In May, I went to Hawaii with Marist’s Culturally Responsive Education class, a spring attachment short term abroad program. We spent ten days in Hawaii, five days on Oahu and five days on Hawaii, the Big Island.
While on Oahu, we visited Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. The Arizona Memorial was built over the remains of the sunken USS Arizona Battleship. The battleship serves as the final resting place for 1,102 sailors that were killed in the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
While at Pearl Harbor, I learned that all but three of the ships sunk during the attack were later salvaged, repaired and returned to service to fight against the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II.
The memorial was very solemn, but I really enjoyed the trip. It was great to have the opportunity to visit a place with so much historical significance.
While on Oahu, we visited several schools on the leeward side of the island, in the Wainae area. These areas are much less commercial and touristy, and the children are from a lower socio-economic status. The schools in Wainae are very different from the schools here. They are composed of a set of buildings, rather than a single building.
We were able to observe a number of teachers, including Marist Alumni in the classroom. I loved interacting with the children in the classroom because it gave me a real sense of what teaching in Hawaii would be like, as well as enabling me to see the cultural differences between children on the mainland and children in Hawaii.
After all that learning, we did have time for some fun as well. We went ziplining on the Big Island which allowed us to get into the less commercial part of the island and spend time in nature. Ziplining was a lot of fun! There were seven different ziplines on the course, and a suspension bridge. The ziplines crossed a ravine with a stream at the bottom. The view was amazing because the zipline course was on the side of a volcano, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
We walked through a botanic garden, and saw many plants that were native to Hawaii, as well as plants that were brought there by the Polynesians.
We spent a lot of time in our vans during this trip, including a three hour drive from Hilo to Kona on the Big Island. While in the van, we decided to challenge the Harvard Baseball team and make our own Call Me Maybe video:
The trip was wonderful and I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to go. I would love to return to Hawaii to visit, and I know many from my class plan to return to Hawaii as teachers.
-Katie Krieger, Class of 2013