Monday, April 28, 2008

Getting scrappy

Finally, Dominica has begun to do something with old computer parts (besides dumping them in the landfill). I dropped off several years worth of old PCs at the 'Scrap Metal Only' yard in Canefield. Along with old aluminium cans they are shipped off to Canada where they are recycled.

Next - let's find a good way to dispose of used engine oil.

The scrap metal initiative is by Ivan Smith (767 276 6434) in conjunction with Lifeline Ministries (767 449 8593).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

rebuilding the bike

the bike
Originally uploaded by Steve_Mc
I'm in the process of rebuilding part of the bike, and found, which is fast becoming invaluable. Mind you, I wish I hadn't found out WD40 was the worse possible lubricant to use on one's chain...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Otter with big eyes

The LIAT Twin Otter flight from Canefield, Dominica, is how flying should be - fun, lots to see (especially with the large windows), a little 'edge of the seat' at times, and short. En route to Antigua, the stop over is about 15 minutes at Guadeloupe, when one usually sits in the plane and awaits any passengers going on to Antigua.

Until now. Because of a 'new law', as the <racial stereotype> sulky but stylish French female</racial stereotype> ground staff told us, we had to get off the plane, follow her around into the airport, up several flights of stairs, through a security check again, and back down and out to the plane.

Still, one gets to see another airport, and one could even buy a copy of Le Monde before it goes bankrupt (it lost US$31m last year). Except that Le Monde journalists are on strike... Which got me thinking, when French air traffic controllers take their annual strike action, does that mess LIAT flights up? I'd rather not know...

Getting the bird

Parrot by
A recent newspaper article voiced concerns by farmers in Dominica that wildlife - especially parrots - had made such a comeback that their numbers were impacting on farmers' crops. Apparently they're very partial to grapefruits.

Rather than shoot them (as had been done), the farmers ought to see this as a golden opportunity. People will pay good money to see these magnificent birds, which are only found here. Remember, there were only sixty or so Sisserous (Amazona imperialis) after Hurricane David. Now there are about 300. I did wonder how Hurricane Dean last year impacted on birdlife, and events such as that serve to show that we still need to protect our own endangered species.

(Photo by Izzy)

PS The newspaper also said one farmer was considering court action. The defendant may only be referred to as Jack O...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April sunset

sunset 12 Apr
Originally uploaded by Steve_Mc
The days are getting longer, and as you can see from the photo, the sun's setting further north.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Place of Safety

The UK’s largest children’s charity is raising funds to open and operate a Dominica 'Place of Safety'. The Place of Safety will be the first ever 24 hour residential home for abused and abandoned children in Dominica.

The home will be able to look after approximately 100 children per year, giving them a secure and loving place of refuge. The Place of Safety will also function as a child development centre, providing respite care and other services to the wider child population, including Carib ‘Kalinago’ children. They are seeking to raise £300,000 to complete and equip the project by October 2008.

NCH staff in Dominica are currently in contact with abandoned and abused children who are in need of dedicated care and protection, while efforts are made to find loving homes. For example, one child is currently living in a hospital because she has nowhere else to go.

NCH needs help right now to meet this commitment and protect children from abuse, neglect, and homelessness. Read more at