Ikaika's First Day of Kindergarten

Today was Ikaika's first day of school.  Yep, that's right.  I haven't even fully recovered from the trauma of delivering the kid and I'm already sending him off to kindergarten.  To be cliche - it goes by so fast.

It was very clear that Ikaika has been out of school for awhile.  The language was slow-coming today, he seemed uncomfortable to the point of embarrassment at times and was invariably preferring to speak in English whenever any adult would allow him to do so.  But, he made it through the piko (morning gathering) and assembly with no major issue.  

Even appropriate standing-in-line behavior came back to him after awhile.

One thing that Nawahi (the main school in Hilo where we went today) does that I just love is after piko all the teachers and staff stand in a line and greet each of the children individually.  This is standard piko stuff and part of Hawaiian cultural practice, which I have seen before, many times, on a smaller scale at our own school in Waimea.  However, today there were so many people that it reminded me of "pump handle", a tradition at my college where the entire school, students, teachers and staff, greet each other at the beginning of the school year.
Seriously, can you think of a better way to start your year than getting a hug/kiss from every teacher?  This picture is Ikaika with the principal.    

We took a tour of their amazing campus, complete with a beautiful garden and...pig pen!  Enormous, noisy sows.  But, I guess there has to be something to cook in that high-tech imu (pit oven)

It was just a wonderful day and I'm so excited to see how this school year goes.  Here in Waimea, we have many, many options for where and how to educate our children.  Today really drives home for me that we have made the right choice for our family.

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