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Serving our kupuna and the homeless

August 30, 2017
By Grant Welham

"I was too poor to have ambitions." The words of the ninety-five year old kupuna still ring in my ears several days after the end of camp. It was one of countless memories and lessons that I took away from camp after serving the elderly at Waianae's gym and the homeless at Waianae Civic Center. The other high schoolers and I spent four days from August 14-17 at Camp Pu'u Kahea in Waianae learning more about the love of God and sharing it with the surrounding community.

Two days were spent in service to kupuna at Waianae's gym. I had the opportunity to speak with two different kupuna, Aunty Maxine and Aunty Hilda, on the first day. Every student inquired about his or her kupuna's life and had in-depth conversations with them to brighten up their day. The second day we returned and again had conversations with our kupuna, hoping to learn from them as well as provide them company. Students also helped to serve a lunch to the kupuna and performed a dance and talent show.

Along with spending time with our kupuna, all the high school students spent two days serving at the Waianae Civic Center.  The civic center is a place where homeless people are provided living accommodations, as well as resources, to help get them back on their feet. Our goal was to provide maintenance that would improve the quality of life for those living at the civic center. To do this, we repainted curbs, cleaned a playground structure, and scrubbed the walls of the center. Despite their conditions many homeless people thanked us profusely for our service, demonstrating that despite unfavorable circumstances, one can find joy in life.