Memories from Aloha Aina Immersion Program
February 27, 2017
We have successfully completed our pilot program with 12 St. Andrew’s ladies. They were bright, curious, and engaged throughout the week (a strong testament to St. Andrew’s Priory), and we all felt that they loved their experience and learned a lot about the natural world. The personnel/staff that came together were all exceptional in their knowledge and care for the student’s learning. By the end of the week, there was a special familial energy that cradled us all.
The Aloha ‘Aina Immersion Program was designed to give a breadth of experiences for everyone that touches all of the senses and the various ways of learning, all the while immersed in nature. We provided the participants with a semi-structured schedule to follow, allowing the body, mind, spirit to flow comfortably from one place to another. Our daily routine consisted of a morning Thanksgiving Address followed by stretching, a two-hour work in the garden followed by a short tea time, a two-hour life-skill session followed by lunch and then an afternoon outdoor activity followed by a cooking lesson/homework session. When the weather permitted we also enjoyed sitting by the campfire with storytelling.
Our culminating activity was the luau held on Friday evening, a special night where close community members came to join. The ladies spent two days to prepare the imu and even got up before the sunrise to place the pig and all the vegetables into the pit. As though mirroring the waning moon of ‘ole ku lua, the imu rested in a crescent shaped arrangement of stones. The pork was juicy, delicious, a real testament to the hard work and love that was put into it. The imu will be a gathering place that this special group of ladies helped create for our future programs.
The week kicked off with a visit from the 'Io (Hawaiian Hawk) that watched the staff prepare for the girls' arrival with the Thanksgiving Address. A magnificent creature, steadfast and skillful, we took that as a wonderful sign from the natural world to us. We encountered some strongwinds and cold nights, providing us with challenges unforeseen but overcome through the girls' strength. The week was full of laughter and thoughtfulness.
With the ladies now back in school, the Huehue Ranch is terribly quiet (especially for uncle Jeff). We are so grateful to have had this amazing first run, and are looking very much forward to having the lades back again.
A slideshow from Julie's iPhone