Kapa Cafe

Chadd Paishon

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Jaz:                  Home of Hawai’i’s music, we’re KAPA FM at 100.3, 99.1, and online at kaparadio.com, for this Aloha Friday, as tomorrow is the big celebration, Malama Makali‘i 2015 Ocean Festival, and our special guest for the KAPA Cafe this morning, our friend, kapena, Chadd Paishon.


Chadd:              Aloha!

Kaea:               Hui! Aloha!

Chadd:              Hui!

Jaz:                  Aloha brotha!


Chadd:              How you folks?

Jaz:                  Maika‘i

Kaea:               Maika‘i, maika‘i. How are you brother?

Chadd:              Doing well, mahalo nui.

Kaea:               Well we’re very excited to finally get you on our KAPA Cafe.


Jaz:                  Not only that, but we talking to you while you on land.

Kaea:               You are right?

Jaz:                  You are on land, yea?

Chadd:              Yea, I’m on land right now.

Kaea:               Joining us this morning on the KAPA Cafe of course is Captain Chad Paishon. Thank you brother for joining us this morning.


Chadd:              Aw, no. Always a pleasure. Mahalo nui for all your support.

Kaea:               Now you know, last week we celebrated a very special day and this weekend, you folks are gathering for this momentous occasion. Tell everybody what’s been happening with Makali‘i.

Chadd:              Well, last week, actually on February 4th was Makali`i’s 20th anniversary. The building of Makali`i. You know, 20 years ago, at least at that time was quite a big undertaking, you know, that she was the first canoe being built, you know, outside of, what had been done already with Hokulea at the time, and being built here on the moku, especially at that time, you know, considering it being built in Waimea or Kamuela…

When we look at our traditions… a lot of the Paniolo families were all ocean people also.

Kaea:               Yea, exactly

Chadd:              So, it was in that sense that, you know, and the canoes always began in uplands and then you know, through the forest and they was taken down ma kai, so for us it was just reconnecting that pride, and really carrying our community… the part that they played in the voyaging canoe, and that’s really been I think the greatest side for us, in that we’re being able to reconnect our communities and our communities wanted to, you know, really be more involved in that sense and understand so Clay Bertelmann, you know, who heads our organization from the very start really made that possible. So, 20 years of being involved with our community and all of us understanding more so the kuleana that we carry for one another, and you know, just like you folks have been doing for all of us. It’s a kakou thing.

Kaea:               Yea, it is definitely a kakou thing.

Jaz:                  How long has this journey been for you Chad?

Chadd:              Ah, for me now um, almost going on 30 years. I started with Hokulea, and then basically, you know, Clay wanted me to come home here, to help in the very beginning, and he’s my first captain when I started sailing aboard Hokulea, you know, you kinda follow what your captain says.

Kaea:               Right It’s like Kumu in your-the halau, you gotta go.

Chadd:              Exactly, so you know, when he asked me to come home because of this dream that he had of Makalii and just-the idea that, here was something that was possible for our island and, you know, it’s always been in a sense that um being able to inspire, you know, our community to really say eh, it’s possible if we all understand the part that we play in it, we can do anything.

Jaz:                  You know, every person who’s involved with the kai, from surfers to boogie boarders or whatever, as soon as they hit the water they have that sense of home, that sense of being part of the ocean. What does it feel for you everytime you step on the wa‘a?

Chadd:              Ah, it’s that same sense you know – it’s the same sense that for me being on the wa‘a, in the very beginning because, you know, just like you said, I was, just like all of us that feels so comfortable in the ocean. I felt more comfortable on the ocean than I did on land.

Jaz:                  Yea, yea, you get sea sick walking around the street.

Chadd:              Right, you know, cannot get lost when you on land… that’s why… thousands of miles on top the ocean but… come on land and get lost. And it’s um, no, it’s in that sense, but you know it’s exactly that, that over here we’re so ma’a to going, and going out on the ocean, and to, like you say, he wa‘a he moku, he moku, he wa‘a, you know, the canoe becomes our island. So we see everything from that sense… deck out in the middle of the ocean, it’s home, it’s our moku, it’s our island. And it’s really taught us that really coming home, um, we explained to a lot of our crewmembers on the last leg in Aotearoa that, as much as we prepare to go out on the canoe, it’s as much that we need to prepare to come home. Because ah, when we come home, we cannot still be, you know, wishing that we were back on the canoe, and when we come we need to be home, to engage our community and to help them understand, and it’s a difficult task, it’s a difficult thing because, you know, it’s a rare opportunity for a lot of people to get to go on the canoe so it’s always a longing to go back.

Kaea:               You know Chad, when you were um, when they came up with the idea of doing this, if I can-if I may, doing this world wide voyage, um, and through the precious voyages, what was your thoughts when you first got wind that eh, Hokulea is gonna travel the world.

Chadd:              My first thoughts was-I was excited for it, in that sense that, as long as my initial, you know…

Kaea:               Pack the bag, let’s go.

Chadd:              Yea, go, you know, but it also comes with that sense of, yea, like you said, when you start to think about it, and um, the things that are involved in it, you know, for each of the crewmembers, their families, and everything that they needed to prepare for, you know, to allow this one person to go.

Kaea:               What has that been like for you? Cause I know, you’ve had to, you know, the different legs that are going back and forth, back and forth. What has that been like for you in preparing?

Chadd:              It’s all encompassing, in a sense that, you know, involves my family, my wife ah, you know, …with Makalii, with Na Kalai Wa‘a, with our community, and it’s really in that sense, it can be overwhelming, but then at the same time it’s very rewarding in the sense that you can do something, you know, as an individual, but it’s for everyone else. And so when you come home, it’s like, for me, I come home more in the sense of okay, what can I do for my community.

Kaea:               Now that’s a very… giving, um, I guess ‘ano, your ‘uhane, it’s not self centered, which brings me to, what can I do for my community, hello, you guys have this huge event that you guys do every year, and ah, in the midst of you traveling, and doing the Hokulea thing, the World Wide Voyage, tell us about what’s happening this weekend, because we do celebrate Malama Makalii Ocean Festival this Saturday.

Jaz:                  We went last year and I got to take a bunch of selfies on the Makalii. I was like, quick quick, try make like I’m sailing.

Chadd:              Malama Makalii was started so that our community can come together and celebrate, cause ah, like you said, from the very beginning, the canoe, to us, the canoe is a reflection of our community, and it’s really in that sense that Malama Makalii was the opportunity for our community to come together and all the other community organizations out there doing things in our community, to have a place to surround the canoe, and to really share with the community that comes, you know, what they’re doing also. And it was a way to celebrate Makalii’s birthday, but it was really more so the intent was to celebrate our community.

Kaea:               I see that with all the different-you guys have different people that come, as far as displays and booths?

Chadd:              Yea, exactly, there’s a bunch of different displays, you know, from, you have ah, Hui Aloha Kiholo, you know, you have guys from UH, the STEM program, and you know, all the way to DLNR, that’s there to share with you what they’re doing, you know, so it’s a wide range of uh groups that come through, but really a day that everyone get together to see what’s going on around them, and ah, to get more information, just to have a really good time enjoying what our community is doing together.

Jaz:                  Oh I’m gonna have some new profile pics cousin.

Kaea:               Now if people wanna-how can people support you folks, or what can we do-or, what is a website or social media that we can do to follow Makalii?

Chadd:              Well definitely we have our Malama Makalii Facebook page. We also have our website, nakalaiwaa.org, and you can go on those, and ah, check us out, and if people wanna come and volunteer, definitely we’re looking for people to kokua throughout the day, whatever time you have, um, just to become more involved, and ah, for people to understand, you know, the part that they can… the canoe, whether you wanna become a crewmember on the canoe, or whether-because so many of our ‘ohana they say, no no, we just support you for that. It’s a huge part because-we tell everyone, you know, for every crewmember, hands on the deck of the canoe, there’s at least a hundred people behind that crewmember.

Jaz:                  You know, could I possibly assist, what I’d like to do is-if I could be ah, Kaimana’s understudy for shuttle guys from the pier to the Makalii at the event? That way I can feel like I when sail, you know what I mean?

Kaea:               And we’re gonna give you a paddle, so you can paddle back and forth.

Thank you Chad so much for joining us this morning, on this Aloha Friday and KAPA Cafe. We’re gonna send everybody down again um, Malama Makalii is happening tomorrow, Saturday February 14th, and um, down at Hale Kukui at Kawaihae, you’ll have signs yea, where everybody can follow to get back?

Chadd:              Right, there-we’ll have signs where everyone can get back there to where we are, and yea, come and enjoy the day and mahalo nui again, Kaea, Jaz, for all you do for us, and for our ‘ohana, for our lahui, mahalo nui.


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