On October 25, the class of 2018 volunteered at a taro patch—called a lo‘i in Hawaiian— for Senior Day, an annual event for the senior class.

While the rest of the student body anxiously searched for number two pencils for the PSAT, the senior class arrived in school dressed in slippers, board shorts and worn-out t-shirts, ready to spend a good portion of the day giving back to the land and community.

At the patch, Papahana Kuaola, located in Kaneohe, the students and advisers split into teams for various duties including clearing dead branches, pullings weeds from the stream, and preparing the taro patch by stamping in the mud. After a hour and a half of muddy work, many students took a dip in the river and washed off in the waterfall.

“I helped pull weeds and put mulch around the kalo to help it grow,” said senior Bey Thompson. “Despite being extremely itchy, it was rewarding to see that we’re preserving the Hawaiian culture and land.”

To end Senior Day, the seniors joined the rest of the school at the elementary campus for HBA’s all-school gathering and chapel. Prior to the chapel, the seniors enjoyed a special lunch buffet from Sam’s Delicatessen. The class council also treated the class to Taste Tea boba drinks for lunch.

As part of the all-school gathering, the seniors were paired with kindergarteners to assemble senior graduation leis with straws and paper flowers. Once the leis were made, popsicles were distributed, and the seniors and kindergarteners played various counting games. A lot of the seniors said they felt nostalgic after the experience. Senior Zachary Fujita said, “My favorite part about hanging out with the kindergartens was reliving my elementary school experience through watching and helping the kindergartens.”

Senior Natalie Kwon added, “I was fortunate that my kid and I shared the interest of drawing. It made the experience really memorable and reminded me of myself.”

The all-school gathering concluded with a chapel, which included throwback elementary songs including “Every Move I Make,” “Hip Hip Hooray,” and “Made for This,” accompanied by hand gestures led by the kindergartens. The theme “Wonder Why” and additionally “Wonder Who” was reiterated throughout the chapel. Vice Principal Ryan Frontiera wrapped up the chapel with a short teaching on the story of a paralyzed man was healed by Jesus through the faith of his four friends.

Photographs courtesy of Elena Yoo.