A very active six weeks came and went since the last post and things are speeding up for the next month too – I’ve been back from Haiti for ten days and in another ten I set sail for Ile a Vache again! But not alone this time – the catamaran Manna and her hearty crew, Wayne and Emily Keese, volunteered at the the eleventh hour! They are arriving in St Croix in a few days to load and provision for the trip, with my partner Jan and I as second and third mates, and a fourth arriving next Monday – John Peltier from Arizona, (a sailor/mountainclimber/helicopter pilot/photographer who sailed his own boat to Ile a Vache before in 2012). So we’ll be quite a fine set of ship-mates, methinks. It’s a shame that the real ol’pirate can’t accompany us this trip – but Michael Beans himself is doing fine and has raised a few dubloons for the kitty, not to mention a pile of sails, toys and more, being brought down to join the vessel by our friends the Sheltons.
The aims of the voyage are:
- to deliver the goods collected in the Virgin Islands (and sent down from the States over the last year) to Ile a Vache, some will go on to Imect school as well. These include more sewing machines, a rototiller, sails and marine items, many hand and power tools, equipment for the schools and agronomy program recently started, more laptops and cameras, books, and all the things we can possibly cram in that can’t go by air these days.
- to erect the frame and roof structure of the new poultry house – the foundation was started today! and by end of April we hope to be raising chicks in it under the expert guidance of Anousse, our new agronomist! By fall when the new school year starts they’ll be laying, and the eggs will go a long way towards improving the nutrition level in the village (currently not good at all) and support the agriculture program itself.
- to teach power-tool use (and safety) to the staff and several carpenters so that we can do future projects.
- to assess the 150 school children’s height /weight/age for grade/health etc. for future clinics.
- we also hope to make a start on a jungle-gym for the school, and re-equip the kindergarten, plus supply sports equipment for the grade school.
- make a short video of GSF’s projects and progress using John’s expertise
Wish us luck and thank you to all who have or still are donating useful items, donations towards fuel and equipment, time and energy!
We have one more coffee-morning this coming Sunday 15 March, at 2 Little Lagrange on Mahogany Road St Croix, 10am -12 noon – $10 donation for coffee and giant cinnamon roll from the wood-fired bake oven! There will be Haitian crafts, ceramic work, fresh sourdough bread, preserves and garden produce for sale too!