Some of the most fun and rewarding experiences I’ve had during my semester here in Hawai’i have been learning about Hawaiian cultural heritage. In my introductory Hawaiian Studies class, we’ve learned how to pronounce Hawaiian words, make some Hawaiian crafts and understand colonization in the Pacific. I’ve learned about the relationship between Hawaiians, their mythology and their ‘Aina (or land) in my Volcanoes in the Sea (Hawaiian Geology) course. And it’s all been fascinating and fun!
My Geology professor is especially great because he takes his students on fieldtrips so we can get a real hands-on experience of the material. On our last fieldtrip we got to get really muddy at a lo’i where they grow kalo. Kalo is the Hawaiian word for taro, which is the Hawaiian staple, most often pounded into a purple soupy substance called poi. It’s an acquired taste, but a very important part of Hawaiian culture!
Photos courtesy of Professor Scott Rowland.