Hawaii Part I: Kona


Plumeria – the most fragrant lei flower in all the land.

In which we land in Hawaii for three weeks on the Big Island! Part I of this adventure entails spending a week on Kona side at Wild Boar Beans, a family-owned homestead with coffee, cacao, and lots of fresh fruit.

The big house, and the view from the big house. We do not live in the big house, we live in a cute little hut just down the hill with a delightful outdoor shower. The farm is mauka (mountain side) from Captain Cook, south of Kona town. There is one highway that circles the island, and when giving directions, everything is either mauka (towards the mountain) or makai (towards the ocean) from the highway.



Family dinner with Lana and Sandy (two other volunteers) and Greg (our host).

We quickly slip into Hawaii time and have a delightful, relaxed week. We wake up, spend a little while lounging on the lanai with breakfast, and then work for a few hours. Work ranges from weed-whacking and mowing to taking care of the animals (2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 sheep, and some koi) to building stone walls. Disappointingly, coffee harvest doesn’t start until September or so, so we don’t actually have much to do with the coffee trees.


Clara: Selfie with weed-whacker. 



These orange pods are ripe cacao. When broken open, the pods contain a tangy white flesh which is delicious to eat straight. If making chocolate, the flesh and beans are wrapped and left to ferment. The beans are then dried, roasted, and ground. When done with traditional methods, the entire process takes a couple of months.


J at Kealakekua Bay.

In the afternoons, we take off for the beach and explore the area.

Despite being on the sunny side of the island, it is quite cloudy and rains almost every day. While it’s nice that there’s less sunburn risk while snorkeling, we fear what will happen next week when we head to the rainy side.

More photos:


Statues at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.

Under the Hawaiian kapu system of law (taboo), many crimes or missteps against the social order were punishable by death. However, if someone who committed a crime was able to escape to the pu’uhonua (place of refuge), they would be unequivocally pardoned. During times of war, this sacred place also protected civilians as well as defeated warriors hoping to return home.



Drying ti leaves. Ti leaves are used in cooking and in the making of leis, hula skirts, and thatched-roof homes.


Turtle buddy, feeding at Two-Step.



That snorkel right there? That’s J.

The highlight of J’s life, when we snorkeled with dolphins. A pod of about 15 dolphins circled the bay for a couple of hours, sometimes coming so close we had to pull our hands in to keep from touching them.



J atop a collapsed lava tube.



Lava cliff.

Petroglyphs at Keauhou!

These petroglyphs are drawn in the inter-tidal rocks makai of a large heiau (temple) built by the Hawai’ian Ali’i (king) Lonoikamakakahiki in the 1500s. They are visible only at low tide, and took some time to find.

On the left, a series of petroglyphs telling the story of the death of the king of Maui, Kamalalawalu, at the hands of Lonoikamakakahiki. After Kamalalawalu stabbed out the eyes of a messenger (a brutal thing to do, even then), Lonoikamakakahiki retaliated by capturing Kamalalawalu and sacrificing him alive to celebrate his great victory. He was impaled on a pole for several days, then towed out to sea behind a canoe and fed to the sharks.

On the right, an extremely rare petroglyph depiction of a European-style sailing ship.



Lava rock at Honaunau.



Kids jumping off the rocks at Two-Step.



Next up: Ota Family Reunion and backpacking in the Waimanu Valley.


Lots of love!!

C & J


One thought on “Hawaii Part I: Kona

  1. Great to spend day Kona side with you!! Amazing snorkeling and sentimental to find summer house and old hangout!! 🌺 Reason to go back didn’t see the dolphins! 😊

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