Can You Help Find These Waiʻanae Coast Residents?

Moving to Mākaha along the Waiʻanae Coast, I met Ken Brewer, a Vista volunteer who worked as a teacher at Waiʻanae Intermediate. As Ken was on his own in Waiʻanae, he was adopted by those of us in Teacher Corps and always invited to our parties and potlucks.

As the two of us became friends, Ken would join in helping me repair my Quonset and then end the day staying for dinner. Not long after we met, I had the idea to write the history of Waiʻane and invited Ken to join me. After school, in the evenings, and on weekends, Ken and I went to visit and interview elders in the community, which is how he became one of the authors.

After meeting Jay Landis of Nānākuli, he introduced me to then-Governor John Burns, “The People’s Governor,” and through his help, I met Bob Krauss, who besides wanting to become involved in telling Hawaiʻi’s First Regional History, also joined Ken and myself on the Hawaiʻi-Navajo Cultural Exchange, which I also created and directed.

Ken’s and my good friend Ray St. Germaine, also a Teacher Corps intern, joined us, as did others in Teacher Corps, to take 24 Waiʻanae Coast Elementary School Students (who had never been off the island or flown on an airplane) to live with the Navajo Indians of Northern Arizona for two weeks, which was a cultural exchange of astronomical proportions. After arriving back in the islands, the families of those Waiʻanae students who visited Arizona helped to bring 24 Navajo Indian students to Hawaiʻi for the first time. In both cases, this proved magical and became a statewide sensation.

Now after 50 years, I would like to ask your help, if you know any of these students who are now most likely grandparents themselves, contact me by email, as I would like to meet with them once again when the 50th Anniversary Edition of Historic Waiʻanae is released this October. Thank you for anything you can do to put us in touch.

Help Find These Waiʻanae Coast Students Taken to Live With
the Navajo Indians of Arizona in 1970

Students of Mākaha Elementary

Jerret Rita
Karen Lindsay
Waynette Haʻo
Kalani Hirakawa
Jeffrey Saragosa

Students of Nānāikapono Elementary

Daniel Davis
Herbert Brown
Maria Tuilaepa
Miriam Waialae
Ramy Rodrigues

Students of Waiʻanae Elementary

Jay Silva
Ivy Joseph
Derek Yamada
Valerie Hopfe
Johnetta Lopez

Students of Māʻili Elementary

Brian Amina
Crystal Rhine
Robert Kekahuna
Chauncey Murakami
Hermandine Estrella

Write Ed McGrath
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