June 2010 Update

June 2010

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

What we have been doing:

From November 2008 until November 2009, Arden and Kip lived at the Campamento Nacional SUD near Bonao in the Dominical Republic.  Government approvals for the major construction never came through.  We ended up  building a temporary camp capable of hosting 80 - 100 campers at a time, utilizing existing animal shelters with concrete slabs as weather and sun protection for tents that were semi-permanently set-up under the shelters.  Another shelter was re-purposed as a covered dining hall to which we built on a summer kitchen with serving area, cafeteria style. 

A five feature mini-COPE course was added in the shade of a line of trees and became a big hit with the campers.

As part of a Humanitarian project, we organized the planting of an avocado orchard, over 100 trees.  It is hoped that the harvest from the orchard, in a few years, will help finance young Dominican missionaries.

While we were in the midst of camp building, our daughter Mina Jo and her daughter Shanti joined us for the summer and helped with the camp construction and operation.

We finished our our promised year at the camp in October and were asked if we were willing to extend our mission another 6 months and travel to the Virgin Islands on behalf of FamilySearch, the genealogical outreach of the church, and take digital images of several collections of old vital records held by churches there. 
After a month or so of preparing the long-idled Golden Dawn for sea, Arden, Mina, Shanti, and Captain Kip set sail for the Virgin Islands, in December 2009.  It was a calm and easy trip with stops at Catalina Island, Soana Island (both in the DR), Mona Island (PR), La Parguera, Salinas, Culebra Island, Culebrita Island, and finally Vessup Bay, St Thomas,  USVI. 

After some delays  waiting for contracts to be approved for the digtization of records collections,  Arden and Kip kept pretty busy taking archive-grade digital images of old vital records of several churches in St Thomas and on St Croix.

Meanwhile, Mina Jo was hired at the Montessori School on St Thomas, a long-time goal for her.

In additional to digitizing records, we hosted FamilySearch leaders from Salt Lake and Brazil, and organized a series of meeting for them at which more contracts were lined up for the future, both in the USVI and in the British Virgin Islands nearby.

Hurricane season arrives every year on the first of June.  It caught us still working for FamilySearch.  We wrapped up what could be completed , plus one extra contract on St Croix, and began preparing the Golden Dawn once more for sea, including the addition of two 135W solar panels. 

Leaving Mina Jo and Shanti in their newly rented hillside home with a million-dollar view and with our son Jonathan newly arrived as crew, we sailed out of Vessup Bay, St Thomas, on 17 June 2010, headed for Culebrita Island in Puerto Ricoand eventually, Malden-on-Hudson, NY.  As of 23 June, we are at La Parguera, Lajas, PR, near the southwest corner of the island, waiting for the weather to clear enough to allow a safe crossing of the treacherous Mona Passage between PR and the Dominican Republic.

What will we do next?

We don't know.  If you do, please contact us at the email addresses below.

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.

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:


    321 505 4014


    kip "at" family-to-familyproject.org
    arden "at" family-to-familyproject.org
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" gmail.com

Postal Mail:

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

    153 Malden Turnpike
    Saugerties, NY