On Saturday May 27, 2017 there was a peacebuilding service project that allowed us to do some work for members in the community. Everyone who came split into two different groups and my group was able to go to Aunty Dawns house. Upon arrival, we met Sam Wasson, a BYU-Hawaii student and relative who does a lot of work at her home. As we walked to meet Aunty Dawn and her friends, we first sang the Hiki Mai (https://socialwork.byuh.edu/hikimai) and then greeted with hugs and kisses. The aloha spirit felt there was so warm and inviting; we were ready to get to work. We trimmed plants, planted new plants, cut down trees, and whatever else needed to be done. The property was so beautiful! It was hot, and the work at times was hard, but it was also such a fulfilling experience. Sam, villi, and Joe taught us to husk coconuts which I had never technically learned before, so that was awesome. Talking story, working, and listening to music all together was such a great bonding experience for all those that came. I think I can speak for all of us there when I say that it was such a rewarding day to be able to serve and connect with the land. Big Mahalo to Sam and Aunty Dawn for letting us come and work, as well as for the pizza at the end. Also a big mahalo for the community and reconciliation group at the Mckay Center for putting on this event. As I woke that morning, I was unsure if I wanted to attend, however I am so glad that I did, as I was able to leave with a heart full of aloha for the island and the Laie community.

-Sydney Peirce