March 2009 Update

March 2009

It has been a long long time since we have updated this website with information on the Family-to-Family Project.

A lot has happened between 2006 and 2009.

What we have been doing:

Our daughter, Mina Jo,  and her daughter, Shantalya, and our son Jonathan, all left this tropical paradise in June 2006.  Mina and Shanti to go to Portland and finish university and attend Montessori training.  Jonathan to finish High School in the New York state, via the G.E.D. program.  Both were successful.  Mina Jo is a certified Montessori pre-school teacher, and Jonathan a high school graduate -- complaining that he only got 100% on two sections of the G.E.D., math and science, and had to settle for >90% on the other portions.

We moved back to the Golden Dawn, prepared her for sea, and brought her around to the south side of the island, finding mooring in Andrés/Boca Chica, about 30 minutes east of the capital, Santo Domingo.  We accepted a call to serve a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Country Directors of LDS Humanitarian Services for the Dominican Republic.  That turned out to be a 60 to 70 hours-a- week job that really had us running all over the country instigating and carrying out humanitarian projects here.  We lived on the boat for this time, though we spent many a night in hotels around the country.  One of the outcomes of our work was that the President of the Dominican Republic, having been informed of the humanitarian work the Church had been doing, asked to meet with "the Mormons".  A large official gathering was held on the grounds of the LDS Temple in Santo Domingo at which the President spoke and thanked the Church for its work on behalf of the Dominican people.

In November 2008, Arden and Kip were released from that calling and we have been subsequently been called to serve as missionaries help get the national youth and family camp established near the town of Bonao, approximately in the center of the island.  We are there now, and the S/V Golden Dawn again lies empty, but not for long.  We have promised a year here, and five months past already.   While the Church waits on governmental approvals for the major construction projects, we have been cleaning up years of deferred maintenance and improving the overgrown vegetation, mostly through pruning and cutting back.  Arden has a flower garden and we are eating fresh string beans from her garden.  It does not seem likely that governmental approvals will come soon enough to allow the first phase of the camp to be built in time for this summer's camping season, so we are preparing an alternate plan for the summer -- tents under shelters from the sun and rain, an outdoor kitchen and open air dining room, temporary toilets and shower houses.  Arden 'leases' a native pony, "Relampago", and rides around this very rural neighborhood a few times a week after work.

What will we do next?

The next thing on our schedule is to ready the boat once more and sail east to Puerto Rico, for some refit (if the market turns around and funds become available), and then on down to St. Thomas, where Mina Jo and Shanti are currently living.

We will probably accept an additional missionary calling involving humanitarian service and vital records preservation, to be done down through the island chain, ending up south of the hurricane zone by the start of Hurricane Season 2010.

But what about the Family-to-Family Project?

The Family-to-Family Project is doing just fine.  Our local directors are doing a fine job with the project, helping families with micro-credit loans from the funds of the project.  We have units in Puerto Plata, San Francisco de Macoris, La Vega/Cotui, and Santo Domingo.  The unit in Santiago is closing down, as our director married and no longer has time available.  Her funds are being transferred to Puerto Plata as they get repaid.

In 2007 the project received an unsolicited grant from a major foundation in the United States, more than doubling the funds available to our directors here.  It was this grant that allowed us to open La Vega/Cotui and Santo Domingo, and increase the fund in Puerto Plata.

This year we will be having a weekend conference with our local directors, with the intention that they elect one of themselves to head up the project here, as we intend to leave the island, at least for a time.

In addition, we still have one special project, the support of two Haitian orphan girls, sisters, who live with a Dominican family headed by a single mother, who supports her own three girls as well as these two beautiful little souls.  Two special families send continuing support, that allow these girls to stay in this safe and loving home rather than face being placed in an home for Haitian orphans - which would amount to a virtual death sentence.

New Contact Information:


    829 494 9713  
    829 273 8857


    kip "at"
    arden "at"

Voyaging Email:  Please use the following when you know we are or will be at sea. 
     Text Only - no attachments - no pictures - no html

     svgoldendawn "at"

Postal Mail:

    The best is still to send mail to our (son's) home in Saugerties:

    153 Malden Turnpike
    Saugerties, NY