Jun 23, 2016
Before the sun would rise over O‘ahu’s Eastern shores announcing the arrival of a new day, young ‘ōpio from the Wai‘anae Coast, together with their ‘ohana and staff members from the Wai‘anae Children's Center, worked diligently to create a floral masterpiece. Their work of art, which represented the Island of Molokaʻi, would be entered in the float division for the 100th Annual King Kamehameha Floral Parade Celebration.
The group, “Ka Lei Kukui o Ka‘ala,” comprised of ‘ōpio of various groups from the Wai‘anae Unit, gathered and prepared the necessary greenery, plants, flowers, laʻi and lauhala the week prior to the parade. The creation of the float started at noon the day prior and was completed by 5:30 that evening. However, this was just part one of the preparation.
Part two took place immediately after the completion of the float, with the ‘ōpio still having to rehearse their hula, their ʻoli and their music with the musicians and chanters who are also part of the Wai‘anae Hale Mua. By 7 a.m. on the day of the parade, the entire entourage was assembled at Aloha Tower and by 8 a.m. they were on board the float and ready to go!
Throughout this entire process -- from planning, the gathering of foliage, rehearsals, organization, the loading and unloading of supplies, and the final performance -- our ‘ohana, staff, and especially the ‘ōpio worked at full capacity, never giving up, never ceasing, and never saying “never.” If there was ever any pride to go around, our ‘ōpio deserved the largest portion; and the best part about the whole event: they learned to cooperate with each other and learned skills they might never learn elsewhere or beyond these shores. “Ma ka hana ka ʻike" - in doing, one learns.
On Sunday, June 12th, a news alert from the celebration committee was received, announcing the winners in the float division. The float that the ʻōpio created placed third in their division! Through perseverance, determination, and plain hard work, the journey was well worth every step.
“HOʻOMAIKAʻI IĀ ʻOUKOU, E NĀ ‘ŌIWI O HAWAI‘I.”
Mahalo to Moon Kauakahi for his wonderful writing contribution and to Matt Monosca for the beautiful photos!