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Psk psk psk. Okay, I got this. Psk psk psk Almost there… Psk psk Got it!


Yes, I got it. I finally got the last lime. I never thought to myself that one day I would be climbing trees and shaking them to catch limes, but I am glad to add this to the laundry list of weird, but cool things I have done in Hawai’i so far.

Before the Duke Engage Kaua’i program, I would have never thought to myself that this would be one of the tasks I would be doing. In fact, I did not have a complete understanding of what I was actually going to do at Waipa. The only thing I really knew was that I was going to make poi, which thanks to the binge-watching of Facebook three-minute videos, did not seem as bad as I thought.

Now, after three weeks of working at Waipa as a gardener and kitchen assistant, I have developed an enormous amount of respect for the individuals that have been working there—some even voluntarily—for years. In order to make sure the summer weekly camps run efficiently, a lot of hands need to be on-board: the gardeners, the kitchen crew, the āina (land) team, the instructors, and the executive team. Being a member of two crews that work completely with food has not only strengthened my culinary curiosities, but it has refined my perspective on the relationship between food and land as a whole.

In the future, I hope to replicate some of these dishes and explore a cuisine that seems almost nonexistent in Durham. With a mix of Japanese, Portuguese, and many other countries in between, Hawaiian dishes have been influenced by places all around the world. Making these eccentric dishes will not only preserve the experiences and connection with Hawai’i that I have made (and will continue to make), but it will reinvent the idea of what Hawaiian food is for those misunderstood by the impacts of social media.

Until then, I have much more learning to do.