Over November 6th – 9th 2008 another group of aviators flew to Governor’s Harbour on Eleuthera to Camp Symonette for the simi-annual Fly-In and Help Out Event. The group consisted of aviators and volunteers from Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, and even all the way from Ontario Canada.
The trip was organized by the state-side Bahamas Habitat organization. During the visit the group worked on numerous projects to support the local community as well as the organizations base camp.
A team mixed the cement for Berta Pinder’s new home floor, another ran water and electricity to the camp storage facility, two ambitious volunteers performed roof repair on Ms. Henretta Whites home along with a new hand rail at Eunice White’s home. The camp is under renovations and another group painted the hallways and installed Bat houses on the campus, and began a vermaculture project. It was a very productive trip and a great experience for all.
One aspect of the Fly-In and Help Out event is to bring supplies needed at the camp which makes a big difference in freight and duty costs. The pilots loaded their aircraft with people and supplies for the camp to fly-in for a long weekend. Steve Merritt, Treasurer for Bahamas Habitat won the award (again) for being able to haul the most freight. His load in his trusty Piper Aztec included a generator, compressor, four people, tools and other goods that took two carts to unload! Steve reports he was “just at gross” and the take off was just a little “roll-ie”
Todd Urick, a landscape architect from Albany Georgia, came especially to work on a design for landscape upgrades for camp while Jeff Gowdy, a sustainability consultant from Nashville Tennessee came to conduct an assessment for planning and future developments for the camp to move “off the grid”.
John Armstrong, Sam Arbes and Abe McIntyre met with Sherrin Cooper at the local Governor’s Harbour clinic to review plans for collaboration with the Bahamas Habitat Dental Committee. The group is looking forward to visits next year by flying dentists to help enhance dental care on the island.
Veteran Bahamas Habitat volunteers Randy Redden and Drew Baird came again in Randy’s newly renovated twin Commanche. Dave Forwell from Ontario Canada made the trip again and logged roughly 2600 miles round trip in his beautiful Diamond DA40 XL. (Special note for all prospective aviators that might want to join in next time…Dave has made the trip twice as a VFR pilot!)
If you wanted to go on this trip but didn’t make it…you really missed a great experience! So go ahead and plan for our next trip scheduled for March 5th-8th 2009.
See the full gallery of photos from this trip at: http://picasaweb.google.com/FlyPremier/200811BahamasHabitat?authkey=_YzTpwJTLic#