Aloha Kauhale Kākou,
March 14 presented a grand opportunity to Kīpaepae Welina, to formally welcome to our community Dr. Marty Fletcher, West Hawaiʻi’s University Center’s Director. A truly Kauhale event, three vehicles loaded up with pahu (drums), pū (shell trumpets), moena (mats), faculty, staff and administrators left our Manono Campus in the early morning to assist our West Hawaiʻi ʻohana in the transforming of their courtyard into a malae (ceremonial groud). I believe all were impressed with the transformation…no doubt it was indeed a malae for a special moment.
Dr. Fletcher and his family members — his mother Mary ‘Betty’ Fletcher, his wife Linda Lorentz Fletcher, and his daughter Dr. Jess Fletcher — were both excited and anxious. As the orientation of the Kīpaepae was conducted in his office in the presence of Chancellor Yamane and fellow administrators, preparing the honorees to understand the elements of the kīpaepae, it was evident that the emotions began to emerge, as the message in the kīpaepae was beyond that of just welcoming a new Academic Director with a Hawaiian “flavor,” but welcoming his spirit, his profound ability to connect to all facets of our community to his position as Director. Needless to say, by the time the procession of lei were completed, what we call ALOHA was present.
As we drove back to Hilo, a sense of deep contentment calmed me. What we have here at Hawaiʻi Community College is truly a Kauhale, a Kauhale with a kīpaepae process that continues to bring our Kauhale ʻohana together to contribute to our personal and collective well-being. This process keeps our personal and collective vision upfront and evolving.
As we say in Hawaiian, No ke kauhale, ʻoiai ua lau a lehu kānaka, hoʻokahi nō panapana o ka puʻuwai! (As for a village, although made up of many people, the heart beats as one!). Our deep mahalo to Chancellor Yamane for her continued advocacy for academic well-being through Kauhale and Kīpaepae!
With that said, a great and heartfelt mahalo to all of you who brought your authenticity to the kīpaepae,
Kauhale Academic Village