Although Richard Koob, the Director of Kalani, has always recommended that every person find his/her inner leader, by a balance of mana'o, pu'uwai, and na'au, i.e. rational thinking, heartfelt emotions, and intestinal intuition, he was just declared "guru" by The Advocate, the award-winning national LGBT newsmagazine and world web site.
Their "cool jobs" article this month introduces Richard and 9 other "gays and lesbians working outside the paradigm."
Hawaiian retreat guru
Imagine if your typical workday looked like this: Practice Kundalini yoga at sunrise on the Hawaiian coast, socialize with travelers from around the globe, trek to the beach, sit in on a few staff meetings, play volleyball, and recover in the hot tub. And if it's Tuesday, teach hula.
That's the life of Richard Koob, 60, the director of Kalani Oceanside Retreat, a 120-acre getaway along one of the most unspoiled coastlines on the Big Island. Koob opened his nonprofit retreat in 1982 with his partner (Earnest Morgan, who died in 1992 of AIDS complications) as a place dedicated to nature, culture, and well-being. "It's important to enjoy life and focus on doing what we really love," says Koob.
Many of Kalani's activities, including dance and workshops such as a yoga retreat for gay men, reflect Koob's personal passions. "We've been on the vanguard of helping gay men realize how important it is to develop one's soulful and sensual side," he says.
An eclectic clientele is drawn to its rejuvenating massages, hula classes, historical sites, and breathtaking lava-walled cliffs. Accommodations range from $30 campsites to $260-a-night tree houses. Koob and Morgan always intended Kalani to attract people from a variety of backgrounds-both financial and cultural. Says Koob: "I think that appreciation of diversity comes from the gay experience."