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Christmas Card & Year in Review

December 24, 2016

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Here’s my 2016 card and customary Year in Review blurb. Hope this finds you well….

2016 kicked off with our @KSEdTech Team’s New Year’s get-together. I was able to take my coworkers on a tour of my beloved Chinatown. Needless to say, it was a blast!

I was summoned for jury duty in February. First time ever. Mind blown. Had no idea that people could live like this. My definition of the word “drama” was expanded “dramatically.”

Our Revive homeless outreach ministry relocated from Chinatown to Kaimuki. We continue to befriend those who are less fortunate. Blessed to be a blessing….

I continued to travel to the Hawaiʻi Campus in the early part of the year. Always a pleasure to work with such kindhearted and inspirational educators. Great people. Great school.

Hehe. Earned my Yelp Elite badge. “It’s neat to be elite.” And yes, I always take pics of my food. Absolutely….

Dream come true. Blessed to have traveled to Machu Picchu and the Amazon during Spring Break. Great students, great teachers, and great memories. AMAZING, AMAZING. #BucketList

Yes, lightning can strike twice. Blessed to have chaperoned an exchange project with schools in Takahagi, Japan. Amazing hospitality. Dear people.

Tiana got married! Congrats to Cody & Ana. What a beautiful ceremony and reception. It was also great to reconnect with my two “adopted nieces.” Priceless….


KS students volunteered at TEDxHonolulu in July. They did a great job of running interactive games with attendees. So proud.

Blessed with great PD opportunities this summer. Attended the CUE Rock Star Camp in Maui, hosted by Seabury Hall. Met up and learned alongside rock star educators, from Cali to Qatar.

Also attended the Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI) Educator Strand at Punahou. It was an amazing experience. Got to connect with outstanding educators from around the world. My annual PD of choice. Looking forward to reconnecting next summer.

Then this happened. Blessed to have been accepted into the third cohort of TED-Ed Innovative Educators. What an amazing opportunity to learn, grow, share, and be inspired.

Privileged to have served on the EdCamp Honolulu planning team. Amazing educators and friends. We hosted the event at our middle school. Yup, yup, it was a huge success.

The year concluded with TED-Ed Weekend in New York City. Wow. It was incredible. The TED-Ed Team was awesome. The student speakers were amazing. And the cohort…. We became a family. #BestWeekendEver.

“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10-11

Past card posts: 2012 2013 2014 2015


TED-Ed Innovation Project

December 18, 2016

Everyone in the TED-Ed Innovative Educators cohort delivered a 2-minute innovation project pitch on the TED stage at TED-Ed Weekend in New York City. My project is called [re]imagine (previously named SALT-Ed.) The guiding question is, “What if we could be more like NYU where the classroom is not just a building, but an entire city?” My project idea is to connect our Kamehameha Schools students to the city (specifically to Kakaʻako.) I would like to do this via school clubs, which would be least disruptive to the school day. The two main goals are to 1. Amplify Student Voices, and 2. Provide Authentic Learning Experiences. We’re off to a great start!

Our Entrepreneurship Club was invited to participate in Paʻakai Marketplace (night market) at SALT in Our Kakaʻako. Here is our club president Malia on our state’s number one morning newscast promoting the event and amplifying our student voices.

Here is our booth at the event. Our students sold wire & shell jewelry which they learned how to make in our Creative Metals class at school. Another student is a full-stack web developer who displayed his websites and passed out business cards. It was authentic, real-world learning, and it was a lot of fun.

We are looking to schedule a CPR clinic by our Lifesavers Club and a TED-Ed Club speaking event during the 2nd semester. Imua!

Best Weekend Ever

December 6, 2016

Attended TED-Ed Weekend in New York City on December 3rd-4th. This is all I could capture on my iPhone. The rest is captured in my heart….


November 23, 2016

So blessed. And My hope is to be a blessing.
Here are my Top 10 reasons in 2016 for being thankful:

1. Jesus.
2. I am thankful for my family and friends. I do not deserve them.
3. I am thankful for my health. I just need to get in shape. Pears do not count….
4. I attend a wonderful church, Inspire Honolulu. Consider yourself invited.
5. I am blessed to be at the Kamehameha Schools with an amazing team. I laugh everyday.
6. I live in a cool place. #OurKakaako
7. I am blessed to sponsor a child in the Philippines. It’s the most important thing that I do.
8. TED-Ed. Technologies will come and go. Great ideas never go out of style….
9. Travel. This is my passion. Machu Picchu, Tokyo, and NYC in 2016. Aotearoa (and more) in 2017.
10. Life.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy ThanksLiving.

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks….”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

EdCamp Honolulu

October 24, 2016

Photo credit @EdTechnocation

It’s been a long-time goal to host an EdCamp event here at Kamehameha. We did it! It was a big success. There were about 90 attendees (educators from public, private, higher-ed, and industry) and a team of a dozen awesome volunteers. It was a great experience to serve on the core planning committee with these inspiring educators.

We are also thankful to our sponsors for monetary contributions and in-kind donations.

Photo credit @Bytemarks

An EdCamp is an “unconference.” There are no scheduled presenters. Instead, participants come with their ideas & suggestions and are in charge of their own learning.

In the age where most content can be accessed online, the value of these events is in making connections. Many friendships were made which will hopefully lead to more collaborations in the future.

Photo credit @WendyLOliver

Very happy with the day, and proud to be a part of an amazing team!

Follow the conversation on Twitter at hashtag #EdCampHI.

TED-Ed Innovative Educator Program

September 27, 2016

Extremely excited to have been accepted into the third cohort of TED-Ed Innovative Educators. What a blessing it is to have this opportunity to learn, grow, share, and be inspired. (Yes, that’s me in the 3rd row!)

The cohort will receive training on the TED-Ed platform and attend TED-Ed Weekend in NYC in December. We will also work together on innovative projects in our schools and communities. Looking forward to making friends with fellow educators from around the world.

O S A K A | K Y O T O [re]mix

September 23, 2016
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Highlights from last year’s trip to Osaka. Cherry blossoms were in full bloom! Made a shorter version. (Original was way too long.) Arigato to @arakakizemitv & the Yasuda family for your kind hospitality. Everything shot on an iPhone….

Punahou Global Educator Strand

July 27, 2016
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Blessed to have participated in Punahou School’s SGLI Educator Strand. It was an amazing experience! I was able to connect with colleagues (and develop lifelong friendships) from around the world.

Dr. James Scott presented the concept to us on Day 1. Q: “What if we took the top students from the top schools from around the world and brought them together in a residency program to work on global issues?” This is the Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI.)

I took part in the educator strand. Our first activity was to introduce ourselves with a dance or movement. It took a while, but it was a great icebreaker activity.

We each shared our school’s mission statement with one another.

On Day 2, we Skyped in Dr. Yong Zhao. He spoke about the transformation of schools. He mentioned student voice & choice, authentic products & services, and having a global perspective. It was stimulating and inspiring.

My table group consisted of Jennifer and Jeffie from different schools in Shanghai, Shusaku from Tokyo, Tom from Philly, and Karin from Denmark.

That evening, we had the SGLI Lūʻau at Dr. Scott’s home. We were able to meet up with the amazing students. One student who introduced herself to me was from Sidwell Friends in D.C. and knew the Obama girls.

My new friend Hae Jean from Korea has studied hula for 5 years. She did a great job at the SGLI Talent Show. It was neat to see how passionate people feel towards Hawaiian culture. Another great friend is Roddy (from Canada) who teaches in Tokyo. He dazzled us with his jazz ukulele. (Can’t believe that I don’t have a selfie with him.)

Unfortunately, tropical storm Darby made landfall on Sunday. However, I saw the most amazing Facebook post on that day (there is a private SGLI Group on Facebook.) This is from a student from Japan who celebrated her birthday….

She received handmade cards and cupcakes from her team members. Heartwarming stuff for sure….

The highlight of Day 3 was actually the evening’s aforementioned SGLI Talent Show. There were great singers, dancers, and pianists. This pic is of calligraphy as a “talent show act.” Strangely, everyone rushed the stage to have their names written in katakana….

Day 4 was my last day. Sob….

Here is a pic of some of the amazing students sharing their SGLI experiences. They carried themselves well and answered all of our questions.

By this time, many of the teachers had bonded and formed relationships. Nats from Kyoto shared her Japanese snacks with the class. Lisa from Castle High School also brought chocolate macnuts for our visitors.

Roddy’s Globe Cinema project.

Jenn’s Biodiversity project.

We were able to attend a presentation from Punahou students who participated in SGLI @ Oakridge International School in Hyderabad, India. I was able to reconnect with my Punahou Lab School buddy, Lorelei.

After our session, I took a few teachers on a brief tour of the Kamehameha Schools campus. I got to hear cool stories about Castilleja in Palo Alto from Jamie and Phillips Exeter in New Hampshire from Tanya.

Then it was time to say goodbye. This is my new friend Shu from Tokyo.

Most of the teachers have chaperone responsibilities until the end of the week. For some of us with no participating students, it was the end of our conference experience. One of my takeaways is to participate in an ongoing PLN with Usha from India and Jamie from Palo Alto.

So happy that I was able to meet up with former KS students Mehana & Emma.

Finally, my biggest takeaway was the friendships that I formed at SGLI. Mahalo to Chai, Wendi, Robyn, Usha, and team for an amazing experience. SGLI has become my PD of choice for the school year. See you next time at #SGLI2017….

TEDxHonolulu 2016

July 10, 2016

Volunteered at our very successful TEDxHonolulu 2016 event at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. This year’s theme was “Flow.” It was one of our better events for attendees due to the rich interactive exhibits. Included were a DJ, an artist, a makerspace, and foreign games.

I was able to recruit a couple of our high school students to volunteer. They did an amazing job of leading adults in interactive games. They were also introduced to some very inspiring people in the community. It was a great opportunity.

My job was to take care of the beans. Hehe. They were termed, flow-tokens or “flowkens.” Attendees were designated a team color. They collected flowkens by participating at the different stations. The team that accumulated the most flowkens would win an invitation to an afterparty and a discount to next year’s event. I tabulated the flowken standings after each break.

There was a great variety of talks. We had an artist, oceanographer, musician, and aerialist, to name a few. TED Talk videos were also screened in between.

We had a blast. It was an amazing day of learning new ideas and meeting new people. #TEDxHNL

Takahagi International Friendship Association

June 5, 2016

Highlights from the KS Japanese Club exchange program with the Takahagi International Friendship Association.

“As Cool as the Other Side of the Pillow”

May 4, 2016

In 6 years at 909, never once upgraded sheets, towels, nothin’. Finally pulled the trigger on these pillows after receiving my tax return.

Got these BioSense Cool Air Pillows from Brookstone. Stumbled upon them one night after Bible study. Came highly recommended. Passed on them initially because of the price. Decided to finally get them. Fortunately, they were on sale. They are pricy, but it’s an investment. Sleep is super important.

I’ve always had to flip my pillows over in the middle of the night. (Too hot-headed?)
Now I can get a good night’s sleep. And that’s cool. Yup, as cool as the other side of the pillow….

Ramen Dreams….

May 1, 2016

Here is an update to my “Ramen Dreams” posts from 2014 and 2015.
I’ve been in search of the best bowl of ramen on O’ahu. For me, it’s the combination of the broth, the noodles, and the chashu that makes it so magical. I think I’ve pretty much sampled all of the best shops on the island:

Paitan Ramen from Tenkaippin.

Paitan Ramen from Tenkaippin.

Miso Cha-Shu Ramen from Ramen Kai.

Miso Cha-Shu Ramen from Ramen Kai.

menchanko-tei kikuzo

Kikuzo Ramen from Menchanko-Tei.

Belly Bowl from Lucky Belly.

Belly Bowl from Lucky Belly.

Spicy Tsukemen from Kiwami.

Spicy Tsukemen from Kiwami.

Spicy Kotteri Tonkotsu Ramen from Agu Ramen Bistro.

Spicy Kotteri Tonkotsu Ramen from Agu Ramen Bistro.

Tan Tan Ramen from Goma Tei.

Tan Tan Ramen from Goma Tei.

kakuni paitan yotteko-ya

Kakuni Paitan Ramen from Yotteko-Ya.

Shoyu Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

Shoyu Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen from Ramen Nakamura.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen from Ramen Nakamura.

Tan Tan Men from Gomaichi.

Beefy Wild from Kamitoku Ramen.

Beefy Wild from Kamitoku Ramen.

Tonkotsu-Shibori from Ramen Manichi.

Tonkotsu-Shibori from Ramen Manichi.

Black Garlic Original from Golden Pork Ton-kotsu Ramen Bar.

Black Garlic Original from Golden Pork Ton-kotsu Ramen Bar.

Tsukemen from Wagaya.

Tsukemen from Wagaya.

Tonkotsu Ramen from Menya Musashi.


Garlic Miso Ramen from Junpuu.

Ajitama Tsukemen from Tsujita

Ajitama Tsukemen from Tsujita.

The verdict:
My fave bowl of ramen by far was the Miso Cha-Shu Ramen at Japanese Ramen Kai on Kona Street. Unfortunately, the owner got homesick and moved back to Japan.

My 2nd favorite bowl of ramen was the Spicy Tsukemen at Kiwami. I was heartbroken when they closed.

So here are my current faves:

1. Agu Ramen Bistro on Isenberg Street. The Spicy Kotteri Tonkotsu (level 2 spiciness) is so flavorful and satisfying. We are regulars at the more convenient location in the Ward Centre.

2. Menya Musashi is a relatively new shop on Pensacola. Love the Tonkotsu Ramen here. The broth is deep & flavorful, and the noodles are thick & chewy. My current “go-to place.”

3. Wagaya is another newer ramen shop, located in McCully. The Tsukemen is awesome. Their curly noodles have a great texture. Will be back soon for the beef tongue.

4. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka at the entrance of Don Quijote. The Shoyu Ramen is savory and comforting. Part of a large chain, but still so good.

Not done sampling more places and more recommendations.
Always dreaming of ramen….

Peru 2016

April 2, 2016

Highlights from the KS International Relations Club service-learning trip to Peru.


March 14, 2016

Chee-hoo! Just received my “Elite” badge today. Yelp is an online community that provides tips & reviews of restaurants and other establishments. It is helpful in that it provides business hours, maps, menus, and photos, and is especially useful when traveling.

I became a more contributing Yelper this year. I was asked to be the advisor for our high school’s newly created Yelp Club. I figured that I needed to be more active in order to gain credibility. I actually found it fun and engaging to be a part of this positive and supportive community.

No surprise, but most of my reviews are food-related. I consider Chinatown to be my “beat,” but I will go anywhere and everywhere to find the perfect loco moco or bowl of ramen. For me, a 3-star rating is “good,” a 4-star is “great,” and a 5-star means that it’s adding enormous value to the community (and it would be a shame if it were to go away.)

Enjoy being on Yelp and tickled to be on the 2016 Yelp Honolulu Elite Squad. “It’s neat to be elite.” And yes, I always take pics of my food….

Checkout my reviews at

My Civic Duty….

February 12, 2016

I was summoned for Jury Duty this past Tuesday. This was only my 2nd time (I was released the first time, years ago.) I walked over to the First Circuit Court on Punchbowl Street.

During the selection process, each side could dismiss three potential jurors. After five were dismissed, I thought I was going home early. Of course, I was selected. Juror #12.

The case started that afternoon. The judge assured us that it would probably last only three days. I wholeheartedly agreed. Looking back, it was a good experience. I learned a lot. I thought I knew what the word “drama” meant. I had no idea….

Serving on the jury (and walking through Kaka’ako) allowed me to eat at different restaurants. I went to Egghead Café, Karen’s Kitchen, a fast food Chinese express in Restaurant Row (not so good,) and a convenience store in Restaurant Row (enjoyed the mandoo.) I wanted to check out Mimi’s Place (Peruvian food,) but was unable to do so.

On Wednesday, the Eddie surf meet was scheduled to go down (canceled at 7:30am.) I rocked my 2009 Eddie t-shirt in the courtroom. Eddie would go….

POW! WOW! Hawai’i was also going down this week. Each afternoon I would stroll the neighborhood and check out the progress. (Click to enlarge photo.) Great way to spend the afternoon.

The trial ended on Thursday afternoon, and we entered into deliberation at 3:30pm. If we couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict by 4:15, we would need to return on Friday. Needless to say, it didn’t take long.

All in all, it was a good experience. The proceedings were “interesting,” and the jurors were friendly. I made 11 friends, 90 dollars, and my definition of the word “drama” was seriously expanded.

Al’s Chinatown Tours

January 5, 2016

Hehe…. In the spirit of a Rick Steve’s Travel Guidebook, here’s my take on Chinatown Honolulu. This is an update to a post from two years ago. Will be taking my coworkers on a tour soon, so thought this would be timely.

I started exploring Chinatown after moving to Kaka’ako a few years ago. What started out as exercise (urban hiking) transformed into a deeper sense of “place.” It’s become a Saturday morning ritual. I also believe that Chinatown has the best food in Hawai’i. Now I want to share my passion for the sights, sounds, (smells,) and energy of this vibrant community….

History 101: Chinese laborers arrive in the 1850s when sugar replaces whaling as the prominent industry.
Chinatown fires: In 1900, there was the bubonic plague. 7000 were quarantined. 40 controlled fires were set by the Honolulu Fire Department. One got out of control and lasted 17 days. Only a few buildings escaped the fire and still exist today.
WWII: Chinatown becomes a red-light district.
Statehood/1959: The tourism boom and the opening of Ala Moana Shopping Center lead to the decline of Chinatown.
Revitalization: Chinatown targeted for revitalization in the 70s by Mayor Frank Fasi.

Parking: People have the perception that Chinatown has no parking and that it is dirty. Let me dispel this by saying that there’s a whole lotta parking. In fact, street parking is free on Sundays (however, some of the really good shops are closed on Sundays.) The best parking lot is underground, underneath Smith-Beretania Park (next to the old Empress Theater.) As far as being dirty…. hmm….

Currency: The best restaurants here are cash-only, have sticky menus, and no one speaks English (not even the customers.)

Chinatown is bordered by King Street and Beretania (but includes the Chinese Cultural Plaza,) and by River Street and Bethel. Let’s go….

The Hawai’i Theatre was built in 1922 by Consolidated Amusement. It closed in the 80s, but was renovated and reopened in the 90s.

Bozo: The sign and marquee were created by sign artist “Bozo” Shigemura. He was the only one in Hawai’i at the time who could bend glass for the neon signs. He created the iconic signs for Wo Fat Chop Suey and Club Hubba Hubba.

Maunakea Marketplace is a great place to explore. There’s a huge food court, souvenir stands, and a great open market. You can even find old Kung Fu movies on VHS. Mickey Café has the best bubble tea drinks in Chinatown. Instead of powdered sugar, they grind fresh sugar cane.

After exiting Maunakea Marketplace, cross Hotel Street to Kekaulike Market. Here you can get a Hamachi Poke Bowl from Maguro Bros. Amazing stuff! Along Kekaulike Mall, you’ll find the Ying Leong Look Funn Factory.

Cross King Street to O’ahu Market, the oldest market in Chinatown. You can find the freshest meats, produce, and unusual things there. I saw hanging char siu, roast duck, live crabs, beef tongue, pig heads, dragon fruit, and unrecognizable organ meats. Fong’s Meat Market has the best roast pork in Chinatown.

Chinatown is a great place to try a new cuisine, buy produce, and take pictures.

The Chinese Cultural Plaza is where you’ll find all of the dim sum restaurants. I’ve only been to Legend’s, but I hear that Fook Lam and Tai Pan are the best ones. (Locals tend to gravitate toward english names.) You’ll find the older men playing mahjong on the benches along the river.

For noodles, my fave place is the Hong Kong Noodle House in the Chinese Cultural Plaza. I usually get the Tossed (stewed) noodle. I ordered this one with pig’s feet. Noms….

Chinatown has the best pizza in Hawai’i. Yes, pizza. Only thing, they’re all in bars. J.J. Dolan’s and Bar 35 are renown for their pies.

Chinatown absolutely has the best phở in Hawai’i. No need to go to “Phở Row” on River Street. My top three shops are Phở My Lan on Maunakea Street, Huang Lan in the Chinese Cultural Plaza, and Saigon Vietnamese Cuisine on King Street.

Chinatown has awesome sweets and desserts. The Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery is a landmark. I like the gin dui (black sugar) and mooncakes, but I always go home with a bag of something….

Wing’s Ice Cream has homemade flavors. This one is Raspberry with dark chocolate chip.
Of course, Lee’s Bakery has the most amazing custard pies.

It’s comforting to know that there are still places that I remember from my childhood. Char Hung Sut still has my favorite manapua & pork hash.

I especially appreciate the traditional ethnic foods in Chinatown. This is the Bún bò Huế from Kim An Vietnamese Restaurant. It comes with blood cake and pig’s trotters. This place is the “real deal.”

This is dim sum from Happy Garden (made famous by Andrew Zimmern.) The chicken feet are on the way….

Mei Sum is also a good place for dim sum. A good “contemporary Chinese” restaurant is Little Village Noodle House on Smith Street.

Chinatown also has the coolest, new, “trendy” places. The Pig & the Lady is one of my fave restaurants. Love the Bánh mì sandwiches with the incredible, crunchy bread. Try the watermelon soda.

Lucky Belly is another fave. I enjoy the Bao sandwiches (pork buns) and ramen here. They recently opened Livestock Tavern across the street.

Chinatown also has a great skateboard park, antique shops, boutiques, tattoo parlors, and tons of lei stands. Chinatown is where the creatives & makers set up shop.

Festivals: The Chinese New Year Street Festival & Parade is THE event of the year. Thousands gather for this amazing celebration. Chinese New Year will be on February 8th this year. Festival takes place on Saturday, January 30th. Chinatown also hosts First Fridays, art events, and other block parties.

Definitely my kinda place. See you in Chinatown….

Bucket List 2016

January 1, 2016

After reposting the same New Year’s Resolution year-after-year with no success, I tried reimagining the process and switched over to a bucket list in 2013. I moved from incremental goals (e.g., lose 10 pounds) to life goals. It’s been transformational. Since then, I’ve walked across the Great Wall of China, visited my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines, ran a TED Talk event at school, and led a homeless outreach ministry in Chinatown. Truly blessed.

Here’s my updated list on

Occasionally, I will open up my Moleskine and have a “reimagine sesh.” Continuing to work on my life goals, school goals, ministry goals, and travel goals.

Hope your bucket list is going well! Happy 2016! Hau`oli Makahiki Hou & God Bless.

Best Slippers Ever!!

December 29, 2015

This is the absolute best pair of slippers that I’ve ever owned in my life! The brand is Quiksilver. I got these about three to four years ago with a Macy’s gift card. (Yes, this is a weird blog post….) I wear ‘um practically everyday. I’ve put a whole lotta miles on them, but they’re still in good shape.

I believe the secret is in the sole. It’s made of some kinda impenetrable, space-age material. In fact, these slippers are wearing out more from the top than the bottom. They’ve been through rain (and rain puddles) and don’t smell at all. Unreal. 🙂

Hehe. Just thought I’d share….

Alan’s Café

December 28, 2015

I’ve been at 909 for 6 years now, but have hardly been on the balcony at all. I guess it’s because of my fear of heights. I get the same view from the living room without having to go outside. Today I finally added some patio furniture.

Found this French Bistro set on Amazon for $130. I used the one-month free trial of Amazon Prime for the free shipping. Now I feel like I’ve added an extra room to my tiny condo.

This new space will be great for a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a good book. Welcome to the grand opening of Alan’s Ca.

Open all night….

Christmas 2015 (My Christmas Card to You)

December 24, 2015

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Here’s my 2015 “card” and customary Year-in-Review blurb. Hope this finds you well….

2015 started off great with a visit from Deborah & Henry, my Melbourne fam. So nice to catch up on our lives. Lifelong friends.

Our dynamic Kapālama Team (and friends) held its 2nd annual EdTech conference-unconference Mashup in January. There were more than 40 Hawai’i educators and school leaders in attendance. (Held our 3rd one in October. 65 in attendance.) Huge success!

This was my 2nd year volunteering for TEDxHonolulu and first time serving on a committee. It took up some time during evenings and weekends, but it was well worth it. Met a lot of inspiring people.

Traveled to Osaka (and Kyoto) during Spring Break. It was an amazing trip! Stayed with Daryl and also got to visit my friend Yoshitaka. Hope to return someday. Tanoshikatta….

Our TED-Ed Club was able to host a TED-Ed event on campus. We had student speakers from the elementary, middle, and high school. We also had alumni and faculty speak as well. It was a tremendous success. Got to give my very first “TED Talk.”

So blessed to have serviced our Big Island campus this past school year. I flew out every Thursday-Friday for a total of 31 trips. I met a lot of amazing educators and made great friends. It was tiring, but I miss them. Great people….

I was able to promote our KS EdTech Conference on HPR. Had a fun time with Burt Lum and Ryan Ozawa on Bytemarks Café. Here’s the interview.

This was my 3rd year as a co-facilitator at the Punahou Lab School. Always happy to work with Lorelei. I have always learned so much at this annual summer PD event. Amazing people.

Our Revive outreach faithfully served the needy in Chinatown for the past year and-a-half. We were able to partner with Pawa’a Church, Surfing the Nations, and the Salvation Army Missions Team. We recently relocated to the Kaimuki area when Inspire Church (city location) moved to Kaimuki High School. We hope to bless the community there.

Hehe. Played a live gig at Pono Plates in Pearl City. It was my first gig in over 15 years. It was a fun night meeting up with good friends.

Finally, I continue to work at our high school campus. Part of an amazing team. I get to laugh everyday. So unbelievably blessed….

“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10-11

Past card posts: 2012 2013 2014


December 19, 2015

People who know me know that travel is my passion. It’s quite expensive for me, but it’s what I look forward to. I think I got the “bug” as a little kid. I used to live for field trips. It was getting out of the classroom and experiencing the surroundings with all of your senses. Mom also used to cook these great bentos for me. She would bust out the tin and fill it with musubi, fried chicken, and spam. I remember packing a frozen can of juice in aluminum foil.

Speaking of field trips, my best one came as a teacher. I was able to take students to Japan for an exchange program. I believe that homestays are the best experiences you could possibly have.

First trip to Europe was with a school tour group. Worked out great. We were always with a local guide, and we could skip lines at museums and attractions.

I have been blessed with opportunities to travel for free. Being invited to Beijing to present at a conference was a dream-come-true. I was also hosted by a school in Melbourne, Australia. Amazing friendships. Kamehameha Schools has occasionally sent me to conferences on the mainland.

I have been on missions trips to Okinawa and Thailand. These have been life changing experiences. I was also able to visit my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines.

My favorite form of travel is solo traveling. I take one carry-on bag with me and immerse myself in that city. So freeing. You have to try it.

Only thing missing is mom’s bento…

Tracking my travels on this cork globe. Hope to add a few more pins soon…

Kauaʻi Lā Nohona

November 27, 2015

On Wednesday, Wendy, Kimble, and I were blessed to have serviced the teachers at Kamehameha’s Anahola Preschool on Kauaʻi. We had the best time and truly bonded with the staff there. We broke up into three teams and went on separate huakaʻi to learn more about Anahola. Our task was to integrate technology and train our teachers be able to reproduce projects in the future.

My group visited Anahola Beach and created this cool iMovie Trailer. Just traveling to the site in cars created an opportunity to bond. We had a blast.

We had Hawaiian food for lunch, catered by Mark’s Place. Ono.

After saying our heartfelt goodbyes, we went to Kapaʻa Town to holoholo. We stopped by Kimi’s husband’s shave ice stand. Iʻve been wanting to come here for a long time.

It was amazing! This was the best shave ice that I’ve ever had. So happy!

We then drove out to Wailua Falls (click to enlarge.) Pretty awesome site….

After a couple of “Sleeping Giants,” we had dinner at Hamura Saimin. So comforting.

Quite an amazing day. Made new friends and new memories with some old ones….

Give Thanks

November 26, 2015

I am so blessed. And My hope is to be a blessing.

Here are my Top Ten reasons for being thankful:

1. Jesus.
2. I am thankful for my family and friends. I do not deserve them.
3. I am thankful for my health. I just need to get in better shape (pears do not count.)
4. I attend a wonderful church, Inspire City. Consider yourself invited.
5. I am blessed to be at the Kamehameha Schools with an amazing team. I laugh everyday. The students crack me up….
6. I get to live in a cool space in a great location. Love Kaka’ako.
7. I have the opportunity to sponsor a child in the Philippines. It’s the most important thing that I do.
8. Technology. This is how I learn.
9. Travel. This is my passion. Machu Picchu & Tokyo in 2016.
10. Life.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy ThanksLiving.

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks….”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


November 6, 2015

At KS, we do a bunch of goal-setting and goal-tracking. At the start of the school year, we come up with three goals. (Stephen Covey.) And I kinda like my three….

1. Global Learning
Got a couple of global projects in the works. Blessed to be going to Machu Picchu in the Spring! Dream-come-true. Crazy. And there’s even a chance of Tokyo in June….

2. iMua Café
iCan Café has been [re]imagined, [re]branded, and [re]launched as iMua Café. “iMua Café is a weekly informal EdTech session designed to help teachers and students learn better.”

I’ll be doing a series of workshops in Midkiff starting with iMovie (storytelling.)

3. Yelp Club
After two years of advising TEDxYouth@Kamehameha and TED-Ed@Kamehameha, I’ve retired.

Don’t call it a comeback, but I’ve taken on the advisor role for the Yelp Club.

Looking forward to the school year. #imua

Benny Emo

October 27, 2015

Just started having beni imo or purple Okinawan sweet potato for lunch on a regular basis. I kind of rediscovered it while watching YouTube videos and reconnecting with my Okinawan heritage.

Okinawan sweet potato is a superfood rich in nutrients, and is also tasty and inexpensive. $2 for lunch is a deal nowadays. Good for the health, and good for the wallet….