Alumni Keiki Experience 2023

It was a jam-packed, fun-filled, buff ’n blue week for keiki of alumni participating in ‘Ūlili Ho‘okama o Kapunahou, the Alumni Keiki Experience. Almost 30 children in grades 1 – 5 who live on the continental U.S. returned to Punahou for the first of two summer sessions.

The class was taught by Punahou Junior School faculty Malia Diamond ’83 Lee, Jan Murakami ’86 Furuta, Denise Awaya ’88 Wong and Mekia Ostrem ’98 Earle and student teaching assistants, with special guest faculty also teaching smaller units.

Throughout the week, the group spread out across campus, swimming in Waterhouse Pool, hiking Pu‘uomānoa to feed ti leaves to the sheep and take in Diamond Head views, spending recess at Omidyar Neighborhood and Barwick Playground and visiting the Lily Pond to see fish and turtles.

They learned Punahou mele, hula and chants and challenged each other in Makahiki games and Jan Ken Po. Each day brought the introduction of a new Hawaiian value, like kuleana or responsibility and ahonui, patience. 

In preparation for their closing pā‘ina on Friday, the keiki strung fresh plumeria lei, learning to count to 10 in Hawaiian as they worked. ‘Ohana was invited to Friday’s chapel and Makahiki games, and the new friends enjoyed a Hawaiian lū‘au together with an enthusiastic cheer of “Strawberry Shortcake” and “O‘ahu a” to end a great week.

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