Meet Our Contractor

If you’ve driven by the corner of Eagle Rd and Neff Rd recently, you may have noticed some changes. Our construction team is Leader Builders, and they have been working with Mckenzie/Cascade as our excavation contractor. Thus far, we have completed a reroute of the irrigation ditch running through the property, a rough dig out of the building foundation and patios, and general grading of the parking areas, retention ponds (for rainwater), and completed the project job shack.

Dennis Szigeti is the owner and operator of Leader Builders, founded in 1997. Dennis has roots in Hawai’i and a total of 44 years of beautiful construction work. Dennis says the name, Leader Builders, “comes from my children Leah and Ryder (lea/der) and it’s a family affair with Ryder as my office manager and Leah as my tile expert.” Dennis is excited to be working on this project, “from it’s forward thinking/innovative design, to its mission statement and of course all the people involved in not only it’s building, but it’s overall purpose. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity.”

We are so grateful to have Dennis and Leader Builders helping to make the Hanai vision become a reality.

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Gratitude In Listening

Our team concluded the Listening Project in mid March. We listened to community organizers, musicians, pastors, professors, students, teachers, CEOs, farmers, dancers, mothers, restaurant owners, lawyers, makers, fathers, long time residents and new Bendites. We listened to people share the truth of their experience living here, and their insights on how to contribute. We listened to honor our community and to locate our place in this ecosystem. Thank you to those of you who shared your time and your voice with us.

We are so grateful for the listening team: Kimberly Smythe (founder), Carli Smythe (me), Breyn Hibbs, Janice Hughes, Aly Waibel, Terri MacDonald, Ilima Furey, and Piper Lucas. Everyone on this team committed themselves to learning and offering the art of listening to our community. We started with a 3 day training with expert listener and facilitator Shannon Thompson, and then deepened our practice with every listen.

We learned that listening can be transformative. It opens up a space for honesty and vulnerability. The art of listening asks you to put your opinions aside for the sake of witnessing another. We aren’t trained to do that in this world, are we? It’s something valuable to learn and practice and practice.

We gathered 16 notebooks of interview notes over at least 300 hours of listening to more than 150 people. As is good practice in qualitative research, we took a break from the data for two whole months. The notebooks have been patiently waiting for me to return to them, to code them, and to interpret our findings. That work starts now.

With Love,

Carli Ilima Smythe

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Listening Project Underway

Listening to Our Community

For the past month and a half, Hanai has been embarking on a listening project. We are listening to members of the community to help us get a better picture of what our community needs. We have the land, the building design, and our mission statement decided, and the listening project is designed to help us make decisions going forward about how the building will best serve our community.

It has been a great honor to listen to our community. This is a place full of people who are passionate about where they live and full of gratitude and hope about the connections that they have made and will make while living here. We’ve listened to the recently arrived and the generationally rooted. We’ve listened to grassroots leaders, pastors, educators and students. To farmers and environmental advocates. To people whose first language is Spanish. To healers and artists. To doers and dreamers. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. And we’re still going.

There is still a month more of the listening project. We listen to expose our blind spots, to learn who our community is, what we feel, and what we need, as a group. We won’t be able to address all that we’re hearing, though I wish that were possible. We’ll find patterns in our listening data and determine which needs speak the most loudly and are in alignment with our mission.

Connecting On This Blog

Our ground breaking is projected for this spring.You’ll notice more regular updates and you’ll also notice we’ll be working out the kinks on the site. I look forward to this site becoming a space for us to connect in the near future.

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Hanai Center Construction Update

The Hanai center is waiting for approval from the city of bend on its final design proposal. More information to come on the design of the center and how it will serve our community!

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