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A message from our new Lohe Pono Fellow

My name is Kinohi Pizarro and I was born and raised in Waimanalo on the island of Oʻahu. I consider myself a lifelong learner, a mother, a kiaʻi loko, a mentor, and a friend.  Each of these abilities require one to be a great listener.  So when the opportunity at KUA came up to be a part of a fellowship called Lohe Pono, I thought to myself, “Eh…I can do that!”

Lohe Pono is the act of radical listening, respectful listening, listening well, listening intently, the list goes on and on.  So many ways to define this term. I believe we listen with our naʻau (gut-intuition) in regards to some of the most key, vital, and necessary components for our existence and our survival. Our magic decision-making tool lies in our naʻau. We need to relearn how to trust it.

How do we capture, bring light to, and listen to what is unsaid, unheard, the viewpoints unseen, and the voices that may not be responding to certain types of communications?  There are many different types of communication, some are so ingrained in our society that they can be so crippling to some while other people flourish.

How do we hear those not willing to share through certain media, to certain entities, and to certain energies?  Comfortability is number one.  All of us have felt some level of discomfort in this new media age brought forth by this pandemic.  From children not owning any screens to them going to school on screens.  To teachers who are ʻāina based who now have to teach through a screen.  No one was ready for this.  Thanks to many organizations such as KUA they have offered assistance through this pandemic to our folks on the ‘āina to get maʻa using these “new tools” of teaching and learning. Figuring out ways to make people comfortable to communicate with you is absolute.

Heʻeia fishpond has been my home for the last 12 years thanks to the non-profit organization Paepae o Heʻeia.  Learning communications from many kumu throughout the years about kilo techniques has really taught me about listening.  My work with the thousands of humans a year that enter the gates of the pond from many different backgrounds have taught me a lot about verbal and non-verbal communication.  The energies they bring are pretty amazing to witness.  Some have the time of their lives and some will never touch mud or brackish water ever again.

It is the communication with the elements, life forms, pōhaku, and ‘āina that have taught me the most. Super straightforward. You mess up, they bite. From rocks that bite, to trees that can injure you in many ways, to eels that remind you of their home zones, to crabs that pinch, to the rains you pray will quench you, to the rains you wish you stayed home through…they let you know real quick who is in charge.  Being among them and of them makes you a great listener and if not it makes an amazing lifelong student out of you.  Even if you never receive their message they will always show up to teach you.

The role I was privileged to receive at KUA isn’t set paʻa in the stars but I am truly enjoying the journey of really listening to these amazing people.  These people have listened, carried the back-bearing loads, and have made so many important moves and connections for so many other amazing organizations out there.  As with any kuleana I hold I am truly learning as I go and blessed to absorb as much as I possibly can. I am really excited to build and learn with this team!

He pōhaku pani hakahaka wau na ʻoukou,



“Loko I’a fishponds, story of Hawai’i communities restoring fisheries and traditional food system” published February 20, 2021 by ICCA Consortium


3 thoughts on “A message from our new Lohe Pono Fellow

  1. Awesome, Kinohi! Like finding the perfect pohaku for a section of wall, this seems like a perfect fit for you! Looking forward to working with you in your new role. Love you!

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