Abaya Strong Ohana Lava Fund

$8,722 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 99 people in 2 months
Created May 8, 2018
     We live on Moku Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. On May 3, 2018, we were evacuated from our home due to the first of many volcanic eruptions that have occurred. We only had a few hours to gather what was most important to us. We (including myself, my daughter Leilani, her significant other Kalani, son Kai (6), daughter Mānaia (20mo), and two dogs gathered what we could in the time we had and left in our only vehicle. As of today, there are a total of 14 volcanic eruptions that have occurred within our community's subdivision with the closest eruption only a few blocks away from our home. In addition to the lava, toxic gases (carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and others) are also a threat to our subdivision which makes it unsafe to return home for long periods of time. At this time, they do not anticipate the eruptions to slow down. To see the latest eruptions please visit the USGS website.
     My daughter, Leilani, has been able to get back to the house twice to retrieve important items. However, due to the uncertainty in whether or not we could return home (it was case by case, minute by minute) the only vehicles that we could afford to gather were those owned by family and friends. Ideally, we would have rented a U-Haul, however, we are not in the position to rent one with the uncertainty that we would not be able to enter. They were able to carry out two loads so far but we still have so much that was left behind. We are hoping, once we can find a stable place to live and we have the financial resources, to return back to retrieve the rest of our belongings. 
     At this point, we are putting our pride aside and asking for help. I ask not so much for myself, but for my daughter Leilani, Kalani and 2 grandbabies. This has been a huge financial burden for my daughter to not only care for her ohana (family) but also financially supporting myself, her disabled mother. We need to relocate as soon as possible and need help financially to secure a home. The cost of living in Hawaiʻi is very expensive with the cheapest rent, unfurnished in the Hilo area running around $1,500 a month (not including utilities). We need financial help with rent deposits, first months rent, pet deposits, utility deposits, and replacing those items that were left behind. In addition to these expenses, we will also need help recovering from the unexpected expenses in addition to our everyday expenses (food, school tuition for Kai, diapers for Mānaia, etc). 
     You can find my pictures, videos (which was featured in over a dozen different newscasts around the world), and lava eruption updates on Facebook under Maija Stenback, they are public or you can message me.
     Again, mahalo (thank you) for taking the time to read our story and we appreciate your kōkua (help). Mālama pono a me ke aloha.
   - - Maija
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June 11
As of yesterday the house is still standing. I've circled the house in red on Moku Street.
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Thank you GoFundMe ohana❤
BBQ hamburgers
Mommy's back from Hilo!
Kaiko'o's Lego table finally got to him.
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June 8
Leilani came home to Ocean View last night after working the week in Hilo (2+ hr drive) she talks daily to Kaiko'o and Mānaia via Messenger or Viber. She misses her babies dearly and vice versa. Kalani stayed in Ocean View with me this past week working on the floors so hopefully in a week, 10 days we can move into the front part of the house as we've been living in the back part and family room. Glorified camping you can say.
Last weekend Leilani and Kalani were able to rent a 20' uhaul (thanks to generous GoFundMe donations) and made a 3rd run to the house on Moku Street before the mandatory shut down on our Street. As of right now Moku is tentatively open for residents only and Leilani is hoping they will be able to get in next week and pack the kitchen.
We currently have 1 storage unit which is full (again, thx to funds from GoFundMe), stuff is at my dear friend Beth's house in Ocean View and some at the Ocean View house.
We have limited room at the Ocean View house because we were under construction with renovations and improvements to rent it out when all this erruption started.
Kai graduated from Haili Christian and we have been blessed with so much help from the school, teachers and parents. Leilani still is not sure if he will continue into 1st grade with Haili Christian (private school $$) or there is an opening at a hawaiian charter school (Kua O Ka Lā) up Waiakea Uka (used to be by Champagne Ponds Kapoho but now all under lava). Leilani and Kalani surprised him last weekend when they were able to remove his huge Lego table (that Kalani made) from Leilani Estates and bring to Ocean View. It was too big the first two runs and he was really upset about his Legos. He s thrilled to have his Lego table.
Mānaia has just been a true blessing hanging with Grandma. It amazes me every day the new things she learns, like picking her nose now and holding her nose and says "ehwwww" when she has a dirty diaper. Her new words are "up", "au'au"(To bathe) "Kai" and of course "mom" & "dad" and most favorite, "nana's" which is mama's boobies. Mānaia was still nursing at night when this happened so now she only gets "nana's" on the weekend. It's hilarious, the first thing she does after hugging Leilani on Fridays when Leilani returns is check make sure her 'nana's' are there.
We are still very uncertain where our permanent home will be due to the huge house rental shortage after 600+ homes have been destroyed. Not to mention 2 large outside dogs. But for now temporarily living in the Ocean View house that's under construction.
Kalani has worked his butt of where ever needed, kids, cars, chef, floor installer and all around handy man. Unfortunately we only have 1 car and when Leilani leaves for Hilo and Kalani stays back with me he does not have a car to get to any flooring jobs, so he does a lot of work around the house with improvements.
Leilani has only dipped twice into our funds (uhaul and storage) so the rest is still there waiting to hopefully fund a home in Hilo that takes dogs, which right now is very slim chance. She visits The Hub in Pahoa twice a week to get much needed and appreciated items such as a warm meal, TP, bottled water, canned goods, snacks for the babies, diapers, wipes... she has also gotten futons, pillows, sheets, kids games and gas cards etc from several other charities such as HOPE Servies, Children's Fund to name a few. Bless and thank you each any every person that has donated or volunteered to make this all happen.
As for me, well I get 5 stars for being the bestest Grandma ever. Spoil, spoil, spoil then toss them back to mommy and daddy on the weekends. But I truly understand why God designed women to have children at a young age as I'm exhausted every night on top of still nursing a broken back from 2.5 yrs ago bicycle accident. I rest when baby rests...
Kala and Koa (the dogs) are ok. Sadly they are in a 8x8 kennel at night and chained up in the yard during the day. We have tried several times to get the electric fence up around the 1 acre lot but never seems to have the extra time or man power to get it done yet. At night in the evening Kalani does let them lose to run for about an hour.
So that about covers things. Leilani (and sometimes Kalani) are Mon-Friday in a tent at Leilani's good friends yard in Hilo so she can work, then back to Ocean View on the weekends.
I've attached a few pix so you can see how close fissure #8 is (the one producing all the lava that's entering the ocean) the green box is the cell tower at the bottom of the Leilani Estates Community Center below the soccer fields. The last pix the green X is the cell tower and red x is our house. The Community Center is less than 1/2 block from our house, both being on Moku Street. Fissure#8 is on Nohea.
Thank each and everyone of you who has donated to my ohana (family), it is truly appreciated and a big burden has been lifted from my daughter with her constant worry and work to keep us safe. I don't know where she gets the energy for all she does and I love her with all my heart❤
Hugs and aloha, da mama, Maija
Green box: cell tower Leilani comm Ctr
Cell tower, Bottom Leilani Est. Comm Ctr
Green x; cell tower Red x our house
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June 1, today is D-day as most of Leilani Estates will be lawfully evacuated and shut down by noon. Anyone found inside will be arrested and prosecuted. Leilani and Kalani got a Uhaul last night and will be getting out as much as they can till noon where Leilani Estates will be shut down for the next 60 days per mayor Harry kim.
Leilani stays in Hilo on the work days and usually comes back to Ocean View where normally I'm here with Mānaia and now that Kai is done with school, I will have Kai too. Ocean View is a 2+ he drive from Hilo which Leilani must do every weekend in order to see her kids. Right now Mānaia and Kai are in hilo because the air got really bad in Ocean View. I stayed back to care for the dogs.
We are uncertain as to where we will live since Leilani's job ends in July and she has not secured another job after that. Leilani has her Masters in Marine Conservation and currently works for UnivHawaii-hilo in the Marine Science dept.
We are so appreciative of all the help and donations both big and small. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. One month ago today, we evacuated.
Leilani's hale Mon-fri in Hilo
Their own little place called home
Kai catching up on sleep
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$8,722 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 99 people in 2 months
Created May 8, 2018
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