Thursday, April 15, 1999

Aikahi student has
whole world in his head

By Rod Ohira


Ask state Geography Bee champion Makena Dyer to name the countries in Central America from north to south and he might answer, "Go eat hamburger, next counter please."

The first letter of each word in the sentence helps Makena to remember the countries are Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

"I've always liked geography because the world is a variety of different things, terrain and lifestyles," said Makena, a 12-year-old Aikahi Elementary School student who will represent Hawaii at the national competition in Washington, D.C., May 24-26.

Makena, the son of Mark and Barbara Dyer of Kailua and grandson of M. Dyer & Sons moving and storage company owners Medford and Masu Dyer, also enjoys traveling.

He's already visited Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and will be going to Australia this summer.

"I use books, videos and the atlas to prepare," he said. "My dad helps me and we also use National Geographic."

Makena won by correctly answering two questions: "The Karakum Canal flows through which country making land fertile" and "the policy formerly used in South Africa that separated blacks from whites."

Turkmenistan in Central Asia and apartheid were the winning answers.

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