Work Exchange Internship Program 2008

Pele Lani Agricultural Center

Additional Information

bring for work:
- high top work boots, or rugged shoes with a traction sole
- work jeans or pants
- long-sleeved, light-colored work shirts/T-shirts
- hat or cap
- sunglasses
- sunscreen
- insect repellant

- swimsuit
- light sweater or wind-breaker jacket
- cool clothing
- water shoes
- sandals
- whatever other personal items for your comfort

We have beach towels and snorkel gear you may use while you are here.

About Hawaii and the Pele Lani Agricultural Center

This island, and particularly this side of the island, is considered as the last American frontier. We are situated on a 200-400 year old lava flow. A few blocks from here is the 1960 lava flow which extended the ocean front by several hundred feet in front of Pele Lani.

There are several regular events like ecstatic dances, beach parties and hang-outs where young adults tend to gather. We will provide information to you for local events that may be of interest to you.

The Hawaiian Islands are, of course, tropical islands and we have lots of tropical insects, most of them harmless. The insects do come in the house--mainly ants and garden roaches. We use non-toxic chemicals to eliminate them. You can help by not leaving food and crumbs on the counters and floors.

We have resident geckos. They are cute and harmless. According to Hawaiian folk lore, it is good luck to have them in your house. We like them a lot. They leave small droppings and we clean it up.

We have some coqui frogs on the property. They are tiny and cute and multiply really fast. The males chirp at night to attract the female. There is a local coqui committee who is working on eliminating them because if they become too prolific, their chirping will drown out the sound of the ocean. The coqui committee will come over occasionally to stake out where the coquis are. You might be asked to assit the coqui committee when they are hand capturing. This is voluntary.

We have mongooses (or is it mongeese?) that were brought to the islands to kill rats and mice brought on the ships. There are rats and mice in the forest. The mongoose have no natural predators here as there are no snakes on the islands.

We have several awesome farmers' markets, one in Pahoa (8 miles away), one at Maku'u (11 miles away) and in Hilo (28 miles away). Fruits and vegetables are fresh, mostly organic. Each market is a cultural and social event where people meet to socialize.

Food staples, such as, bread, milk and meat are expensive at the local markets. Bread is about $5 per loaf and milk is almost $6 per gallon. We use these food items conservatively. When we go to the Kona side of the island on our day trips, we can purchase food items at Costco or Safeway where food is more reasonably priced.

The energy on the island because of the volcano can feel intense if you are sensitive to energy fields.

The Native Hawaiians and white people born in Hawaii speak "Pigin" English to each other. It can separate the mainlanders from the Kama'aina. It is important that you try to fit into the local culture rather than isolate from it or judge it.

Hawaiians are sometimes sensivite to the "invasion" of white people from the mainland to their land. Similar to the situation with the Native American Indians in the US, Hawaiians have had their land taken away by Christian missionaries who settled here hundreds of years ago.

The Hawaiians are gentle, sweet, generous people. Most of them live the Aloha Spirit. All they really want is respect. This is a very important point, so we must show respect for the land, for property and for people.

Aloha is the Hawaiian word that means hello, good-bye with all the love you can imagine. It also means the "divine breath of life". It is not a word that is used casually. Mahalo is the same type of word meaning a heart-felt, grateful thank you. We have a Hawaiian dictionary and a Pigin dictionary if you are interested.

Mahalo for your interest,
The Pele Lani Agricultural Center Family