A Challenge to Learn
Interview with Nainoa Thompson
day of departure for Rapa Nui
“Learning is all about taking on a challenge, no matter what the outcome may be. When we accept the challenge we open ourselves to new insight and knowledge.”–Thoughts of Navigator Nainoa Thompson on the Mission of the Quest for Rapa Nui, Just Before Departing from Mangareva (09/20/99).
In the last few days, I have just tried to get quiet, calm and to study–that is how I prepare. I am thinking all the time about home, about the voyage, the weather, the crew, about what we have to do to make this work.
I think about home a lot because that’s why we do this. We love our homes, we love our people, we love our culture and our history, and we want to strengthen them–this is our opportunity, our chance to do something to support all those who care about these things. I want to thank all the people who gave so much to allow this voyage to take place, but who are not here now. They allowed us to take the risk, to do all of this.
I want to thank all the families and children involved for giving us the chance to go. This voyage is about people–it’s about all our people.
When I think back on my life, it’s clear that I had no way of knowing that I would be here now doing what I am doing. When I began studying in school and gaining knowledge, sometimes I doubted the importance of that effort. But it’s the knowledge that I gained with the help of so many teacher that is allowing me to do what we are about to do. So I just hope that all our children will keep on pursuing knowledge because none of us know where we are going, but at some point in our lives, that knowledge will allow us to jump off into the unknown, to take on new challenges, and that’s what I consider before every one of these voyage…the challenge. Learning is all about taking on a challenge, no matter what the outcome may be. When we accept the challenge we open ourselves to new insight and knowledge.
When we voyage, and I mean voyage anywhere, not just in canoes, but in our mind, new doors of knowledge will open. and that’s what this voyage is all about..it’s about taking on a challenge to learn. If we inspire even one of our children to do the same, then we will have succeeded.