Add a little rum.
|Beautiful Ile A Vache at Port Morgan|
It should be no surprise to anyone who knows Roy & I that we where dismayed at the election results and even more so with all that has followed.
|Wire for streetlights - It's da Caribbean|
|loading up Wahoo|
|Looks Idyllic! Sailing fishing boats at anchor in Kakock But life is hard - NOYC has sent a pallet of used sails.|
Local boys come by to ask for boat work, sometimes to sell fish, sometimes for a handout and sometimes just to talk but all are in their leaky Mango tree pirogues - word soon went round that we were handing out brownies!
|The fish farm. Cleaned up & waiting for the trees to grow.|
The only help was coming from "Friends of Ile a Vache". Two boats sailed in as soon as possible with water makers and used them to make water to fill jugs and cisterns. But the boats couldn't stay long because it was hurricane season and both were risking their own welfare. Money from donations went to pay local villagers $12/day to clean the beaches and paths as well as to start the recovery of the fish farm and put roofs back on homes.
|Haitian houses along the waterfront - some repaired some not. Much work still to be done.|
In thinking of what to do we decided to get there with supplies as soon as possible. We got in touch with Wagner Tanis, local agent and one of the creators of FOIAV, who directed us to get in touch with three other boats who were headed that way. SV Tandemeer, a 56ft International Aid boat was coming in with a large water maker and much needed tools as well as food and medical supplies. The 50ft catamaran, Bamba Maru, was coming from Luperon, DR with $4,500 worth of tools and supplies that they had raised through a Go-Fund-Me account which reached into their homelands of Germany and Switzerland. One other boat had to change plans and gave their supplies to Bamba Maru to bring in. What we did was appeal to our friends through a blog email and also a Facebook request. Together with our own donation we ended with nearly $1,400. Let me tell all of you who donated how much what you gave helped and with what appreciation it was received.
|Supermoon while crossing the Mona Passage|
Finally we were able to set our sights on Haiti. An easy sailing 124NM, about 20 hours, saw our arrival in Port Morgan. We were delighted to meet the folks on Tandemeer and Bamba Maru and also the locals who created and work with the Friends of Ile a Vache. Captain Sequoia Sun of Tandemeer had the whole crew over for dinner our first night there.
A video of Wagner showing the island of Ile de Permatois is here:
Time to get those supplies ashore.
|Off of Wahoo|
|Here they come!|
|Kids are hoping for a treat|
|Samuel and his 2 year old daughter|
After loading some things into Wagner's boat for Ile de Permatois everything else went into the Community Center for distribution.
Samuel arranged for Felix and I, to hand out the bags of candy I had made up for the children. As we stood on the verandah of the community center, with all the hands reaching up, I felt like it was Mardi Gras. Lots of smiles and laughter. But we know it was the fresh vegetables, dried rice & beans, fishing line & hooks and other supplies that the adults were most interested in. We also brought in lots of school supplies. They needed things as basic as notebooks, pens and pencils but we added coloring books, crayons and colored pencils as well as construction paper, glitter and glue for art projects. After all we want to keep Haitians making wonderful Haitian art. The soccer balls will go to a school in each village. The set up and way the distribution works is to give to the most needy but also to make the families do community work for their supples. That way everyone benefits because the community benefits.
|A gallery of vibrant Haitian Art right on the waterfront|
We are so glad to have come, so sorry to leave. Certainly a life affirming time spent with people who make you ache inside from the smiles, warmth and appreciation for the littlest of help. We felt we were offering a small drop in a deep ocean. In watching what's happening both in Washington and on Ile a Vache I have to quote Roy; "Both cream and scum rise to the top".
I hope each of you who helped can see how much your support was appreciated. We thank you for your generosity from the bottom of our hearts!!
If you want to donate to Friends of Ile a Vache, every dollar is used for the villagers, Here is the link to their website. http://www.friendsofileavachehaiti.com
If you want to see Friends of Ile a Vache on Facebook where there are photos and videos of the ongoing projects. https://www.facebook.com/friendsofileavachehaiti/?pnref=story