The Study Abroad Newsletter

Small Kid Time: Life on a Plantation

By Teagan Maher (Geoglogy Major) and Chris Wung (Housing Logistics Support Staff)

Mr. Derek Kurisu Uncle Derek Kurisu, executive vice president of KTA, shared his personal accounts and stories growing up in a plantation and how he has applied this to your adult life. Uncle Derek reminded us about the importance of values; that no matter your ranking, no matter what you’ve achieved, it is important to remember the journey along the way. We had the opportunity to learn about the games he played growing up! Not only did we have a good belly laugh, but we were shown how creativity and fun can still be applied at work.

On Saturday, students had an opportunity to pass through historic landmarks and areas within south Hilo. While traversing the Hāmākua coast, students were able to view the beautiful coastline, in addition to Hilo’s smaller towns that follow alongside it.

Upon arriving at the Hawaiʻi Plantation Museum, students were slightly saddened that the ride was over, but obviously very excited to check out the museum after the stunning scenic drive. The hour-long tour started with an introduction to the history of the museum, along with the important connections neighboring towns had to Hawaiʻi’s sugar cane industry. Once students were briefed on the significance of Hawaiʻi Plantation Museum, they were able to roam free throughout.

Many of the treasures that one could find in the museum included (but were surely not limited to): vintage business/store metal signs, historic Hawaiʻi Island maps, past machinery and tools used during the plantation era, catalogs, historic memorabilia, and more. Although most items were not able to be picked up or touched, students were still able to appreciate the wonder and significance of the countless artifacts throughout this wondrous time capsule.

Finally, following the grand tour of Hawaiʻi Plantation Museum, students were able to end the day-long huakaʻi with a delicious bento from H&K Lunch Shop, enjoyed down by the coastal picnic areas of Liliʻuokalani Gardens.

Students pose in front of a mural in a Group Photo