2016 | Crossing Bridges

Home / 2016 | Crossing Bridges

In Collaboration with Wahiawa Community Based Development Organization ProjectFocus Hawai’i Presents: “Crossing Bridges”

I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope.
In the time in front, the time in back.

Loosely translated, this Hawaiian saying counsels that looking back at the past can guide our actions in the future.

On a sunny Saturday morning, students from Leilehua High School, Wahiawa Middle School, Island Pacific Academy and George Washington University, sat down with kūpuna from Wahiawa, who shared their stories of growing up and living in this former plantation town located in central O‘ahu.

Life in Wahiawa has changed since its plantation days and it is for that reason “Crossing Bridges” was created so our humana (students) could capture the oral history from these  23 outstanding kūpuna.

While life in Wahiawa was economically difficult, it was also culturally rich. Our kūpuna have shared their childhood memories about Wahiawa and their stories reveal a simpler time, when kids could entertain themselves without the benefit of technology, or television for that matter. Many of these kūpuna shared stories from their small kid days – picking pineapple in the middle of a red dirt field, making their own toys out of sandalwood, and seeing the Japanese planes flying overhead as they attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Many of the kūpuna grew up to do great things in life: serving our country, becoming a doctor, teacher or police officer, and opening successful businesses that served the Wahiawa community for years.

As the kūpuna reminisced, the students absorbed and documented the stories that will help guide them and generations to come.

As with all ProjectFocus Hawai‘i programs, photography is an integral part of the storytelling process.  As the students documented the oral history from the kūpuna, they also captured the visual portraits of these important community elders.

Crossing Bridges, the ProjectFocus Hawai‘iʻs 2016 exhibit, will bring these stories and images to Hawai‘i on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission. By invitation only.

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