Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Island in the Sun

There hasn't been much to report lately. After completing the foundation of the larger facility, construction was put on hold until Peter could come up and assess the work and plan for the continuation of the walls and roof. This process was delayed a little by anticipation of the election results and possible riots. But luckily, Peter was able to travel up to the project site last week with his father to make plans for their work this coming weekend. In preparation, the workers in Gros-Morne have raised concrete beams to support the wooden structure to come.

Although things have been moving a little slow, not to worry, I found things to occupy my time. Guy-Marie and I advertised, interviewed and choose a full-time production manager for the project. When the business gets going, Wilson will be in charge of overseeing employees, controlling cash flow, purchasing feed, replacement hens and the general dealings of everyday production. Guy-Marie will be available for oversight and to answer any questions, but he will not be on-site everyday. I have already started to train Wilson in the ways of animal husbandry and the vision for this operation. The three of us together will sit down tomorrow and discuss options for a guardian and other facility workers.

Another side project that started was the digging of a second well for use by the community. The well that was dug in August is located inside the facility security fence and will be off limits to the outside community once hens are on the property. Because we want the community to also benefit fromt the development in the area, we decided to dig a second well near the community school/church. The land was once again donated by a local farmer and the community has already agreed to father rocks, sand and gravel as necessary building materials. I am encouraged by the enthusiasm of the community and their desire to participate in the development. Through my interaction with the people in the last several months, I am confident that they will continue to support and protect the new Poulaye project.

And finally, my time waiting for things to move forward was well wasted. Jean (Bob) had the chance to come visit for a week or so with his gregarious cousin George. I took him to visit the hen house, the ravine correction, construction of additional classrooms at the Fon Ibo school and of course Tiden's beach/bar. After spending a few days in Gros-Morne, we took a tap-tap to OKap to visit his family. We even spend two days sleeping on a local beach, aptly named "Paradise". It was a great time to see him and try to give him a taste of my daily life in Gros-Morne. Although short-lived, I took advantage of my break from work and my opportunity to spend time with him before his deployment.

And now things are starting to pick up again. Although I will be returning to the US after a few more weeks, the project will continue to advance. I will return in May to attend my brother's graduation from the University of Arizona. After spending a month or so with friends and family, I will most likely return to Gros-Morne to continue working: installing solar electricity, finish setting up water and feed systems and purchasing of hens. I am looking forward to ice-cream and Chipolte, but I also know the my work is far from over.