Thursday, February 22, 2007
The rabbit hutch will be complete by Tuesday to be picked up. I am very excited and looking forward to seeing the work the youth in the Soufriere Enrichment Centre have done. With Michaels good instructions I know its going to be a great hutch built by the young men of Soufriere. The best parts is this project helped teach these future carpenters basic construction skills.
I hope to get my first set of breeding rabbits by the end of the week. Its VERY exciting to see this project coming through.
Thanks everyone for your support!
Saturday, February 17, 2007
I had an incredible V-day, I had my girly with me all day and then my Aunties dropped in and my MaMa came over.
I have to give props to the Aunties who saved my butt for V-day. Being a poor Peace Corps volunteer I had no idea what to do for my girl. The aunties talked to be about flowers, so on the drive home from Souf to Canaries they would pull over every time I saw some good ones. I would jump out with my buck knife and begin hacking and sawing. Remind you this is on curving mountain road in the rainforest. I was only nearly ran over once and I pierced a few times by 1 inch thorns in my labor of love.
Anyway it was all worth it, here is the success.
Anyone like the aluminum foil wrap around the 5 gallon bucket:)
Here my beautiful baby next to them.
Here are some of the hearts I plastered around the house.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Hello All Friends Family and Collegues reading this blog for the continuing adventures of Leo and the Aunties.
This is Hummingbird beach in Soufriere which is only 20 minutes from Canaries. Those are the Pitons, amazing eh? And who are those two fine ladies, my Aunties of course loving it!
Okay so first I am going to talk briefly about the work being done for World Cup Cricket and then some Pics the Aunties have taken of the local flowers.
Meetings, meetings and more meetings, as we prepare for World Cup. I have been in evening meetings 3 nights last week going from 7-9:30 pm and this week its looking like every night until our kickoff event this Sunday.
Somehow this has all come together and its been through a lot of hard work of members of the community, me, the president, secretary, Agatha, Jackie, Ian and the list goes on.....
The government has stepped up and provided the funding for the 15 LATS on the island to put on events during World Cup as the island will be flooded with some 20,000 tourists. Its an exciting time and represents an opportunity for Canaries to seriously work on its tourism.
Were looking forward to the launching of the months activities this Sunday when we will be having 2 of the top acts on the island playing. The calsonian Invader and Matrix band.
So enough on that here are the pics.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Here is a copy of the Canaries Creole Pot Development proposal that I was able to put together and submit to the Canaries UK Association. I am excited along with the other members of the Creole Pot Committee at this possibility of funding and sponsorship. If they help us we will be able to establish Creole Pot as one of the best street parties that is true to Creole culture. Read below if your curious:
Canaries Creole Pot
“Where the Kweyol’s at!”
Canaries Creole Pot Infrastructure and Growth Proposal
Submitted on 3rd February, 2007 by the Canaries Creole Pot Committee
Recorded by: Lee Klejnot, Canaries Peace Corps Volunteer
Introduction (pg 2)
History of Canaries Creole Pot (pg 2-3)
Governance (pg 4-5)
Looking Forward (pg 5)
Finances of Creole Pot (pg 5-6)
Creole Pot Funding Request (pg 6)
Accountability and Implementation (pg 6)
Conclusion (pg 7)
Canaries Creole Pot is a biweekly event that showcases Canaries rich, diverse culture by providing a street party featuring Creole dishes and live Creole music set in a quaint, clean, safe, fishing village.
More importantly Canaries Creole Pot provides economic stimulus and employment. Canaries Village has the highest unemployment rate of the island at 30.6% per the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action plan from the Ministry of Social Transformation. This activity provides employment for 24-30 Lucian’s. As it grows it will continue to provide financial and social benefits to Canaries.
The Creole Pot Committee is asking the United Kingdom Canaries Association to help build the infrastructure and assist with some of the live entertainment costs of Canaries Creole Pot so that in can become a self sufficient enterprise within Canaries that will ultimately promote a village and a people that have often been neglected.
History of Canaries Creole Pot
On the 26 of November 2005 the Canaries Creole Pot was founded with the help of the Village Council, Canaries Community Club and the Ministry of Social Transformation. It has been sponsored and received assistance from Saint Lucian Distillers, Bank of Saint Lucia and Ministry of Social Transformation.
The Canaries Creole Pot has just celebrated its 1 year anniversary this November.
It is the lynchpin event in the development of Canaries. Our World Cup Cricket Proposal uses the street party as the backbone of its events and it is absolutely critical in the development of Canaries tourism
All vendors have trained and certified in Hygiene and Food Prep by the government.
Creole Pot is a recognized and registered event with the Ministry of Tourism and it has its own business account setup through the Bank of Saint Lucia.
Some brief information about Kweyol Pot:
The Canaries Kweyol Pot Street Party is the best way to experience Caribbean Kweyol flavor and culture in the intimate small fishing village of Canaries. Experience a street party with “LIVE” Kweyol Music with the West Coast Band. They will be mixing in Soka and traditional Kweyol songs with some classics from Bob Marley starting at 6pm. Taste genuine Kweyol Cuisine from our Food Health Certified Vendors. Have the Rabbit Kweyol Platter, serving our signature dish of stewed rabbit in red wine and coconut cream with all the traditional sides like breadfruit and dasheen. For the less adventurous we always have plenty of BBQ chicken and fish. We also offer traditional Vegetarian Rasta food that’s always fresh and organic.
Creole Pot is governed by a diverse board of community member who are dedicated to the growth and development of the community of Canaries. Each member understands the importance of Creole Pots success as the main activity in Canaries. With the village looking to develop a tourism market having a successful street party is critical in this development.
The Creole Pot president is a single mother of three. Her experience includes working for Secret Wine Bar and Restaurant for 3 years and Chungs Chinese for 5 years. She has been vending on her own for the past 3 years before Creole Pot was organized.
Mrs. Edwards has long been a pillar in the community and is one of the key stakeholders in starting and maintaining the Creole Pot. She has spent countless hours borrowing begging and investing her own finances in Creole Pot. Because of her dedication, hard work and perseverance Creole Pot is a growing event. Her and her husband owned their own interior design and renovation business in Canada. She has been a long time Canaries youth advocate and youth sponsor. Her professional training includes a double major in Sociology and Childhood Education with a Masters in Childhood Education.
A returned retiree from England Agatha has given herself to community work and institutional strengthening. She and her husband Gary have both received awards from the Canaries UK association for their outstanding service from the foundation with Gary serving 9 years and Agatha 7. Agatha’s professional experience includes working for Marks and Spenser’s for 14 years.
Lee previously worked for the non-profit, Orphan Foundation of America as grant administrator for three years. At OFA he disbursed over 4.3 million dollars in scholarship funds to orphans and foster youth in United States. He now assists Canaries Creole Pot, and Canaries Community Club with the primary goal of improving economic development in Canaries.
Leonarda (Leona) Leonty and Rosa Benjamin
Steve Leonty and another family member
Suzanna Joseph and another family member
Nadette Fanis and her daughter Carshel Fanis.
Rufina St. Omer and her cousin Kisha Joseph.
Creole Pot is continuing in its development with the goal of tourists and Lucian’s enjoying Canaries to the fullest. Creole Pot has become an established event since it has been existence for a year now. Intuitions and ministries are taking it seriously as an event to develop Canaries.
Based on written surveys taken by tourists, Peace Corps volunteers and an evaluation from the Ti Kaye’ resort the following issues have been identified that must be addressed before the hotels will be willing to send guests that could bring the event into a profitable activity.
The biggest issue identified is the lack of seating, tables and tents. In the proposal we are asking for 6, 6ft tables and 36 chairs and 4 pop up tents for the tables to keep tourists dry during those quick downpours. Also identified was the lack of usable safe bathroom facilities. The Community Club and Village Council have agreed to provide funding for the restrooms renovations.
Currently the stage is setting at the crossroads by the market which is to close to the disco where the live music can sometimes be drowned out by the disco. We continue to be drawn into a “sound off” every Creole Pot that does nothing for our guests. To address this problem were looking to moving the stage to the end of the street so it's not as close to the disco. We will need two additional pop up tents to protect the Hi Fi and speakers since they will no longer have the protection of the market bringing the total required tents to 6.
Finances of Creole Pot
Currently Creole Pot currently runs on a deficient of $300-400EC per event. Our current costs are $400 for Hi Fi and DJ service which also includes stage setup and tear down. The live entertainment costs for the West Coast Band is $400 and $100 for police security. We currently collect $100 EC each from the 5-6 vendors. This amount does not cover all the costs of the Creole Pot and is taxing for the vendors reducing their profits from the evening to the point where it is sometimes cost prohibitive for them to continue vending. With the infrastructure purchases above the Canaries Creole Pot will be able to attract more tourists and thus more vendors and provide an opportunity for local crafts sellers to sell. With those increases the Creole Pot will no longer be in the red and it will become a self sustaining event. The Creole Pot Committee asks that in addition to assistance with the infrastructure needs that funding be considered to help with entertainment costs. We ask that assistance be provided for one years worth of entertainment to allow the Creole Pot to build up capitol and capacity as one of Canaries feature events. That would provide the time of incumbency necessary to build up the events capacity to attract tourists and more vendors. It is particularly important that this request be considered as a priority as Soufriere is currently organizing a street party that will be directly competing with Creole Pot since it is on same dates and times as the Creole Pot. If sponsorship is not provided and infrastructure issues are not addressed the Soufriere street party has the potential of taking away customers.
|Creole Pot Funding Request||Price||Quantity||Total in EC||Total in Pounds|
|Heavy Duty 6ft Tables||258.00||6||1,548.00||295.93|
|Priced from Big J's Wholesale|| || ||-|| |
| || || ||-|| |
|Heavy Duty Folding Chairs||115.00||36||4,140.00||791.44|
|Priced from Big J's Wholesale|| || ||-|| |
| || || ||-|| |
|Pop up Tents||250.00||6||1,500.00||286.75|
|Priced from Courts|| || ||-|| |
| || || || || |
|1 Year Sponsorship for Live Entertainment.|| || || || |
|Live Entertainment (West Coast Band) 26 times per year||400.00||26||10,400.00||1,988.33|
|Hi-Fi System, DJ, Stage Setup, 26 times per year||400.00||26||10,400.00||1,988.33|
|Total Funding Request|| || ||27,988.00||5,350.78|
Accountability and Implementation
When giving funds for development work the question of accountability must always be addressed. Rest assured that our accounting and receipts are accurate and available kept in excel for transparency and reporting purposes. We pledge that funding given for Creole Pot will be used and accounted for directly. In addition to receipts we will provide pictures of the infrastructure purchases that are addressed and they will be emailed to UK association along with the balance sheet of how funding was applied.
Canaries is developing this important economic and social activity to stimulate the communities economy. Please support Creole Pot and help us use this wonderful community event as a leverage to promote Canaries on the mental and social map of Saint Lucia to continue to improve the life of its residents.
We thank you for considering our proposal and look forward to working with you to develop OUR beautiful village together.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Right now the rabbit cage is being constructed by the Soufriere Care (at risk youth learning construction skills) program with another Peace Corps volunteer named Michael. They have it framed now and are adding the doors and chicken wire, it should be ready in a week or so. I am having him take pictures of the work so far, I will have them posted in a week. I still need a bit more funding for the rabbit feed and the seamoss project if there are friends out there still looking to help me and the people of Canaries. http://bigcountryleo.blogspot.com/search?q=development+projects+that+need+your+help
Take care everyone!
PSS thanks for the cookies Tina and the Mint Chocolate Bark Jule!