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We are a couple on a 1-acre plot in Puna, 12 miles from Hilo and between Keaau and Pahoa. The house is 16 years old and surrounded by beautiful tropical vegetation. The ocean is over 3 miles away, but can be barely seen from one porch, while Mauna Kea is visible from another on a clear day. Dead-end but well-maintained street so there is little traffic, yet very close to a major highway.
There are no interesting places to visit within walking distance, but by bus or car you can easily reach Volcano National Park, Lava Tree State Park, a couple of parks and beaches in lower Puna, and several swimming holes/tidal pools in Hilo. We have a free pass into Volcano NP and we could take guests there during your visits. There are a few beaches north of Hilo, along with several incredible waterfalls and nature hikes, although all the most desirable beaches on the island are on the west (Kona) side. There are many hiking trails of various lengths both up the mountains and down to the shores in almost all directions, and some fresh lava sites from the 2018 eruption are a must-see.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Our own cultural background is the boring Midwest USA, but there is vast diversity in our region of Hawaii and we encourage visitors to explore it more thoroughly in their visit. Scott is an independent scholar in philosophy, also interested in science & history, Jennifer is a homemaker involved with crafts and cooking; we are both interested in progressive politics and humanistic values. If you are a Trumpian conspiracy theorist, we advise you to look elsewhere; LGBTQ & allies will find a warm welcome.
Most help required is fairly basic (unskilled): cutting and moving around unwanted trees/brush, relocating rocks, clearing moss and other vegetation off of volcanic rocks, etc. Some experience with tropical trees is desired but not essential. A good masseuse would be welcome, as would be someone to help with cooking and house cleaning.
We are not hard taskmasters, but do expect that you put a little muscle into the outdoor work. We are also flexible about when you do your hours of work, and hope you can be flexible as well. E.g., it may be better for you to work at the same time as other workawayers, or perhaps at different times, depending on the type of work needed. You might also find it useful to work 6-8 hours some days to have additional days with no work so that you can explore the island.
There are mosquitos and stinging fire ants; they seem to sting different people to greatly different degrees--e.g., they only get me when I'm in the thicker jungle areas, they get my wife when she steps onto the porch. YMMV. If they target you, prepare to use plenty of repellant spray. Vaseline seems to deter the ants with proper placement.
We have two private bedrooms with king beds, a couch in the living room, and two tri-fold floor mattresses (queen & twin sized), which can be placed either in the living room or in a room adjacent to one of the guest rooms (but with limited privacy, as one must pass through the main guest room to reach a bathroom). So we can in principle take up to 8 guests at a time, but with limited privacy, and if there is reason to think quarters will be tight you'll be asked how comfortable you might be with that. We prefer couples or friends who can share a bed to maximize use of the space.
The living room and kitchen/dining area are shared. We will provide all your meals or food for you to make your own. If you have specialized diet/tastes there are farmer's markets within walking distance, and many stores in Kea'au or Hilo.
All workaway visitors must certify that they are fully covid-19 vaccinated, and have their own health insurance (US citizens: sign up for ACA if you are eligible and haven't yet!), and share with us their full names, phone # & other contact information before arrival.
The bus to and from Hilo comes by once an hour about four blocks from the house. We may also sometimes provide transportation to local sites of historic, cultural, geological, or aesthetic interest for exploring these together.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Fairly reliable internet. That is, it works ~99% of the time, but it does go down once in a while for 20-30 seconds, always coming back on automatically.
Parking space close to electrical outlets, though you'd have to come inside for water.
Must be compatible w/ feral chickens.
More than two
4 hours/day, 20 hours/week.