(BIVN) – The Puna resident who earned the trust and admiration of Hawaiʻi Island during the eruption of Kīlauea, is mulling his future.
On December 1st, Ikaika Marzo served as the grand marshal in the Pāhoa Holiday Parade. “That was awesome,” Marzo said of the experience. “Awesome to walk through Pāhoa town and and you know see a lot of people that appreciate about what The Hub has done for the community, and meeting a lot of people, seeing a lot of people, seeing old faces, new faces – is awesome.”
After the walk, Marzo was interviewed at the Hub, also known as Puʻuhonua O Puna, the grassroots community center he helped to organize during the disaster. He said the Mainstreet Pāhoa Association asked him a couple months back if he wanted to lead the parade. “I chuckled and I said, yeah, I wouldn’t mind,” Marzo said. “It’s my hometown. I wouldn’t mind doing it.”
Marzo walked the route, and got a lot of hugs on the way. “A lot of aloha, for sure,” Marzo smiled. “That’s what we needed in the time of the eruption, so awesome. You know lava has stopped for about three, four months, five months and I see healing. I see new stuff happening and you know, obviously Pohoiki is getting open next week, so that’s a new beginning for Puna. And I see a lot of new beginnings, a lot a lot of new doors opening for us people in Puna.”
“Right now I’m kind of devoting my my life back into the community,” Marzo – once a lava tour guide – said when asked about his future plans. “Whatever needs to be done, and kind of a lot of my time is here at The Hub and meeting with people and see if I can help in any way, and also we just started up whale tour so you’ll be doing that too.”
One thing Marzo cannot escape is speculation on a possible future in politics. “His political future is written in Puna,” announced parade MC Tiffany Edwards-Hunt as Marzo walked down Pāhoa Village Road, a testament to his popularity in the community.
“For me, right now, I’m just happy where I’m at,” Marzo later said at The Hub. “Helping people right now, and trying to do whatever I can with The Hub, and Hub crew and Puʻuhonua O Puna, but um maybe, maybe.”
When asked if that maybe includes a position as an elected official, Marzo responded “I’m not too sure yet. Two years away, I got a lot of thinking to do, but we’ll see. We’ll see what the future holds for for myself and The Hub.”