The making of our newest Wonderment Path "How Can You Show Aloha?" is near and dear to our hearts. Jenn Cook, our Executive Director here at the Wonderment, has deep family ties to Hawai'i and a deep love of its culture. For this Path Challenge, we were lucky enough to get access to friends, family and stories rooted in these special islands to share with all of you on the Wonderment. From Jenn:
What an honor it is for me to introduce one of our newest Paths in the Wonderment: "How CanYou Show Aloha?". Mahalo for allowing me to share a personal perspective and why this Path is special to me!
As a child, I was fortunate enough to grow up overseas and have the opportunity to travel to all corners of the world -- and at a very young age, my parents instilled in me a love for different cultures. However, my mother and grandmother, both being Hawaiian, made sure to always root us in our own Hawaiian culture. Being blonde-haired and blue-eyed, one would never guess I was part Hawaiian! But through the years, I have come to realize the impact of my cultural roots -- knowing who I am, where I come from, and what's valued by the culture to which I belong have had an incredible impact on my life and how I am able to serve others.
I am also fortunate enough to be related to the late Kumu Hula John Ka'imikaua. My Uncle John is known and respected as an expert in ancient Hawaiian history, genealogy and language--especially in the ancient chants and dance that tell the history of the island of Moloka'i. His halau (hula school), Halau Hula O Kukunaokala, is still flourishing today and fulfilling their mission to enlighten and educate all people throughout the world. I am extremely honored that we get to share some of these dances and history in the Wonderment.
When I think of what my Uncle John has taught, and all I have learned from my 'ohana (family), there is one word that seems to encapsulate everything: ALOHA (love).
When we show ALOHA for something, we take care of it. We feel a responsibility
to it---whether that is the land we live on, the vast waters, mountains or forests that surround us, or our friends and family members. The things we love, the things
we are proud of, the things that define the culture to which each of us belong,
are the things for which we should show ALOHA.
In this Path, I was humbled to hear how our friend, Keko'opono (a member of Halau Hula O Kukunaokala), defined ALOHA -- and I think kids will love hearing and seeing what it has meant to him in his life.
My hope is that our Wonderment Community will watch this Path and begin to feel a sense for what ALOHA truly means. I hope it will inspire the kids to think about what's special in their own home towns and cultures that they can show ALOHA for, and share it back with their friends around the world in the Wonderment.
I can't wait to see all of these responses and see a new sense of global belonging grow amongst this community of kids! It is how we at the Wonderment see a better world growing up together, and we couldn't be more excited to have each of you (and your students) contributing to make it happen!
We also hope, as WonderGuides, you will each be inspired to not only have your students contribute to the Paths but to also share with us ideas for new Paths! We truly desire the Wonderment to be space that enables you to tailor global learning experiences for your students--and we always love hearing from you!
Mahalo, again! I look forward to seeing what ALOHA means to each of you!