It is with great pleasure that I get to announce that my dad, Kenneth Kamiya, will be receiving a Hawaii United Okinawan Association Legacy Award. He is just one of many other Okinawans, who have strived to be at the best at what he does both locally and nationally. I’m thrilled that he’s being recognized for he years of work as a farmer, leader, and educator.
My dad will get to have his day of glory when the Okinawan community really gets to know who he is and what he has done over the years. There will be a nice festivities and a celebration to feature all of the work that he has put in to get where he is now. After that, he will still be the same person I always knew, my dad.
The very next day after this celebration, he’ll still get up at 5:30 in the morning and get into his favorite work clothes that’s is worn and stained. He’ll jump into his truck and head down to the farm. He might open up the office and open up the books to make sure the business is in good running order. He will walk the fields checking the irrigation lines and scan the leaves of the papaya trees to make sure the bugs aren’t attacking or the other pests are damaging his trees. He will also check the tractors and other equipment to make sure it is all in working order and fueled up and ready to go.
He does his usual routine of checking emails to see what’s happening on the legal front with lawmakers attempting to make his work even harder. He’d rather spend more time out on the field farming and driving the tractor around then tinkering on emails to defend his work, but recently that has been part of the routine as more lawmakers would rather regulate it that nurture its existing farmers. He still will do his part to do what it takes to get those papayas out to his adoring customers week after week, year after year.
The Legacy Award is indeed a great honor for a farmer in this day and age where it has become the norm to attack and criticize their work. The farmer will look past it and know that he’s indeed doing a good thing for the many people who appreciate his chosen occupation to feed others. It is a very noble field that is taken for granted by a vocal minority who have no appreciation or understanding of his work. My dad, the farmer, will go on after receiving this award, just the same as any other day with a slightly fuller feeling of appreciation that someone took the time to say, “You’ve done a good thing.”