Aloha Aina is not just our home, it’s a community farm and a place of healing and a place of learning.

Sure, we may still be missing some of the minor comforts of life that many have come to consider necessity, like using an outdoor compost toilet and walking to use running water, a shower and a shared kitchen, but we have gained so much more…and we get to give back as well.

I feel like we were rescued by Greg. We had moved to the island after buying a small, fixer-upper of a boat as a backup plan to our homeless in February. At first we tried to stay at the transition house, but I had to work late hours and my son was not allowed to be looked after there without me present. He learned how to couch surf by the age of 10. Instead we lived in the minivan I bought for almost a month while trying to find housing.

When I posted on the exchange, Greg was the first and one of the only people to respond. He showed us the trailer and even bought us a heater. It was March by then and there was still snow on the ground.

I love that my child has so many wonderful people to learn from and go on fun adventures with. I am always getting phone calls and messages asking permission to take him along with them.

I don’t get to be home as often as I’d like as I spend a lot of time working at the Rocksalt Restaurant, but I do love to give back by making fresh squeezed juices for the farm workers, sewing and mending things for people, and bringing back communal food for the community.

I have never witnessed a fight or argument on this property; only love and acceptance. This is one of the safest and most wonderful places I have ever lived.

Mari and Lawrence