Though the caretakers’ position is different from the wwoof program, it has the same requirements:
A genuine desire to live simply and become more aware of our relationship to the elements and all sentient beings, and how our actions affect others.
Physical, mental and emotional stability.
No smoking (nicotine or anything else) and no alcohol.
Being accountable for one’s actions.
Financial resources to cover personal needs such as food, clothing, medical care, transportation, etc.
No adherance to religious (or other) dogmas. In other words: an open mind.
An interest in nonviolent communication and pure listening, and cultivating a non-reactive, “zero state” when communicating.
A commitment to investigating stressful thoughts and stories.
A willingness to consider that authenticity and honest, conscious communication* are more important than being right.
The capacity to differentiate between reality and the stories which obscure it.
A willingness to own one’s projections and communicate simply, directly, and honestly.
The ability and willingness to commit to a daily schedule.
The ability to follow instructions and a flexible attitude with daily projects in particular and with life in general.
Skills in gardening or building and/or housekeeping and/or land maintenance.
A genuine love of the land and an understanding of “The Great Turning” which we are currently in the midst of on this beloved planet.
* Conscious communication by Cynthia Kane:
To speak consciously, clearly, and concisely without anxiety
To respond instead of react
To speak in a way that’s kind, honest, and helpful
To know when to speak and when to stay quiet
To stay engaged when listening
To express yourself so that others can hear you
To nip potential problems in the bud before they become meltdowns
To be comfortable in silence – no longer needing to fill the space
We also ask that NO toxic products or artificial fragrances are used here, whether in mosquito repellants, shampoos, hair rinses, deodorants, perfumes, dish soaps or laundry detergents. Many people who visit are chemically sensitive AND we want to honor the land by not using chemicals!
No kerosene lamps or paraffin candles either. Many people don’t realize that paraffin is a petroleum-based substance and very toxic.
All wwoofers, sevadars and caretakers pay a $100 deposit, half of which is returned when they leave.
“Caretakers” are here as a couple—and OCCASIONALLY as families with children. The adults each offer 18 hours per week tending the gardens, caring for some of the animals, and doing whatever needs doing. (Mending fences, broken water pipes, etc.) Children also offer time, caring for animals and the gardens, learning what it is like to participate in a co-created community.
Sometimes I am here while caretakers are here and somtimes I am off island.
Caretakers have their own private cottage, which overlooks the ocean—with high speed internet*—and their own outdoor shower, composting toilet and clothes line for drying clothes. They also have access to two hand-carved Timor temples, a yoga & massage room, which also has a dvd player, beautiful gardens, and an ancient forest which borders the sanctuary.
* We do not have (or want) WIFI at the sanctuary so we have ethernet cables only.
Part of the caretakers’ job is driving wwoofers and “sevadars” to the local markets twice a week so they MUST have a vehicle.
When I am off island, the caretakers care for all of the wonderful animals with whom we share this land. (At present, we have 4 goats, a donkey, 4 cats, 2 peacocks, and a dog.)
Several of the caretakers who have been here over the years have returned two or three times and they recommend it to family and friends. If the exchange is MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL, caretakers are welcome to stay for prolonged periods.
This means that if they are benefiting from being here AND if the land, animals and other guests and retreatants are benefiting from their presence.
Caretakers pay $5 per month, per person, towards the water bill, and pay for propane—for hot water and a 4-burner stove with an oven—and provide sawdust for their composting toilet. (There is a wood mill in Hilo, where it can be obtained for free.) Collecting the sawdust is not part of the weekly hours but done in your own time.
Once a week, all wwoofers, sevadars, paying guests, caretakers (and retreatants, if they wish) meet in council, which is a way of speaking and listening from the heart.
Council is a non-hierarchical form of communicating; a wonderful opportunity for discovering more about one another and a time to share one’s insights and dreams, discoveries, edges, suggestions and whatever else is arising.
Our one policy, for retreatants, wwoofers, sevadars, guests, and caretakers is very simple: if you lose or break something, please fix or replace it. (If Rashani loses or breaks something of yours, she will do the same!) Mutual accountability nurtures healthy and sustainable relationships.)
Kipukamaluhia is a substance-free sanctuary and an ideal space for those who cherish elegant, voluntary simplicity, for those who revere sobriety, self inquiry, beauty, direct communication, mindfulness and integrity, and for those who are nourished by, and love to connect with and care for, gardens, orchards, and animals. And for those who value contemplative inquiry as well as interacting with other like-minded & like-hearted people.