Friday, June 19, 2009
PA’A: “steadfast, learned, determined, strong, to hold, keep, retain.”
I walked along the paths with the albatross once more today and even made an attempt to teach them about their parents’ journeys out to sea (see Ms. Sutton Teaches Albatross video in the Midway Movie Gallery). It is hard to imagine what tomorrow morning will be like without waking up to albatross calls at dawn or hearing the puttering of their feet just before take-off or ducking to avoid a collision with an adult returning from a 2-week, 2000+ mile journey to the Arctic. I will surely miss those encounters.
Our PA’A project presentations were completed today and most of our afternoon was free for us to enjoy Midway. After a final snorkel at the cargo pier, I biked around the island for one more chance to absorb as much as I could from the wildlife and the aura of PA’A that engulfs Midway. I met so many wonderful people this week who were devoted to making our experience at the Midway Wildlife Refuge unique and memorable. To each of them, I am truly grateful. I have many new friends who I will carry forward in my heart as I work to implement my PA’A project back home (See photograph right)
What I will not miss when I leave Midway: The plastic-filled stomachs of dead chicks (see photo below-right) or the mournful cries of the adults as they search for their chick who died while the parents were out to sea foraging for food.
Things I will take with me when I leave Midway: A deeper understanding of the factors that affect the wildlife struggling to survive among the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; the support of my PA’A ‘ohana (family); and the compassion of the scientists and volunteers who live and work on this remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I take with me “PA’A,” to guide my thoughts and actions with my students as we work within our community to monitor and conserve our pristine estuarine environment.
REVIEW TOPIC: CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
Assess your ability to conserve resources and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Look for ways in which you can reduce the use of plastic in your everyday life. Participate in recycling efforts. Try to create less of an impact on Earth’s environment and wildlife. Even small changes can have long-term impacts.