VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Last month, UNESCO officially announced 21 new additions to the World Heritage Sites list. One of these — located on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei — is the ruins of Nan Madol. In celebration of their island treasure being recognized as a World Heritage Site, a group of local Pohnpeian college students took on the responsibility of providing the international community with their own local stories and images of Nan Madol.
Last month, traditional voyagers from all throughout Oceania sailed to Guam to attend the 12th Annual Festival of the Pacific Arts. This event, happening every four years, brings together islanders from 27 different island nations for a celebration of culture, art, and most importantly, solidarity.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands have been making ripples in global news lately. Fresh off a strong gathering at COP 21 in Paris, where the Honorable Tony de Brum (ex. Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Marshall Islands) rallied with other global leaders to advocate for more stringent policies for combating climate change, the…
Desmond Tutu’s welcome to the Hōkūle’a crew shows one smile, one spirit connects people from Hawaii to South Africa and beyond.
To minimize the likelihood of trouble at sea, our voyaging leaders pay extra close attention to the weather, ensuring that we only sail when the wind is favorable. As a result, there are often long stretches of time where we must wait patiently in port for the weather to shift. This, however, does not mean that we wait idly.
On this Worldwide Voyage, we have learned to flexible in ALL things, but especially with timing. However, one thing that we definitely did not want to miss out on was the opportunity to visit the beautiful iSimangaliso Wetland Park in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa.
Several days ago, Hōkūle’a made landfall at Richards Bay, South Africa. This is the first of several stops in the country where so many significant stories of the Worldwide Voyage will be told. Upon arrival, Hōkūle’a crew were greeted by community members of all different backgrounds. Among those who greeted the crew was Romeo Njabulo, a young Zulu man and member of the Roving Reporters.
The crewmembers aboard the voyaging canoe, Hōkūle’a, are a few days from reaching South Africa on their Worldwide Voyage. In preparing for this leg of the voyage, the concept of “ubuntu” kept coming up as a foundational element of South African culture. We learned that “ubuntu” is a Zulu word that serves as a guiding belief for societal values in the country. But to truly understand the depth and beauty of this word, we know that we must experience it first-hand, much like we do with “aloha” back home.
Every two years, the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival in Australia brings together people for a spectacle of sights, sounds, and dust.
“It’s not just about protecting our land and sea. What we do also strengthens our people to stand up and stand together. That’s the biggest thing for us.”
The Great Barrier Reef spans more than 1,400 miles and is considered one of the best-preserved marine sites on Earth. Naturally, we needed to see this for ourselves. We needed to take the voyage underwater.
The Micronesian island of Yap banned the use of plastic bags to protect the local environment—and discovered additional benefits along the way.
After several exciting weeks of traversing the Northland of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and interacting with incredible communities all throughout, our leg of the Worldwide Voyage finally concluded with a sail into Auckland, the capital city, and a day of ceremonies.