Kalani Honua Blog - News & Announcements

Monday, September 14, 2009

Richard Koob

Aloha Kalani supporters,

Heiau offering

Mahalo to the hundreds of you who sent letters and/or signed petitions requesting that the Planning Department reinstate Kalani’s EMAX greenhouse as a perfect location for Kalani’s community nature-culture-wellness programs.On September 3 the Planning Department Director BJ Leithead Todd, the County’s Corporate Council, Amy Self, and the Zoning Inspector, Scott Leonard, all came to visit us here at Kalani. Together we made offerings at our preserved heritage sites, walked much of the property, viewed structures and dined together.

Richard sign

The following day BJ sent a letter thanking us for the visit, rescinding the violation, and saying “We agree with you that working together will help better serve the needs of the community.”

So your Kalani ‘ohana is now confident that we are back on track with more of the co-creative collaboration that we have had with the Planning Department for 34 years!

- Richard Koob

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly MendozaThe WE (Women's Entertainment) Network flew through Kalani this week and filmed our retreat for their Great Escapes show. They took shots of the sunrise, of Kehena Beach, of our food spread on the lawn, of our beautiful rain forest, of our weekly hula class with Kimo and Richard, and interviewed a few folks.

There was such a buzz that morning. Not only were the kitchen staff clad in Kalani shirts and looking extra-peppy in the morning, but the Gaia group brought in a lot of great energy with them as well, especially the fairies (the women with wings and fairy giggles that hug and kiss everyone they pass). The giddiness was so contagious that day.

Kalani poolI had a great morning relaxing by the pool and swimming and catching up with some girls at the pool, where small talk is simply impossible. We just dive on in. That’s one of the greatest things about Kalani and the people that come through, the conversation always just cuts through the surface within the first minute. I’ve never had more interesting and honest conversation in my life. We recharged in the sun and talked about future plans and always recognizing how lucky we are to be where we are with the people we are with. We spoke of freedom and happiness and living in the moment and love. Wonderful poolside revelations.

My interview took place right after lunch. We set up a chair on the lawn with people frolicking in the background by the pool. As I was hooked up to the microphone and got situated it started raining (the first time that day as it was as clear and sunny all morning). We then had to pack up and move on to the tree house and filmed there.

Chris and Mike, the film crew from Maui, are cousins and couldn’t be any more Chicago. Big burly guys, down-to-earth with a Midwestern teddy bear quality about them. Chris actually lived where I grew up in Chicago and even went to the same art school as me. Such coincidences at Kalani no longer surprise me because we chance upon such connections all the time here. Just a few weeks ago, the family of our resident surfer and artist, Roy Ruiz, was visiting from Canada. I was talking to his father over lunch and we just happened to realize that the one person he knows in Chicago (the ONE PERSON!) his cousin, is my godfather and father’s best friend. Ana Lisa, our resident fashionista extraordinaire from Oakland, California, we share so many mutual friends, it’s so weird that we’ve never met before Kalani. Everyone here is connected not by six degrees of separation but more like two degrees of separation.

The set-up took awhile. We had to wait for the helicopters to stop flying over Kalani. They had to get the lighting perfect. I sat in front of light for awhile, I felt a bit like chick incubating under the hot lights. We were talking story the entire time and I couldn’t have felt more comfortable. But once the camera lights went on and the countdown began… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and Nathan, our Marketing Manager, started in on the question and morphed into Matt Lauer, the butterflies began to revolt inside my stomach, my brain, my throat.

“You’re just talking to a piece of equipment,” Mike said.

“And my mother,” I responded.

I got through it. I don’t remember what came out of my mouth, but it was a fun experience. We talked about what 'ohana means to me and about the volunteer experience. It’s going to be so funny watching this on TV.

We had a wrap party afterwards at Todd’s house. Todd is one of our chefs, also a Chicagoan. The film crew came. A few guests joined us and some volunteers and it was a great evening. Chris and Mike looked like they felt at home immediately.

I don’t know if cameras can ever capture the magic that is Kalani. You have to just be here. You have to just sit by the pool and soak up the sun and look into people’s eyes and have a laugh. Then you may begin to get it.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Arthur Frommer

kalani jungle poolBudget Travel by Arthur Frommer : You can still enjoy the Hawaii 'that once was'

Budget Travel by Arthur Frommer
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.09.2007

If you really mean it when you complain that Hawaii has "lost its character," if you're genuinely troubled by the crowds at Waikiki or Lahaina, if you're determined to experience the Hawaii "that once was" — then you'll consider booking a stay at the 120-acre Kalani Oceanside Resort Center on the Big Island of Hawaii.

It's a dreamy, laid-back, unpretentious place designed for the same people who patronize yoga centers and meditation camps on the mainland. Some 30 years old, it still follows the gentle precepts of its founder (he's still around): a mainly vegetarian cuisine (but with lots of fresh fish), yoga and tai chi everywhere, supportive and non aggressive fellow guests who follow their bliss, plain but adequate accommodations — and none of the conspicuous consumption or boisterous showoffs of the standard resort. Rooms are without TVs, and most are with open, screened walls.

A typical dinner starts with coconut squash soup, then features seared ahi with pineapple salsa, baked tempeh, quinoa with sunflower seeds, broccoli stir-fry and cucumber salad, and ends with lemon ginger cake.

Rates are refreshing by Hawaiian standards. Starting at the bottom: If you bring your own tent, you'll be given a campsite, three meals daily, two full-body massages, daily yoga classes and the right to engage in all resort activities (hula, ecstatic dance, meditation, weaving, pool, hot tub and sauna) for a total of $780 per person per week, whether single or double. If you're one of two persons traveling together, you'll receive all of the above for $930 per person per week in a room with shared bath, $1,020 with private bath.

A final touch: Volunteers willing to work 30 hours a week for a month pay $1,000 for an all-inclusive one-month stay at Kalani, attending all classes and activities, receiving accommodations and all meals. Call 1-800-800-6886 or log on to www.kalani.com.

But how can you get there cheaply?

Call ATA Airlines.

After Southwest Airlines bought a large portion of the struggling Indianapolis-based carrier ATA, the two airlines — now partners — dropped some routes and added others to complement each other and provide better connections for travelers. Hawaii is one of the major areas where new ATA flights have been added. And the result is that the least likely airline in America now offers the cheapest fares to Hawaii.
Bookings must be made through ATA (not Southwest); go to www.ata.com or call 1-800-435-9282.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Kalani `Ohana

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."

The article:
Richard Koob
Richard Koob
Hawaiian retreat guru
Kalapana, Hawaii

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."

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Kalani `Ohana

Healing Lifestyles Magazine
Healing Lifestyles & Spas magazine in its March/April 2007 issue named Kalani as one of 10 Eco-Getaways leading the way to traveling "Green." They say that

...Kalani both honors and embraces the environment. Elements of the surroundings are reflected in the accommodations, which include cozy cottages and tree houses. Nearby, black and green sand beaches are the setting for water sports, and the resort offers yoga retreats to develop communion with nature. A full range of body work therapies can be enjoyed in massage rooms overlooking a peaceful pond, and a sweat lodge constructed with native lava rock is accessible for healing ceremonies.

Kalani embraces stewardship of the `āina and kai as one of its core values. Mahalo to Healing Lifestyles & Spas for its recognition!

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kalani `Ohana

Let's Go

Let's Go Publications, a well-known publisher of travel guides around the world, recently sent us the following letter:

Congratulations! I am writing from Let's Go Publications to commend your establishment for its excellent services to our readers. A leading budget guide, Let's Go values businesses that provide travelers with fun, unique cultural experiences at bargain prices. Every year, our Let's Go team scours the globe in search of unique travel destinations; our regional writer came across your establishment and was very impressed.

Since 1997, we have rewarded a small number of exceptional businesses from each of our guides that best embodies the qualities we value. As tangible recognition of your outstanding services, we are sending you a "Let's Go 2007 Recommends" window-sticker; we hope you will display it within your establishment with pride.
-Let's Go Publications

Let's Go guides are known for giving the straight scoop, so we're all pleased at Kalani to be recognized for outstanding services!

Mahalo to all our past and current staff and volunteers in our `ohana for their hard work and spirit of aloha!

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