As the Cayman Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, we have a Governor who is appointed by the monarch on the advise of the British government. The Governor is the de facto head of state and is responsible for appointing the Premier, the leader of the party with the majority of seats in the Legislature.

This weekend was set aside in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday, and the celebrations began with a traditional parade of Cayman’s uniformed services, a royal 21-gun salute and three cheers to the Queen. This was followed by a ceremony at which some prominent local figures were honored.
Governor Helen Kilpatrick, after carrying out her duty as representative of the queen by inspecting the assembled uniformed services opened her home,  The Governor’s House for a traditional Garden Tea for residence of the islands.

(Photo Credit Cayman Compass)






It was a typical, beautiful morning in Cayman and we enjoyed attending the party and taking in some of the sights and sounds of the British heritage of our adopted home.







The first year in a new country is all about settling in and getting to know the culture and traditions of your new place. We were warned that this particular festival and parade was largely about revealing costumes and feathers but decided to take it in anyway.

The festival’s original name, Batabano, is a salute to Cayman’s turtling heritage. The word batabano refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest. Finding these tracks was – and still is – a reason to celebrate!

Carnival is a premier cultural celebration in the Caribbean – a kaleidoscope of music, dance and pageantry with roots mirroring the region’s diverse history of African and religious influences. Colourful costumes reflect the vibrant landscapes, heritage and culture, with the music the very rhythm of island life. Carnival in the Cayman Islands has a distinct flavour as the islands are home to a melting pot of over 100 nationalities – one country celebrating many cultures!

During carnival, districts and corporate groups join together to compete and showcase creative costumes, choreography and floats. The energy of Cayman Carnival Batabano is electrifying, with thousands of locals and visitors flocking to the streets to enjoy the spirited parade, which is all about expression.

(an excerpt from




Even though we have been in the Caribbean for nine months, my heart is still pretty connected to SE Asia. I really miss the people that I was able to get to know and love and work with, during our time there. I was able to return to Indonesia recently for a few weeks and I have to admit it felt like home. I had not realized how much I miss the beautiful greenery and lush gardens and the hustle and bustle of SE Asia as well.


I arrived two days before the conference began in order to deal with jet lag before I tried to sit in meetings all day. This worked out well as several of my Canadian friends had done the same. It was a great opportunity to get caught up with their lives and ministry and even to do some exploring of the local beaches and restaurants.

We stayed in a rather typical, gorgeous hotel with beautiful surroundings that was almost deserted. Also typically, the hotel had seen very little maintenance since it was built.. There was a constant shuffling of rooms as leaks broke out on a regular basis. But, the company was great and the fellowship sweet.


There were about thirty five of us who gather there, representing many different organizations but what brings us together is that all of us use the same core strategy in our work. It was exciting to hear the reports of all that is being accomplished in this region and to strategize over future potential projects.


The trip to Asia and back is long, tedious and incredibly tiring and unpredictable and right now I feel that I would be happy to never do it again. However, the other part of the story is that I love to be with the people I was with these couple of weeks. We share the same passion for community, love the work that we do and are committed to seeing people freed to be all that they can be. Each of them are amazing examples to me of what it means to give their lives in the service of others.



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Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. In response to the “liberation” of France in 1789, Haiti staged its own liberation from slavery to France. It was rewarded for its impudence with a crushing defeat from Napoleon in 1813, and the penalty of war reparations. These reparations to France lasted for the next 80 years, extracting what in today’s terms would be in excess of 20 billion dollars, and ensuring the continuing debt of Haiti down into modern times.

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The situation was exacerbated by the Americans who propped up the vile dictator “Doc” Chevalier and his incompetent son in order to prevent another embarrassing Cuban-style revolution. Haiti was once the richest colony in the New World, its wealth in coffee, lumber, and sugar cane exceeding the wealth of all the 13 colonies in America combined.[1] Now it is a denuded wasteland, reduced to enduring poverty by its former colonial masters who in typical capitalist rhetoric blame their victims for their plight.[2]


The Children of Haiti Project began as a response to the recent devastating earthquake, and was set up in the Delmas region of Port-au-Prince.[3] The byline on its website declares, “In the face of human tragedy, doing nothing is not an option.” Frank Anderson, former principal of the Colegio International in Caracas and superintendent of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, now retired, is the  driving force of the project.

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Ms. Dominque Pierre, an American trained Haitian teacher, runs the school with complete devotion. There are 60 students who attend the school, and a number of them are orphans who also live on the school property. They are divided into four classes, and the mission pays for the teachers, who otherwise would not even enter such a poor part of town. Ms. Pierre watches over them with loving care.

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We, that is four other teachers from CIS and myself, went to Haiti over the March Break to teach in the school. We took with us nearly 250 pounds of school supplies, generously donated by the students and parents of this community, packed away into five suitcases. Fortunately, we had no difficulty in either Miami or Port-au-Prince in getting this material into the country. Once there we settled into the COHP school where we boarded, along with the orphans at the school.


I was the only teacher with a smattering of French, sufficient to conduct my lessons, which were admittedly of a pretty simplistic nature. The four other staff, all young enough to be my children, made do with sign language and the occasional translation from Dominique, who had exceptionally good English. The lessons were all enthusiastically received, as were the games and the sports equipment that we brought with us.

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That is why a school like COHP is so important. It represents not only education, but hope for the future. People like Dominique Pierre, who could easily make a living in the States, sacrifice much to help her country pulls itself out of its malaise. She could do with our help. I hope to return again soon.

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It isn’t really but nonetheless we are delighted to have had a wonderful week with the last of our family to visit us here in Cayman. We are certainly much closer to home but it is still a huge task to pack up a five month old and a two and half year old and relocate to an island for a week. We love Liz and Greg for making the effort so we could spend some precious time with Russ and Layla.

It was all about the beach!




Even at nap time!


But we did have some adventures!





And hanging out around home!



And it was all wonderful!

One of the goals of my recent trip home was to be able to meet the latest additions to our extended family. That didn’t quite work out but we are rejoicing at the birth of three beautiful, healthy little girls.

My nephew Adam and his wife Stephanie, along with their little guy Bradley, welcomed Jaslyn Rae into their family on Jan 31st.
Jaslyn Rene

Another nephew and his wife, Ben and Emily began their little family with the birth of Eiley Jane on Feb. 11th. My brother Joe and his wife Lorri were thrilled to begin this journey into grandparenthood.

Eiley Jane

And finally Mike and Hailey, welcomed their sweet little Ellie Rae on Mar 7th thereby doubling Joe and Lorri’s joy.

Ellie Rae2


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