26 Oct 2022
The Skies Above Us
Despite a reputation for hot, dry weather, Wai‘anae attracts rain and houses groundwater. “Wai,” in fact, refers to fresh water. Traditional poetry and lore speak to the famed wai o Lualualei, or the pools of Lualualei, that reframes Wai‘anae as a unique hydrological ecosystem.
12 Feb 2021
Of Plants and Progeny
Kalo, or taro, has been integral to the Hawaiian diet. Alongside mai‘a (banana), niu (coconut), and ‘ulu (breadfruit), kalo was one of the canoe plants, the original plants brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the first Polynesian settlers.
24 Nov 2019
Nathanael Endo: The West Point Graduate
Growing up in Wai‘anae, fires were frequent during the summer. At age 4, I witnessed firefighters put out a fire behind my house, and I decided that I wanted to be like them. Then, in sixth grade, my older brother, who was in the U.S. Army, told me about military firefighters.
20 Nov 2019
A Creative Turn
For years, the 150-foot, streetfacing exterior of Nānākuli Super was the site of repeated vandalism that included graffiti, curse words, and lewd pictures. Everyone who drove into Nānākuli saw it. “It was an eyesore,” says Kris Okimoto, one of the family owners of the store.
19 Nov 2019
Ladies of the Lineup
In the childhood home of Keānuenue and Puamakamae DeSoto on the west side of O‘ahu sits a shining, gobletshaped trophy engraved with the logo of the World Surfing League. In 2010, when the sisters were 6 and 4 years old respectively, their father, Duane DeSoto, raised that trophy high above his head at Mākaha Beach.
15 Nov 2019
On O‘ahu’s leeward coast, miles of sky kissed sand meander alongside the two lane highway. Cars slow as drivers, in no hurry to make their turns, crawl through Nānākuli, Mā‘ili, Wai‘anae. The pace of life on the West Side, like the traffic, is languid. It’s as if the heat makes everything as slow as syrup. Or honey.
03 Jul 2019
Kawehi Namu‘o: The Guardian
As a teenager, I hung out at Nānākuli Beach Park often. There, I’d see the lifeguards come and go on their work day. That’s when I knew I wanted to become a lifeguard. Because when I see the ocean, I see God’s creation. And I truly love playing in God’s creation. It’s where I feel at home, happy, and at peace.
29 Jun 2019
Dancing In The Deep
Following a long night of collaborating to catch lantern fish, shrimp, squid, and other deep-ocean prey, nai‘a (spinner dolphins, or Stenella longirostris) seek refuge at spots along Wai‘anae’s coastline like Mākua Bay and Pōka‘ī Bay. The sandy-bottomed bays offer more safety from predators and respite from big swells and wind.
26 Jun 2019
The cofounders of Ho‘okipa I Po‘okela, an afterschool golf instruction program for students in the Nānākuli district, believe that underneath the science of the sport lay the keys to character-building, including sportsmanship, patience, perseverance, and integrity.
22 Jul 2018
At Hawai‘i’s Plantation Village in Waipahu, visitors get a glimpse of a bygone life among sugarcane fields.
“Thank you for coming to Hawai‘i’s best kept secret,” Ken Kaneshige, a docent, tells the group standing near the entrance to Hawai‘i’s Plantation Village. Up the hill, lined along a narrow lane, are replicas of a traditional Japanese furo
21 Jul 2018
On 50 acres in Lualualei Valley, Kahumana Organic Farm and Community grows more than just greens. At Kahumana Organic Farm, which is hidden within Lualualei Valley at the base of Mount Ka‘ala, monkeypod and mango trees tower over buildings alongside fields of produce, an aquaponics system, and quiet, lush areas marked by small temples.
21 Jul 2018
Sam Kapoi: My Journey to Voyaging
I grew up in Waiʻanae and, on paper, I'm nine generations deep—I’m sure there’s more prior to that. I went to public school: Waiʻanae Elementary, Intermediate, and High School. In 10th grade you selected your career pathway, and I selected Hawaiian studies and natural resources. I was really interested in a side program in voyaging.
17 Apr 2014
Bridging Heaven and Earth, Nurturing the cultural ties of Lanikuhonua
Lanikuhonua, “Where Heaven Meets Earth,” is the cultural refuge at the entrance to Ko Olina, where kupuna, the respected elders, teach a variety of Hawaiian arts from singing, hula and music to knowledge about medicine plants and other natural resources.