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  • Kevin Hara

'Aiea - A Blue Zone

Updated: May 27, 2022

‘Aiea is one of two areas on O’ahu where its people live the longest. To understand why, we have to go out “Beyond our Walls.” We have to go out into our community. We have to connect with the ‘āina. We have to respect and honor our roots.

‘Aieaʻs legacy comes from its history of plantation medicine and the universal healthcare that it provided for its people. It comes from going further back to the Keaīwa Heiau, Hawaiʻiʻs traditional School of Medicine. It comes from going even further back to Queen Kalanimanuʻia's rule, over 400 years ago. She chose ‘Aiea to be her home. Here, at the base of the Kalauao ahupua‘a, she built the Loko Iʻa Pāaiau, one of three royal fishponds. Her reign was one of peace. Her rule was based on the principles of aloha, of nurturing for her people and of sustainability.

The Loko Iʻa Pāaiau provided abundance for its people for centuries before becoming isolated and overgrown. Restoration of the fishpond began in 2014 as a joint effort of the Navy and the ‘Aiea community.

The ‘Aiea community and its fishpond are the home of Pali Momi Medical Center. It is our home, and we need to take care of our home.

The fishpond is a place of beauty, healing, knowledge and peace. We can see it from Pali Momi Medical Center. Yet, we pass it every day and do not recognize its existence. Similarly, in our hectic lives, we do not recognize our own inner beauty and peace. This, leads to stress and burnout.

Hawaiian wisdom states that when you care for the ʻāina, the ʻāina cares for you. When we work to preserve the ʻāina, we receive back more than what we give. The fishpond provides us an opportunity for healing and peace. It provides an opportunity for restoration. When we restore the fishpond, we restore ourselves.

It is the history of the people, the community, and the 'āina that determine the health of a region. ‘Aiea has a centuries old tradition of caring for its people and caring for its land. We owe it to our elders and to our children to continue this practice. ‘Aiea is a Blue Zone. We need to keep it that way.


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