Nerd Nite #70: Polynesian Voyaging Society

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Oh the lessons we Learned:

Stories of adventure and impact from crew members of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia’s Worldwide Voyage

Crew members from the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will share a general description of how the Mālama Honua journey began, adventures they experienced along the way and lessons learned that continue to impact their personal and professional lives. Pay close attention because we will end the night with some Worldwide Voyage themed trivial, where participants can win coveted Polynesian Voyaging Society prizes.

Bruce Black – 58 yrs. on earth, husband, father, teacher, about 60% water but 100% water enthusiast. Went to school at Punahou class of 79. Attended UCLA and got a degree in Sociology. Then Chaminade University for my Masters in Education. I was a 5th grade teacher with Mid Pacific School for 20 years. Presently owner of an Eco-adventure tour business called Aloha Spirit Hawaii. Bruce was a crew member on leg 11: Aurere – Brisbane and the 2016 sail to Brazil.

Matt Caires – Matt’s first time sailing on Hōkūleʻa was on Leg 24 sailing from New York to Virginia. To Matt, Hōkūleʻa is both physically and spiritually a vessel to help us connect to Hawaiian traditions, culture, practices, and way of life and to share them with the world. Through her, we can stay connected to and honor our past and channel the lessons of our ancestors to guide our future.
While out at sea, Matt most misses ice cubes. When back on land, Matt misses the feeling of being forced to work with the elements – wind, water, sun and darkness – in order to survive. Matt was a crew member on leg 24: New York – Virginia and the Homecoming leg from Tahiti to Honolulu.

Shawn Kanaiaupuni – Shawn Kana’iaupuni, Pūpūkea native, Kailua resident, nerd imposter. Alum and employee at Kamehameha schools. Lived in Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Mexico, Madison. Has eaten rat and cricket???? Loves voyaging, tennis, paddling, and hanging with family. On Hōkūleʻa, went to USVI, BVI, Cuba, Florida, Potomac River DC, Hudson River NYC, Panama City, Galapagos, Tahiti, and on Hikianalia from Cali to Hawaiʻi last year. Shawn is the Director of Public Education Support at Kamehameha School, through which she works closely with the Polynesian Voyaging Society on the educational efforts of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Aloha!

Tara O’Neill – Originally from Washington, DC, Tara first sailed on Hōkūleʻa in 2011. To her, Hōkūleʻa gives permission to imagine infinite possibility. As a professor of science and STEM education at UH Mānoa, the Worldwide Voyage served as a catalyst for restructuring the education sail plan within Hawaiʻi and beyond. Inspired by voyage, Tara created a place and culture-based STEM education construct called STEMS2. One of the goals of STEMS2 is to reconnect STEM education to our local communities and for community and civic application of knowledge to be valued over standardized test scores. Tara was crew of two statewide legs of the voyage (Maui – Molokaʻi and Moloka‘i – Oahu) and leg 9: Auckland of the Worldwide voyage.

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