Manakai Swimwear Ambassador ~ Lipoa Rae Kahaleuahi
"My Makua kane named me after a Hawaiian seaweed of a golden yellow hue that has to be in the ocean to survive. If ever I were sick or troubled, he’d tell me I needed to make my way back to the sea." ~ Lipoa
When building our Manakai Tribe we look for women who radiate love and carry a level of integrity for all aspects of life. Words can not describe how honored we are to unite with Lipoa and have her play a beautiful role in our Manakai Tribe. Lipoa carries the essence of aloha and her energy is inspiring and uplifting. Enjoy getting to know this lovely Goddess!
Lipoa Rae Kahaleuahi
MS: Where are you from?
LK: Hana, Maui
MS: What are your passions?
LK: Surfing, the ocean, traveling, education, hula, writing, learning about other cultures and even more about my own.
MS: What is your culture? Your heritage?
LK: I am of Hawaiian, Caucasian, and Korean descent. Growing up in a place like Hana, naturally, I’d connect more with my Hawaiian ancestry, my dad’s lineage. It is a way of life, an innate understanding of your world and your place in it, and what moors me forever to home, its stories, values and traditions. It is the blood that runs through my veins. That, coupled with my mother’s culture of commitment and achievement, really gave me a sense of responsibility for and practice of that culture. Stick to hula, commit to surfing, and strive. Culture roots you to a place but it can also give you wings. This is what ultimately guided me to want to travel: to see and experience other cultures wherever I can go and share a little bit of my own.
MS: You’ve been away from Hawai’i, traveling, for the last two years. Why is traveling so important?
LK: For so many reasons but I’ll try to narrow them down to just a few! Two right away are learning and growth. I’ve learned a lot in schools and through reading, watching and observing, but really, that all came together for me through traveling. It turned those theoretical, seemingly hypothetical lessons and issues I learned about into real, tangible, life changing experiences. For example, I took Spanish for three years in high school, then two years in college but could converse more in Portuguese after five months of studying in Brazil. I have danced hula since I was five, traveled to Japan with my halau from the Big Island (Halau ‘o Po’ohala) nearly 20 years later, was privileged to participate in Merry Monarch with them, and then had to bust out a chant because no one else would at a Maori surfing event in Taranaki, Aotearoa (New Zealand). But it’s not just about acquiring new knowledge or even testing your knowledge; it is also about using that knowledge to connect. Connect with different people, different places, different music, different foods, different cultures. It is through these connections that you realize how similar we all are, yet how each of our unique traits and practices need not assimilate to one another, but rather be preserved and perpetuated, just as they are. Our world is hurting in many ways but it is also thriving in many ways, and only through traveling in some capacity in our lives are we able to learn from, grow with, and work together to move forward.
MS: What is your connection to the ocean?
LK: I have my dad to blame. He named me after a Hawaiian seaweed of a golden yellow hue that has to be in the ocean to survive. If ever I were sick or troubled, he’d tell me I needed to make my way back to the sea. That is where the connection began and he, my mother, and where my siblings and I grew up only fostered and fortified that bond. Now, I seek to explore new oceans. Scoring good waves becomes just an added bonus to interacting with and immersing in the people and environments I find myself. And my dad’s words still apply but in a slightly modified way: I can venture in so many directions but I am always led back to my source – the sea.
MS: What motivates you?
LK: The desire to keep learning, growing, and pushing my boundaries. Next, it’s the aspiration to give back to each community I am a part of. Then, honestly and along the way, what keeps me going and striving is the love and support of my family and loved ones. And finally, the possibility to inspire or motivate even one other person, to break out of their shell and strive to choose and reach their true potential.
To follow Lipoa on her journey, check out her travel blog at limulipoa.wordpress.com
"Mahalo nui loa Lipoa. So much Aloha. So much gratitude."
Kelley & Anna