Richard Ha writes:
We recently shared some tomatoes with the charter school Ke Kula O Nawahiokalaniopu‘u, sometimes known as Nawahi.
Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu is designed for families, teachers and staff who have chosen to speak Hawaiian as the first and main language of the home, and also those who are in the process of establishing Hawaiian as the dominant language of the home. The goal is to develop, enhance and maintain the Hawaiian language through education in the home and school. The purpose of academics and global learning i.e., foreign languages such as English and Japanese, is to develop skills to be applied in the revitalization of the Hawaiian speaking community through economic interaction with the outside world.
Afterward, I got this nice note from Jenea Respicio at the school:
Aloha e Richard,
Attached please find some pictures from the distribution of the delicious tomatoes that were so kindly donated by your company today.
We had the cases of tomatoes stored in the school's walk-in refrigerator and had all of the students, faculty, and staff members meet outside of the lumi `aina (cafeteria) before being dismissed at the end of the day. Everyone expressed their gratitude and as you can see from the photos the kids just could not wait to get eat some of the fresh tomatoes!
Several parents also made sure to come up to me and express their gratitude and asked me why did the kids received such a generous gift. This was my response to both the school and parents who approached me:
"Hamakua Springs is a locally owned and operated family business. The proprietor of Hamakua Springs, Richard Ha, believes in his community and its people and feels that due to the strenuous economic times he just wanted to share the fresh tomatoes with the `ohana of Nawahi to enjoy; as we all know that with a stiff economy most families, unfortunately, are not able to purchase as much fresh vegetables as they would want, and Hamakua Springs just wanted to say mahalo to the local community for their support over the years with a token of fresh tomatoes."
I hope that my response to the school and parents was satisfactory and if I was incorrect in any aspect I apologize as I was "shooting from the hip" when I was approached.
Nawahi will be sending you a leka (letter) but I wanted to send these pictures on my part. Again, mahalo nui for all that you do for our community.