National Geographic : 2002 Dec
o CES ERIC ENOS ISLAND OF 0 AHU Can Hawaiianculture defeat the drugculture?EricEnos thinks so. Co-founderof the CulturalLearningCenter atKa'alaFarm, Inc., in the troubled Wai'anaeValley-where crystal methamphetamineseems as common asfastfood Enos has spent the past 30 years trying to instillpono, the ancient Hawaiianconcept of balance,back into his commu nity. "You have to startwith your relationshipto the earth, and the earthhas to be healthy," says Enos, who drives past a "ALL OF THIS IS BASED ON THE CONCEPT OF PONO. IT'S FOUND IN OUR STATE MOTTO: UA MAUKEEA O KA 'NA IKA PONO. THE LIFE OF THE LAND IS PERPETUATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." former drug hangout (above) on his way to thefarm every day. "We try to teach Hawaiian values-takingcare ofyour kupuna, and that traditionalknowledge is good. That knowl edge ties us back to the earth." For the students, ex-cons, and recovering addictswho visit Ka'ala that means performing morningpule, or prayer (above right),plantingkalo or taro,and listeningto mo'olelo, traditionalHawaiianstories. "Basicallylearninghow to malama ka 'aina," says Jessica Villiarimo,a recoveringaddictwho works on thefarm. "That means to take care of the aina, or land, and the 'ainawill take care ofyou." Enos's latestproject extends thatphilosophy to the sea by buildingthe first wa'a'opelu, a traditionaldugoutfishing canoe (right), to be hewn in Wai'anaein generations."We don't have all the answers," he says, "but ifwe have the correct attitudeand spiritualcon nection, our solutions will be pono-balancedand correct."