Guest Post from Dan Baldwin, Circle Support Lead

This May I had the honor of traveling to the East Hawaii MKP Community to present the Bill Kauth Community Excellence Award. East Hawaii won for role modeling excellence in community and brotherhood. Some of their accomplishments include:

But what set them apart from the other communities in 2018 is their response to a catastrophic event – LAVA.

I had first hand accounts when this was happening in 2018. I was supporting Ano from East Hawaii during the times of Lava flows when he was teaching an online class on Non Violent Communications to the Project. Although I had heard weekly updates – I was not prepared for what I encountered when I actually travelled there.

The day of the celebration I heard so many stories…

Imagine sleeping with a major lava flow just 100’s of feet from you. Imagine riding your bike every night before you go to bed to check on it. Imagine hearing the choppers hovering over your land in a major storm yelling evacualte! Just leave everything and get out!

Tears came to my eyes when I heard the stories of support brothers gave to each other during this major event.

A brother made one phone call and within an hour and had 14 brothers arrive on his land to help him move $1,000s of dollars worth of major supplies to safety.

Men offered their extra rooms and garages for brothers to store valuables in.

Even the pets were taken care of during the evacuation.

When I visited Robert Golden’s house we walked one block away to where the lava fields had devastated a subdivision. I thought “Wow just a few more feet it would of flowed a different direction and wiped out Robert’s house.” On our way back to his house we spoke to a neighbor that happened to be driving by. When asked how he was doing, he proceeded to share his story. One year later he was obviously still shaken by the ordeal. We provided space for him to share and invited him to come sit in I-Group that night. We were delighted when he agreed to do so.

My last night I stayed at Ano’s Intentional Community and walked the land. I stood on top of the Lava field that had wiped out a quarter of his land.

East Hawaii is a magical place. Intentional Communities, free spirit, the beautiful Hawaiian culture and spirituality. I remember some of the brothers giving thanks to the lava. Because of it the land is affordable, the natural forests and landscape is preserved, and they are able to create such a beautiful connection with each other and the land.