Three new school busses were introduced to the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama fleet on Friday at the Kapālama Bus Terminal.
The new additions include two Type 1 (full-size) busses and a Type 2 (mini) bus. After Friday’s blessing, the busses will be put into service to transport haumāna (students) safely to school and back home, and for various huaka‘i (learning excursions) and extracurricular activities. There are now 29 large and five mini busses available to serve students.
Kahu Sherman Thompson, who conducted the blessing ceremony attended by bus drivers, mechanics and members of the campus operations team, explained that the names of the busses are tied to significant figures known as Kupua (demi-gods) Native Hawaiian mo‘olelo (legends, traditional stories) revered for their sources of goodness, mana and protection.
The new busses and their corresponding numbers, names and meanings are:
No. 348: Palila, which is named for a legendary warrior and chief from Kaua‘i who wages battle across the state to Hilo as he searches for adventure;
No. 349: Kalaehina, a great warrior with such incredible strength that he could throw a canoe like a spear; and
No. 123: Koa‘e kea, a white seabird that is prevalent in our Islands. This bus was received from the Kea‘au campus on Hawai‘i island.
“The Kahu’s office at Kapālama has always been charged with naming our busses in the fleet, and they have taken on names of warriors or chiefs who have done positive things for our people in the form of legends,” Thompson said. “Many busses have also been named for native seafaring birds, which inspired traditional navigational techniques and transportation methods.”