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We're a family of 5 living on the north shore of the incredible island of Kaua'i, next to Hanalei Bay. Our three kids were born in 2013 and 2014. Generally, we have 2-3 guests visiting - and a month, if not two, has become the ideal minimum stay.
The best way to think about living with us is to consider yourself as part of our "mini-community," although someone called staying with us a "family internship," and that rings true as well.
You'll want to be sure you are in a stage of life where you enjoy having kids around and a desire to hang out with and teach them. However, guests are not responsible for parenting our kids and we are not looking for au pairs.
Our guests help us with logistics (especially food prep and clean up) and homeschooling. We've identified some great curriculums and many visitors have learned how to teach both reading and math.
Guests are also welcome, but not required, to help with any special projects they might be interested in. Past projects have included helping build a yurt, a solar heater for a swimming pool, and extra rooms in the garage at our past home.
After the logistics are covered, we love to see people sharing their passions. Among other things, we've had art classes, yoga classes, chess tournaments, improv, dancing, singing, and a lot of hanging out in the garden. Since we came to Hawaii in June, we try to go to the beach every late afternoon to play and surf.
Prior to arriving here we spent three years in Thailand, two in Spain (where we created a 5 apartment community), and and three next to San Francisco, where we planned to settle until the pandemic nudged us to Hawaii - an unintended silver lining.
We now live in a large 4 bedroom rental house with room for a small garden (just getting started), some slack lines, a trampoline, an enormous sand volley ball court and access to a shared pool and tennis court. We keep 3 to the 4 bedrooms open for interesting long term guests.
Adults in the house rotate cooking duty every two days when they also take responsibility for managing set up and clean up of breakfast, dinner, and, when there is no school, lunch. We try to cook 3 times a week on MWF and stock the fridge with prepared food that can easily be reheated.
Most days, we try and stick to a routine, which helps both us and the kids. It looks like this:
- 7 or 8am - Breakfast
- 8:30 to 11:30 - Writing, Math and Reading homeschool (the kids are in public school 2-3 days a week).
- 12:30 - Lunch
- 1:30 to 4:30 - projects, play time, misc.
- 4:30 to 7 - beach, soccer field, surfing/boogie boarding.
- 7:30pm - Dinner
- 8:00pm - Kids go into the bedroom at 8:00pm, freeing up the common areas of the house for the adults.
If this sounds like something you'd like to be part of, please tell us more about yourself, your skills, aspirations, etc.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We're unusual in that we feel so strongly about living in a more communal way. In our last homes in Madrid, and near San Francisco, we regularly had 3-5 people eating meals with us every day - with 5 languages between us. Here, the kitchen table seats 7 or 8. Our family is a mix of Irish American and Northern Thai.
We look for interesting people and think it important to fit the tasks to the person and their skills. We try to have two or three people living with us at all times, which we've found is also enjoyable for the guests.
We have a wide range of tasks you can help with - including:
1) Leading food preparation and cooking. Beyond the cooking and serving rotation we do among all the adults, you can take extra shirts in the kitchen if you wish to, and count it toward your exchange.
2) Lead/Teach after school programs - on a topic you'd like to share or teach. Music, Art, Dance, Math, etc.
3) Help with morning (before lunch) homeschooling - we have good curriculums in reading, math, writing, etc.
4) Help lead sports or physical skill-practices like basketball, soccer, surfing, etc.
We are most appreciative of people who naturally love to lead and teach.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
It really depends on who is staying with us at the time, with a first come first choice policy. Most people stay in either of our three guest rooms, with big windows, though the downstairs living room has extra space if we fill the bedrooms.
You will be in what some consider the best part of Hawaii - the north shore of Kauai, next to Hanalei Bay for a wide range of swimming, paddling, and surfing options.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Given there is a pandemic, you'll be joining our bubble. So if you need to make a living while with us, online work is a necessity.
More than two
Max of 5 hours a day and 5 days a week.
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