A week in Hawaii, what a lifetime. There were, on more than one occasion, moments where I thought, “oh that’s a very cool thing, but we probably won’t have time to do it.” Sure enough, by the end of the day or the next, we’d be on another side of the island, or the other side of a volcano, walking through an experience that, only moments earlier, was a fantasy. 

Every single experience had an important message or theme. So many of our interactions weren’t just educational, but spiritual, and hospitable. Strong family values, kindness, and passion radiated off of each and every local Hawaiian, each eager to share with us their stories and values. They shared food, and explained the importance and cultural significance of that food. They shared stories of the ancestors, and they described their challenges as an island culture, and the ways they are continuously trying to overcome those challenges.

We went from small local ponds to large scale fisheries, a downtown museum the size of a small shop, to large feats of engineering producing alternative energies from deep sea water. We saw a full spectrum of means of production which hold true value in a broad understanding of the island experience. 

We made so many valuable connections, and I hope in time we can show our gratitude to them with contributed work from our continued ESRM students and faculty. It would be an honor to participate in these communities for years to come.

Thank you so much to Dr. Anderson for his patience and guidance throughout this trip, for driving to and from two sides of an island, for providing me with my first of many snorkeling experiences, and a guiding hand in potential scuba diving, and for showing us as much of a very diverse culture as a week could allow. Additional thanks to Cause Hanna, the IRA, and all of ESRM. I think this first year of #CIinHI was definitely an experience worth repeating! Mahalo and Aloha! 

Written by Lauren

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