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Author: admin
• Sunday, August 12th, 2012

August 12th

Remember the song: ‘Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves’? Well, in the Turks & Caicos islands it’s ‘bringing in the conch shells….’! It’s amazing that this species doesn’t seem to run out; fisherman bring in many thousands of these amazing creatures every day with most of them ending up in restaurants as conch fritters, cracked conch, conch salad & conch chowder. The best shells, in the meantime, are sold to tourists on the beach. The government tries to enforce regulations so that only adult conch are harvested but we didn’t see any inspector keeping track….let’s hope they don’t become extinct!

Here’s another common sight in the Caribbean….a cruise ship on it’s way from Miami to some of the other islands. Cruise ships bring in much needed income although we’ve heard a number of complaints that tourists don’t spend like they used to. Cruise passengers these days tend to observe more than spend: sounds like us! I hope we can take a Caribbean cruise one of these days; we’ve seen many passing by….

And here’s our ‘raison d’etre’: promoting the drug-awareness message throughout the Caribbean. Our programs were received very well this year in the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos islands. In the photo below, the head prefect is thanking us on behalf of the school.

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Author: admin
• Thursday, July 26th, 2012

As we started to write about last time, we began our stay in Providenciales with couchsurfing friend Lynn. She then kindly introduced us to Marilyn, who lives only a few houses away & who needed someone to look after her house for about 3 weeks. Fantastic—this was a real answer to prayer, as searching around hotels & churches for donated accommodation can be pretty challenging!
The only snag was that she needed her house back for 5 days in the middle of this time period-—not really a problem though, as we really wanted to make a trip to the island of Grand Turk. Airline Caicos Express gave us discounted tickets & we were on our way!
Despite Providenciales being the most built up of the Turks & Caicos islands, it’s actually Cockburn Town on Grand Turk that is the capital-—hard to believe at times, as the island is sparsely populated & seeing donkeys wondering around adds to the timeless, laid-back feeling.
As all the schools were closed, we concentrated our efforts on arranging programs in the national prison, that is located on this island. Thanks to the very helpful superintendant, we were able to do one program for the juveniles & another for the adult prisoners with drug-related backgrounds.

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Author: admin
• Monday, July 16th, 2012

posted July 16th

When we arrived in the Turks & Caicos islands, we were fortunate to have a place to land with a lovely lady from the couchsurfing network: Lynn. As we were waiting for her in a local restaurant we happened to see children walking by in their school uniforms—obviously on their way back home after school. We were surprised as we had just come from the Bahamas where all the schools had just closed for the summer holidays.

We asked the children which school they were from & quickly hitch hiked a ride there to try to catch the principal before he left. The principal was very helpful & immediately agreed to our doing a drug-awareness program there in the next few days. Not only that, but he phoned the director of education to get us an appointment early the next morning. Thanks to this meeting, we got an official-looking authorisation to visit all the schools in the Turks & Caicos islands to conduct our programs!

In the meantime, our couchsurfing friend Lynn asked around on our behalf & found that one of her friends was going away & needed someone to look after her house while she was gone: perfect timing!!

Here are a few very expressive photos from our program at Ianthe Pratt Primary School….!


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Author: admin
• Sunday, July 08th, 2012

posted July 8th

We recently came to the end of our 2-month visit to the Bahamas & flew from Nassau to Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos islands… case you’re not familiar where they are, the little island group is right at the southern end of the Bahamas group & is close to Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba!

Here are some interesting facts about the islands:

*The total population is 44,000

*They’re a British territory but the currency is US dollars

*There are over 40 islands in the group & over 230 miles of beach

*Columbus is supposed to have landed on the island of Grand Turk as his first stop in the New World. However this claim is disputed by San Salvador island in the Bahamas!

*Horatio Nelson was once stationed on Grand Turk & suffered one of his very few defeats while defending the island against the French!

*In the last 300 years, the islands have been under the control of the French, the Spanish & now the British. 3 times the local government nearly decided to become part of Canada—in 1917, 1974 & 2004!

*Numerous rich & famous people own property here including Bruce Willis, Oprah Winfrey & Keith Richards

*The Turks & Caicos islands are named after the Turk cactus:

Here’s our first school program in the islands: Clement Howell High School:

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Author: admin
• Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Posted June 21st

After Eleuthera we took the plane back to Nassau & spent 2 very nice days with Theo & family, a friend from the couchsurfing network. From there another small plane to Georgetown, Exuma to carry on our mission of visiting schools with our drug prevention program….

There was no greeting committee attending our arrival at Exuma & so as soon as we got out of the airport building we started walking –& dragging our suitcases– in the direction of Georgetown. We were assured that it ‘isn’t far’, however it’s just as well that a car stopped for us as it would have taken several hours of walking in the hot sun to have reached town!

We’re happy to say that the first hotel we approached in the very small provincial town, kindly donated a nice room for the one week that we planned to stay on the island. A big thank you to Marshall’s Guest House!
Despite Exuma being a very small island with a population of only 5000, we were able to conduct 5 school programs—4 of them with a TV/DVD set up & one ‘improvised’ when we found ourselves in the middle of a power cut. We’re really enjoying our time in the ‘family islands’ –each one is really special & appreciative of our anti-drugs & smoking program.

Next stop: Abaco!

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