Kalani Honua Blog - aloha

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jesse Graeter

E Komo Mai - Welcome

My time at Kalani has been about interactions.  About myself, other individuals, and about how we come together as a whole to form a community.  I came here with my partner Ellie and we were embraced as individuals and as a couple.

As a volunteer here at Kalani you receive a note card when you arrive and when you depart. They are like a greeting card with a message inside when you unfold it, with room for people to write short messages.

My arrival card welcomed me to Kalani with aloha.  There was an inspiring quote from a previous volunteer giving me a flavor of the experiences that awaited me.  There were also the critical details of the pool location and when dinner was being served.  Then below the printed text was a handwritten note from Zori.  Welcoming me to paradise and inviting me to an orientation tour of the property the following day.

Then 2 months passed.

On our last day, Ellie and I received our departure note card.  This card simply said that we will be missed, sending us onward with the aloha spirit.  Then all the blank space was filled in with handwritten notes from our friends.

“You guys are so perfect here!!! I will miss your beautiful energy and smiles. – Shelley” … I met Shelley the night the kitchen staff took the evening off.  A group of us non-kitchen volunteers had a blast serving dinner that night!

“You are both so wonderful.  You are both doing exactly the right thing.  Mahalo, with love. – Taylor”  … This brings back memories of talking with Taylor on the dinning lanai, the laundry room, the maintenance shed.  Topics ranging from GMOs, road bike touring, to activism.

“I am lost for words.  You are two beautiful people full of smiles and light. Sure hope you boomerang back to Kalani. Aloha a hui hou. – Marilyn” … Ah yes, the late night hot tub soaking sessions with Marilyn sharing an engaging conversation or sharing a comfortable silence.

“Loved our conversations. Stay real and joyful! Love – Jen” … I often grabbed a seat next to Jen during meals.  The introverted sides of our personalities really thrived on being extroverted with each other!

“Have a fabulous time biking the island and continuing your series of life adventures.  Great getting to know you and Maria too! – Deb” … We arrived at Kalani the same day as Deb (same airplane!).  When Ellie’s mother Maria visited us for a week, Deb and Maria went adventuring along the Puna coast while Ellie and I worked our shifts.

“You are both such an inspiration! Hope to cross paths with you again one day.  Travel well, mi amigos! Love – Clarity” … Who would have thought that a lady from New York City and a fella like me from a mountain villa would have so many deep connections?  It’s all the product of an hour long hike through a muddy jungle to a secluded white sands beach frequented by sea turtles. 

 This is a sampling of the hundreds of connections that were made with the beautiful people here at Kalani.  Yes, I do look forward to crossing paths  once again and I will take these fond memories wherever I go!

Mahalo!

- Jesse

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jaime Palmera

Aloha `Ohana, Jaime Palmera

I am on the airplane on my way to Mainland. As I wonder thought me memories and look into the numerous photos I have taken during my stay in Hawaii and I couldn’t but get caught into a lot of emotions: Happiness and sadness, excitement and anxiety, a sense of accomplishment but at the same time desertion. But above all I realize I have learned to be grateful and a bit more aware. Learned to Breathe, learned to Feel, learned Acceptance and E ho mai – To let it come and let it flow- I learned the meaning of Aloha, and with it I learned about a better way to live.

How can one live without Aloha once we’ve felt it? …How can one get through the days without all the smiles and the hugs? …How can one may manage to step on a continent full of walking snakes who have given tears the connotation of sorrow and loss? … How can one may manage to get through the nights without seeing the moon and the stars and where people avoid and shelter from the wind and the rain? …How did I do it before and how would I be able to do it now?

This reminds me of the greatest love of my life: how we all learn to live on our own until one day we cannot live without that we once didn’t have before. It becomes indispensable, it changes us forever, it advances us, it becomes part of our energy, it pumps our lungs. LOVE is spelled ALOHA. And I am happy to have shed some tears, wipe my eyes, smile and look up again.

Happiness and Joy do float in tears. I fear no sadness for it will bring me a bigger joy at its end, just as the rainbow often appears after the rain. No Rain, no Rainbow. I will sorrow and day dream of my new corner of Heaven in Earth and remember that it remains there, hidden in the clouds, a gentle slope washed by the ocean full of plumerias and ginger flowers, warmed by Pele and the Sun, and enjoyed by many who like me are surrendering to Earth and its wisdom so to become a better part of Heaven.

A Hui Ho,

Jaime

Jaime Love

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