Saturday, June 02, 2012

A day in the life: My voyage to Cayemite Island

Martha, Ed, Amy, Zeze and I began our journey to Cayemite by car. When we arrived in Pestel, we parked at the church and walked down the hill and found a boat-for-hire. Then we were on our way:
A view looking back at Pestel:

After about a half hour, we approached the Cayemites:
And soon circumnavigated the peninsula to find the open ocean to our right and our own deserted beach piece of Heaven to our left:
As you can see, I was all smiles:Tim White

Friday, June 01, 2012

SHOCKING: Corruption charges in Hartford!

The FBI is investigating if Speaker Chris Donovan was influence peddling in Hartford. And while Register Citizen's CT-5 Campaign Team had already begun questioning the value of contributions to Donovan's campaign, in Cheshire we already knew all about the shady side of the Meriden Democratic party. Let's not forget our disgraced state Senator, Tom Gaffey.

But Cheshire is already acutely aware that corruption permeates Hartford. After years of trying to understand how Cheshire secured the $525,000 state grant for the artificial turf, I finally had the opportunity to directly question state Rep. Mary Fritz on camera. I asked her to inform Cheshire voters of the criteria used to allocate the $525,000, noting that it came from a $12,000,000 pot called the Speaker's "discretionary funds." Rep. Fritz' response:

"They are not slush funds! It's called negotiations."

Does anyone else get the sneaking suspicion that Rep. Fritz' "negotiations" are similar to the "negotiations" that occurred between Donovan and the Roll-your-own tobacco dealers?

Tim White

A day in the life: The port of Pestel

What had been a four hour journey was now only a three and a half hour journey from Jeremie to Pestel. The Brazil-sponsored road improvements were beginning to speed travel and, more importantly, improve the lives of Haitians. We also stood to benefit. Shaving an hour of travel off our already long day of travel to Cayemite Island would help us get home before dark.

The road from the outskirts of Pestel to its port were narrow and filled with people. So for difficulty in movement and for safety, Zeze parked the car at the church and we hoofed it down the hill in search of a Captain for our destination. You can see Ed and Martha making the descent in the lower right corner:
The port was bustling with activity, but we were ok. We had our driver, Zeze, to help us score a boat with Captain!

Amy and Martha adjusting their bags:
In the foreground is the opposite side of Pestel Bay. In the distance is our destination: The Cayemite Islands!
Some of the boats were rather precariously loaded IMO. But that's a direct result of the poverty. The weather was beautiful this day, but if it was raining with stormy seas it may well have been similarly overloaded. And that's a recipe for disaster... something that happens too often when we see headlines of "Boats overturns in XYZ Sea, hundreds believed dead." It's a sad tale, but it continues to happen and won't change without a reduction in poverty.
Some Haitians are ingenius and industrious. This guy gathered a few sheets of plastic and carved out a log... then he was ready to tackle the ocean!
After about 15 to 20 minutes, Zeze had found us a boat with Captain and we had negotiated a price. It was $100 for a round trip out to the islands. That included about $50 for fuel @ $6 / gallon.

Thank you Zeze! Here's our group, clockwise starting with the orange head cover: Martha, Ed, Zeze and Amy:And off we go, on our three-hour tour...

Tim White