Brennan Takayama was born and raised in Hawai’i and grew up on a cattle farm with his family. He serves as the Area Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Hawai’i, enjoys cooking home-style foods, and watching “Black-ish”, “Fresh off the Boat”, and “The Walking Dead”. He’s currently trying to re-watch all the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because he doesn’t understand the backstories of all of the infinity stones.
A few years ago, I took a Hawaiian language class at Hawaiʻi Community College. In the fourth and final semester of the two years of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi that the school offered, I journeyed with a cohort of students under our amazing kumu (teacher) Kuʻulei Kanahele. Our class consisted of Native Hawaiian and Japanese students; I was the only non-Hawaiian student who was born and raised in Hawaiʻi.
WHILE STANDING in the courtyard of one of the oldest hotels in Waikīkī, I noticed a large monkeypod tree standing tall above a clean, well-trimmed lawn. It was magnificent, with branches that reached wide and a canopy that welcomed you in.