These were quiet months for the Orcas team. Some of us took advantage of the time for personal travel while Rosedanie completed the Permaculture course in Fredriksted and began weaving her way back to this island. Enroute she connected with a number of people and organizations whose commitment to sustainability in Haiti mirrors ours.
Among those were Dori and Bill Mebane of Woods Hole, MA. Steve has been collaborating with Bill regarding the furthering of the Masabiel Farmers’ Cooperative aquaculture project. The Mebanes were enroute to Haiti where they met with members of the HHN Limbé Committee and toured the site of the ponds. Bill was able to provide some very helpful information and suggestions as to size and development of the ponds, which the cooperative will now put to use. In addition, the Mebanes carried with them a parcel of toys and games purchased with funds raised in Massachusetts by Rosedanie. She exchanges these with the ubiquitous plastic guns and weapons carried by children on the streets throughout Limbé. Another small step toward changing minds.
While in New York, Rosedanie met with Scott Cullen of the Grace Foundation to request funding for the aquaculture project. Mr. Cullen will present our proposal at the next board meeting of the foundation. We are keeping our fingers crossed! The importance of this project cannot be overstated in that it will not only provide a badly needed source of protein but will also create jobs and be a model for other places in the community.
Seattle-based members of Engineers Without Borders have donated to HHN a high capacity water purification unit. This is a very generous gesture on their part and a very exciting development for residents of Limbé. Currently it is proposed that the unit will be installed at a small hospital near the HHN Center. That is subject to negotiations in progress with the founder. In addition to the unit, Engineers Without Borders will pay for shipping and for supplies for the first year. Thanks to the generosity of Orcas Islanders, we have a small fund dedicated to water purification which will enable us to pay for ancillary costs.
Rosedanie has returned to Orcas, so the pace quickens! The first item on the calendar is our second annual report to the Orcas Island community on June 2nd at the Emmanuel Parish Hall in Eastsound. Rosedanie will report on her time in both Haiti and on St. Croix. We are hopeful that Lahini Pierre, an HHN supporter of Haitian birth and a writer who is soon to take up residence in Port au Prince, will join us for the evening. We’ll be raising funds for an ESL and COMPUTER SKILLS day camp to take place in Limbé in July for 3 weeks. Rosedanie has arranged for ESL teachers to travel with her to Haiti where they’ll conduct classes for children and young adults who are already studying English but who have little opportunity to speak it. There will be various fundraising events for this project throughout the Northwest. Please watch the calendar for an event near you!!
The journal entry for May will have more detail. But a final word for this one: We are both aware and concerned about recent revelations about Greg Mortenson, about “Pennies for Peace”, and about The Grameen Bank. These revelations are both disconcerting and cautionary. In each case you have a visionary who, it would appear, has paid insufficient attention to the great responsibility associated with accepting public funds. We wish to assure you that our vision is backed up with detailed bookkeeping which enables us to account for every penny received. To do less than this would be an insult to the mission.