Kalani Honua Blog - Pele

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Maureen Boland

Maureen Boland

November 6th, 2008

We drove in to Kalani in the dark—air was muggy, and there was a volunteer party happening. I truly haven’t heard that kind of sheer joy from adults in a long time (ever?) and instantly felt welcomed.

Everyone here is incredibly friendly and gracious and Kalani is located on a magnificent tropical spot in the southeastern part of the Big Island.

For two mornings I’ve had the pleasure of greeting the day at the “point” right outside of the property where the wild ocean crashes against a volcanic rock wall. My first morning I stood there marveling at the energy and checking out the huge plume of steam created by the active volcano lava hitting the water less than a mile away. Within seconds I was hit by a rogue wave which doused me from head to toe (as though I had just stood under a waterfall)…. Nature was trying to tell me something no doubt. Quite an intro to the island.

The grounds are lovely…rich, lush jungle apparently quite different from the rest of the island. Mystical, magical and dark are words words I have heard people use frequently to describe this area…it is quite intriguing

November 11th

Life continues to be juicy here. Having been here for almost a week now I feel I can personally (and without hesitation) recommend Kalani to anyone who feels they need to recharge or hit the reset button. There is a certain element which I am not sure I can explain, but it is captured in moments at Burning Man where people extend their arms to you without reservation and without the expectation of anything in return. It is amazing what happens when a community of people choose to interact with an underlying assumption of goodwill. The impact of each generous and thoughtful act is magnified, and completely contagious. It is also quite shocking to a newcomer; I shyly admit to questioning the authenticity of the people around me initially. Having had some time and space to get to know people a little deeper than I can in typical day to day life I am less skeptical. If anything, I think people are more sincere and more able to drop their masks than in ordinary life.

That said, I am still acclimating to the culture and working to open my sometimes fiercely guarded heart a little more…

Like any place it also has its moments, particularly in regard to getting the mind to chill out and match the body. It’s a constant challenge for me in my typical day to day life and that fact has not changed just because I am on the Big Island.

December 3rd

I finally paid a visit to Pele. We journeyed to a spot where the lava from the local volcano pours into the ocean. We walked across the bumpy, dark, glassy hardened lava field in sheer darkness heading towards the red glowing embers and plume of smoke and lava ahead. Pele was magnificent. I understood instantly why Pele is referred to in the feminine—the site embodied creation. It’s the newest, hottest, sexiest earth. As we approached the entry point the rocks beneath our feet were radiating heat from the molten lava below. I walked all the way to the edge of the rock to the most glorious fireworks I have ever seen—Pele shooting fire into the air, a pond of florescent orange lava swirling below peaking out every time the steam cleared away. As the sun rose the colors of the fireworks seemed to mellow out and the harsh light softened a bit…I was ever aware of the danger and watched her show with a great deal of reverence.

December 24th

I spent my last few days at Kalani surrounded and bathed in the love of my `Ohana. I have never experienced so much raw, unbridled love from the people around me. I had a rough few days as I had picked up some intestinal parasite and was sloughing through some emotional yuck… but everywhere I went warm, long hugs were available—arms thrown around my neck the moments I most needed them. Tissues placed in my hand at the right moment without me ever knowing who placed it.

Once again, I was and am grateful for Kalani, for the Aloha spirit, for the people surrounding me.

Jan 26th, 2009

Nature is such a profound force in my life right now. How can I leave her? She surrounds me at night. I taste her sweet, clean air, hear her energy roaring as the waves crash down on sharp black lava rocks. She is protecting me with her warm rains and healing rays of sun. She is forcing me to slow down and look inside myself.

I want to learn patience. Unconditional love. I am learning it’s ok to not always like, but not to love takes away little pieces of your heart from yourself.

I believe I know now where the clichés about love that I previously disregarded might have been born.

All you need is love. Indeed?
Indeed.

I am grateful for all the people she has given me. I lead a wonderful and blessed life. It has taken slowing down to see this.

I steal away from it all to bathe in her soft wind. Stare off into the lush green. Marvel at my own bliss. Mourn days lost. Remind myself she is here, always. Even when the city swirls around me. You are here. And perhaps I can never go back to what was, but I can always come back to Kalani.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

by Lori Runkle

Puka JungleEach day at work in the landscaping department at an eco-resort on the Hilo side of the island of Hawaii, I witness greedy vegetation reach for the sun at the expense of what slouches and festers beneath the surface. As lava rock cracks and ohia trees and sword ferns emerge from the black ground, sensitive plants and morning glory vines root in the fertilizer of fallen leaves and rotting lehua flowers.

The cycle of volcanic activity and the reclamation of lava by plant life is an organic process that transforms the landscape from the barren, rocky playground of Pele to lush swaths of variegated green growing at amazing speeds. The lovers Ohia and Lehua continue their love story high in the branches dropping life on the ground below.

I agree with Louise Erdrich, who in her collection of short stories “The Red Convertible,” describes the law of growth like this:

“In the woods, there is no right way to go, of course, no trail to follow but the law of growth. You must leave behind the notion that things are right. Just look around you. Here is the way things are. Twisted, fallen, split at the root. What grows best does so at the expense of what’s beneath.”

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stef Douthit

Happy Huladays

aloha,

I was a guest with the Hawaiian Temple Bodyworks retreat this past year, and I fell in love with Kalani!!! I just wanted to comment on your "Happy Huladays" email...how wonderful! It is exciting to hear of all your new projects, and I plan to contribute whatever I can...no matter how small an offering.

Kalani TRULY did give me heaven on earth, and helped me to EXPERIENCE something I have always known: my divinity. I witnessed myself, everyone around me as well as our beautiful Mother Earth all melded by Pele's spirit into a higher vibrational dimension that was to my senses and very soul HEAVEN!!!

To all of you there working so hard to make this place a reality for all to share, my heart offers all gratitude!!!

Malaho,
Stef Douthit

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Heather Breckenridge

PeleHer steam seeps through cracks beneath my feet.

I feel her heat, her presence, her obsidian self.
a loosening, a spiraling,
a channel of new growth, rebirth,
rebuilding, renewed.

My spirit cliff
-- sharply God-carved --
caves to ocean depths below.

A loosening, unfolding fire!

She is my past, my future,
my holy present:
Middle earth breaking free —-

Creation from nothing,
from everything?
Imagine!

Some parts of her harden, while the
rest widen my pulse.
my breath, my spirit…
        awe,
                awe,
                        awe,
                                Awakening!

She rolls over edges,
boiling to meet her destiny:
the wet Goddess.
fickle and eager for embrace.

It is made holy:

This is a white lucid awakening; an archaic fire of no-time kind;
a river of rock; a molten prayer resounding,
a coming into one’s own and out of one’s unknown.

She moves me ever forward, deeper,
        down,
                over,
                        past,
                                present,
a silent prayer emerges.

Waves encompass her,
joining her in glorious exuberance.

She is met and made whole, solid.

Birth of a brand new earth:
less than a second old…
Imagine!

Yet she has shifted my consciousness
into no time,
no beginning,
no end.

How magnified is this now,
now!

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly MendozaFor Frank:

How can one of the worst days of my life be followed by one of the best days of my life? You’d think such days would be rationed out better by the Universal Council. Before I dive into it let’s rewind to two weeks ago during my daily meditation at the secret beach.

I sneak away there in the mornings to be alone and figure things out – be it a story, be it real life and I do so as I watch the waves crash against the rocks, watch the tide pools fill up. I’ve seen a Hawaiian woman begin the birthing process there with her midwife. I left promptly for it seemed too sacred for an audience. I’ve seen two teenagers roll around playing kissyface without a care in the world there. I’ve seen a battered old woman with long white hair stroll the sand with her mangy dog. And I remember thinking when she looked at me, that’s Pele.

It was that day that I saw her and her dog when I saw the heart in the sky. It’s my belief that all the knowledge we need in this lifetime already exists all around us, in every moment, especially in nature. In the elements. In the molecules and electrons that float around waiting for us to perceive and make them real, make them meaningful and therefore learn.

I was just bellyaching to a friend how my life since I’ve gotten back from Chicago has been so boring. I was writing, it was quiet. Life was still. And I realized that I should be grateful for that and as I decided on the beach that I was going to be grateful, how I was going to use this time and space well, I opened my eyes and above me was a cloud shaped into a perfect heart. It was hallow and deeply blue inside. And as this slow thick wind blew, it expanded and kept on expanding until it was no longer a heart but two separate long strands of clouds. It down-poured for about five minutes. I put my dress back on. And then a rainbow poured right into the ocean in front of me. An omen, in hindsight. A storm and then a rainbow

Coconut BeachThe storm: I got word shortly after that a great friend in Chicago passed away. He was 34. He was a force to be reckoned with in this life. A dynamic, handsome, talented man. We were roommates during the most bohemian period of my life in Chicago – the art school days. We’ve spent many late nights talking about ideal realities, about our dreams and everything else under the sun. We talked plenty about love. An Frank loved a lot. The news of his death hit me like a freight train

I once saw this documentary on PBS about a tribe of monkeys. When one monkey is sick and dying, the other monkeys from their tribe gather around him and form an unbreakable circle. They turn their backs from him and face the abysmal forest. And they stand there until the monkey recovers or passes away. Sometimes this lasts weeks. They do not eat, nor sleep as they stand guard.

As I have been grieving Frank’s death, my tribe here at Kalani stood around me and stared down the forces in the rainforest for me until I was better. It was overwhelming at times – the love that was shown. From energy work, to an incredible Watsu session, to laughter, to laying with me, to embraces, to the deep silences – it was such profound love. It was humbling and something I will never forget.

RainbowThe rainbow: The next day after I heard the news, I woke up heartbroken. Literally, this ache in my chest was climbing up my throat. *C, an angel, the woman with a white star tattooed on the side of her face, swept in and took me on a road trip to the City of Refuge on the other side of the island. Motion was the key to my survival that day, the destination was simply the cherry on top.

We stopped at the market to pick up food for our picnic. I stayed in the car. And Frank came to me. He sat in the driver’s seat and held my hand and told me this with his wily look, the type of look he gets when he’s meeting a beautiful young lady for the first time (I’ve seen it plenty of times during our late nights romping around Chicago):

This is it, he said. This is the ride. Enjoy it. I’m okay, I was ready. And he laughed and shook his head. I did all the talking and crying and laughing after that. Frank joined us for the rest of the road trip. Sitting in the back seat, driving around the Big Island with two women – I mean c’mon, he couldn’t have been more stoked. Even *C felt his presence. And I talked story about him all day. Glimpses of anything scarlet or red or orange caught my eye all day, for Frank was a red head. I fed red mohawked birds during our picnic and named the one that flirted with people the most, Frank. I saw red lights on the horizon from a cruise ship perhaps and figured Frank was on it having a cocktail or two causing a ruckus. I saw an orange and red sunset descend into the night. He was everywhere, even in the eyes of the dogs and people I encountered that day.

We arrived at Two Step and we snorkeled. *C swam with a sting ray that looked like an eagle. She told me to swim towards the horizon, until the ocean simply drops and maybe I’d see him. I took off, with my split fins, just cruising towards the horizon. I never saw the sting ray, but swimming towards the abyss was such a profound experience for me. All day, I felt as light as a napkin in the wind. When we stopped to get gas and fill up my tires with air, I had to hold on to my car, because as I stepped out, I felt like I would just be blown away. I don’t know why. But as I swam over the coral reefs, I felt like I was flying over hills and mountains. Totally invincible and weightless. And I realized something about perspective. Why is it, I wondered, that sometimes I feel like I’m simply drifting on a raft and floating on land and when I’m in the water I feel like I’m flying. It was as if the world flipped over. And it’s all about perspective. This breakdown that I was bracing myself for, what I thought I had no control over, well it’s all perspective I realized. When it is all paired down – the grief, the heartache, the loss – it all comes down to love. And love is a beautiful experience, a liberating feeling inside to go that deep with your emotions. Frank loved a lot. And I loved him so much. And we lived life so intensely, so deeply, so artfully and I will always be so grateful that I had him in my life and for those moments we shared.

It was a multifaceted road trip. For that same day, my friends in Chicago were driving four hours to Terra Haute, Indiana for the visitation. Being so far away from Chicago and my friends made me feel so unanchored, but during this drive, as *C careened down these snake-like roads cutting through the rainforest, I was transported to the flatlands of Mid-America. And I shit you not, I was in that car with my friends at one point. Staring at the half-moon, looking at all of their bright faces, feeling their pain, hearing their laughter --- it was so profound, I don’t even know how to write about it.

This road trip is also a first I took with *C, a friend I hold so close to my heart. Creating intense moments with this great friend, while at the same time reminiscing and grieving about the moments I had with Frank --- it just had so many layers to it. *C and I stopped a lot on our road trip. To buy fruit, to get coffee, to meet awesome dogs, to picnic, to watch the sunset, to stretch our legs and ask for directions, to talk a lil’ bit of story with some locals – it was a road trip after all. Each stop was filled with endless possibilities of experience, of epiphanies, of natural wonder. Motion was the key to my survival that day, to instill in me that life keeps moving. That dogs keep barking, fruit keeps growing, that the sun always sets, and the moon always shines, and love even when it hurts, always expands our hearts and the cloudy shapes in the sky always dissolve as the wind continues to blow.

At the end of this very long day, we stopped at my family’s house in Hilo for a bon voyage party. We ate such awesome food, it’s ridiculous – chicken papaya, mechado, pansit (Filipino staples) and even beer bread with lilikoi butter smothered on top. My cousin just arrived back from Chile and met his son for the first time. They were gathered around the table in the kitchen looking at photographs of our little Pablo in Chile. Kids were running around everywhere. I must have looked so haggard, so stretched out (I certainly felt like I had just been skinned alive), but I never felt so peaceful in my whole life, I don’t think.

The next day was Frank’s funeral. I worked a double in the kitchen at Kalani. My friends Claire and Nate took me on another road trip the next day. We walked through Lava Tree Park after spending an afternoon at the secret beach. We danced down the winding paths and they just kept me laughing all day. We set on the fault line, the “shelf” of the world and this man named Burp jumped out of a van filled with some Puna-style Merry Pranksters with balloon animals on their heads (I shit you not). And Burp was clad in a trenchcoat a la Hunter S. Thompson. He looked like he just landed from a journey from Mars. He had this beautiful red necklace on with a giant wooden tribal hook dangling on his chest. It’s been passed down from his Hawaiian ancestors. He spoke to us about the Universe, about God, about the Children of Mu --- about all sorts of things --- his outlaw nature reminded me of Frank too. He very much sounded like Frank, a man of many words who can talk endlessly about any topic the dart hits.

And why the hell not? It’s all perspective . We create our own realities, we color our own stories. Frank is everywhere now to me. I have proclaimed him my guru for love. And he shall lead me and laugh at me and be one of those monkeys in my circle and I for him.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jonathan Jamison

Jonathan JamisonDuring my walk to dinner along the path I took my time to linger at the magnificent sunset of pinks, purples, blues, teal and a larger spectrum that words just don’t seem to truly express. After darkness sets, the glow of Pele across Kalani brings forth such power and grace that my mind wanders into the things I'm grateful for.

Sunset

It has been long over a year since I started my residence at Kalani. Throughout my time here I have seen my mind and consciousness grow and my body shrink. In this short period of time I have had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of amazing people who taught me about the energies of love. I have said I Love you to more people than ever in my life and many times a day here I'm reminded of the power and understanding of this powerful source of life and death. Take the word love and use in front or after any word in the dictionary and it makes sense in a lot of ways.

Being within my 'ohana and allowing my freedom to explore or just watch this powerful energy has been one of the greatest gifts I have gotten from heaven on earth (Kalani Honua). As I write this blog I gain a greater understanding of how to express my love and to connect with those who cross my path. My skills of communication on a world wide level are basically starting with this blog and I hope to continue to share my journey in new ways.

I feel gratitude for the ways that love has brought me pure thoughts and a stronger consciousness. I celebrate life and everything that comes with it and deeply know that I manifest every moment of this existence through my own will of love. The constant evolution that we are morphing through allows us to learn from every experience that love brings us. As we all know, life flows sometimes with us or without us. I love every one that crosses my path and even those who walk 100 yards out of the way of my path. The days become greater and the nights more peaceful with the pool of love that I have built that surrounds me. As I stride forward wandering into unknowns, leafing through this book called life, it seems as though I can truly feel the love for my self. I feel amazing for these moments and for the fact at 36 years old I can palm the floor in a forward bend. Now that is truly the power of love.

Aloha and a hui hou

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly MendozaAhh Betsey. Betsey is one of the sexiest ever to blow through Kalani. The first time we hung out was at Kehena Beach. It was my first time ever going to this black sand clothing optional beach. And it was as if the set was taken from some Hollywood movie. After climbing down this short cliff and turning the bend a man named Congo from Trinidad sat perched on a gigantic black rock. Two hippie kids from New York played their guitars while Congo carved a wooden stick with his knife and sang a sort of reggae that could have been categorized as the blues for it was that soulful. I couldn’t believe the scene. That a world like this actually does exist outside the movies.

Across the beach were circles of people picnicking, laying around, talking story, laughing and throwing themselves backwards into the waves. Betsey took her clothes off immediately. She laid on the sand where the surf just barely reached her. And ever so often, a gigantic wave would come and crash over her, sending black sand everywhere. We did this forever. Just talking, laying on our stomachs, letting the sand just naturally exfoliate our bodies and letting the Ocean decide when to toss us about. It was a thrill not knowing when the big wave was coming and mid-story, we’d have a mouthful of sand. It was somehow the most hilarious thing ever. Betsey talked about experiencing bliss in the interview below. And so many moments just reeled through my head when I think about my own bliss. This day at the beach was definitely one of them. And Betsey’s happy-go-lucky blissful spirit was surely the catalyst for happiness that day. She emanates this bright joyful glow always and that is oh so sexy, don’t you think?

Betsey CarneyQ&A: Betsey Carney


What brought you to Kalani?

I was on a sabbatical and looking for a place to get away from the mainstream to do some yoga and some spiritual work.

What was your first impression of Kalani? Of the Big Island? Of the people?

My first impression of Kalani was Mary Lou who picked me up at the airport. I felt comfortable with her immediately and knew right away that if she loved the place (she talked about how she loved Kalani on our ride from the airport) so would I. The smell of Hawaii is such a welcoming and comforting smell to me. Every time I land, I feel warm and happy inside. As we drove down Route 130 and I saw the Ocean, I knew I was home. All of the people I met were welcoming, easy-going and happy… my kind of folk.

What was your favorite activity out here? What will you miss most about this place?

My favorite organized activity was yoga. I attended as many classes as I could; sometimes twice a day. In addition to that I loved the road trips with my co-volunteers to visit other places on the island. We always had so much fun. Meeting and getting to know people from such varied places while exploring and enjoying Hawai’i was simply terrific. I can honestly say that some of the happiest times in my life took place during those trips. I miss that immensely.


What advice would you give first-timers?

Just be and allow. And, take advantage of every opportunity you can.

Top three items you couldn’t have lived without on this island?

1) Other volunteers 2) my job at Kalani 3) my open mind.


What was your most memorable moment here?

In the car on the way to hike to see the new lava flow (the cops wouldn’t let us in). Mike, Jill, Jamie and I were “so happy, we couldn’t stand it!”

How have you changed? What imprint has this experience made on you?

I now accept everyone and everything as is. I experienced what it feels like to be “blissed-out”. I know now that it is my choice to be happy doing whatever I’m doing, wherever I am.

I’ve taken that back to the mainland with me and refuse to lose my “Bliss”.

Since you’ve jumped ship, how is life out there? How has the transition been back to mainland life? What next?

See above. It took me about a week to become grounded and I realized that I love where I live on the mainland (Annapolis, Maryland) and I also love Kalani and the Big Island. I want to incorporate both places in to my life from this point forward.


Most memorable lesson from Pele?

It wasn’t a lesson but a realization. She’s a gracefully violent creator, and a sensual, dangerous, wise and beautiful sage. The realization she brought to me was to love and revere everything she has created. If not, I’d be disrespecting her, and since we all are one, that would be disrespecting not only every personality but more importantly what we all agree upon as our universe.

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly Mendoza
There are certain books that get passed around here at Kalani like a hot potato. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron is one book you’ll often find someone totally immersed in on a hammock, or on the lanai, or even in the laundry room. I was reading it once by the pool when two people in passing both whipped a copy out of their bags and proclaimed, “I’m reading that too!”

We’ve even joked that the Kalani Volunteer Program should hand out a copy of Chodron’s book to first time volunteers along with their letters of acceptance. It would be a kind gesture equivalent to saying, rest child rest… without knowing the details we know what you’ve been through.

I’ve been wondering why Chodron’s book is so popular here. I’m beginning to think as I get to hear more and more of the people’s life stories here that perhaps the common denominator of our stories and fates and destinies (and we’re a mighty eclectic bunch, I have to tell you) is that sometime before we’ve committed ourselves into coming to Kalani, our lives have broken or at least come to a halt and we arrive a bit damaged. Nothing that a yoga retreat can’t patch up, we think in our moments of hope during these breaking points. And so we untangle ourselves from our worlds, we pack our bags and we get on a plane and we take this humungous leap of faith across the Pacific Ocean to the Big Island.

Oh, the Big Island! The land of the Goddess Pele! Whatever research you’ve done on this legendary woman, you ain’t seen nothing yet until you experience her magic. I see her as the supreme real estate agent. I believe Pele calls people to the Big Island to experience whatever life-altering lesson(s) she wishes to teach you. She calls the ones who belong here and she sends the ones who don’t back.

So we arrive. We’re just bug eyed, jet lagged, little balls of excited and nervous energy and we are so ready for change, we are so ready to feel and look fabulous, we are so ready to retreat and get it together.

If anything, the “red road” heading to Kalani should be a warning of what awaits you on your journey. It is the most stomach dropping, spine tingling ride I’ve ever been on with manic up and downs. It beats the notorious San Francisco hills, no doubt. They are these short, never-ending hills and no matter what speed in which your volunteer driver takes them (although fast and reckless is always a good time) you’ll feel your stomach tickle your throat a few times. As you drive you are surrounded by lava and cliffs that look like slabs of dark chocolate. The ocean is so voluptuous and she sprays the whitest mist you can ever imagine. The sound of the waves crashing takes all your anxiety away, as if absorbing all that noise in your mind. The clouds are fluffier here too, you’ll see. And the aroma of saltwater air intermixed with the scent of flowers and fruits is what heaven must smell like. And just when you think your senses cannot take on any more you notice a canopy of lush green trees as you drive through the jungle. Specs of sunlight shine through as you go deeper and deeper towards Kalani. You look around for Tarzan and Jane, for somebody’s gotta be swinging on these vines around here. Trees with lush red flowers miraculously grow from the lava rock. Nothing makes sense here! This can’t be! You are Alice in an exotic Wonderland. Where are we? You can’t help but become a child again in such wonderment. And perhaps you’ll feel the mana (the spirit and power) from the land spiral up your spine. I did the moment I stepped off the plane. It’s the awakening of your chakras, it’s the feeling of being tapped into a very energetic land.

So you are surrounded by beauty and you’ve got some serious stuff to work on within yourself and your fate is about to intertwine with the fates and destinies and lives of some very incredible people. Are you ready?

Here’s a lesson I learned in my third week here as a volunteer. To leave your expectations and agenda at the gate (which by the way is very “Jurassic Park” – you’ll see). Whatever it is that you feel like you need to work on, whatever it is that you expect to get out of Kalani --- drop it. Enter with an open heart and mind and soul. It’s as if you’re coat checking your agenda to a higher power that has plans for you that you cannot ever fathom. If I had known that earlier, the adjustment period wouldn’t have been so agonizing for me. To be as present as you can be and to truly appreciate this experience necessitates dropping your agenda and your ego. I know, I know, it’s way easier said than done. Especially for a neurotic city dweller still dealing with the shock of being unplugged from that urban fast paced socket that necessitates control for survival. Depending on where you’re coming from, there may be many layers you need to shed here. But remember that Kalani is your blank canvas though. It is very much the real world here as it is “out there” but here you can start fresh from the get go. Your slate is clean– just like that. Be mindful of the baggage you packed with you. You don’t have to keep those here. None of us know you, or expect that from you so you can easily drop it and try something new. Changing who we are is much harder amongst people we’ve known forever. It is instant freedom to be here in that respect.

A good friend here who was on her fourth month once said to me when I thought I wanted to pack up and get out, “I came here with all of these plans of what I wanted to accomplish and I did none of that, but instead I learned all of these other lessons that I could have never imagined I would learn or even needed to learn. And in hindsight they were even better lessons.”

By the way, my name is Beverly. I’m a three-month volunteer here at Kalani and I serve in the kitchen. It’s my first time at Kalani and I’ve been here for about five weeks now. I’ve been asked to blog about my experiences here to paint a picture of the volunteer experience. And I’m assuming the readers of this blog are people that may be considering coming to Kalani (at least that’s who I had in mind while writing this first entry). I will be doing some Q&As with other volunteers who have some pretty amazing stories and perspectives to share in future entries too. And my personal experiences will most likely get much more personal. I wanted this first entry though to be a reflection on what connects us all here, to show the broadest spectrum of the Kalani volunteer experience so that you may begin to imagine your experience here, if you choose to leap of your cliff to join us.

So I hope you come back again every Monday for a new post or perhaps you’re filling out the application now and we’ll be meeting soon.

Aloha,
Beverly

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