|Sunrise over Haleakala from Kaho'olawe|
It's hard to explain a place like Kaho'olawe. A place that's been ravaged for so long by bombs and artillery and bullets that in many ways it no longer resembles a place at all. Covered in thorny, invasive kiawe trees and scrubby fountain grass the red hard pan shines through in warning. No rain comes here, the hot hard pan chases the clouds away like bothersome children. The wind whips the red dirt around and around the lava rocks and dry stream beds and eventually out to sea. On land, only hope thrives.
We drive our trucks around the red roads, searching for a place to plant or a place to dig or maybe just a place to weed. These places are sparse because unexploded ordnance litters the island, preventing us from even entering most areas, let alone dig.
|The Bell Stone sacred area|
|Crater left by bomb activity|
|Shadows of our youth|
Maybe the youth we brought to see this place will be the ones to save it. One thing is for sure, there is a future for Kaho'olawe. To learn more about the island or to find out how you can volunteer to make a difference, visit: http://kahoolawe.hawaii.gov/. I went there as a team leader for Kupu's summer gateway program.
|Sunrise on Kaho'olawe|