Kalani Honua Blog

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ali Slous

"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything." - Napoleon Hill

What does your heart truly desire? Do you allow yourself to want what you want?

As creative beings in an energetic universe, our desires - when aligned with cooperative thoughts, beliefs, and inspired action - manifest into experiences.

Our free will to create is supported so unconditionally that we can create what we want just as easily as what we do not want. The universe does not judge our desires.

Underlying each manifested experience is a set of beliefs; a series of thoughts that we have practiced over time. When we create an "unwanted" experience - rather than reject, judge or avoid it - we may choose to perceive it as an opportunity to get closer to our desired outcome. We can do so by releasing old limiting beliefs and by creating new beliefs that open us to possibilities beyond our previous frame of reference.

When we have integrated this lesson, we may begin to view challenging experiences with less trepidation and more excitement, understanding that each contrasting experience gets us closer to manifesting that which we truly desire. At these times, we can reaffirm our commitment to the process and trust that the universe is conspiring to make even our biggest dreams come true.

January Ha‘awina Hawai‘i | Pele and the 'Ohi'a Lehua

Metrosideros polymorpha, also known as the 'Ohi'a Lehua, is a species of flowering evergreen tree endemic (native) to Hawaiʻi. We selected the 'Ohi'a Lehua to symbolize Kalani's 40th anniversary year, for its ability to flourish despite challenging conditions, and because its color is befitting of our ruby anniversary.

According to Hawaiian legend, Pele became enamored with a handsome warrior named Ohia, not realizing he had already pledged his love to another - Lehua. When Ohia rejected Pele's marriage proposal, she turned him into a twisted tree, leaving Lehua devastated. Taking pity on the separated lovers, the gods turned Lehua into a flower on the tree, reuniting the lovers for eternity. Legend says that plucking this flower separates the lovers and fills the sky with rain.

The 'Ohi'a Lehua blooms sporadically throughout the year, which has baffled scientists. Contrasted against the black lava rock from which this resilient tree mysteriously grows, the 'Ohi'a Lehua reminds us that beauty often emerges from the fire of transformation.

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ali Slous

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. Let us begin.”
- Mother Theresa -

How present are you? How often do you focus your energy wholeheartedly into the here and now?

If Earth is an interdisciplinary, multidimensional school, then our assignment is embedded within the present moment. However, when we diffuse our energy reviewing the past or attempting to control the future, we may lose focus of what we are being asked to see, learn, or experience right now.

As creators, we magnetize the people, places, and experiences most needed for our mutual expansion. Each joy, heartache, challenge, and triumph is constructed from the center of our being, and we do not mis-create. The fullest expression of our true self becomes readily available when we release judgment of self-perceived "mistakes" and step into full acceptance of what is.

Present moment awareness, free of egoic judgments, is the foundational first step in consciously creating a life of contentment and bliss. Upon cultivating present moment awareness, we open ourselves to seeing the perfection in each of life's twists and turns - and approaching new challenges with trust.

Today's powerful New Moon Winter Solstice in Capricorn reminds us not only to align with our highest expression of self, but also to align with like-minded, like-spirited others to create mutually-beneficial agreements - working together to identify practical, manageable steps that move us in the direction of our individual and collective goals.


December Ha‘awina Hawai‘i | Laulima - Cooperation

 Loren Frohning, 2014 Hawai‘i Yoga FestivalThe Hawaiian word laulima translated literally means "many hands working together," an essential concept in Hawaiian culture emphasizing cooperation. Laulima underscores the importance of aiming for the highest good of all to ensure the best possible outcome - understanding that unity is imperative to progress.

When we apply the concept of laulima, we may become more finely attuned to the opportunity to collaborate with our peers, noticing that each person with whom we cross paths has something to share. When we shift our awareness to this truth, we become receptive to the gift of cooperation that propels us forward, together.

Photos by: Matt Bulger and Loren Frohning, 2014 Hawai‘i Yoga Festival

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ali Slous

“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.”
- Alan Watts -

How have you reinvented yourself lately? When you release parts of yourself that are no longer in alignment, what remains?
 
Through awareness practices such as yoga and meditation, we become increasingly sensitive to our experience on subtle, energetic levels. Upon further reflection, we begin to understand that our outer reality is simply a reflection of our inner reality. With this understanding, we can reclaim the power to consciously reinvent ourselves.
 
 Loren Frohning, 2014 Hawai‘i Yoga FestivalReclaiming this power starts from the inside out. If every nook and cranny of our home is filled with clutter, clothes that do not fit, and stacks of papers and mail collecting dust, our energy fields may become stagnant or blocked. We can utilize the energy of November to shed these unneeded layers and open up new pathways for energy to flow.
 
Whether it's raking away fallen leaves, donating items to our local food pantry or thrift shop, or recycling items we no longer use, we can take daily actions to create space in our external world. When we practice creating space externally, we transmit a clear message to the conscious universe that we are ready for new and better experiences - both within and without.

November Ha‘awina Hawai‘i | Makia - Energy Goes Where Attention Flows

 Loren Frohning, 2014 Hawai‘i Yoga FestivalMakia is one of seven sacred concepts in Huna, a modern shamanic practice inspired by Hawaiian teachings. Makia signifies: energy goes where attention flows, teaching us that what we focus on is what we ultimately create. As powerful creator beings, this concept applies equally whether we focus on what we want to create or what we do not want to create.
 
When we apply Makia as a tool for conscious, deliberate creation, we may become aware of limiting perceptions, thought patterns, or beliefs that are no longer in alignment with who we are now. As we let go of these beliefs, we free ourselves from the known - while bravely stepping into the unknown.  
 
As we explore Makia this month, we may practice questioning even our longest held beliefs. When we release old beliefs, ideas, and labels that once contained us, we allow space for surprise and delight in each moment.

Photos by: Loren Frohning, 2014 Hawai‘i Yoga Festival
- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ali Slous

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.
"
- Marcel Proust -

 Matt Bulger

What project are you ready to (re)initiate? What inspired action can you take to make your vision a reality?

Each season is characterized by a unique energy signature that supports us in distinctive ways. This month, we are asked to renew our focus on projects laid to rest during the celebratory summer months.

To engage the (re)initiatory spirit of October, we must first undergo an energetic reboot. In doing so, it is helpful to take a critical look at how we spend our energy and then use that information to eliminate energetic drains.

We may also use this information to ensure that we are making sufficient time to rest and refill our energetic wells. If our current practices do not support our overall wellbeing, now is the time to (re)initiate constructive resting practices such as: spending time in nature, reflecting silently, and enjoying connection, creativity, and collaboration with our peers.

Once our reboot is complete, we can look at our projects with new eyes and identify clear actions that will allow us to realize them with ease. Rather than push to get every task done ourselves, our work is to hold the vision, take excellent care of ourselves, and trust that all necessary components always come together perfectly in the flow of life.

Photo credit: Matt Bulger

October Haʻawina Hawaiʻi | Pouli - Eclipse; darkness

CC BY-SA Thomas Tunsch

Pouli is the Hawaiian word for eclipse. With both a total lunar and a partial solar eclipse this month, we will experience the obfuscation of our luminaries - a temporary darkening of the bodies that illuminate our day and night.

We each experience the darkness differently. For some it triggers fear and unease, while for others, the dark symbolizes deep rest and regeneration.

As we work to rebalance our energetic systems, we may take refuge in a few moments of darkness - by shutting off the lights, the smart phone, the computer screen, or even allowing time to still our minds. We may find that, in the quiet darkness, we create space for new inspiration to strike. 

Photo credit: CC BY-SA Thomas Tunsch

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ali Slous

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
- Pablo Picasso -

When do you feel most powerful? How do you engage with your power? No matter our age, gender, cultural background, or profession, we each have access to unlimited potential when we uncover access to the power source within.

We enter this experience with gifts that may be expressed through our divine essence. However, it is only when we make a conscious effort to discover, explore, and share these gifts that we reach our fully-empowered potential. What gifts are lying dormant in you waiting for expression? How can we each better utilize our gifts to be of service to our communities and to this planet?

Reflecting upon these questions, we may come to realize that no one gift is more vital or better than another. Each individual's combination of unique talents, skills, and abilities is equally valuable - understanding that when we share our gifts, it inspires and enables others to discover and share theirs.

By choosing to live life to its fullest in this way, we are effectively contributing to a more powerful, authentic, and awakened humanity.

September Haʻawina Hawaiʻi | Mana - Power

The Hawaiian word mana translated literally means power, defined as "the power of the elemental forces of nature embodied in an object or person." Mana signifies the highly individualized and unlimited life energy that flows through all things.

As we each work on cultivating our unique abilities, we align with this mystical, invisible force that animates everything in our universe. The more we tap into our individualized mana, the more empowered we become to create.

In many cases, this practice of coming into alignment catapults us into experiences of change and transformation that shake us to our core and challenge old, outworn beliefs and destructive thought patterns. We may also find that certain people, places, and experiences must be let go to step fully into our power.

Although it may seem challenging at times, trusting and letting go are necessary processes to activate the path to expression of our highest, most powerful self.

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ashlyn Ku‘uleialoha Weaver

E Ku e,
Ke lawe nei au i ka ʻili, o keʻia laau
I mea hoʻola no ka maʻi o (mea)
Wehe aku ʻoe i na pilikia a me na poʻino a pau,
A me na maʻi a pau maluna o kona kino,
A lilo keʻia laʻau i laʻau hoʻola nona (or noʻu)
E Ku e

E Hina e,
Ke lawe nei au i ka ʻili, o keʻia laʻau
I mea hoʻola no ka maʻi o (mea)
Wehe aku ʻoe i na pilikia a me na poʻino a pau,
A me na maʻi a pau maluna o kona kino, 
A lilo keʻia laʻau hoʻola nona (or noʻu)
E Hina e.

 

Oh Ku
I take the bark of this tree
For the purpose of curing the sickness of (name)
Undo all the troubles and afflictions,
And all the sickness upon his/her body
And may this medicine become the healing medicine for him/her
Oh Ku

Oh Hina
I take the bark of this tree
For the purpose of curing the sickness of (name)
Undo all the troubles and afflictions,
And all the sickness upon his/her body And may this medicine become the healing medicine for him/her
Oh Hina

 -From June Gutmanis, Na Pule Kahiko

Hiking along a path in Hawai‘i is mesmerizing and spectacular. Shades of green engulf oneself as the outside world is left behind, a distant memory. The lush, tropical trails are thick with various plants, each unique in size, shape, and color. 

These same trails also hold medicines that can cure an upset stomach, mend heartbreaks, and forgive. How so? The flora that line the edge of the trails and paint the world a shade of green, can all be used to cure illnesses. This common practice of healing among Hawaiians is called la‘au lapa‘au. 

La‘au lapa‘au originated during the Polynesian Migrationroughly 1,500 years ago. Arriving on double-hulled canoes, a number of the plants species were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands. These species were primarily used for medicinal purposes throughout each voyage. As each individual stepped foot onto new terrain, they brought with them a wealth of knowledge of indigenous South Pacific flora. As the Polynesians populated each island, over time, they adapted to their surroundings, learning and studying the use of the native species.

Acclimating to the various terrains, the people of Hawai‘i lived completely in isolation. Assorted diseases located throughout heavily populated areas found in different parts of the world, were not known or contracted by the Hawaiian people. 

According to the Hawaiian Author and historian, Kamakau, illness was associated with evil doings, such as breaking kapu (probation). Only then would the Kahuna la‘au lapa‘au (medical doctors) be called upon to cure the sickened individual. The Kahuna la‘au lapa‘au would cure everyone individuals all the way up to the chiefs with remedies and solutions to heal and protect. 

La‘au lapa‘au was practiced throughout each region, becoming the source of healing for hundreds of years. This allowed the health of Hawaiian inhabitants to acclimate to illnesses found only in those specific regions, until the arrival of western explorers. Foreign contact brought new diseases, which flourished in Hawaii. Looking to the Kahuna la‘au lapa‘au to rid them of their newly introduced diseases, the Kahuna la‘au lapa‘au did not know how to cure people of these unidentified illnesses. 

These diseases ravaged the weakened immune systems of the Hawaiian people. For many years, the diseases left behind spread from one island to another, forcing various Kahuna la‘au lapa‘au’s to find new herbal remedies they could use as cures.. In 1820, English missionaries arrived, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge, and, most importantly, medicine that would finally cure these debilitating illnesses.

During the establishment of English missionaries, the practice of la‘au lapa‘au was ridiculed, and healers were labeled as heathens. Westerners became confused to the differences between medical practitioners (kahuna la‘au lapa‘au) and a sorcerer (kahuna ‘ana ‘ana) whose prayers cast upon an individual could cause death. 

Due to the disapproval of la‘au lapa‘au practice, westerners and the English missionary movement on the Hawaiian Islands encouraged the newly established Hawaiian government to enforce licensing for anyone who wanted to be a health practitioner. This caused the various kahuna practicing la‘au lapa‘au to move their practice underground.

Nearly one hundred years after the introduction of new diseases to Hawai‘i, an estimated 90% of the Hawaiian population was decimated. Accompanying the decrease in the Hawaiian population was the decline in important knowledge, including la‘au lapa‘au and ho‘oponopono. 

Today, indigenous practices of la‘au lapa‘au or Hawaiian herbal healing have been revitalized with a sense of renewed energy. The practice of la‘au lapa‘au was banned during the introduction of English missionaries until the Hawaiian revitalization in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. When this revitalization erupted, many of the healers that surfaced were already well in to their seventies and eighties. These healers had a sense of urgency to preserve and perpetuate la‘au lapa‘au practices that were passed onto them from their parents, grandparents, and ancestors.

As we tune into the wisdom of ancestral Hawaiian healing practices, this revitalization of la‘au lapa‘au may once again thrive. Learning and practicing the art of la‘au lapa‘au restores the body with vital nutrients that are beneficial to mind, body, and spirit, and rids the body of invasive toxins. La‘au lapa‘au has beneficial properties which, when practiced on a regular basis, can rid the body of specific disease, diagnoses, and illnesses.

With attention, curiosity, and reverence, the art of laʻau lapaʻau may once again be celebrated for its wisdom.

Our La’au Lapa’au blog series has a mission of respectfully bringing the wisdom of Hawaiian healing to all.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ali Slous
With his warm, personable demeanor and down-to-earth presence, you would never guess that “Bodies in Motion” creator Gilad Janklowicz is one of the fitness industry’s biggest stars and pioneers. Gilad has maintained a place in our homes and hearts - from television, to VHS, DVD, and, now, the Internet - for upwards of thirty years. Gilad returned to Kalani last week for his fifth-annual Fitness Adventure Camp, welcoming fans from all over the world to disconnect from their electronic devices and re-connect to their bodies, with nature, and to each other. 

Called to Hawaii from Palm Springs in the early 1980’s, Gilad was presented with “an offer he couldn’t refuse” to teach at the Honolulu Club, where he agreed to spend a year instructing three classes per day. As the demand to experience his workout at home became apparent, Gilad began the journey of producing his first television show in 1982; requiring him to seek funding and other resources to make his project a reality. By 1985, his show went from syndication in Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas to airing nationally on ESPN, where it ran for eleven years. Thirty years later, Gilad’s show is still going on Discovery Fitness & Health, and is considered the longest-running fitness show in America. 

Gilad’s longevity is in large part due to his ability to evolve, incorporating relevant fitness trends, while maintaining his signature style. His simple, yet memorable words of encouragement (“30 seconds more!” and "it's getting better every day!") and devotion to making his workouts fun and enjoyable have endeared him to devotees from across the globe. When Gilad comes to Kalani, it is an opportunity for him to meet some of the people he has impacted.

“[At Kalani], I have the chance to meet with people I haven’t met before and I get to see what affect this television medium has had on their lives. It never ceases to amaze me how the show really moves them. I try to make it fun, motivational, and positive. I’m here to share it.” 

When asked about the greatest hurdle people face in getting and staying fit, Gilad reports that time is an obstacle for many of his fans – yet, the very same people are constantly posting on Facebook. He asserts that it is not the lack of time that prevents people from incorporating fitness into their lives, but the need to allocate time correctly. For that reason, he offers 10-minute express workouts, that if done daily, will help people see incremental results. 

Gilad also notes that some of today’s “extreme” fitness trends often lead to injury and that he hopes to motivate people to get off the couch in a way that is safe and healthy. He reinforces that he wants people to walk away from his workout with energy to spare – so that his participants can come back and do it again the next day. 

Gilad’s background in the Israeli military and Olympic-level track and field training helped him understand that the body is “a fine-tuned machine.” He hopes his retreat participants will take away the idea that a simple equation - eating right, exercising, and resting, with consistency - will ensure they get results. 

Regarding why he continues returning to Kalani, Gilad elaborates:

“People come for the fitness experience, but from the get-go it is more than a fitness experience. I know what Kalani offers for people to emotionally let go. They get so much more than exercise and fitness, they get in touch with themselves, laugh, cry, and release. They make friends and become a tight group. Here, you’re able to put the brakes on, let yourself be, enjoy living with geckos and pigs and coqui frogs, outside-in.”

We have loved watching this release in action throughout Gilad’s retreat week for five years running – and look forward to each future visit!

For more information about Gilad Janklowicz, visit www.bodiesinmotionwithgilad.com
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ali Slous

From an idyllic, sun-drenched afternoon at Pohoiki to a breezy, moonlit evening at the Kalapana Night Market; from talk-story in the welcoming environs of Kalani’s EMAX, to the final Kanikapila that filled the streets of Pāhoa with revelers, the 2014 Puna Music Festival had something for everyone.

IMG_3165

With a multitude of genres including traditional Hawaiian, Hawaiian soul, hula, pop, rock, reggae, and folk, this year’s jubilant celebration brought locals, visitors, and artists of all ages and backgrounds together to share in the spirit of aloha, ʻohana, and, most of all, community.  

Here are a few high notes from a memorable week in Hawaii's picturesque Puna District -

Pohoiki Open Concert The day began with Ehulani Stephany’s melodic opening chant and hula dancers, followed by a warm welcome by the day’s energetic, wonderful hosts, Kaʻea and DJ Paris Decambra from KAPA FM.

Paula Fuga @ Pohoiki Open Concert - May 4th, 2014

Local keiki (school children) sang and danced, enchanting early arrivers lounging in the grass on what would turn out to be a flawless oceanside day. The always-entertaining Awa Band presented a repertoire of Hawaiian songs, after which Hawane Rios shared both her vocal talents and message of love for the earth. Jaz Kaiwikoʻo performed some recent hits, bringing festival-goers to their feet.

Headliners Paula Fuga, Mike Love, and John Cruz lit up the afternoon stage to what locals called the biggest crowd Pohoiki has ever seen.

Kuana Torres Kahele @ Kalapana Night Market - May 7th, 2014

#PunaMusicFest @ Kalapana Night Market 
Kuana Torres Kahele captivated the lively night market crowd as festival-goers sampled local food, perused jewelry stalls, and chatted with neighbors and friends.

Always a hit on the dance floor, Uncle Robert’s Awa Band played their signature songs as locals danced into the night and explored the moonlit lava field at Coconut Beach.

An Intimate Evening with Kaumakaiwa Kanakaʻole Volunteers, guests, and community members gathered in Kalani EMAX for an unforgettable night of talk-story and song.

The stage was decorated with stunning Hawaiian flowers and foliage. Dim lighting and cozy ambiance allowed Kaumakaiwa, one of the voices of the new generation in Hawaii, to be especially interactive with the audience living up to the concert’s promise of intimacy.

The Kanakaole ʻohana have longstanding roots with the land in this ahupuaʻa along with the heiau and halau at Kalani. Honoring her mother in celebration of Mother’s Day, Kaumakaiwa spoke about how her mother’s strength and dignity shone through most when she sang. 

An Intimate Evening with Kaumakaiwa Kanakaʻole @ Kalani - May 9th, 2014

Seeing her mother sharing her gifts encouraged Kaumakaiwa to pursue music as a way to preserve her family’s heritage. Kaumakaiwa enjoyed interacting with the crowd, making it clear that sharing her gift of music is truly her heartfelt passion.

Kanikapila in Pāhoa
Ordinarily quiet and serene, Pāhoa Village metamorphosed into a vibrant, lively scene – teeming with revelers pouring out of every storefront, enjoying music and performances along the way.

Festival-goers were entertained by live singing, playing, and dancing on stages, balconies and inside restaurants. 

UNIFY @ Kanikapila in Pāhoa - May 10th, 2014

People of all ages moved to DJ’s spinning hypnotizing beats in the Akebono Theater, while others dined in Pāhoa’s eclectic selection of restaurants and eateries or meandered around to discover what surprises

Mahalo to everyone who joined us for the 2014 Puna Music Festival, made possible by generous support from the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, the County of Hawaii, Suisan, KAPA FM, and Kalani. We are immensely grateful for each individual who turned out, performed, volunteered, and showed love and support for this extraordinary event. Here’s to PMF 2015!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kenny Drotar & Ali Slous

Kalani’s dining lanai and kitchen have long been described as the “heart” of Kalani. As many as two hundred-fifty hungry guests, local residents, staff and volunteers file in line each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mealtime is announced by the sound of three distinct tones on the conch shell that can be heard across the campus. This daily tradition reminds us of the rich cultural heritage we preserve on the mystical Hawaiian land where Kalani now resides.

The hardworking, fun-loving kitchen crew meticulously and conscientiously prepares and serves three fresh, wholesome meals each day, and approximately 150,000 meals each year, all while chatting, chopping, and dancing to music of choice. Each meal is prepared with the freshest, most organic ingredients possible, along with aloha and love for our ‘ohana or extended family.

Day in and day out, Kalani’s kitchen crew members, affectionately nicknamed “hoozies,” handcraft delicious dishes, all while catering to a diverse population of eaters including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and omnivores alike. Because the kitchen crew is composed mostly of volunteers on two and three month stints, Kalani has assembled a dream team of chefs and managers to keep this operation, Kalani’s largest, running smoothly.

Sami Ross, the Excel-erator
Sami Ross can be found pitching in anytime help is needed in the bustling Kalani kitchen, whether on the dishwashing station (AKA Auntie Hobart), front of house, Hale Aloha, or even the campground, searching for errant hoozies. With her tenacity and determination, she has played a key role in adding to Hale Aloha’s baking and overall expansion. Sami also has the well-honed ability to put any and all information into a spreadsheet, making her a wizard of organization and logistics. She manages and leads team meetings with a smile, keeps track of a multitude of schedules and requests, and ensures that her kitchen team is happy and healthy.

Dana Butler, the Organic Oracle
No longer satisfied by a life driven by ambition, material success, and outside expectation, Dana Butler made the unlikely decision to become the kitchen manager at Kalani. She credits this decision as one of the best she’s ever made in her life, asserting that the benefits within this space of community, non-judgment, and self-acceptance are worth more than all the money and prestige in the world. Dana takes pride in shepherding Kalani’s movement toward purchasing more locally grown produce and grass-fed beef and supporting local farmers and products. Dana also feels rewarded when she hears that the environment in the kitchen is nurturing, supportive, and fun.

Kenny Drotar, the Meal Manifestor
Kenny Drotar has been cooking his heart out for over twelve years in cities including Detroit, New Orleans, and New York. In contrast with the traditional kitchens he has experienced in the past, Kenny keeps the Kalani kitchen atmosphere light and fun with his love of pop music, high-energy, and humorous outlook. He is passionate about sourcing local, sustainable ingredients, and contributing to expanding the gardens at Kalani. Kenny keeps it fresh by learning to prepare new cuisines while transforming the most unlikely combination of ingredients into something tasty and surprising.

Charles Woods the Salad Ninja
A volunteer turned Kalani resident for over eighteen years, Charles keeps the kitchen running smoothly, while balancing hundreds of van runs for Kalani. He can be found quietly and carefully preparing daily staple items such as salads, dips, and dressings that compliment the bounty of fresh ingredients and produce. Charles is always willing to try something new and accommodate the team’s changing menus and flavor profiles. His presence in the kitchen has become a steady constant on the ever-changing crew.

Lilly Dietz the Yum Yum Yogi
Hailing from a big Italian family in New York, Lilly Dietz knows what it takes to cook for large groups of people - all with a hearty serving of aloha. Often overheard saying “this is going to be the best day ever!,” Lilly is known for her signature positive outlook, smile, and friendly energy. Having completed her training on-the-job, Lilly has grown to become one of Kalani’s most skilled shift leaders. A globetrotting yogini, Lilly has taken cooking classes in both India and Thailand, blessing all of her food with the sacred sound of “Om.”

Mark Ceranski the Dessert Dominator
Another Kalani jetsetter, Mark Ceranski spent many years as a chef cooking for high-end clients along with volunteer organizations both domestic and abroad. Now, Mark loves being at Kalani as our resident baker and dessert-maker extraordinaire, spoiling Kalani diners with his famous sourdough, rosemary focaccia, lillikoi cheesecake, fresh berry tart, and anything with chocolate ganache (to name a few). Mark is currently working on his first book, Pot Boiler in the Kitchen, a firsthand account of his adventures with royalty, dictators, and despots.

Ryan Turner the Expediter of Aloha
Prior to arriving at Kalani, Ryan Turner was the restaurant front-of-house manager at a Forbes’ top-ten rated fly-fishing lodge. In nearly two years at Kalani, Ryan has formulated many of our addictive cookie recipes, including the popular vegan varieties such as chocolate chip, Mexican chocolate, peanut butter, and Kona coffee, along with other products carried at Hale Aloha. Ryan also contributed a year of service arranging flowers for the property. A man of many talents, Ryan has become a skilled aerialist and ecstatic dancer and boasts a great letter of recommendation from Henry Winkler aka “The Fonz.”

Mitch Boehlinger the Banjo Griddler
Another man of many talents, Mitch Bohlinger is a former glass-blower from Wisconsin. He can not only cook a mean “almond joy” pancake or perfectly sear a filet of the fresh catch, but can also pick up any string instrument and play a song. Passionate about learning anything new, Mitch has an uncanny ability to try something once and remember each, step-by-step detail about how it is done. Mitch is abundantly generous, sharing his special, cinnamon flavored cold-press coffee with any takers. Mitch is passionate about cooking and loves the idea that people he taught to play instruments and cook are out there in the world making music and food.

Mariana Bergtold the Vegan Pirate Queen
Having healed herself from Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma through macrobiotics, Mariana Bergtold is a living example of the healing and restorative power of healthy, seasonal, locally sourced food. The former owner of not one, but two successful vegan, kosher, organic, sugar-free restaurants, Mariana treats plant and meat-eaters alike to her rich, I-can’t-believe-it’s-dairy-free dishes like wild mushroom and root vegetable phyllo tartes and creamy, delectable soups. Mariana continuously challenges herself by learning new cuisines and inspiring everyone to elevate the quality of plant-based dishes for our discerning Kalani diners.

Ted Leake the Barbecue Chef Bayou
Ted Leake’s signature Southern accent, friendly demeanor, and soulful, retro music selections permeate the kitchen whenever he cooks. A loving father of three, Ted makes everyone feel welcome and appreciated in the kitchen, often giving a hoozie or two the opportunity to create a dish with their moniker attached. He is known for his rich, French culinary trained palette of soups, sauces, and perfectly cooked meats, layered with tons of flavors that have diners returning for seconds. With limited resources but a lot of talent, Ted traveled to fifty countries and survived twenty-five years as a business owner in the competitive catering industry before coming to Kalani.

Sarah Cole the Earth Mama
If you hear the sweet sounds of reggae music echoing through the dining lanai, it is likely that Sarah Cole is on the chef’s line. Another of our well-traveled leaders, Sarah loves cooking holistic, sustainable, non-GMO, organic ingredients while sending good vibrations to the food and to all who consume it. Kalani regulars rave about her flavorful Indian specialties, including divinely seasoned basmati rice and lentil dal, along with spicy onion relish and yogurt raita. Sarah is devoted to homeopathic healing through diet and spiritual connection to the earth.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Ali Slous

In just under eleven minutes, Hawaiian songstress Paula Fuga’s 2012 TEDxMaui talk makes one thing abundantly clear: Paula Fuga is a believer. And her faith and audacity are making a difference in her life and in the lives of others. 

“My life is a miracle and I am living proof that miracles happen every day.”
 
This passionate singer, songwriter, and social activist, set to headline the 2014 Puna Music Festival Pohoiki Open Concert, epitomizes an unlikely success story. Homeless on Oahu’s Sand Island beach at age nine, sheltered from the elements by only a tarp and hali’i leaves, Paula steadfastly protected her dream:
 
“My heart whispered, ‘superstar’.”

 
Paula kept her dream a secret, defending against naysayers and anyone who might try to tear it down. In her heart, she believed that something big was going to happen, and that she would not repeat the cycles of her parents and past generations. She visualized herself standing on stage with a wireless microphone, performing for thousands of people who had come to hear her sing - a visualization that has now become a reality.
 
Described as a modern Hawaiian soul vocalist, Paula has had the opportunity to tour and perform with mainstream artists including Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and Ziggy Marley. Her buttery, smooth melodies blend effortlessly in harmony, complimenting and enriching the overall sound in duets and trios such as in the following song, “In the Morning,” with Jack Johnson and John Cruz, another Puna Music Festival performer.
 
 
Aside from her life as an entertainer, Paula takes time out of her active touring schedule to meet with youth groups and at-risk youths to spread her message of faith and positivity. She encourages them to see what they want for themselves in the future and to greet each day with a sense of hope and possibility.
 
Through her faith and determination, Paula Fuga reminds Hawaiian locals and visitors alike that if you can dream it, you can make it happen. We are all in for a special treat when she takes the stage on May 4th at Pohoiki.
 
For the full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, please visit www.PunaMusicFestival.com.
 
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