Week 3: Choosing my Path & Crafting a Mele

Mele in Hawaii

Get excited, this blog post contains music! But first, a little update on the progress of my internship.

While I had been doing research for the project alone, away from the school, I came across a listing of farmers, their certifications, and what they produce — created by Malama Kauai, the organization that I am assisting. One thing that I wish I had known in advance was more about the organization we are helping out. I didn’t realize that a list like this was already available, even if it only encompasses a portion of the island. This type of list was somewhat what I expected I would be able to create while I was here. However, based on the limited amount of time I have on the ground here, and the general difficulty it is to speak with farmers, it was unrealistic to believe that I would be able to create something like that over the span of just one month. Instead, I’ll have to remain focused on my primary goal: helping set up a plan for a school lunch program at Kawaikini.

I realized that since I had come up with the idea to partner with the college, there were splitting paths in my research. Should I focus on trying to get the community college to handle the lunch program, or should we contact farmers, hire someone to cook, and try to figure out how and where we could produce and store food on the site? It was time to figure out which way my attention should go. After discussing this with the school, we decided my efforts would be better focused on assessing how much food the school would need to procure, and what specific farms would be able to meet the demands. Since all of the other things involved in a farm-to-school plan would take a lot more time to accomplish, this is the most realistic and feasible way for me to make a difference.

A Mele about the Hawaiian Monk Seal

Besides being in Hawaii for my internship, I had hoped I’d be creatively inspired to craft an original song. After seeing the rare monk seals (llio holo I ka uaua, in Hawaiian), I can definitely say I felt inspired. Check out my music video about the endangered Hawaiian monk seal!

The significance of writing a new song is two-fold. First of all, I’ve only written one other song… it’s about axolotls. If you’re unsure what that is, check out my Axolotl Song! The second reason it’s unique and awesome: both songs are about endangered creatures.

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