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The “Woman Thing”

May 15, 2010

Part of what makes my job at KS so great is that I sometimes get to chaperone field trips. I love field trips! As a little kid growing up, I “lived” for field trips.

[I first shared this story with Auntie Z at the middle school. Because she’s a kahu and she laughed, I thought this would be OK to blog….]

On our 7th grade field trip to Sand Island, we were able to paddle canoes. My group was the last to paddle. Because we were running slightly behind schedule, I tried to get the students over to lunch as quickly as possible.

These two girls came up to me and said, “Mr. T, we need to go to the bathroom to change.”
I said, “Oh, sorry but we need to join the group for lunch. They’re waiting for us.”
One of the girls said, “….we have to change. Our ‘thing’ got wet.”
I said, “What? I’m all wet too. We have to go now.”
Finally, the other girl said, “No Mr. T. Our ‘woman thing’ got wet.”

That hit me like a freight train. I think I turned white and said the word “ewwww” for the first time in my life. [Auntie Z cracked up at this. She said, “Oh ya. You were at the elementary for a long time.”]
I told the girls, “Woh! Go see Auntie Kahea. Go with her. Go. Go now. Go….”

Ya think I would’ve learned my lesson….

Our next field trip was to the Loko Ea fishpond in Hale’iwa. One of the activities was to fish out the baby tilapia. The students were divided into teams for the tilapia catching competition. My group caught over a hundred of ’em.

I overheard the girl in charge of our bucket say, “Shucks! Of all days to not be able to go into the water….”
I said, “Oh. Do you have an open cut?”
She looked at me exasperated.
I said, “….huh?”
She said, “Mr. T, it’s a ‘woman thing.'”
I turned white again.
But this time, at least I didn’t say “ewwww.”

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