Ka La staff writer
The second day of Hopili’i Hou started off fresh and strong when the attendees scattered to get to the UH Maui campus. Emily Kukulies, student advisor for HonCC, handed out meal tickets to HonCC students. For some, caffeine was the most potent morning energizer. A handful of students got wired on the Starbucks coffee. And 8:45 AM, the morning jumped up to a start.
Joe Urbanski, a speaker for “Collegiate Empowerment,” stretched his back, limbered his legs and spoke about organization structure. He made speaking about effective group structures fantastically engaging. Students were more engaging. Motivational stretches to keep the energy flowing were more involved than a generic “get up, hands up, hands down, sit down.” And when Joe’s talk was over, students and advisors alike reflected on what he had to say.
But that was just the beginning of the morning. Ho’pilio’s Friday was a day of service learning: taro planting and cleaning Noho’ana Farms; planting Hawaiian fauna near UH Maui’s Makahiki mural; crafting mulch and gardening at Maui Nui Botanical gardens; and being companions for the elderly at one of the Maui Adult Day Cares.
When Keanu Hoopu of UH Maui came out of the Adult Day Care, he said “I was nervous at first,” but then he “[had] a great amount of interaction with those adults.
Karisa Charles, a student from Leeward Community College, did service learning at the botanical gardens. The garden was not as some people expected, but Karisa “thought it was fun, and people were fun.” She said, “We rose to the occasion because we’re leaders.”