New Year’s Resolution Reimagined


Background: After reposting the same New Year’s Resolution from 2008-2012 without success,  I had to rethink it. I replaced my resolution with a bucket list in 2013. I went from incremental goals (i.e. lose 10 pounds) to life-changing goals.

Preface: At 12:05am on January 1st, 2013, I was lying face down in a cul-de-sac in Mililani Mauka after a fireworks accident (don’t ask.) I was thinking, sheesh, can 2013 be over with already? Unlikely as it seemed then, I was blessed to meet up with my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines and walk across the Great Wall of China by year’s end. All things are possible.

This is my current bucket list. There’s a whole lotta travel, which is my passion.

Life Goals:

• Seek after God’s heart
• Learn to speak Japanese
• Appear in a TV commercial
• Create a work of art
• Attend a Red Sox vs. Yankees game
• Go snowboarding
• Learn to cook a fancy gourmet dish
• Get a tattoo
• Own my dream car, a vintage VW bus

School Goals:

• Tie a kihei
• Run a TED-Ed event at Bishop Museum
• Create a new & innovative type of PD/PL

Ministry Goals:

• Go on a missions trip to Japan
• Start up an outreach ministry in Kakaʻako

Travel Goals:

• Visit Hong Kong
• Visit Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
• Attend Taikai in Okinawa in 2021
• Eat phở in Vietnam
• Visit London
• Visit Reykjavík, Iceland
• Visit Prague in the Czech Republic
• Go to Oktoberfest in Germany
• Travel to Istanbul
• Travel to Marrakech
• Eat Hairy Crab in Sapporo
• Travel to Angkor Wat in Cambodia

• See the Taj Mahal
• Witness the Aurora Borealis
• Attend a World Cup Soccer match

Completed Goals:

√ Visit my sponsored child in the Philippines
√ Travel to Machu Picchu
√ Walk across the Great Wall of China
√ Visit Barcelona
√ Pasta at a sidewalk cafe in Rome
√ Hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
√ Visit Australia
√ Visit Aotearoa (NZ)
√ Visit Seoul
√ Learn to surf
√ Learn to skateboard
√ Take a solo (YOLO) trip to Paris
√ Visit my “homeland” of Okinawa
√ Find the best bowl of ramen in Hawaiʻi
√ Launch a homeless outreach ministry in Chinatown
√ Run a TEDxYouth event at school
√ Play guitar in a café
√ Publish a TED-Ed lesson
√ Own a condo near Ala Moana Beach (lifelong dream)

Amazing memories! I am also thankful that I have been blessed with things that I never even imagined.

Occasionally, I will open up my Moleskine and have a [re]imagine sesh. I believe that there is intentionality in writing things down. Continuing to work on my life goals, school goals, ministry goals, and travel goals.

Hope your bucket list is going well. Dream big!
Happy 2019! Hau`oli Makahiki Hou & God Bless!


On Black Friday, I ordered the 23andMe DNA test kit. Got it for $30 off. I’ve always been curious, so I finally pulled the trigger. Some people ask if this really works. My thinking is that whatever your parents/grandparents tell you is only “hearsay.”

I know that I’m half-Okinawan and half-Japanese. I suspect a little Chinese (Taiwanese) since Okinawa is so close to Taiwan in proximity.

The results are in! Notified by email this morning. I’m 2.3% Korean! That was a surprise for sure. (No wonder I enjoyed my Korea trip so much!) I assume that anything over 1% is legit (allowing for a little margin of error.)

I was disappointed that 23andMe does not distinguish between Okinawan and Japanese (similar to how they lump French and German together.)

But very excited to discover that I’m part Korean. Kamsamnida 감사합니다

Christmas Card & Year-In-Review

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Here’s my 2018 card and customary year-in-review blurb. Hope your year was a good one!

It was an inauspicious start to the new year. Our @KSEdTech team held its annual Mashup professional learning day at Island Pacific Academy in Kapolei on Saturday, January 13th. Here I am just moments before the ballistic missile alert. Well… it’s great to be alive! The year can only get better from here on.

And it did! I got to go to SXSW EDU in Austin, TX in early March. This was the one education conference that I always wanted to attend. And it did not disappoint!

Just a week later, I got to go on an R&D trip with the Kealaʻula Innovations Institute to the Bay Area. We visited a host of schools, as well as Apple, Google, and the Stanford d.School. Mahalo to the Kealaʻula cohort for an amazing school year!

In April, I took part as a a panelist at the “It’s Great to be a Teacher in Hawaiʻi” event at Leeward Community College. I got to meet up with colleagues, school leaders, prospective teachers, (and even my sister.)

We did it! In May, we put on a very successful student TED Talk eventTED-Ed Club at Hālau ʻĪnana is a collaboration of students from public, private, and charter schools in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

Revive (homeless outreach ministry) continues to faithfully serve the community. Blessed and inspired by the amazing servants on our team. We go to Crane Park on Sundays following the 11am service. Come join us.

My summer PD of choice is the annual Punahou SGLI Educator Track. Always inspired by awesome educators from around the world. And it was great reconnecting with Roddy from Japan!

This year also marked 15 years of service at the Kamehameha Schools. It has been a blessing! So special to celebrate with such an amazing team.

Did some solo traveling to Seoul, Korea in October. Cashed in my HawaiianMiles rewards and had the best time. Looking forward to the next destination.

Merry Christmas & kamsamnida!

“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

A Day in My Life

Here’s a 4-min vid of what my typical day is like. So blessed to be working at KS and living here in Honolulu!

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

P.S. This vid is also my feeble attempt at becoming a legitimate “YouTuber.” Only thing left is to make one of those “50 Facts” vids… 😂

Christmas Postcard Story

Paris, France
Osaka, Japan
Machu Picchu, Peru
Matamata, New Zealand

I love receiving Christmas photo cards from relatives and friends during the Christmas season. But I was never able to reciprocate. Getting Christmas cards printed seemed like such a “family” type of activity. I decided to change that.

I started making Christmas postcards to mail out to family and friends in 2013. It’s a great way of keeping in touch and spreading Christmas cheer. The very first one was of me riding an elephant in Thailand. Since then, it’s been an annual goal to travel to different places. You could half-jokingly say that these cards fuel my passion for travel.

Occasionally, people will ask me, “What’s your passion?” I reply, “I make Christmas cards…” And then I tell them this story. And if you’re wondering, I actually do pack a Santa hat on trips.

I now give out these postcards in lieu of gifts. Am I being too “cheap?” Actually, these cards cost thousands of dollars to produce. 🤗 Merry Christmas.