Intern Volunteer FAQ !
Questions about the Work Trade Programs offered at Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community:
Intern Volunteer Comparison
Based on your travel needs, personality and what you want to get out of your stay at our community, these are some of the major differences between our two most popular programs!
|Volunteers pay for each week of stay. If you only wish to stay 3 months or less then the Volunteer Program is more affordable!||If you stay longer than 3 months it is cheaper to be an Intern Community Manager.|
|Volunteers only work 12 hours a week doing jobs under the instructions of an Intern. They have much less responsibility and their work hours are week day mornings.||An Intern’s work hours are from 8:30 am to 10:30pm. However, then they have 5 days off to enjoy paradise for up to one year at no extra cost.|
|Authority & Education|
|Volunteers have less authority and learning opportunities. But that also means less responsibility! Volunteers simply have to follow instructions not give them!||An Intern gets to learn how to manage an intentional community! Interns enjoy a practical and theoretical education in sustainable community management.|
|Eco-Feminist & Mind Work Projects|
|Because they are usually staying for a relatively short time, only volunteers with special skills can do ‘brain work‘ projects.||Interns are much more involved in our Eco-Feminist Entrepreneur portfolio of international and local web projects.|
|Flexibility & Length of Stay|
|Normally volunteers stay for a few weeks but less than three months. Volunteers have greater flexibility in scheduling as this is a more tourist based program.||If an intern passes their training, they can stay up to one year as long as they perform their duties well! However, they are required to follow the intern schedule of two days per week.|
|Work Ethic & Responsibility|
|Volunteers work fixed hours and follow instructions. They can be Union Workers. Both require a good work ethic.||Interns work less shifts but are responsible for community management. They are Heroes!|
Age is not necessarily a limiting factor if you are hardworking and excited to learn!
Interns are not expected to work in all the special focus areas but should be a little familiar with our projects so they can answer visitor questions. We strive for balance in Body, Mind and Heart work.
However, some interns may choose to focus more in one specific area:
- Body Work. These interns are happy to play an extra active role in community care activities such as deep cleanings of common facilities, lodging spaces, land work and who care about the physical upkeep of the plants and/or buildings in the community.
- Heart Work. We have had wonderful Interns who are great at Human Relations and people management (or “heart” work) but who are not capable of doing intense physical ‘body’ work! Human relations definitely qualifies as heart work! Actually, all the Interns have a focus on ‘heart work’ because they are living and working with Guests, Volunteers and other Interns in our Hawaiian paradise!
- Brain Work. These projects are a core part of our community identity. Our ideal longer term Intern Community Members should have at least some interest in them. We have had very brainy people who have worked on our websites but are not great at heart or body work. Every person has their specialty. We only ask that Intern applicants be a little open to learning a bit about the other specialties.
The issue of ageism is very relevant today. Both older and younger adults often view each other quite negatively. It is definitely different from years ago when there was much more social mixing between the ages.
We discuss stereotypes in our community very openly as is our right under the 1st Amendment. However, it is one thing to describe a stereotype, it is another to reject a person based on stereotypes without giving them a chance.
Prejudice is when a person is automatically rejecting another based on stereotypes of their particular demographic group.
When it comes to older versus younger interns, we have had more challenges with the former.
However, once they send in a good application, we try to give mature adults a chance. While we do describe patterns in human behavior, we give every good applicant an opportunity to prove themselves.
Younger people tend to be more idealistic, but there are many mature adults who have not yet given up their dreams of making the world a better place. We want those people!
Try this informal survey to see if you think the Hedonisia community would be a good fit for you!
a) Are you able to follow instructions and feedback from someone who is younger than you? Older people bring age and experience but can sometimes be condescending to younger folks because of those same traits. Most of our volunteers and Interns are in the age range of 18-40. This has been a challenge for some older volunteers who resent being given instructions by someone younger.
In the past, knowledge was passed on from generation to generation. However, in today’s modern world the information flow often goes the other way with young people making new innovations and teaching their elders. In this fast-changing world, the youth have different areas of experience which are equally valuable.
We want the experience and wisdom of age combined with youthful enthusiasm, idealism, and willingness to learn!
b) Are you coming to learn or be a ‘consultant’? Some have tried to use their age and experience to act as a ‘consultant’ and tell us what we ‘should’ do! Instead of someone who says ‘you should do this, you should do that’ we look for people who are excited about learning in a community of individuals, not just their own vision on how things should be done. Hedonisia is a collaboration of ideas of from many people. Show that you respect the community and can ‘fit in’. Then we are much more open to hearing new ideas and suggestions. Applicants who are professionals should always remember we offer a volunteer program and internship. We are NOT seeking consultants to ‘whip us into shape’!
c) Are you LGBTQ tolerant? As a community of individuals, we respect open minds towards those with alternative lifestyles as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. Many seniors with more traditional attitudes tend to be less tolerant of homosexuality or transgender or polyamory. We welcome LGBTQ and poly into our community so obviously, that could be a challenge!
d) Have you ever lived in a community setting? We are a community of adult individuals who take personal responsibility for themselves and how to respect others and shared spaces. Community living can be a challenge for a person who has mostly lived alone or in a family household.
d) Are you aware of the Hedonisia Consent Culture Community Guidelines? At the Hedonisia adults share communal spaces and work together. This leaves a lot of room for personal interaction. However, many adults, men especially, are not aware that their behavior can constitute sexual harassment. We stress that sexually harassing behavior is not tolerated.
e) Do you have particular needs based on your age or health?
- Medical Needs. Older volunteers often have medical needs that might not be met when living in the rainforest , For example, the community eco-toilet is located a few hundred yards away from most lodging spaces which means walking in the night to get to the toilet! That might be too much distance and can be a challenge for some adults.
- Volunteer Dorm Spaces. Most volunteers and intern community members sleep in dorm spaces consisting of two beds. This has been a challenge for some older adults in the past who often prefer to sleep in their own space. Private lodgings can be arranged at an additional cost.
- Basic & Rustic Jungle Lodgings. Our eco-huts and tents have charm but they are definitely not luxurious! While this is not a problem for most of our volunteers, we often get more needs and requests about the lodgings than we can handle from older volunteers.
* Pregnant Volunteers or Interns. It is no problem for a pregnant female to stay at Hedonisia as an Intern, Volunteer or Guest. However, we strongly suggest having the funds to rent or buy a car because the public transport system is quite primitive in our area of Hawaii.
Being pregnant and trying to hitchhike can be quite a challenge especially in the hot sun or rain of East Hawaii. Unless working on the Heart or Brain focus specialties we do NOT recommend that pregnant women apply to do purely physical Body work as a Volunteer or Intern.
** Parents with Children are welcome as Nightly Guests, for up to 5 nights, but not as Interns, Weekly/Monthly Guests or Volunteers! Babies 2 and under stay for free but children over 2 are priced the same as an adult.
Family Friendly Intentional Communities. There are other communities in the Puna area such as Cinderland Eco-Village, La’akea Community, Polestar, Hawaiian Sanctuary and SPACE Hawaii that allow families.
We do not recommend that parents bring their children or babies to Hedonisia for the following reasons:
- An Adult Environment. Our community is called Hedonisia and it is definitely geared more towards adults! For example, there are sensual murals and art throughout the property. Many people reserve with us expecting more of a child-free environment and children have caused complaints from other guests in the past. Hedonisia is one of the few places where adults can relax without children!
- Dangerous Natural Features on Property. We have a volcanic crater and ‘bottomless’ lava tube onsite which can be very dangerous for unsupervised children.
- Volunteers/Interns with Children. It is illegal for a child to work. So parents have to look after their children even while working which can be distracting, as well as dangerous should they wander off. When we did allow volunteers or interns with children in the past they had to arrange for babysitters off property which was difficult.
- Parental Responsibility. All parents are completely responsible for the care of their children as well as any effects they may have on other community members and the property itself. If an unsupervised child is hurt, disturbs the peace of the community in any way, fails to behave, or destroys personal or private property, parents are held responsible.
- No other children. Based on past experience, children often wish to be around other children and feel lonely when surrounded only by other adults.
Parental Liability Release. In addition to the Registration Form we require parents to sign an additional Children Guidelines & Liability Release Form!
Termination of Stay. Hedonisia reserves the right to terminate the stay immediately due to inappropriate behavior of the child and/or lack of parental responsibility in the community. Parents are held fully responsible for the actions of their children in the community while visiting.Your stay can be terminated for reasons such as:
- Leaving your children unsupervised on the property at any time. If your child is hurt, you are held responsible.
- Relying on or requesting another community member to supervise your child(ren) without offering compensation before service is performed.
- Interactions between you and your child(ren) disturbing other community members in any manner.
- If your child is repeatedly and consistently disturbing other community members through loud or obnoxious behavior.
- If your child causing disruptions with or acting unkindly and rudely towards any of our community pets and animals.
‘Voluntourism’, ‘ecotourism’ and ‘community tourism’ are terms used to describe learning about a foreign culture through volunteering. They are one of the fastest growing forms of ethical tourism and the Hedonisia Hawaii Community is proud to be part of this trend.
However, US Government officials give different answers when it comes to defining whether volunteer tourism or ‘voluntourism’ is an accepted visitor activity for foreign tourists visiting Hawaii.
Both our Intern and Volunteer Program are paid, educational and hands-on ecotourist attractions in Hawaii. All participants understand that these are NOT jobs as we do not pay a salary or benefits. They are simply having a more immersive experience of rain forest community culture in Hawaii.
For an increasing number of eco-tourists helping the environment and culture they are visiting is much more meaningful than just surfing, tanning and taking pictures!
We are not the US government so we cannot advise you about whether you can just come here on a tourist visa based on the country you are applying from. However, you can contact your local US consulate who, if they answer the phone, will guide you on the appropriate visa to apply for or whether you even need anything beyond a normal tourist visa.
According to reports we have received from foreign applicants, it is possible to apply for a student or J1 Intern Visa as long as you are still in a full time education program.
Some volunteers and interns arrive on a Tourist Visa. Some are on a Student, Health, J-1 or other visa. To be absolutely sure, speak to officials at your local US Embassy or Consulate.
For foreign interns, we can work with outside agencies that are often located in an applicant’s home country. These services help foreign applicants go through the paperwork to get the right visa for a US internship.
However, because additional work is involved in processing these applications, we charge an additional Foreign Intern Application Fee of $250. This fee is NON-refundable if a visa request is denied by the local US Embassy or Consulate.
Skilled or Professional Interns or Volunteers in Hawaii
Hedonisia Volunteers and Interns are providing a Volunteer Work Trade. As we state throughout the site, both are educational positions. Neither is a job that offers a salary or any sort of employment benefits.
While we are quite aware that skilled jobs like electrician, carpenter, Web Designer, masseuse or mechanic are paid at a much higher rate in the “real” world, at the Hedonisia community we value all work equally, measured only by hours. We simply would not be able to survive otherwise.
We offer the Special Skills option as one way for interns and volunteers to show non-monetary appreciation for the work that we do at our community.
Community Volunteer Opportunities for Professionals!
Due to our increasing popularity, our intern program only has a few spaces available at any given time in the year. Depending on the skills you have, and how much we need them at the moment, your application might stand a better chance of being approved.
- Eco-Builder, Carpenter, Creator of Tiny Homes! (volunteer or intern)
- Creative Mural Artist or Wood Carver (volunteer or intern)
- WordPress, SEO, Social Media Tech Skills (volunteer or intern)
- Video Editing & Research skills (volunteer or intern)
- Hospitality Reservations Manager (Interns only: Small stipend)
- Intern Community Manager (Interns only: Small stipend)
Volunteers, Interns and Guests Online Application
Be sure to mention any of the above Special Skills in your application! If you have read about our programs and feel ready you can APPLY NOW!
Every person is different. Some like to eat more and some like to party more so each visitor’s Hawaii monthly budget will be different depending on their needs.
- Food: Approximately $600 per month for supermarket and grocery purchases. However, this sum is dependent on your appetite!
- Eco-Community Agritourism Program. Guests are free to harvest tropical Produce on property.
- Transport: Approximately $500 (rental car) or $100 (hitchhiking & paid pickups)
- Medical & Personal Expenses: Toiletries & any medical expenses if you have a minor illness: $100
- Recreational! Your ‘party’ and ‘entertainment’ expenses so that is completely up to you! Many people socialize on the property and thus save money. Others like to go out. The choice is yours! However, because our area of Hawaii is more of a day culture, there is some but not much nightlife. This tends to save money as night entertainment can get very expensive.
So, with good financial planning and by partying a little less it is possible to have a very affordable working vacation in Hawaii about $750 a month!
Health Insurance in an Eco-Community
We are a very small community relying on volunteer labor. Your volunteer work contribution is not a ‘job’ and so is not covered by standard labor laws.
When working at any volunteer activity always be aware of your capabilities. If you feel uncomfortable contributing to any project at Hedonisia Hawaii or if you feel a job is too dangerous for you, please let us know. We can usually find another task that is less daunting!!
Personal Responsibility – All Guests and Volunteers are responsible for their own health and safety while on the property of Hedonisia Hawaii. This applies to all aspects of living and working on the land. When you arrive on the Hedonisia property you are asked to sign a Registration Form & Liability Release to confirm this.
We always stress SAFETY in all of our community operations and as a result, we have NOT had any serious accident on the community property in our 10-year history.
However, for most Americans, some form of ‘Obamacare’ health insurance is quite adequate. We have seen the benefits of having a wider range of coverage for more Americans than ever before. It creates a much better safety net for individuals as they travel across the country to enroll in programs such as offered by us. Our sustainable community supports Obamacare!
We strongly recommend that all Volunteers and Managers have Health Insurance. Foreign Nationals should get Travel Insurance that will allow us to call an ambulance in the event of a Medical Emergency.
1) Volunteer 2nd Jobs
- The normal Hedonisia work shift is from 9:30am to 12:30pm. This means that afternoons, evenings and long weekends are free. As a result, many past volunteers have had second jobs.
- Volunteers who wish to have an extra day off for a job can pay the Special Volunteer Discount rate of $20 for any day that they do NOT want to work!
- There are a few farmers and property owners who occasionally hire Hedonisians to do landscaping, gardening, or light construction work. Sometimes they give us a call to see if there are any Volunteers available. Otherwise, you can look on the notice boards in Pahoa for work opportunities.
2) Intern Income – 2nd Jobs
Once they have paid their initial training fee, Interns ‘pay’ for their stay in Hawaii with only two full days of community work each week. This is one of our important Community Enterprise principles; “If we are not able to pay with money we pay with ‘time’!
5 days ‘off’ gives interns the flexibility and time to either enjoy as a tourist, get a job or start a business!
Other possible financial benefits for the resourceful Intern at Hedonisia:
a) Hedo Intern Activist Entrepreneur Incubator Support
Interns can start or do the background research for an Activist or Feminist business on the property as long as permission is sought beforehand and community operations are not affected adversely. Feminist oriented interns can work on the Hedonisia Feminist Entrepreneur Portfolio of web projects to gain knowledge or insight on how to create their own Enterprise!
To clarify, we are not asking interns to immediately start a social enterprise business! Even if an intern is thinking like a social entrepreneur about an idea at the conceptual stage, that is good enough!
Aside from the planetary benefits of unleashing social entrepreneur graduates, an intern with a side project of their own will work on the projects where our interests overlap with that much more vigor than if their focus is simply directed outwards!
b) Recycled Goods & Laundry Sales
We offer possibilities for extra income with sales of various recycled items at the Hedonisia community and for applicants with a personal vehicle who have a Clean Driving Record. While not obligatory, we do recommend having a budget for a used vehicle. This will give more potential to earn extra income both at Hedonisia and in the general region.
When you process a laundry, towel sale or bicycle rental you can receive a 50% commission. The 50% commission is for any sales you make of Hedonisia stuff (provided you have talked with us about selling it!) As a ‘green community’ we receive many things which we often refurbish and then sell. So a motivated Intern can always find things to sell on Craigslist when they are on shift!
Small sales of recycled items to the greater community is a nice form of local Public Relations. It gives us an opportunity to show people in the area what Hedonisia is really like. Plus many people have family on the mainland and they like knowing affordable quirky places like ours for their friends and family when they visit.
c) Intern Hospitality, Reservations & Bookings Manager!
This position is only available to applicants who have been working at least a month as an Intern Community Manager.
Unlike regular interns, we offer a small stipend which is paid at the end of the month.
An Intern Bookings Manager is not working extra time, simply doing an important job as part of their intern shift which they receive $10 per shift for. It is not much but in our area of Hawaii, the cost of living is lower. And your lodgings are already paid as an intern!
d) Intern Community Property Manager
The Property Manager is an intern who really enjoys having a detailed knowledge and overview of the lodgings, facilities and gardens. As part of their shift they will spend some time deeply observing these aspects and then making a report which will be the basis for the other interns to follow. The stipend per month for this intern position is $400.
Eco-Community Agritourism in Hawaii!
About 10% of your payment is considered an Agricultural Farm Produce Fee. This means that any food plants growing on the property when in season, is free for Volunteers, Guests or Interns to use.
Our online Botanical Inventory List of Hedonisia Plants includes all edibles that we grow. However be sure to have enough funds to buy food for your remaining needs.
We have private food lockers to store your personal food items and you can cook in our beautiful Haka Hou Mana Mana. (Jungle Style Kitchen!)
There is also a Communal Food Area where foodstuffs that are donated or left behind by previous guests are available for community members to use.
As part of your pick-up fee from the airport, we stop by a grocery store so you can stock up!
Hedonisia is defined as, “A community of independent individuals (and couples)!”. Occasionally, we share our food and eat our meals together, but those times are random and spontaneous.
We provide a full Community Jungle Kitchen where visitors can prepare their food.
There are also restaurants, supermarkets and the Island Naturals Market and Deli located about 5 miles away in the town of Pahoa.
Jungle Gym Community Work in Hawaii!
Included in your stay at Hedonisia is a ‘membership’ to our Jungle Gym! Landscaping in a Hawaiian jungle is a dynamic, full-body, exercise. We use a variety of tasks and tools to turn this wild jungle into our garden and home. Our work shifts tend to be similar to “cardio and sculpt” or “sculpt and tone” fitness classes you would find in a regular gym. Toning up those arm muscles and working to tighten that booty in the morning allows our Jungle Queens to show off their jungle bod at the beach later in the day!
You will see that keeping your core tight and standing in an athletic stance is a common theme among all exercises and work tasks. Doing so will help you work efficiently, save your body (in the short-term and long-term), and get the best possible sculpt and tone workout during your shifts.
Getting Around on our 4-acre property vies plenty of opportunity for a cardio workout! The hilly terrain; assures an increase in heart rate. And the hot and humid weather; promotes sweating.
The jungle is not flat, especially in the crater. Hawaii’s climate is hot and humid — adding a benefit similar to hot yoga. The heat increases your heart rate as the body burns more calories to regulate your body temperature. It’s important to stay hydrated because you will sweat.
- Machete use for path clearing. Hacking motion targets arms, back, and chest.
- Saw used for tree removal. Pushing and pulling motion targets chest, lats, biceps, and triceps.
We’re not just walking around though. We clear the cane grass and cut down unwanted trees with machetes.
Our arms, back, and chest work hard to hack through the jungle. Often, once a tree is down, we saw it into smaller pieces. And then we carry and move the logs to make a trail border, for our compost or to use them for construction.
All the various carrying jobs are a great upper body workout!
Carrying buckets of soil, cinder
- Bucket carry (farmers carry) from mud harvesting. Emphasizes grip, upper body, lower body, and core strength.
From working in the crater to finding fresh soil that wild pigs have dug up the previous evening, we harvest a lot of fresh, fertile soil. Carrying buckets of fresh soil mirrors exercises, such as the farmer’s carry, farmer’s hold, or a dumbbell static hold targeting the biceps. This helps in building strength and tone in your whole arm – from your finger grip strength to your forearms, to your biceps, to your shoulders. Farmer’s carry and farmer’s hold also target your back muscles, or your latissimus dorsi, also known as “lats.”
These muscles are targeted only if carrying buckets is done ergonomically. So carrying one bucket by its handle on each arm while keeping your core muscles tight will allow you to stay upright and save you from hurting your lower back.
Carrying lava rocks
- Lava rock lifting. Proper squatting lift targets lower body, and core. Biceps targeted when lifting rocks to the body.
Big volcanic rocks are spread out on the property. They mark our trails and help contain all of the green foliage we have at Hedonisia. Carrying rocks efficiently will also be similar to a dumbbell static hold. Holding the rock from place to place will target your shoulders, biceps, triceps, and forearms to get those queen arms toned and looking fierce!
To perform this task efficiently and without hurting yourself, be sure to lift with your legs when first picking up the rock, or any load around the property. By doing so, you work on your glutes, hamstrings, and quads as if performing a squat. Do not lift with your back as this can create problems for any jungle queen of any age.
Trail work, prep
- Clearing paths with a pickaxe and rake. Scraping motion targets core and complete upper-body.
As you walk around the property you’ll see many stepping stones leading to important landmarks, such as The Smoking Temple and the Eco-Toilet and shower we have. Building this network of trails requires the use of a pickaxe, a rake, and the carrying of heavy stepping stones from one place to another. As stated before, the pickaxe will target your shoulders. The raking required in some of this trail work will do the same. To target the other muscles in the top half of your arm, you will also carry heavy stones. The holding of these stones will target your biceps and triceps.
As always, use your strong squat stance when standing up, rather than bending over and risk hurting your back. Never dig with your pickaxe; rather, scrape with your pickaxe so as to not create more work for yourself. Get in that legwork whenever and wherever you can!
Using the pickaxe will require heavy use of your deltoids or shoulder muscles. Working this muscle will allow the top muscles of your arms to take shape and become more defined. The motion in pickaxe work is similar to the motion of performing a shrug with weights.
However, be sure not to swing the pickaxe over your head. This is for safety purposes, as well as efficiency purposes. This will allow the pickaxe exercise to mimic a better bicep curl and allow you to get more repetitions in (with lighter weight), which is how muscles become more toned. Use your squat stance to target your lower body and be more stable and productive, as well.
Machete jungle clearing
Using the machete to clear out the jungle is similar to using the pickaxe in terms of the muscles being used. More of a squat will be required to chop down some trees closer to the ground.
When clearing trees higher up, more of your back will get a workout, similar to a lat pull machine at the gym.
Depending on the angle you need to approach a tree, you will have to either use a squat or a lunge.
No matter what, remember to have a strong, straight back. To check yourself, simply remember the two B’s — booty and back!
Weeding, kama weeding
- Weeding with the Kama. Pulling motion targets back, triceps, and biceps. Extension motion targets shoulders and lats.
If you have ever seen a cable machine at the gym, you’ll see a lot of different arm exercises going. One exercise that uses both cables is the alternating cable row. You stand in a lunge and pull one cable while pushing the other. There is an abundance of weeding to be done on the property, which means an abundance of cable machines around the property to work those arms.
Shoulders, biceps, and triceps are targeted. To get a great work done while getting work done quickly and efficiently, you will want to use one hand to pull away the weeds, and the other hand to cut the roots with the kama. Quick cuts and pulls will allow for more repetitions will lead to more toning!
Scrubbing shower, bathroom
- Shower and bathroom cleaning with push broom; scrubbing motion targets back and upper body. Pushing motion can target glutes if done properly.
Scrubbing the shower and bathroom is a full body workout. You work your whole upper body from forearms to biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back. You also work out your lower body to really get some good scrubbing in.
Your power comes from your legs, Jungle Queen! So use that power to really get into scrubbing the floor. The more power you use, the more power you work those legs with!
Saw work – tree felling
Your legs are your strong trunk and roots that allow you to attack any work task you can be assigned. Saw work when tree felling is especially one of those tasks. This is an amazing arm and cardio workout. To perform this task efficiently, grab the saw with both hands — one on the handle, and one on the top of the other one — then saw like nobody’s business! Keep your core tight so you make more progress cutting the tree in less time. Think of it as a HIIT workout or High-Intensity Interval Training. The bonus of integrating this into your workday is the afterburn that comes from HIIT training. Not only will you target fat cells in your body while working, but you will be burning fat into the next day.
Shoveling cinder and soil
Similar to scrubbing the shower or using the rake, you are going to want to use a strong stance and keep your back straight. Do not hunch over to shovel the cinder. This will increase efficiency and productivity.
Hiking around the property, squatting while weeding, and working in the garden is a great way to build leg and core strength. People tend to bend over by folding at the hips and curving their back. Working like this does not build strength. This inefficient way of working can also cause lower back pain and a hunching body structure over time. But, if you embrace the squat, bend at the knees and keep your back vertical, you will build stabilizing strength in your back, hips, and legs.
From keeping pigs out of the garden to marking trails, to places to sit, logs serve many a purpose around the property. Because of this, many are used and moved often. Depending on the heaviness of the log, it can be pushed, flipped, and even pulled. When having to roll the log, we use our chest (pectoral muscles) as well as biceps and triceps. Like we mentioned before, your power comes from your legs. You may have to be in a lunge to push the log forward along with your fellow Hedonisians.
Sometimes a log gets stuck in a difficult area to which it can’t be pushed out of. In this case, we flip it until we are able to push it to its final destination. If you have ever seen the “pig” being flipped in CrossFit competitions, that is exactly what we are doing here. This is a full body workout, which is great! Calves, hamstrings, quads, and hips help us explode up to flip the log or to push forward with the log. Then our triceps, biceps, back, and chest help push it forward or pull it behind you. From a deadlift to a curl, then up over our heads, you learn to get very close to your workmates in this work task. It can also be seen as a sled push or pull depending on the motion.
As always, ergonomically, you’re going to want to use your legs. Keeping a straight back is of the utmost importance in this because of how heavy the logs can be. Throwing out your back is possible in this work task, so never bend over! Teamwork makes the Hedonisia dream work, so communicate with your team when performing this task.
Crater work – slopes and legwork
The Stairmaster is a love-hate relationship at the gym. Cardio can always feel like it drags on. However, when you have a beautiful crater and jungle around you, you may not mind. We are currently working to build Moon Garden down in our crater, which makes for a lot of traveling up and down the crater. Body work definitely becomes booty work when working in the crater. Calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes will be on fire. But it will pay off, we promise!
To decrease the load on your lower body and lessen your risk of injury, strike with the balls of your feet first, rather than your heels. Flex your toes upward, rather than down to save your shins from any shin splints that may occur. If you are not carrying anything, incorporate your arms to help you power up and keep up momentum. It also incorporates them and gives them a little workout as well.
The key with the wheelbarrow is to begin the lift with your legs, like performing a deadlift. This will incorporate your glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips. Your abductors and adductors (the inside and outside of your thighs) also get a workout in this while you are steering the wheelbarrow. While moving with the wheelbarrow, you are mimicking a walking dumbbell hold that you would be performing in a regular gym.
Keep your core tight when moving with the wheelbarrow. In this way, you will also keep the wheelbarrow from leaning one way or another. Use those strong forearms to also keep the wheelbarrow stable.
The great benefit to our Jungle Gym is that it is functional training. Functional training is the act of working muscles that you use often in your daily life, rather than just to build muscle for aesthetic purposes. Additionally, in our barn, we have resistance bands, TRX bands, and places to work on pull-ups, yoga, core and body-weight exercises. Although our Jungle Gym may be enough, you can always use this space and this equipment to tone up those muscles even more to see better physical results, as well as work productivity results.
Working in the Hawaiian jungle is not easy. It is muddy, sweaty, and strenuous. And worth the effort. It builds camaraderie with your fellow volunteers. It is immensely satisfying to contribute to creating this beautiful garden community. Jungle work connects you with the landscape and cultivates an active outdoor lifestyle. And, of course, it is a great way to burn off fat storage and build that jungle queen bod!
Any two people, LGBT or straight, can apply as a couple as long as they share the same bed-space. Couples have to work 2 full work shifts each week; one separately and one shared. This means each partner has two shifts including one overlapping. Couples like this as it gives them a break away from each other as well as 4 days off together in paradise!
A couple can also take part in two separate Hedonisia programs. For example, one partner can be training as an Community Intern while the other pays as a weekly/monthly guest. Under this scenario, we charge our single community member training fee for the intern and then half of the other program cost, as long as the couple are sharing a bed space.
Intern Cancelation Policy
An Applicant’s payment is for the Intern Training and includes lodgings for 3 weeks.
While we have had many Interns who enjoy the Hedonisia Hawaii Community life, we understand that this Internship is not for everyone. We want to have the most motivated, friendly, responsible and hardworking Interns who can enjoy their life in the rainforest whilst participating in a community that is small in size but global in reach.
We simply cannot guarantee acceptance of all applicants. It is only when someone has arrived and worked with us for a while that we are truly able to assess whether they would be a good fit as an Intern at Hedonisia Hawaii. This goes both ways, of course. After living and working here you will know if this is a good fit for you!
However, even if you don’t get the position you still would have been able to enjoy three weeks stay at Hedonisia and a training in sustainable community management. At $695 that is a great deal!
Compassionate Cancelations or Change of Program
We or you could decide that you are not a good fit for the Community Intern Manager Program before the 3 weeks are up. Assuming there is no other issue such as a serious violation of our Community Guidelines, we can pro-rate your payment ( – $40 processing fee) towards one of our other programs:
- Weekly/Monthly Community Experience. Depending on the Lodging you choose we will pro-rate accordingly. This option will give you the most free time to search around if you want to find another community or place to stay.
- Fair-Trade Volunteer. That would work out to roughly 5 weeks total as a volunteer assuming you want to change programs during the first week.
Canceling Before Arrival. If you decide to cancel before you arrive we charge a $200 Cancellation Fee because we have reserved this intern space for you. In addition, each approved application involves time and energy to process.
Compassionate Refund Cancelation Form: It is community policy that, once you begin your internship we do not issue a refund. However, we understand that each person sometimes has special circumstances and so we have a Compassionate Refund Policy.
When you complete this form please give your reasons for wanting to cancel. This is a Compassionate Refund and not obligatory so we are interested in your personal story. If you are already on the property the size of the refund is dependent upon how you conduct yourself on the property and how well you clean your bed space when you leave. Once approved your refund will go back to the card you originally used for your payment after your departure.
These questions apply ONLY to those who are interested in the Intern Community Manager Program:
Many interns see our intern program as an affordable way to stay long term at a fun eco-community in Hawaii. We understand and accept that.
However, our goal with this internship is to create a working educational program whose ultimate goal is to ‘graduate’ C.A.F.E. Entrepreneurs who go out and change the world!
Our internship is NOT a job so we don’t pay a salary! The benefits you receive are:
- 2-Day Work Week! You get free lodgings in Hawaii for only two full work days a week (three days for couples)! The hours are long on those two days – from 8:30am to 10:30pm and you will work hard. However, there is much down-time during those shifts and by concentrating your work into only 2 days, you have have 5 days off to earn extra income or simply to enjoy Hawaii, exploring the attractions of our paradise island!
- Accommodations Included. Please visit our Community Intern FAQ for more info on the various rustic ‘jungle lodgings’ that are available for Community Management Interns, both couples and singles.
- Tropical Garden Produce. Interns have unlimited access to the Hedonisia gardens which produce a number of edible crops depending on the season. (Approx. value: $60 per month).
- Moving to or just enjoying Hawaii. A self motivated couple or individual can use this position as a foundation from which to create opportunities in Hawaii and elsewhere. Or they can simply enjoy their days off to be a tourist in paradise!
- Living in Paradise! Yes that is a real benefit! The Puna region of Hawaii is beautiful, lush green, alternative, New Age, wacky, Pagan, eccentric and eco-friendly! We try to stay on earth at Hedonisia but we love living in our little island paradise!
- Free Laundry. Two free laundry loads a week valued at $40 per month.
- The Hedonisia Handbook is the training manual for all applicants. Normally priced at $9.95, it is included with the cost of the Intern Training Fee.
- Social Entrepreneur Start-Up Incubator! Hedonisia also provides support as a start-up incubator for interns with a C.A.F.E. Entrepreneur idea of their own!
- Intern Entrepreneur Partner. We have a number of eco-feminist projects that interns can choose to be more deeply involved with.
- Idealistic but Pragmatic. Our ideal Community Interns are ambitious people who want to use their time at Hedonisia to further their own goals and dreams of improving society and/or the environment. Unlike other communities, we offer the opportunity for interns to learn how to manage the community plus having a focus on ‘Mind’, Heart or Body work!
- Education & Enthusiasm for Learning. We do love candidates who have at least some post-secondary education. It does not matter if you didn’t complete your degree or training. Simply to have done any post-secondary education is enough! We have noticed that a person who continues to learn in their twenties rather than dropping out of high school in their teens is much easier to work with and train. While we can accept someone as an intern who did not complete high school it is necessary for them to show exceptional enthusiasm for learning!
- Self Motivation. Though you will have a support team of other community members and the directors, self-motivated individuals will find much to make them busy on their work shifts!
- Communication: This position is ideal for someone with great communication skills as you will be communicating with volunteers, the Director and other Community Interns regarding various physical and web-based projects.
- Volunteer Management: You will be working with volunteers on projects to keep the property maintained and to coordinate creative and beautification projects.
Intern Entrepreneur Ideas
We understand that many people want to intern at Hedonisia because it takes only two days of work to have a great community to live in Hawaii.
People who see this as just a great place to stay and meet people tend to also see this as a job and behave according. However, this internship is NOT a job and there is a Community Director NOT a boss.
Those who treat it as such will only get so much out of their internship.
While we want everyone to have a great time, our IDEAL candidate is someone who truly wants to make the world a better place. Those who show both in word and action that they want to be selfless rather than self-centered.
It doesn’t have to be as an idealistic entrepreneur. It could be through a profession like being a Park Ranger or a nurse or working in a non-profit.
An intern who actually ‘get’s what we are trying to teach and then goes on the make a living income with a business idea that improves the lives, of people or the planet.They are the ones who benefit. (As well as the planet!)
This internship is ideal for those who ALSO want to be an ethical entrepreneur!
Our little eco-community manages the following educational resource websites for ethical entrepreneurs.
When Interns have an idea they would like to work on, even if it takes them years, they can then choose Brain Focus projects that align with the business they want to start from our portfolio:
- Hedonisia Handbook: How to manage an Eco-Tourist Community
- EcoFeminist Entrepreneur: Creating commercial products and services for gender equality.
- EcoSexual Entrepreneur: Working with sexuality to improve society and the natural environment.
- Activist Entrepreneur: Using Using business as a tool for social change.
Interns are ‘Heroes’ not ‘Union Workers’. Occasionally, there are interns who are not self-motivated. They do only what they are told to do and simply wait around for instructions. We call such interns ‘Union Workers’. We can accept union workers as fair-trade volunteers or weekly/monthly guests doing a community support shift. However, union worker types do not make good Community Manager Interns.
We encourage social entrepreneurs but are happy when people simply make connections and friends during their time at the Hedonisia Hawaii Sustainable Community!
Emily – Intern Role Model. Emily, a past intern performed her duties very much according to the Hedonisia Community Guidelines!
- Excellent communication skills. She nearly always consulted before doing anything major. Followed up on focus projects with emails and phone calls and thorough Reports. Was patient, polite, detailed and easy to communicate with.
- Phone Questions. Called many times for clarification of issues both big and small. As a result, there were almost no miscommunications.
- New Ideas. Throughout her stay, she suggested new ideas with enthusiasm and follow through and was not dismayed if I did not agree to some of them!
- Brain, Heart and Body Focus. We love interns who can work on all three as it shows a great sense of balance. Emily did that!
- Calm Handling of Stressful Situations. There were a few on her shifts and she handled them with relative ease.
- Strong Finish. As her time came to a close she has continued to work hard in the community for a strong finish or what we call an ‘honorable departure’.
If you complete the training and are offered a position as Intern Manager, you will be responsible for the usual duties associated with managing our community.
However, as part of your internship we ask you to pick a ‘focus’ activity that will be your personal contribution to the Hedonisia Community.
Each Intern has an opportunity to choose specialties based on their skills and interests from the Heart, Body Mind list below. These will be their focus projects which they can work on as part of their normal community manager duties.
- BODY Work: Focus on Gardens, Tree Farming, Community Repairs, Landscaping & Beautification.
- HEART Work: Focus on Creative Work Projects. If you are someone who works really well with people we consider that ‘heart work’!
- MIND Work: Focus on our environmental, political and social enterprise projects.
Your focus projects will be your unique contribution to the community. However, when the heart, body and mind work together there is much more balance than when a person is too specialized!
With a maximum population of 18 we do give preference to Interns who have the abilities and desire to work on any of our Eco-feminist Community projects in addition to their normal community manager chores.
Especially when it comes to our reproductive rights and sex positive feminist projects, interns can choose to share what they are working on or not.
In other words, as as happened many times already, interns can work on our various eco-feminist brain projects and nobody on the community will have any idea that they are doing so!
This is part of our ongoing effort to be a community of individuals and to respect privacy, and Sexual Harassment Guidelines especially with regards to our more risque work.
Once you are approved in the telephone interview and we receive your Intern Training Fee, we will send you a confirmation email with a username and password for the Hedonisia Handbook.
The Handbook will give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the policies and practices that make our community function smoothly. This ebook is included in the cost of your internship and is also the manual for your training.
Week 1. Volunteer Tryout Week
ll Intern applicants must complete a one-week initial Volunteer Tryout where you will try a variety of tasks in the weekday mornings. The first week, you work a grand total of 12 hours! This light work week also gives you an opportunity to see if Hedonisia is the place for you!
In the first week, intern trainees will cover the following areas during volunteer shifts:
- Day 1: Facilities Deep Cleaning
- Day 2: Land Work & Tools
- Day 3: Hedonisia Gardens. Flora & Fauna
- Day 4: Lodging Readiness
- Day 5: Shift Preparation
Week 2: Intern Community Manager ‘Shadow’ Training
i) ‘Shadow’ Training. You learn ‘hands on’ for 3 days during the week where you will ‘shadow’ a more senior Community Manager as they go about their normal day. During your Shadow Days there will be times when you are ‘on’ by yourself with the Manager in the background to be called upon if needed!
ii) Hedonisia Handbook. The Hedonisia Handbook is our training manual for all Interns. In the afternoon or ‘Focus’ period of your shift you get a second chance to read the Hedonisia Handbook.
iv) 1st Training Review Q&A, Discussion & Examination
At the end of your 3rd Shadow Shift you will have a Question & Answer Review with a Community Director. We ask you questions about the practical aspects of managing the community as well as the Hedonisia Handbook Community Manual. This is also your time to ask questions about any aspect of your internship and training! (Quick Tip. Curiosity shows you have read the material!)
Upon completion of this Q&A we let you know if you are qualified to be an Intern Community Member! If you pass Congratulations! Your ‘work week’ will automatically drop to 2 days!
Week 3. Second Shadow Week!
Final Interview: If you did not ‘pass’ you still have a second Shadow Week to learn the program, get yourself up to speed and to pass in the next interview by repeating the training of your first Shadow Week. However, you will now be much more familiar with our community, policies and Review Q & A.
At the completion of your third Shadow Week you will once again have a final interview with the Community Director. Upon passing this verbal exam we will offer you a promotion to Intern Community Manager.
If you did not pass on your second interview then it may still be possible to stay on as a Fair-Trade Volunteer or Weekly/Monthly Guest however, those are paid programs.
If you are still showing great promise and potential as an Intern but did not pass, we can, at our discretion, allow you to try one more Shadow Week to give yourself a third and final chance!
Intern Daily Schedule
If you have been accepted, as an Intern you will have a two-shift work week. Each shift is long at 14 hours and is broken up into morning, afternoon and evening. However, you have lots of downtime during the shift and 5 days off!
A typical Intern Manager day has three basic parts:
1) Morning BODY Work! Volunteer management and land-work (8:30 AM – 1:00 PM) We usually do Physical and Volunteer work in the community at this time as it is still cooler and nice to work.
- Morning Prep (8:30 AM – 9:30 AM)
- Volunteer Task Assignments (9:30 AM – 9:45 AM)
2) Afternoon Focus Work! Focus, Solitary & Special Jobs (1:00 PM – 6:00 PM) This is usually the quietest time on the property so it is a great time to work on the various Focus projects that each intern chooses as part of their portfolio.
- Afternoon Prep: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
- Afternoon FOCUS time: 3:00 pm-5:00 pm
3) Evening HEART Work! 6:00 pm- 10:30 pm This is when people are cooking, coming home, and otherwise ‘hanging out’! ‘ We call this the Heart time of the day because it is when the social skills matter as you are communicating in a relaxed environment.
- 10:00 PM- 10:30 PM Fill in Intern Report for day
- 10:30 PM: Closing down Kitchen and Good Night!
After 10:30pm: You are ON CALL!
For applicants who wish to stay more than 4 months in Hawaii, we recommend saving enough to purchase a used vehicle. This will give a possibility to make a few dollars with our donation based airport pickup service. Craigslist or Facebook are great for used car purchases!
In addition, Uber has just started in this area of Hawaii. If you want to be an Uber driver on your days off check their requirements for purchasing a car. The advantage of being an Uber driver is you have an instant job on your days off!
Then you can buy a nice car from a dealership because Uber usually requires newer car models. If you have good credit you can buy a car on payment terms from a dealership and drive with uber to make the payments.
Sometimes we will allow a trusted intern to use our vehicle but this is very much on a case by case basis. Interns MUST have a clean driving record and will be tested to use our vehicle.
Driving interns are eligible to receive donation payments for the following services:
- Airport & Driving Pickups: Interns who own their vehicle get first priority on airport pickups. If the car is owned by Intern then they receive 100% of pickup fee from Hilo Airport. (33% for Interns who use our vehicle.)
- Recycling Trips & Gas Allowance. If you purchase a vehicle suitable for taking out the recycling and trash, you can receive an additional gas allowance of $50 per month plus the redemption money of bottle deposits from recycling.
- Private Tours. There are many beautiful sites on Hawaii island. Resourceful interns with a car have often taken people from the property for gas money to enjoy the natural beauty of Big Island!
All Community Interns will be assigned lodgings based on availability, seniority, work ethic, friendliness and aptitude.
Single Community Interns enjoy any of the following dorm spaces which are shared with only one other person of the same gender:
Single Interns who wish to have a private space can stay at one of the following based on availability for no additional fee:
Couples are assigned a private space which can be one of the following:
They can also camp or share one of the dorm spaces.
Intern Private Spaces. We understand that some single Community Interns prefer to sleep in a private space. This is possible under three different conditions.
- If the Intern is promoted to Anchor Manager
- For being on duty one full extra shift
- For additional Upgrade Payments based on the lodging they desire. This also applies to couples seeking to stay at one of the lodgings with more amenities.
- If you leave and return within 3 months there is NO Retraining Fee!
- After 3 months there is a $50 Retraining Fee.
- After 1 year there is a $100 Retraining Fee.
Arrive with aloha, leave with aloha!
US Students. We are willing to work with universities or other educational institutions to adjust our internship program to fit with their school requirements. However, for those who are receiving a grant or credit there may be extra work and training involved depending on the requirements of your institution.
Additional Student Processing Fees. Our standard fee for the Intern Training is $695 for a typical applicant. However, if we are required to do additional paperwork to satisfy your student requirements then we do charge an additional fee of $25 per hour to complete those forms with a $25 minimum.
If there is an ongoing commitment of paperwork or reports to send in to your University or Grant office then we charge a flat rate of $250.
However, if your school or grant office does not require any additional paperwork from us or if you are able to complete it yourself then you save on this cost!
Our Internship fee covers training and lodgings for three weeks in Hawaii. Most applicants are happy and enthusiastic to pay this sum because they understand and appreciate the value of our Internship.
Many interns first saw our website months or years ago. They planned and prepared before arriving, growing in excitement as the time got closer! Such applicants have often been our best interns!
It is simply not fair to those applicants if we offer discounts to those who have not saved up or prepared for our program.
When an applicant tries to bargain down the affordable price of this internship it tends to indicate they have very little appreciation for the value of our program. They are simply trying to get the cheapest option to stay in Hawaii. There is nothing wrong with that but then we would suggest applying to stay as a Fair-Trade Volunteer which is cheaper for short-term stays.
Based on past experience such Interns often have been the most difficult to work with because they continue to ‘bargain’ all along their internship as their focus is on themselves and their budget not the community and the work we are doing.
In addition, when an applicant indicates that they have such a tiny budget it shows they have not prepared adequately for living in Hawaii. Interns get some but are responsible for most of their food needs so they need to at least have some starting funds.
Normally when an Intern applicant asks for a discount or tries to bargain down our very low prices before even arriving it is considered a ‘red flag’ for us.
Hedonisia Intern & Tech Entrepreneur Equity or Profit Sharing!
For qualified applicants, we offer Intern or Tech Worker profit sharing equity stakes in select projects from the Hedonisia EcoFeminist & Activist Entrepreneur Web Portfolio.
An applicant has to show abilities, skills and enthusiasm working on the project they choose. If while working on a project, an intern shows original, creative research and thinking, we can offer them a Hedo Intern Equity or Profit Sharing Agreement for that project!
A Profit Sharing Agreement would be for 3 -11 years and would be customized to the skill level, energy, and knowledge that an intern brings to the project.
For interns or tech workers to gain equity ownership then they have to bring original improvements of the project they choose they wish to be a part of!
With a maximum population of 7 we do give long term preference to Interns who have the ability and enthusiasm to work on any of our feminist and activist enterprise projects. These projects are a core part of our community identity and our ideal Interns should have at least some interest in them.
Interns can stay up to a year at Hedonisia based on what we call WAFF:
- Work Ethic: the ability to follow instructions, receive feedback and complete work efficiently!
- Availability: We can only accept Intern Members if we have available space!
- Flexibility: Intern’s ability to adapt to new guidelines without fuss.
- Friendliness: Is the Intern a community person who can live harmoniously with others?
If an intern does stay a year we recommend that they get away for a bit, go out in the world or connect with family and friends. As long as an Intern leaves in good standing they can return for another stint refreshed and renewed!
If we are full here are some options for applicants!
- Be a Volunteer. If you started as a volunteer, once you pay for the initial week the Volunteer program only costs $60 a week after that or $240 a month. That’s $240 a month to stay in Hawaii!
- Be a Guest.The Weekly or Monthly stays are bit more expensive but still a good deal. If you have the budget you can stay or as a Weekly/Monthly Guest until a space becomes available.
- Visit Other Communities. While waiting for an Intern space to open up it is often a good time to visit other communities. We have found that when applicants visit other communities and then return that they have a greater appreciation of our community structure.
- Go Camping around the island! If you are on a budget you can just be a tourist and camp around the island.
- Try again another time! We cannot guarantee a space so even if you choose any of the above you may still not get a spot! In that case we still strongly recommend that you enjoy your time as a volunteer or guest and do a great job. Then apply for a future date!
- Training & then Waiting! You can also still register to do the intern training, if there are no intern placements available after you have completed the training and passed the training assessments you would be put on a waiting list for when an intern space opens up.
Our program is ongoing so interns can arrive at any time during the year. However, we recommend spring or fall as there is usually more availability in that time.
Support Intern. When we have a full quota of 7 interns or if an applicant wishes to stay for a shorter time, we offer a Support Internship that allows you to pay the Intern Training Fee to cover your training and lodgings at our community in Hawaii.
A Support Intern shadows an Intern Manager and assists them as they go about their duties so it is a lighter training. However, there would be no test at the end of their three weeks. They would have access to but would not be required to study the Hedonisia Handbook and all the other community guidelines.
When an intern is preparing to leave the community, they sometimes have a tendency to mentally ‘check out’ before they have actually left. They get sloppy and begin losing motivation; they do less on their shifts than required and they say and do things that are not exactly in the spirit of the community.
While it is understandable to prepare for departure it should not come at the expense of the community. It does not create the best example especially for new interns who are still looking at the departing interns as role models. So please try to stay engaged right up to your last day. Finish all outstanding focus projects, keep up a good positive energy and leave with aloha!
When you are ready to leave Hedonisia, please give us as much notice as possible! A month is what we recommend. However, we do understand if you have an emergency and must leave quickly. (We all have family on the mainland!)
Leave in good standing and return as a Friend of Hedonisia with an ‘honorable departure’!
- Be sure to leave a clean bed space!
- Be sure to ask for a Certificate of Completion.
- Be sure to reserve your return if you wish to come back as an intern within three months
- After 3 months returnees only have to pay a $100 Training Update Fee.
- After 1 year returning interns only have to pay a $200 Retraining Fee.
We can issue a Certificate of Completion for volunteers or interns who have completed their time with us in good standing. If Volunteer is a student, then we can adjust the Volunteer hours to reflect the requirements of Student’s educational institution.
Please note that this Certificate will not be issued or can be nullified if an Intern or Volunteer’s subsequent behavior is contrary to any of our polices and guidelines or reflects negatively on the reputation of our community.
Intern Airport Dropoff: When an intern finishes their internship in good standing and is ready to leave we offer the following a dropoff to the airport discounted to $20 (we still have to pay the drivers and gas 😉 For Anchor Interns we will give a free drive to the airport.
Returning Interns on Short Visits! Whatever lodging they pick, ex-Interns only have to pay for the lodging priced below it. For example if they want the Jungle Cottage they only have to pay the Kahuna Cabin price. Or if they want a dorm space they only have to pay the single person camping rate. This discount also applies to any friend or partner they bring with them as long as they are sharing the same bed space!