All of her life, she embraced her Hawaiian heritage. She plays ukulele, can string a lei with her eyes closed, and regularly teaches her students how to dance the hula. But recent results from the popular DNA website 23&Me have taken this 2nd grade teacher’s life in a new direction.
She vividly recalls opening the large branded envelope she received in the mail. “I waited several weeks for these results. I was excited.” But her excitement turned to several other emotions when the island native digested the information that her customized reported contained.”98% Icelandic? How is that even possible?” asked the incredulous 4-time poi recipe championship winner. “All this time, I was certain that our family spent generations on the Hawaiian islands. But apparently we were nomadic fisherman in the North Atlantic.” She plans to visit Iceland soon to learn more about her ancestry there, though she recognizes some of the initial challenges. “Growing up in Hawaii, you just learn how to spell hard words like ‘humuhumunukunukuapua’a’. But now I’ve got to figure out ‘Reykjavík’. Everyone knows Mauna Loa and Haleakala. But Eyjafjallajökull? Come on!”