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A teacher, and a valley that is eternally thankful

By Staff | Feb 25, 2010

(The first part of this column appeared in the Feb. 18 issue.)

There is more. Thirteen-year-old Alicia Huliganga was inspired after the event to write a poem — a poem called “Lingering Soul” so good, it seemed as if it had come from the pen of someone much older.

Once again, when Pua was presented with the poem framed in koa, she was deeply moved. And so, last month, the telephone rang in my home office. It was Pua. 

“What are you doing right now? I am going over to Sacred Hearts to present a lei to a very special young lady. She wrote a poem,” Pua explained.

Columnist: “I bet you want me to come over and take a photo.” Done.

And so, on another sunny morning on Maui, Pua and Ekolu entered the eighth grade classroom in a surprise visit. Pua talked first, urging students “to look for the good side of people.” 

Ekolu spoke, already finding some of the eloquence that his father was famous for. Then the class announced that their eighth grade graduation yearbook would be dedicated to Ed Lindsey.

In an ensuing classroom discussion, one student volunteered, “When you were there (in the valley), you did not feel you were there alone. You felt something greater than you was there with you.” 

Another said, “When you go there, you feel the place is really powerful.”

That powerful hold on Alicia inspired these last lines of her poem:

This Valley, our ‘aina

Our Mother, is now together

With one of her many grateful sons.

Uncle Ed Lindsey, your soul

Lives on in our hearts

In the people you helped.

The Valley is eternally thankful

For your loving heart.

Honokowai Valley again works its magic. And the spirits continue to know the restoration of their ancestral home remains in good hands.