EWC Community Members Aid Voyaging Canoe Hokule‘a’s Unprecedented Visit to Bali

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HONOLULU (Aug. 3, 2015) -- With the Hawaiian Voyaging Canoe Hokule‘a now sailing out of the Pacific for the very first time and currently in Bali, Indonesia, for the canoe’s only scheduled Asian stop on its unprecedented worldwide voyage, a number of East-West Center participants, alumni and community members are in Bali with the canoe, or helped plan the visit.

"We have been planning and training so hard for this moment for about six years,” said master navigator Nainoa Thompson during an arrival ceremony with local Bali officials and community members. “Thirteen people may have sailed this canoe to Bali, but there were at least another 1,300 people that were supporting behind the scenes to make this possible. On behalf of the crew, I want to express our gratitude to all the hands and hearts who have helped to bring Hokule‘a here."

Arriving at Sanur Beach for the welcoming ceremony on Aug. 1, the canoe was greeted by representatives of the governor of Bali, along with representatives from the Hawai`i-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, including Rep. Gene Ward and Ronnie Adhikarya, both EWC alumni. Among the crew members who made the 11-day voyage from Darwin, Australia to Bali were EWC Foundation Board member Henk Rogers and his daughter Julie, an Asia Pacific Leadership Program alumna. Joining the canoe in Bali to assist with the visit were APLP alumna Shaaroni Wong and current EWC students Micah Fisher and Anis Hamidati. Other EWC alumni who assisted with planning the visit included Fifa Anistia, Matt Berry, Dan Lin and Desiree Simandjuntak.

The East-West Center and the Polynesian Voyaging Society share a long and valued history together, including ongoing collaborations with the Center’s Pacific Islands and leadership education programs. PVS president and master navigator Thompson is due to receive EWC’s Asia Pacific Community Building Award at a gala “International Affair” dinner on Sept. 15.