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Sharing the Wisdom of Our Kūpuna


Our kūpuna are a wealth of knowledge, and they all have stories that deserve to be told. In honor of the theme “Sharing Our Wisdom” for the recently celebrated National Skilled Nursing Home Week, we sat down with one of our residents, Waiko “Sara” Ginoza, and asked her to share her story with us.   

Even at 96 years old, Sara’s memory is still clear as day as she recalls her life growing up in Lahaina.  Sara was the eldest daughter of seven children, and was expected to take care of her siblings and help out at home. When Sara was a sophomore in high school, her father asked her to quit school and get a job to assist with the family finances. She ended up working for the sugar plantation company, Pioneer Mill, and remembers laboring all day in the hot sun only to bring home $1.25 which she inevitably had to give to her parents.  She had regret the decision to quit school for such small pay. Though life had not been easy, she learned the importance of a good education, working hard and caring for others.  These would become values she would carry with her through adulthood.

Sara eventually met her husband at work, got married, and had three sons. Even as a busy mother, Sara worked a full-time job as a Royal Lahaina luau pantry cook and a part-time job hemming pants.  Life was hectic raising three young children and working two jobs, but she had one important goal in mind.  She was determined to save enough to send her children to college.  Her sacrifice paid off as she proudly shared that she put all three sons through college, and they went on to have great careers, got married, and blessed her with many grandchildren.

Sara’s advice to others is “work hard and help people”.  Though retired for many years, her strong work ethic and heart to help others continues on.  Prior to coming to Hale Makua, Sara kept busy with sewing and exercise, and she was also very active assisting with church functions.  Even at Hale Makua, she is always willing to help staff with crafts for special events or occasions. Though she misses her active life outside of Hale Makua, she is still able to enjoy participating in the activities that are provided here and has made a few friends.     

We appreciate Sara for sharing her wisdom with us, and we are truly honored to be able to have such a kind soul in our care.  We encourage you to learn more about the kūpuna in your life, reach out to them and get to know them better.  Share their stories with us on Facebook or Instagram and tag us @halemakua.

Tags: National Nursing Home Week, NNHW, Resident Story