Bird on a Wire is the name of the boat the MacRitchie family sailed from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas and back in 2008-2009. That was an adventure and a wonderful life learning experience for our family – Cathy, Dave, Annie and Kristen. We passionately hoped to find time to have another sailing adventure and perhaps follow in the footsteps of other sailing families that were able to connect with families in less developed parts of this vast planet and offer support and assistance in whatever way possible to those who were less fortunate than ourselves.
Sadly, back in “the real world” work and school got in the way of another family adventure, and with the passing of Dave, our Captain, in 2017, we have had to look to find other ways to give back.
In the summer of 2018, we took the opportunity to go on a We Trip to Kenya and see the We model in action. It was amazing to see how lives were being transformed by clean water and education, and we had the honor of meeting some of the girls going to the We college, as well as work on building the library for the new college that opened in the fall of 2019.
In the fall of 2018, Cathy and some friends had another We experience in the Amazon basin in at the Minga Lodge in Ecuador. Here they saw the same We model in action, but the implementation was done differently to adapt to the different location and culture. Cathy was particularly drawn to the work done at the Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) where two of the We pillars, Agriculture/Food Security and Income/Livelihood, are intertwined. There were other great emotional connections that Cathy made at Minga Lodge, that she thought would have resonated with Dave… All the travel was done on the Napo River in motorized canoes, the people were hard working yet somewhat shy and reserved and the focus of the ALC was around improving the quality and sustainability of the Cacao (Chocolate) crop.
Recently we learned that the ALC would like to build a greenhouse to be able to better serve the community. This structure would important for nursing plants that would otherwise have a tough time successfully growing from seeds, before they are planted elsewhere at the ALC or sold externally. These plants have the opportunity to create income - either for farmers in the local area or to generate revenue for the ALC to which would enable it to fund other projects in the area.
The Bird on a Wire project will raise the funds required to build the greenhouse at the ALC in Ecuador. Dave would never have wanted to have a building with his name on it. That would not have been his way - but those of us who will contribute to building this greenhouse through The Bird on a Wire project will know we have done it in his name, to honor him, in memory of him, and to support something he would have believed in.
Our deepest thanks for your consideration of this project Annie, Kristen and Cathy MacRitchie
If you would like additional information click here for a great article about the ALC