Hawaii: The Land Is Your Home

Submitted by Madelyn Setting on the 2020 winter session study abroad program in Hawaii sponsored by College of Education and Human Development…

My first week in Hawaii, we learned of the importance of “aloha” and how it is the breath of life. Our class also learned of “ohana” and why family is so significant in the Hawaiian culture. A bus driver and I had a conversation as he was taking me and a small group to a hiking trail. He asked me how I was enjoying myself in Hawaii and if anything was unusual, to which I replied that I had noticed there was a high amount of homeless population in the Waikiki area. The man nodded and explained to me that although they do not have a house, they are not homeless. The land is their home and they will forever be tied to it by their roots. I thought that was beautiful and wondered if this idea was considered back in Delaware if things would be seen differently. For the remainder of the program, I looked at the ocean, or “makai”, and the mountains, or “mauka”, in a whole different light. I wondered how amazing it must be to look at these lands and call them home, and thought about what my land would look like to me when I get home.

This picture was taken at a lookout on the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail.