Molokai, 2014, Part 1

May 28th, 2014
By

For the past 10 years, we have been traveling to the island of Molokai to undertake an ukulele build there with the children of Kaunakakai Schools. It's one of the trips we look forward to the most as it's a time for us to bond with one another and connect us to the mission of our company. If I'm not mistaken, we are approaching 500 instruments there.

We missed 2 years in the 10, but made up for them by completing "double" builds in the following year. Our original goal was to commit to providing an elementary "generation" of children, grades K-5, with ukuleles. This year hasn't exactly been gangbusters, business wise, and we were considering a deferral of this year's build. Finance has been challenging, but sometimes, there are more important things than money. Sorry Mastercard, we use you a lot, but some things can't be bought. A company's purpose is something that should never be lost. We aim never to lose our purpose.

 photo CE236E3C-8393-4521-B8E5-9211E50B96CD_zpsao1q2uzt.jpg

Amelia Earhart, I know how you must have felt. This was a first for me to ride on a Cessna. Was a little nervous, Mokulele Air is one of the only options to Molokai these days after the departure of Island Air.

 photo FDFAC179-5CB5-4DCA-9B2D-E90A6D4F414D_zpsxvilskag.jpg

Cozy....right. It was quite cozy onboard as we took more than half the plane ride over. We needed to actually weigh in with our carry ons and sit according to weight. This was another first for me.

 photo 14DC42C4-E481-4729-AB19-ADC8181344DA_zpshcdd0mi6.jpg

But hey, how many times do you get to see the pilot and the controls? I have to admit, the fake dials for the retro effect weren't very comforting, but at least he had real controls too. That's a big bonus when flying.

 photo AA8DD908-CDCC-48CD-A48F-B76B65FA5BE9_zps6esrvctt.jpg

The flight over was pretty fast and the views from a small plane can be quite amazing.

 photo 64725912-4A63-4C2B-BF96-88AF8B08CEF3_zpsa0ggq5zv.jpg

Two flights later, the entire crew of KoAloha was on Molokai soil. This is one of the trips that the whole shop makes together. We missed one guy back home, but we were there in full force, more or less.

 photo 5B767A22-8F41-47DC-84F0-5C484FD48745_zpsdumdobgy.jpg

We went straight to Kaunakakai School and got underway. Kits distributed and the kids, parents and all of us started on this 10th build.

 photo FDCD1D92-DAD6-4600-82C7-AD4B39939B84_zpsfexpe2z1.jpg

Before you knew it, the ukuleles were assembled and ready to start the endless sanding. then sanding, then more sanding....I think you get the idea....

 photo F4EA1D76-4F0F-453F-85B4-97AD6AE4BC33_zpskpcvyylw.jpg

Here's a shot that captured my heart as they........sand! Ha ha, good guess.

 photo 6A46BB76-3195-40B4-A3E5-37841E9B37E0_zpswxlxknbl.jpg

Two young ladies proudly showing off their new KoAloha ukuleles. Probably awaiting more sanding. That seems to be a recurring theme, huh?

 photo 818544AA-498E-4AF3-96D5-F25624134A30_zpsudaw4njz.jpg

That evening, we were treated to our annual get together at Brad and Malia's home. We were treated to a nice home cooked meal from the bounty of the land. Sorry Bambi lovers, we had some deer meat and it was delicious. The view from their house is spectacular, even when the vog tries to ruin things.

Stay tuned as we wrap up the build on day 2 of our trip to Molokai.

6 Responses to “Molokai, 2014, Part 1”

  1. Ynaku:

    I was going to say you guys took over the whole plane. I've been on flights where we had to sit according to weight. Good time back then I was skinny, I mean thinner than I am today :lol:

    You guys rock.


  2. DIO:

    Aahhhh, doesn't it just fill you with a whole lot of confidence when you have to weigh-in like a professional boxer upon boarding? :lol:


  3. KokoKele:

    Thank you for educating and inspiring the keiki! You have enriched their lives.


  4. aokami:

    Ynaku, almost, ha ha. One plane wouldn't have been enough though, only sits 9.

    DIO, "confidence" isn't exactly the word I was thinking on weigh in.....

    KokoKele, it's our pleasure and a blessing to us


  5. M:

    Howzit Alan,

    You are a blessing to the kids of Molokai.


  6. aokami:

    M, thank you. They bless us just as much when we go there