Today we got together with the Jang family. Irina Jang was a student in two of my high school English classes at the International Christian School in Hong Kong and Dave was her physical education teacher. She is now a kinesiology student at the University of Hawaii. Irina, her mom Michelle, her grandmother Inez and her brother Matt met us at Waikiki Beach. They all live together with Inez in Honolulu.
The Jangs took us to see the rare Hawaiian monk seal. One of these seals has been coming up on the Waikiki shore to rest for the last couple days. At night the seal goes out into the ocean to hunt but then returns at sunrise to rest on the sandy shore. There are only 1,100 of these seals left in the world. Yellow tape had been put up around the seal, and a conservationist was keeping careful watch to be sure no one bothered the seal.
After our swim we all walked down the beach together to the International Market for supper. Here’s Dave with Matthew Jang, Irina’s brother. I taught Matthew in fifth grade at ICS and again in my grade ten Literature class. He is now a senior at a private school in Honolulu. He is on the school canoeing team and takes ukulele and Spanish lessons. He is also a Parkour enthusiast and this year is doing some volunteer Parkour coaching.
Irina and Dave pose in front of a statue of Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii’s Olympic champion known as the father of modern surfing. Irina is very involved in gymnastics and competes nationally. In February she is heading to Montreal to try out for the Cirque du Soleil.
We enjoyed some great seafood at the International Market and had lots of time to visit. We reminisced about some of our Week Without Walls trips at ICS. I chaperoned a trip to Israel that Irina was a part of, and a trip to Borneo that Matthew participated in. After supper it was dark outside and it was fun to walk back down Waikiki and see all the street performers in action.
As we hugged the Jangs and said good-bye, Irina and Matthew’s Mom Michelle noted, that after you teach at ICS you seem to have connections almost anywhere you go in the world. She could be right.