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Maui Prep fifth-graders go on amazing journey

By Staff | Jun 4, 2015

Maui Preparatory Academy fifth grade students enjoy playing at the beach in Waikiki.

NAPILI – Throughout the 2014-15 school year, Maui Preparatory Academy fifth grade students raised money toward an amazing Oahu trip.

Our fundraising included hot dog sales, bake sales, lei sales for May Day, and wrapping paper and gift sales through Innisbrook.

We were dedicated, and in the early morning of May 13, the fifth grade met at Kahului Airport to begin our Oahu adventure. Arriving at the Honolulu International Airport around 9:40 a.m., we started our three-day trip.

Our first stop was the Polynesian Cultural Center. We started with Samoa to watch a show – it was amazing! The best part was a man climbing one of the tallest palm trees we had ever seen! We visited every Polynesian island and learned how to dance with sticks, watched the canoe pageant, fished with coconut bread bait and learned how to throw a spear.

Our Polynesian Cultural Center visit ended with a luau dinner. The food was delicious, and the show was beautiful. They invited people to the stage to learn Tahitian dance. One of the biggest highlights of our trip was our chaperone, Mr. Bulat, being asked on stage to do some dancing with his hips and those great twinkle toes. (Go to the Maui Prep Instagram page to see him in action!)

After a full day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, we checked in to the Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk hotel. We were greeted with a tropical juice drink! The girls stayed in a two-bedroom suite, while the boys stayed in a couple of one-bedroom suites. We all enjoyed a nighttime swim at the pool – it was amazing!

The second day began with a lovely breakfast at our hotel. With energy in our body, we headed to Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Dodge and his wife, Sharon, were awaiting our arrival. We were lucky to get a private Admirals’ Tour of Pearl Harbor.

We started in a private museum and looked at pictures and models of some of the ships. We watched a short video about Pearl Harbor. After the video, we went on the Remembrance Barge boat and began our private tour around Ford Island. We saw the USS Utah and the USS Oklahoma. We all thought it was amazing!

We arrived at the USS Arizona Memorial. We paid our respects and remembered those who gave their lives. We saw the leaking oil and the wall with the names of those who died that day.

We thanked Capt. Dodge for our VIP tour and then went to the gift shop for souvenirs to remember this wonderful experience.

Back at the hotel, we got in our bathing suits and went down to Waikiki Beach; it was a lot of fun! We walked to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner (donated to us at the Maui Prep Jingle Bell Ball); it was delicious! After Cheesecake Factory, we went back to the hotel and played a big group game of Mafia.

On our last day, we headed to the Bishop Museum. We got to see real lava at the Science Adventure Center and a show at the Planetarium called “Wayfinders,” in which we learned about waves, wind and stars. We learned how to navigate with stars and about the canoe Hokule’a.

We left the museum and drove to Wet ‘n’ Wild for some fun. There were so many waterslides! Most of us loved the Tornado and Waimea Whirl. We went on almost every single waterslide.

After Wet ‘n’ Wild, we drove directly to the airport. We landed in Maui, and our parents were very happy to see us. What an absolutely wonderful trip!

We would like to thank our chaperones, Mrs. Kelly Bulat, Mr. Nathan Bulat and Maui Prep Principal Mr. Ryan Kirkham. We would also like to thank our room mom, Amy Wisthoff-Martin, and the parent and grandparent volunteers who helped with fundraising and planning throughout the year.

(Mahalo to Grace for writing the story.)