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Or more specifically, the zone along the shoreline near the Red Road.
A bit of an eye-opener really.
I friend has been living here for about a year so I took them up on their endless invitations to come for a bit.
So in what would be about the equivalent of a lower 48 county, this zone is served by what is a rural road, some parts paved, some not. This road is never more than about 100 yards from the ocean. It traverses through jungle and over lava flows. Every 50 or 100 yards there is a two track and down each one of these are numerous parcels of land accommodating residents. All of this is off-grid, although there is wi-fi coverage amazingly in some places. The resident live under tarps and in very innovative minimal structures that resemble what would happen if someone started building a house but stopped after getting just the roof up. These places are furnished various was from delux -like everything you'd see in a house furniturewise- to bare basics resembling just an encampment. Occasionally someone has a few solar panels. Water is from rain catchments.
Practically no one I've met in the neighborhood works.
Need breakfast, stroll over to your guava and mango trees, or take a short walk to the beach with your net.
Most the people here seem to have families, lots of children. I've met numerous women in their early to late 30's with four or six kids. They all go to the public school and that's about the extent of the family's interaction with the mainstream social fabric.
Since my friend is native american and lives on a parcel owned by a native american I've been socializing at numerous social functions like traditional birthday ceremonies, swet lodges, and 'meetings' -the native american church kind that go on for two days and involve eating 'medicine' and assorted other rituals I of course don't quite comprehend the significance of.
Since the weather here never various much, it is always between 70 and 85 degrees, can rain off and on for ten minutes ten times a day or not, you can see how life here is way more than easy. And reeeaaaaaaalllllly slow-paced.
At a traditional ceremony/party for a boy's first brithday last Tuesday we were at a residence out of some post-civilizational scene. Deep in a cane field among two minimal 'houses' and a huge tarp awning with about 40 adults and as many really young children everyone looking like they were out of some wilderness novel. Sweet. The food was amazing, nothing cooked, and even the birthday cake was all raw ingredients with intense colors of blue and yellow.
Pictures later. It's time to get naked down on the beach.
it's called kalani.
and the kids that work there?
we called them kalanics.
when i was there in pahoa, i stayed with my friend aden - he's a photographer/publisher.
gorgeous house near the post office.
it's a lovely place to pass some time.
and like pickles said, amy...
different kind of puff.
So read this dear seven, and then throw your return ticket into the ocean.
"Aside from the realities of price and space, the requirements set by New York landlords are also bound to help turn a bright-eyed renter's outlook grim. To start with, landlords want only tenants who earn at least 40 times the monthly rent, which means an $80,000 annual salary for a $2,000 apartment.
"Those who don't make 40 times their monthly rent need a guarantor, usually a parent, who in turn must also make at least 80 times the monthly rent. In addition to a security deposit, some landlords also want the first and last month's rent. Tack on a broker's fee and a prospective renter for that $2,000 apartment is out of pocket nearly $10,000 just to get the keys to the place. "
Here is main street Puna.
Mostly, I've found this part of Hawai'i to be much more of a foreign country and not very much American. The population is extremely diverse, totally in to its Polynesian heritage. Everyday attitudes and conduct are kind of like a california times 500. And since the big island is the least tourist-overrun things don't appear to be as expensive as on the other main islands.
The earth is alive. You're just a guest here.
Thanks for the advice about WPP.
we HAVE to go!!!
that should help you find the resort.
it's called KALANI.
which translates as "volcanic enema."
I did say behind.
Spring is a good time to come to Puna. There are a number of large festivals. The winter months can be very rainy. Watch out for the airports in Hawai'i. Because everything is so lax culturewise any kind of information about directions, times, connecting flights and the whereabouts of your bag is sparse. One of my bags was sent to Guam and took three days to get back and I had to keep on the airlines about it. In Honolulu don't ride the shuttle bus between terminals, it runs literally at about 5 miles per hour and you can walk to your connection with less friction. For some reason only the airlines know I was able to get a much less expensive ticket to connect to Kona instead of the town much closer to Puna which is Hilo, it just meant about a two hour highway ride from Kona to Puna. On the big island, if you don't know anyone, it is not hard to find reasonably priced places to stay but there are also amazing places to just camp out with minimal gear. In general people are very easygoing and friendly in Puna though there is a little bit of an edge especially around Kapoho and the Red Road so it really makes a difference to have friends there. Overall there is a big disconnect between locals and visitors. If you google ˜Puna' you can find loads of practical information if you want to go.
Puna is a place where I feel like I am so self indulgent simply by being there.
Landlady of the lavaflow.
"Residents on Hawaii's Big Island say vog levels from Kilauea's main crater are increasing, forcing them indoors.
"For eight years, Tony and Sam Bayaoa have grown thousands of bright red, yellow and pink protea flowers on their farm. Then in March, Kilauea volcano opened a new vent and began spewing double the usual amount of toxic gas.
"Now about 70 percent of their crop is dried, brown and brittle.
"Big Island crops are shriveling as sulfur dioxide from Kilauea wafts over them and envelops them in "vog," or volcanic smog. People are wheezing, and schoolchildren are being kept indoors during recess. High gas levels led Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to close several days last month, forcing the evacuation of thousands of visitors.
Residents of this volcanic island are used to toxic gas. But this haze is so bad that farmers are thinking about growing different crops, and many people are worrying about their health.
With the volcano in Chile exploding and a 6.5 quake near Tokyo, probably Kilauea will go bang next.
People are saying 30,000 people have left the island since last year. No need to guess why. No one would willingly leave here given a choice.
Tomorrow is the Merri Monarch festival in Hilo. My hosts will be parading and doing a stint of playing some traditional music. Its the biggest festival of the season.
I welcome you all back to the Liberationzone.
Door Is Open.
I'll post photos of the parade and ceremony in a few days. Too bad I didn't get good audio for you of Uncles Kaliko and Kahu doing their traditional invocations.
I've never been to that part of the world.
I picture you as a sort of Paul Gauguin Skiff.
Chasin' the native girls around.
You better be back in time for Stevie though!
It's Saturdaynight in Puna.
Two doves are fucking in
the middle of Maku'u Street right
on the double yellow line. Each
would have crossed over for
the other but neither wanted
to have the advantage of
doing a favor for the other so
they met in the middle. Tomorrow
two feathers will collect
the mist and vog before
the trade wind bounces
them into the mango grove.
Goblin is going to die!!!!!
more images tomorrow
Puna has been a little rainy this month. And quieter. The post '08 crash has been a lengthy period of much lower tourist influx to the Big Island. The plane ride over from L.A. was not even half full.
But prices for a lot of things like food, always pricey on the islands, have softened or stayed the same since I was here last. However, gasoline is close to five a gallon now in a lot of locations. the Mango Tree Network is still up and running. But I've seen several actual real houses have been built along the Red Road, really kind of upsetting to see. A lot of traditional activities at my host's compound as in the past, sweat lodge nights, a ritual naming ceremony for a one year old, and a big native american church event coming up to be presided upon by a particularly legendary road man. And the elders here have recently been granted the status of a chapter in the church which means even more official events in the near future. the compound is quite lively. And of course, I've had some really magic nights up on the volcano, with Pu'u O'o actually seeming to be serene after an August outburst that produced extensive new vents on its western flank which you can see a bit in the photo here. This is probably my only post for this journey, just having too much enjoyment and wanting to stay off grid.