Inside Pele’s Chaos

In 2015, self-professed “Wander Woman” Corey Hale arrived in Puna, Hawaii, and knew she found her forever home.  She spent all of her money to buy a piece of property, and set about trying to tame the jungle and manifest her 30-year-old dream of opening her own retreat center. While living in the rainforest was a struggle, from the relentless rain to the lack of basic amenities to the constant visitations from both welcome and unwelcome creatures, Corey fell in love with the place, the people, and the lifestyle.

And then, the lava came. And kept coming. And coming.

Corey lost everything. For a while, she even lost heart. But in the end, nothing can keep a good Wander Woman down.

This memoir covers the trajectory of Corey’s “Punatic” years, from the moment when she first set foot on her land, to the months upon months where she worked relentlessly toward her dream of Hale Ōhana Honua, to the sudden eruption of Kilauea, to her months of living in a parking lot—unsure what had happened to her home, unable to let go—and to her eventual departure from the island. It’s a story of both great love and great loss, set in the Wild West of Puna under Pele’s shadow and inside her chaos. With her unflinching honesty, Corey lays bare the emotional landscape of post-traumatic stress disorder, from sadness to anger to betrayal to peace, to acceptance, and always, to love.


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