Thursday, November 29, 2007

7,4 Earthquake Hit the Islands Today, Scary Stuff Man

A earthquake hit today, I was working in my house when it hit, it was pretty damn scary, it shook me and another Peace Corps volunteer Hallie for about a minute, I only caught the last 10 seconds of it on video below. My heart was pounding like crazy afterwards.

Notice the powerlines moving and the camera shaking still, that was the ground not me. It was interesting seeing Anne's reaction across the street, she came out singing praises to God as the last tremors hit. Well back to packing for Bequia, here is an article below from the BBC talking about the Earthquake hitting Martinque.

Strong earthquake hits Martinique

The quake's epicentre was 40km from Fort-de-France, Martinique
A strong earthquake measuring 7.4 magnitude has hit near the island of Martinique in the eastern Caribbean, the US Geological Survey has said.

The earthquake struck at 1500 (1900 GMT) off the north-west coast of Martinique at a depth of 145.4 kilometres (90.4 miles).

No casualties have been reported and no major tsunami warning has been given.

There have been unconfirmed reports that some buildings have collapsed in Martinique's capital, Fort-de-France.

The earthquake was centred 40km (25 miles) north-west of Fort-de-France, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

'Everything shook'

"For the moment, a building and a bank have collapsed. There is panic, but we do not know if there are casualties," a police source in Fort-de-France told the French news agency AFP.

Callers to Radio Martinique described their fear as the quake struck.

"My house shook so hard I thought it was going to fall. The door, the windows, everything shook," the Associated Press reported one caller as saying.

Map showing earthquake zone
"I wouldn't expect major damage because the quake has some depth," Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado told AP.

There were also reports that the islands of Guadeloupe and Dominica had felt the quake strongly.

Residents on islands further across the eastern Caribbean - as far away as Puerto Rico to the north and Trinidad and Tobago to the south - told the USGS that they had felt the quake.

The tremor was also felt hundreds of miles away in South America.

In the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, 500 miles (800km) from the epicentre, some people evacuated office buildings, Reuters news agency reported.

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary Here I Come

Hello All You Keeping Track of My Caribbean Adventures,

I leave this Saturday to spend 10 days working at the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary in Bequia with the founder and owner Brother Orton. Here is the letter explaining the purpose of the trip. Wish me luck, this has incredible potential and I am truly excited.

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary Trip Feasibility Study

In the continued effort to develop the Canaries Basin area to alleviate unemployment Community Club and I have been working jointly with the Saint Lucia National Trust. We are seeking to develop the campsite area in Anse La Liberte into an employment and income generating area. One of the main ways is to build an attraction that will draw tourists, especially tourists looking for an eco friendly experience. After many hours of research the best way to accomplish this is to convert the camping area into low cost huts and open a turtle sanctuary below the camping platforms. We are currently in the discovery stage of the process and the Saint Lucia Trust would like to send me on feasibility study/work trip for 10 days to Bequia Island to visit Brother Orton at the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary which is near Saint Vincent.

The goal of the trip is three fold:
1- to acquire the knowledge of the daily workings of a turtle sanctuary through hands on training.
2- to develop expertise in the care and raising knowledge of this endangered species.
3- to analyze the business aspect of a turtle sanctuary from the following aspects:
A-Infrastructure costs of building a facility.
B-Maintenance and food costs.
C-Daily Work flow.
E-Operation budget
F-Fundraising through private and international groups.

By assessing all these areas during the 10 day trip, we will be able to access the feasibility of starting a sanctuary in Saint Lucia. This will be instrumental in writing a proposal with the experience and expertise of spending a week and half working at a turtle sanctuary. The experience will be captured using video and photos along with detailed notes for easy skills transference to members of both the Trust and Community Club. This working knowledge and developing partnership with the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary will give our proposal the weight and credibility needed to pursue funding and if the project is pursued those skills and knowledge will be transferred to the National Trust and Community Club. Lastly, it will help us develop a solid relationship with a possible “sister” sanctuary that we can share knowledge and resources with to assist in the development of an eco sensitive tourism product in order to preserve a species and a precious asset to Saint Lucia’s people and tourism.
After I return I will meet with the Trust members and Edsel to submit a full report with all the information that was gathered so we can continue working on the proposal.
I would like to request permission to leave for this work trip from Peace Corps,
Thank you for considering this request, below is the flight information details from Liat and the contact information for Brother Orton,
Lee Klejnot, Canaries Peace Corps Volunteer

Orton G. King
P.O. Box 36
Union Vale, Bequia
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Cell: 784 493 3231 784 532 8013
Tel: 784.458.3245 784 458 3596
Fax: 784 457 3322

Friday, November 09, 2007

Baby Bunnies are so Cute, Farkel, and $52,000 EC.

Hello All,

Its time for a big update on a lot of different things going on. First I celebrated by 29th B-day on October 23rd, if you missed it you can still send me cookies or licorice :) Thanks to the friends who made it, and Marcy for organizing it and making it a surprise.

I regret to say that we had someone bail out of farkel despite our best efforts, here is the incriminating evidence, farkel may be forever ruined in Saint Lucia because of our former PST 1 EC 76 Trainer Edmund. Sorry James.

So we finally have baby bunnies and they are super cute.

I had given up hope and was making arrangements to have the rabbit hutch and bunnies taken to Anse La Verdue where it was a bit more quite and isolated. The mothers kept giving birth but they would never feed the babies. We figured out that it was the loud barking of the neighbors dog that was throwing off the breeding of the rabbits and causing the mothers to abandon their babies. So we moved the cage as far away as possible and walla, we have bunnies.

Me and Marcy will be visiting the family for Christmas Dec 27th-January 3rd, thank you Aunts and Uncles for helping us on the the plane tickets.

I am working with the Saint Lucia National Trust on an idea I came up with to start a Turtle Sanctuary in Anje La Liberte, a preserve of 133 acres of pristine land on the Caribbean Sea/West side of the island. I have finished the concept drawings using an amazing drafting program called Google Sketch Up, its free so try it out, make sure you do the tutorial, thank you Google Team!

Hmm Apple stock is at a record high at over $180 so I am pretty happy about that also. Lastly we just received word from the Basic Needs Trust Fund that Creole Pot will be receiving $52,000 EC for training and infrastructure improvements...did you see that $52,000, wow, so more on that later, thank you Lisa and the Basic Needs Trust Fund and Caribbean Development Bank.