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July 30, 2018 | by  | in One Ocean |
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PSC: One Ocean

My time spent at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa this year was one of the best things I have done in my college life. The constant sun-kissed feel and urge to hit the beach or go down to the local poke bowl was hard to resist. What can I say, itʻs Hawaiʻi, I was studying in paradise. Who doesnʻt want to live in Hawaiʻi? If you’re like me, a chill dude from Aotearoa, then you will fit right in. I liked getting to see the true Hawaiʻi through the people and the land, this kine stuff stirred my spirit.
I felt proud marching to Iolani Palace with Kanaka left, right, and centre. It was here that I saw first hand the effects of militarization and American occupation in Hawaiʻi. I saw homelessness like I had never seen before. Sometimes I would find myself in awe, other times speechless. I was moved to see my Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) brothers and sisters come together as their stand against the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom continues.
If you go to Hawaiʻi, you will notice the American flag is always higher than the Hawaiian flag, except maybe at uncles house down in Waimanalo. Walking down the street in the city often feeling swallowed up in the chaos of tourists, buildings, and globalisation. I would find my peace near the ocean swimming till nightfall, or going on adventures, hikes, or just exploring.
If there’s something that I could take away from Hawaiʻi, it is that I carry each person that imparted wisdom onto me, and that my spirit is richer for it.
As they influenced and inspired me with the stories of Kupuna that gave me life, I will walk forward knowing that I do not walk alone.

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