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NMSAS OFFERING TWO STUDENTS CHANCE TO JOIN HOKULE’A VOYAGE

blue@samoanews.com
Hauling out for the long haul, Polynesian Voyaging Society members and volunteers ready the Hokule’a to set sail later this year. One of its destinations will be American Samoa, and The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) is giving two local students the opportunity to “earn” a seat on a leg the voyage. [photo: Hokulea.org]

Two lucky students — one from Ta’u, Manu’a and another from Tutuila — will have the chance to take part in the historic Hokule’a Voyage set to arrive in the territory later this year.
 
The Hokule’a Voyage is being led by renowned ocean navigator Nainoa Thompson who has his sights set on circling the entire globe using nothing but a traditional vessel.
 
The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) is giving two local students the opportunity to “earn” a seat on a leg the voyage.
 
This was one of the items discussed during the first ever Media Coffee Chat that was held yesterday at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center where media representatives were presented with an overview of what went on in 2013 and information about what is in store for the first quarter of calendar year 2014. (See later issues of Samoa News for more details on other agenda items that were discussed).
 
NMSAS Communication and Outreach Coordinator Isabel Gaoteote, during a PowerPoint presentation, revealed the NMSAS’s goal of giving two students the chance to gain valuable experience in a lifetime opportunity by taking part in the Hokule’a Voyage.
 
To qualify, students must be between grade levels 9-11. They must also be a resident of American Samoa, attain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, have parental or guardian consent to participate in the voyage, and hold a valid US passport.
NMSAS Education, Outreach, and Community Coordinator Apulu Veronika Mortenson explained that students must submit a two-page essay on any one of the following topics:
A.   History of Voyaging and Navigation in Samoa;
B.    Importance of Samoan Voyaging and Navigation; and
C.   Cultural Heritage and Voyaging Connections in the Pacific.
 
Essays must be submitted to the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center by the March 7 deadline.
 
The Hokule’a Voyage is heading south in the Pacific for the first time since 1986 and the student who will be selected from Ta’u will hop on board and be part of the trip from Ta’u to Tutuila, where he/she will disembark and the selected local student will take part in the voyage leg from here to Apia, Samoa.
 
NMSAS superintendent Gene Brighouse explained that the local student will arrive in Samoa during the time of the UNESCO conference later this year and this is something they had planned on, as sort of a way to link the two Samoas through navigation.
 
In addition to being part of the Hokule’a Voyage, the two selected students will make presentations during the Youth Ocean Summit set for May, and they will be traveling to Hawai’i to take part in a two-week navigation training camp in June — all paid for by the NMSAS.
 
The selected pair must serve as volunteers for the NMSAS for ten hours during the summer months — such a small obligation for a life changing experience!
 
More information on the Hokule’a Voyage can be obtained by contacting the NMSAS at 633-6500.



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