I spent the morning at Island Pacific Academy’s annual May Day celebration watching the entire student body and staff of this small West Oahu private school’s junior kindergarten through twelfth grades come together in celebration of the Hawaiian culture through song and dance.
It makes sense. We live in Hawaii. We should celebrate the culture of the place in which we live. Island Pacific Academy does.
It is my favorite event every year. The fresh air, the hot sun, the colors, the music, the flowers, the children, the spirit.
I can’t help but mention the women who make this happen: Momi Kuahiwinui, Ruthe Babas, Veronique Braithwaite and Laura Gabriel (and some of their husbands who are a big help too). They are a silver lining in an already bright sky.
This year’s theme “Hawaii Calls” with the hapa haole songs of the first half of the 20th century was particularly refreshing. The opening song “Hawaiian Lullaby” gave me chicken skin as the children and staff surrounding me sang of the exact reasons that Hawaii calls to me every day. What a pleasure to feel that call today from these children.
Did I mention that a live band including Miss Momi’s husband played the music and all of the singing was performed by Mrs. Babas, Ms. Braithwaite and Miss Momi’s daughter Makana? Amazing.
Mahalo Nui Loa to the staff, students and families of Island Pacific Academy for a glorious morning in celebration.
As much as I would like to post photos of all the beautiful children, I will respect their privacy on the World Wide Web and only post photos of the staff.