'Ohana

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]


My grandma thought I was going to die. By studying abroad in France, away from her care, I learned that I must be the one to make the most out of an experience, even if it’s not what I expected it to be. Coming from Hawai’i from a single parent family, going abroad helped me gain a more coherent view of working with diversity, as well as establishing and maintaining positive relationships with friends and family. Most of all, the importance and value of ‘ohana in my life - of a value that defines my home culture - became clear to me.

‘Ohana translated from Hawaiian means “family.” In Hawai’i, ‘Ohana goes beyond blood relations. It is a true connectedness to one another, where relationships are deep and genuine, and the assurance that you’re cared for. It is the concept of a larger family—a school, a community, and the island as a whole—even strangers feel the warmth and aloha.In Rennes, I expected the warmth of a host family and country, for it’s French tradition to give bisous - kisses on the cheek. However, I found an emptiness. They were very kind and opened their home to me, but I often felt left out. The large family of six engaged with each other. I was an observer in someone’s home, not a true part of the family. My need...

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