Gyongyi had massage duties at the Kalani Oceanside Retreat (Kalani) which is about a 35-minute drive located on the Red Road (Highway 137 or Kapoho-Kalapana Road). She mostly practices Lomilomi style of Hawaiian massage these days. While she worked, I hiked around the Kalani compound and walked down the Red Road to Kehena Beach, about 1.5 miles from Kalani. While there, we also partook in a 45-minuite acupuncture session.
For those not familiar with Kalani, it was founded by Richard Koob and Earnest Morgan in 1975, as a non-profit retreat center, occupying a 120-acre compound located in the Puna District of the Big Island of Hawai'i. Kalani's mission is "to provide a fun, safe, and educational retreat village which encourages ALOHA love for life in each person's own deepest way through participation in nature, culture, and wellness experiences". In keeping with the focus on nature, culture, and wellness, Kalani hosts diverse residential workshops; sponsors community arts and special events programs; provides lodging and meals for guests; oversees volunteer, sabbatical, and visiting artist education programs; and houses a sustainable community of residents in an ecovillage. There are few paid positions but there are over 100 volunteer residents on the property.
Yoga and massage training and workshops are very popular, as well as the clothes-optional pool-spa area. A good place to get an all-over suntan. Kalani's Wellness Department offers land and aquatic bodywork, including traditional Hawaiian LomiLomi, Thai massage, and Watsu. Kalani serves healthy buffet-style meals in a roofed patio known in Hawaii as a "lanai". The dining lanai is considered to play a central role in the community, described as a gathering place where one "can experience the daily rhythms of assembly and departure reminiscent of ancient village life". A guide to Kalani's cuisine describes the food as "a Pacific fusion of local, Thai, Indian, Italian, and many other cuisines". Lunch is $12 but very tasty, mostly organic vegetarian cuisine. It reminds me somewhat of Harbin Hot Springs north of the San Francisco area but with a more subdued ambiance.
For 38 years Richard Koob served as the Director of Kalani. After a period of transition Koob officially retired in July 2013. He continues as a Kalani Board Member and Director Emeritus, assisting with the realization of Kalani's second thirty-year plan. Kalani appointed a new Executive Director, Joel Tan, in April 2016.
If you like new age learning, massage, yoga, vegetarian cuisine, and relaxation, Kalanai is worthwhile visit when traveling around the Big Island of Hawaii. More information at kalani.com.