oahu, as one of our emerging leaders. Mara is the great-great niece of Ambrose Hutchison, an unsung hero of Kalaupapa whose memoirs have added deeply to understanding the early days of Kalaupapa. Every year, the six 5th grade classes of Kamehameha Schools research, write and perform a play based on an important chapter in Hawaiian history. This year, because of Mara, the teachers and students decided the play should be about Kalaupapa.
The ‘Ohana made several presentations at the school. I spoke about my personal experiences, as a child around their age when I was taken from my family on the Big Island because I was diagnosed with the disease. The students were respectful, loving and full of outstanding questions. I felt like I suddenly was surrounded by dozens of mo`opuna.
The teachers and students, guided by Mara, did a wonderful job on the play they titled “Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa.” They received well-deserved ovations for their attention to history and their obvious love of Kalaupapa. Mahalo, Kamehameha Schools! You are the future!
How to Contact the ‘Ohana
Write: P.O. Box 1111
Kalaupapa, Hawaii 96742
Phone: Coordinator Valerie Monson