On August 20, Hawaii regional members gathered to give back to the community by volunteering in a lo’i (taro patch) at Waianu (Reppun Farm) in Waiahole. The members got dirty by getting into the lo’i and worked hard harvesting the taro themselves. Afterward, USJC Council Leader Nate Gyotoku (Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, ELP ‘13) took time to speak to the group about the gannenmono who immigrated from Japan to Hawaii as contract laborers for sugarcane and pineapple plantations. Lunch was graciously cooked and served by Mark “Gooch” Noguchi and his team from Chef Hui.
The Hawaii region would like to thank the Reppun family for their time and gracious hospitality; thanks must also be extended to Mark “Gooch” Noguchi and the Chef Hui team and Regional Leaders Mitch Noguchi, Emi Au and Kristin Alm, all of whom played a critical role in organizing a special opportunity for members to connect with nature and learn more about Native Hawaiian culture.