One year ago, three Kanu volunteers - Annie Koh, Brent Kakesako, and Cherilyn Inouye - launched Live Aloha In Your Neighborhood, a campaign asking all of us to reach "3 doors down" in either direction from our homes, and build the hyper-local relationships that make for solid communities.
The campaign evolved the Live Aloha Campaign, which Brent led in 2010 emphasizing acts of service that bridged social divides. The new neighborhood-focused version was conceived in response to the Japan Tsunami - a stark reminder of how neighbors depend on each other in times of crisis.
Under the leadership of Annie, Brent and Cherilyn, LAYN blossomed in 2011 with happenings that included:
* a Kanu "workshop" on reaching out to neighbors about disaster preparedness
* a series of trainings at public libraries by Maria Lutz of the Red Cross and Annie
with key support from Librarian Sheryl Lynch
* other community-based disaster prep trainings by LAYN and disaster prep champion Mano Nguyen
* stories about neighborhood gatherings, including this inspiring one by student Rashelle N.
* a series of gatherings by Brent in hisneighborhood
* Live Aloha neighbor gatherings also sparked talk about clean energy in Cathy Kawano-Ching's neighborhood and Eating Local in Manoa
As our communal shock over Japan's devastation faded, LAYN seemed to quiet down, too. Then in August, my auntie in Kapahulu told me her neighbor Jan Nadamoto had taken up the call and was hosting an LAYN-inspired neigborhood get-together about disaster prep, complete with Red Cross materials. Jan said she intended to keep bringing her neighbors together every so often.
This past weekend, a year after Live Aloha in Your Neighborhood started, Jan hosted another neighborhood gathering. She did a workshop on Bokashi ("fermented organic matter" in Japanese) a quick and easy way to turn kitchen scraps including meet and dairy into compost within 2-3 weeks. It uses a combo of microorganisms, wheat bran, and molasses to to ferment and break down organic matter turning it into a slow- release fertilizer for your garden.
We poured molasses and microorganisms into wheat bran, got our hands dirty mixing it up. Neighbors shared laughs over whose technique was best, and Jan's two sons - Bokashi experts - gave us all tips and offered us tours of their vegetable garden. Everyone walked away with tummies full of snacks, bags full of bokashi mix, and a renewed sense of connection to neighbors.
A year later, Live Aloha in Your Neighborhood lives on, thanks to the efforts of folks like Jan, and the inspiration of LAYN founders Annie, Brent, and Cherilyn. Mahalo guys!
Comments posted prior to adopting Facebook comments.