Our little crew of three got a real treat last Sunday when we volunteered at “Jenny’s Open Farm Day” to help raise funds for the GSPCA (Grenada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). It will be a day that will remain dear to us for a long, long time.
The Jenny of note is our market lady. A lovely, sweet sliver of a lady who loads up her small car with her fresh farm fruit, vegetables, eggs, ice creams, yogurts and juices and drives the half hour from her home to the southern Grenadian anchorages. Three or four times a week she makes this trip and it is easy to see why so many cruisers line up well in advance of her arrival at any of her markets. She charges very little for her wares but the quality is top notch.
It was at one of these markets, about a month ago, that Jenny talked excitedly about the annual GSPCA charity event she would be hosting at her Farm on September 17. The Open Farm Day was an opportunity for her to raise some much-needed funds for the GSPCA while also showcasing her little farm which houses eleven rescue dogs, two rescue pigs along with a rescued donkey, several chickens and lots of fruit trees and gardens. This year, she explained, the event was very special as she was hoping to raise enough money to get an MRI machine for the GSPCA. Everything was already starting to get organized for the event but she was needing a few volunteers to help out with set up duties on the day of the event. Would any of the cruisers be interested?
Yes, please! Mike and I happily signed up as did a few other cruisers, including our friends Andre and Joane on That’s It.
The morning of the Open Farm Day, five of us volunteers, plus Ocean, arrived at Jenny’s farm with the full eleven dog welcoming committee receiving us. Several more volunteers arrived after us, carrying along sound system equipment, BBQ fixings, beer and many other “we’re having an event” bits of gear. After a quick tour of Jenny’s beautiful two-story open-air home, we got to work.
Sound systems were set up, the BBQ was put in place, and a big tent erected. Mike and Andre fixed Jenny’s back stairs while Joane and I put up hammocks, filled dog water bowls, washed dogs and generally helped out where ever there was a need. Truly though, Joane did the bulk of this work as I was trying to wrestle Ocean along with me through each errand, which really slowed me down. You see, although all the other dogs were running free, we really wanted Ocean to stay on her leash. Our concern? The multitude of free-range chickens mulling about. Unfortunately, Ocean’s sordid past includes one dead chicken and we have no desire for her to become a repeat offender. We were also very wary of Betty. Ah, Betty, a gorgeous and amped up little pig who was thoroughly convinced she was a dog and who really took a shine to Ocean. Still, Ocean can be intense with her dog play so she stayed on-leash. We were worried that an off-leash Ocean would be too much dog for Betty and cause this little piggy to go wee wee wee all the way home. 😊
By noon the Open Farm Day attendees began arriving in droves. For four hours, they enjoyed some great entertainment (songs and comedy), a silly dog show with prizes, a few ad hoc presentations and a great BBQ with free-flowing beers, water and rum punches. Smiles were everywhere!
At the end of the day, the volunteers stayed to help clean up and, finally, with Jenny’s encouragement and assurance that all would be fine, we let Ocean off-leash to properly meet Betty the pig. Well, they got along famously. They romped together, grazed together and, tired from their antics, rested alongside each other. And those free-range chickens? Ocean just walked right on by them without even a glance. Wow.
Exhausted from a full and muddy day at the farm, the remaining volunteers and attendees loaded into the last bus back to the anchorages. There was lots of chatter and laughter, fueled by a fun day and a few leftover beers. All in all the day was a major success. The event raised enough money for the new MRI machine for the GSPCA, Mike and I got to enjoy lots of laughs with many cruisers and locals and Ocean made a new best friend. Hmmm, could a play date on Wild Horses be in the cards for Ocean and Betty? Yikes!
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.