My 2 Months Workaway Adventure at Kapila Gardens

Working here has been such an amazing experience. I’ve learned so much and had so much fun in the process. The family here is the nicest and really makes you feel at home. The children are the best!! They will teach you so much, so really listen. Oh and be prepared to have the best mangos of your life! I have been here for 2 months now and have found out a lot of good information that I wish I had  known before but I’m doing this now for all you future workawayers.

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Waianae is one of the least touristy places of Oahu. It’s absolutely beautiful here, waking up to green lush mountains everyday is unbeatable. I was warned about the homelessness here but really it’s not that bad. It’s a small community and they are respectful and I haven’t had any issues.

The Bus System
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It’s 2.75 one way and 5.50 for a day pass, some of the bus drivers will give you a day pass for cheaper though. Make sure you always bring change, dollar bills, 5’s and quarters!! They don’t give change back. For a month pass it’s $70 and you can get that at any 7-11 and I think there’s some other stores too. I found that google maps is easiest to use for the transit, it tells you when it’s late or on time which is really nice (be warned sometimes it comes early!!) It helps to plan ahead too, we learned that the hard way and pretty much spent a whole day on the bus and didn’t do anything we planned, so learn from our mess ups haha. Last helpful tip is that 401 bus (only bus that takes the route to Kapila gardens) cuts off at a certain time everyday so maybe sure if you are in Honolulu or somewhere else far away on the island to check that your buses to take to transfer to the 401 will get there before that cutoff time. On googles maps you can change the arrival time too which helps for planning your trips.

Grocery Stores and Food Nearby
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The closest grocery store is the Waianae store and the second closest (not far at all) is Tamuras. The Waianae store is cheaper than Tamuras, but Tamuras has more options. Make sure to budget for food because it is pricey! Really keep an eye out for in store price tags because you save a lot of money that way. Make sure to bring you own bags, they do change for bags. 
If you are wanting to go to a sit down restaurant by the water, go to the Beach house by 504. On the weekends at 6 they have live music and there food is AMAZING!
If you are out and about and hungry, I would usually not recommend this anywhere else, but here it’s different, go to 7-11. They have some really good pre-made food and it’s super affordable and fresh. 
Make sure to check out mountain magic shaved ice, and get the mochi added on!!

Clothes and Shoes 
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For work make sure to bring a pair of close-toed shoes you don’t care about getting beat up and dirty. I would bring at least 2-3 breathable outfits you don’t mind getting stained. Definitely bring a hat too! 
For hiking, honestly hiking sandals work great and have pretty much been my go-to shoes because you can wear them to the beach and on adventures. 
If you will be out after sundown, bring a jacket! It cools down pretty fast here. 

Helpful Items 
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  • Portable charger (has saved me lol) 

  • Smaller backpack for day outings (something light and comfortable)

  • Snorkel and mask (the Waianae store has a pretty decent paid for $12.99) *helpful tip* when you first get goggles smear toothpaste in the mask and let it dry then rinse it out, do that twice then use a defog solution like baby shampoo and water, this gets rid of the residue from the factory that causes the goggles to fog up so fast.

  • REEF SAFE sunscreen 

  • Binoculars (great for whale watching)

  • Bug spray 

Beaches Nearby
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Pokai bay is the closest one and probably one of the chillest beaches I’ve ever been too. The water is super calm on one side and then there’s waves on the other that are great for beginner surfers. It’s only busy on the weekends and it’s great for snorkeling, tons of marine life along the rocks. You will definitely see turtles(: 
Papaoneone beach is super fun for swimming and boogie boarding, the waves crash only by the shore and they are big but super soft and so much fun to get tossed around in. The shaved ice place I talked about early is right before this beach. 
Akis beach is great for snorkeling and hanging with sea turtles, very small and secluded. 
Electric beach is a great spot to see marine life, very popular snorkeling and diving spot. Make sure to wear fins if you are snorkeling there, the currents can get strong.

Closing Thoughts

Overall you are going to have a blast, this experience has been life changing and I’m so glad I did it!

About the Authors
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Isabella Forbes (right side of frame) and Jordyn Stokes (left side of frame) are both 21 and from Austin TX.

 

They extended their stay several times and the hosts were happy to have them because they had such a great attitude about everything.