August 10, 1999

Presently we are in Francois, Newfoundland. We sailed in here Friday to find yet another paradise. This town on the Southwest coast, may only be reached by boat. The small fishing based harbor community is nestled at the foot of huge rocky cliffs with some big fresh water lakes at the top. People can come and go to neighboring towns by a ferry which leaves in the morning and comes back at night, but goes different places every day, so you can't necessarily go to another town and come back the same day unless your business is all done in about an hour or so. There are telephones here in people's homes but no public pay phones, so won't be able to make phone calls until we get to a bigger town.

About 170 people live here with a church, post office, 3 stores, and a nice school (kinder -12 grade) with 30 kids - 4 teachers. Each person here has their own special story. There was a moritorium on fishing for the past five years, and the men have just been able to fish again the past two seasons. They are not having much luck with the fish, but continue to be optimistic. It is fascinating to see how the community sticks together through thick and thin.

One of the unique things we enjoy about Francois is that since there are no roads there are no cars. People are very isolated, yet seem to be quite satisfied with their lives. Even the kids show no desire to get away as soon as possible. (We haven't seen a video game yet.) When something happens, everyone is invited. Saturday was a 4:30 wedding. (we were included). The dancing started at 10:30 and went on to 4 in the morning. It was a one man band, but the community center shook with all the foot stomping. Sunday was a Christening. Yesterday was a baby shower. A party with 50 women that started at 9:30(pm) playing cards, opening presents at midnight, then "lunch". Approaching radio length limit.

All our best, Holly and George

Box 271
Socorro, NM 87801
gmacleod@nmt.edu
http://www.nmt.edu/~bridge


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