I Ka Laʻi o Hōlanikū

Aloha mai e nā maka heluhelu, nā ʻohana, nā hoa, a me nā kānaka i piha i ke aloha iā Hōlanikū. He mea maikaʻi loa kā mākou i ʻike ai i kēia pule. Ua hōʻea nō nā mōlī (black-footed albatross & short-tailed albatross)! Ua ʻike ʻia lākou i ka lā 21 o ʻOkakopa. Pīhoihoi loa kēia. He keu nō a ka nani!

ʻO ka hana o kēia pule, ʻo ia ka hoʻokau ʻana i nā ʻūmiʻi no nā naunau me ke poʻo nui a me ka ʻiole. He hana nui nō ia! Ua pono e hoʻokau i ia mau ʻūmiʻi i kēia mokupuni pālahalaha holoʻokoʻa. Ua hoʻokau mākou pākahi i kahi o kanaono a ʻoi a emi mai paha ʻūmiʻi i kēlā me kēia lā. ʻAkahi nō a pau ka hana i kēia lā. ʻO ka lā 22 o ʻOkakopa kēia. ʻOkoʻa kēia ʻano hana me ka hana o nā pule ʻelua i hala aku nei. ʻOkoʻa ka luhi o kēia hana. ʻO kekahi mau ʻāpana, ua maʻalahi. Eia naʻe, ua paʻakikī iaʻu i hele ai i ka naupaka. Pono e makaʻala a nānā no nā hale o nā manu a me nā manu e peʻe ana i ka malu i lalo o ka naupaka. Auē nō hoʻi ē! Hauʻoli au i ka pau ʻana o kēia hana haha.

Aloha mai kākou. Exciting things are happening this week! I am so stoked to say that the short-tailed albatross and black-footed albatross have arrived! They were seen yesterday, October 21st, while we were laying out the last of the big-headed ant (BHA) traps. I saw the two, female short-tailed albatrosses near the albatross decoys on the southwest side of the island yesterday and then I finally got to see the black-footed albatross this morning as I was walking out to the runway to pick up the last of the BHA traps. They are so beautiful and majestic looking. I’m super excited for this whole place to be covered with mōlī (albatross)!

As for the work this week, we conducted a big-headed ant survey. We each laid out around 60 more or less traps on a 30-meter grid each day and we surveyed the whole island (200 acres). We finally picked up the last of the traps this morning and found some big-headed ants in parts in the southwestern portion of the island. It was a different type of work compared to the weed removal that we did in the past two weeks. It was a different type of exhaustion as well. Some parts were easy, and some were hard once I came up to the naupaka. Although we are using our GPS units to make waypoints for the specific areas that we set the traps, it is difficult trying to make our way through the naupaka while trying not to step on any burrows or on birds hiding in the shade underneath the woven naupaka branches (kinda like when we do the weed removal). However, when we are laying the traps, we must find a decent spot to put it and then hope we can find it easily the following day when we pick it up. I’m super drained as of today and I’m happy that work is finished.

Besides completing the BHA survey, we also did some work around camp. While it was pouring on Thursday morning, we cleaned and organized the bucket room. It took a few hours to go through all the food buckets, compiling the “likes” together, throwing out the old food, and re-stocking the shelves. It looks so much nicer now! I can’t stop looking at it. The lua also got a high-class upgrade, thanks to Andy. We now have a better shade, wind, and rain-protected lua.

As for the weather, we’ve had some showers here and there throughout the week. Some at night, some in the morning as we picked up our traps the following day. One time was on Thursday around 10:15am when I saw around 200+ ʻiwa flying from the Southwest to the Northeast as a big shower came over to the camp. It was a nuts sight to see. He kupaianaha nō! Also, it rained Wednesday morning before work around 6:40am. The sky on the east and south side was pink while the west had dark, rain clouds. It was quite a contrast. He nani wale nā mea a pau!

I can hear the waves pounding on the east side. It was nice to feel the breeze once I broke out from the naupaka while completing my lines for the BHA survey. The wind is continuing to pick up – meaning cold showers and cool nights. We’ve had a mixture of clear and cloudy nights. However, the sky is so beautiful when it’s clear. We have a clear visual of the many hōkū that decorate the sky. I just can’t emphasize it enough of how beautiful it is to observe everything from the sunrise to the sunset. The moon is rising later as we’re asleep. Its pitch black here without the mahina. However, despite her size now, she still glows radiantly. I always love greeting the mahina when I wake up. I get a feeling of contentment.

Well, we have completed our third week of being here on Hōlanikū. Many things are changing. Exciting things are happening! As I end my third blog, I leave you with this ʻōlelo noʻeau: “E kaupē aku nō i ka hoe a kō mai” (Put forward your paddle and draw it back). In other words, go on with the task that is started and finish it. Despite my exhaustion from the work this week, I continued to push on and complete my lines even if it meant returning to camp an hour later or as the sun went down. I knew it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t complete the task for the day. It was draining, but I knew I had to noke! Noke! Noke!

Mahalo a nui no ka heluhelu ʻana. A hui hou a i kēia pule aʻe. Shoots den menpachis!
Naʻu,
Aulani

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