The places the group visited were for the most part, not visited by the normal tourist. And some of the events were hosted by a classmate who provided special access or inside knowledge of something to see that is not well known. As a result, I experienced an enriched Hawaii known mostly to local Hawaiians.
The park ranger explained that Kamehameha I built up trade with the outside world using sandalwood brought down from the mountains to trade with China who used the wood for incense. In return he received gunpowder and cannons which were much more effective that spears. This gave the king more firepower when he engaged in wars with the other islands. Eventually the trees were all cut down and the being a hard wood, they grow slowly. This caused permanent change to the landscape. The king did see what damage was being done and halted the trade and began planting, but it was too late to bring the forest back. It was at this site that his chief rival was murdered after being invited to talk peace. Some 28 years later all of Hawaii was united under one rule.
There lots of songs to sing along with and even some hula dancing by a couple of women classmates.