Monday, October 29, 2012

Ancestral Musing

This past Saturday we had an epic community work day at He'eia, which I'm sure someone will blog about.  My focus here is on the latter portion of the day with Aunty Donny. 

We were asked to deconstruct a word.  I took the liberty to deconstruct meaning.  Aunty Donny asked us to write our mo'olelo about the beginning of our time at the pond, until now.  I'm a little hesitant to share, and I am not completely through with editing, but I was inspired to write this about the connections I've made with the mo'olelo Aunty Donny has been sharing with us. 

The rain has come
silence and stillness
life and sound
gently she falls
smiling sweetly
caressing the earth
generous with her love

You are here to walk the path of your ancestors
the truth you seek has already been sown 
Your gut feeling
your instinctual urge
this is your lifeline

Residual knowledge from dusty bones I’ve never known
I am the new crop of them
a seedling
far removed from the reality of history
of struggle

Planted under another sky
indeed on the other side of the world
My roots I must dig deep
to find fertile ground
connecting to ancestors I may not recognize

This is my story
this is what I found
That though I look a certain way
and I put an “x” next to such and such race
that if I am you and you are me
We’ve walked the same paths
and felt the same pain

All over creation, creation is the same

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

25 September 2012: Fishing Day

Upena papa`i: crab net fishing

Another awesome fishing day was had. This time, Hi`iliei and Noelle taught us about crab net fishing, or upena papa`i
attaway to dress for the occassion, Ty
First, we had to get our crab bait ready. Today we were using awa `aua, (Elops hawaiensis) a carnivorous fish.
bait prep
Next, we learned about the net. The net has a wire circle frame with the piko at the bottom. Bait lines hold your bait in place; they should not have knots in them so tie a slipknot to hold your bait and untie it to remove your bait. There are three stabilizing strings that keep the net level when you pull it up. There is a floater that keeps your three lines above the net so nothing gets tangled in them. Then there is a runner line that can be adjusted for depth. Finally, the top floater is used to help spot where you dropped nets and also is how you pull your nets up.
Hi`ilei teaching us about the net
Be sure to check your nets for any pukas, and if you find em, Ikaika can patch it up for you. 
patching up. photocred: Andrew
Once we were familiar with the net, we adjusted all the runner lines and baited each net for a total of 20 nets. Finally, we were ready to go crabbing.
Today was special because we got to use the boat! Hi`ilei was our steersman while Ikaika guided to where we should drop nets and then to pick them up. Everyone took a turn dropping nets.

Brian dropping some net

Afterwards, Hi`ilei took us cruising by the far makahas. We got to see the freshwater makahas up close and saw how crazy the mangroves were on that end.

Ikaika and Andrew in the mangrove forest
Then it was time for our first pick-ups. The first few nets, had a few blue pincer crabs, which were thrown back in. Then, we caught our first monster of the day! The boat almost tipped over because everyone rushed to one side of the boat when Ikaika surprised us all with the catch. It was a samoan crab (Scylla serrata). We then caught a few mo`ala (Podophthalmus vigil), a native crab and actually our target catch. And then another monster came aboard!
monster 1
mo`ala on some bait
With our success, we felt another round of nets was necessary. So we dropped all 20 again, and waited. This is when Ikaika tied up the two monsters so we could handle them. After a good amount of time, we went back to pick up the nets. Another two monsters found (one broke a net) and a few more mo`ala. What a great catch.
da sucka broke da net!
Hi`ilei then gave us the choice to crab some more outside the wall, or to eat at least one of our catch. I think our choice was obvious.
Kaua did end up sharing
It is worrisome that we caught 4 monsters right where we normally collect samples (hinting @ SHERRIL & JUDY!).
Samoan crab.

Imagine that closing around your finger.

But, as always another great day at He`eia fishpond.
the scenery never tires.