Not Just Ocean for Life but Ohana for Life

This blog post is written by Whitney M. Young Magnet High School senior, Fiona McRaith.  It's the 2nd in a 2 part series about her experience at the Ocean for Life Summer program. Read part one here

Members of the Ocean for Life summer program Members of the Ocean for Life summer program

 “Watch and learn,” Mohammed said with a sly grin as he set up to take his shot in our pool game. Everyone shared a chuckle, for this was about the 20th time he had said that in this game alone. To our surprise, Mohammed sinks the shot. He looks up and smiles. “See?” he says.

 Over the course of the two weeks I spent at Ocean for Life there was lots of watching and learning, in more areas than just the pool table. Aside from the lectures and practical applications of the issues we were studying, I think each and every one of the thirty participants would say they learned the most from observing the interactions between one another. These interactions ranged from riveting discussions of current environmental issues, to politics and educational systems to favorite songs and movies. One that was brought up frequently was Lilo and Stitch, due to the presence of participant from Hawai’i.

In the film, the idea of ‘ohana’, or family, is very central, and we soon adopted the mindset that Ohana does indeed mean family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. It turned out to be more convenient than we expected, with the abbreviation for ‘Ocean for Life’ also being able to be applied to ‘Ohana for Life’.

Fiona and a friend from the Ocean for Life program Fiona and a friend from the Ocean for Life program

I learned at Ocean for Life to always watch and learn, we all should, because our world is always changing and as

stewards we can work together as a family to help make a change.

We are all a part of the worldwide ‘Ohana’, connected by one ocean. We are one enormous family and we have a responsibility to care not only for our earth (our home) but also the plants and animals that sustain our family, so no one is left behind or forgotten.