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Getting to Know Us
The ANA Messenger - Spring Edition
Published: June 6, 2013
Getting to Know Us
Can you provide us with some background, including what lead you to the kind of work you do for ANA?
At first thought, my former careers as a T.V. Producer and a Botanist don't seem a likely fit for becoming a Training Specialist for Kā'anani'au, but in actuality, both careers have contributed to my ability to coordinate and make presentations for training workshops and webinars. Having to write grants and manage projects as a botanist, I have an edge when it comes to providing TA to potential and active grantees. My involvement in the Hawaiian culture is also extensive and adds to my passion for helping other native cultures to thrive. I bring strengths from both my professional and personal backgrounds to fulfill my responsibilities in providing training and technical assistance to those interested in applying to ANA to fund projects for native communities.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing about being a Training Specialist for ANA, is being in a position where I can see the birth and infancy stages of many wonderful project ideas. I get to witness the passion that our native people have for their culture and communities.
Can you share with our readers your thoughts on the importance of environmental efforts? What do you see in the communities you have visited that speaks to this?
The influx of invasive species is a huge environmental issue here in the Pacific. The presence of these species not only degrade our natural environment, but also have a negative impact on our cultures, as our Pacific Island cultures are directly connected to the land. Many folks don't realize how small our islands are in comparison to the continental U.S., but this limits our resources, one of them being ka wai ola loa/the life giving waters of Kane (fresh water). Invasive species degrade our watersheds and in the long term, our water quality. Efforts to improve and reverse this trend are important for the perpetuation of our island cultures and communities.
What are some of your interests or hobbies? What do you like to do most in your free time?
I have always been interested in nature, specifically plants. This interest led me to obtain a degree in Botany, but also connected me to my culture. Today, I am a practitioner of l ā'au lapa'au (Hawaiian medicine) and enjoy cultivating kalo (taro) to make poi, a Hawaiian staple. In my free time I love to go hiking. I also love getting together with my 3 children and grandson (and friends) for a good meal, which means I love to cook and EAT!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Being part of the ANA family allows me to give back to my community in a way that I never imagined. I am privileged to be part of this organization! Me ka Ha'aha'a (with humbleness)