Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fun at the Fundraiser: Onward to our goal!

I picked up Sarah J (our guest performer, board member, and volunteer) in Portland at 1 pm on the event day. This time, NO SNOW! Our last fundraiser coincided with 6 inches of falling slushy mess.

We drove back to my house in Rockland and got ready for the event. My friends and project volunteers or directors Dianne, Lisa, Sarah B, Mark and Julie (and random helpful bystanders) also helped to get things organized, moved over, and maintained throughout the night. Sarah J’s family, all 8 of them, also arrived to lend a helping hand!

At a little after 5 pm we arrived at Water Dog tavern, in Thomaston, and started setting up. Everyone at the tavern was friendly and helped us get things moving.

We had a little problem with the positioning of the display tables, but between the efforts of Dianne, Lisa, and I they came out well.

Vicki, the owner of Water Dog, even found us some cachaça, an alcohol popular in the Amazon. They served the cachaça in a drink called a caipirinha. Water Dog donated $1 of each caipirinha to the project. Thanks Vicki!

People slowly started coming in. The weather was cooperating, warm but not hot. I mostly answer questions until Sarah started playing at 7:30. Sales started out slowly but then picked up.

Sarah played until about 10 pm. The tavern was filled to capacity and over the course of the evening we had well over a 100 guests. In all we raised $1,700 at the event. We had pre-event sales and donations of $400, for a combined amount of $2,100! This is short of our $3,000 goal, but we are well on the way. We hope to do at least one flea market or craft fair this summer, and maybe one last event before I leave for Colombia in September. The monkey graph is almost there.  Thank you to all who assisted with or attended the event and helped to make it a success!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

SARAH J PLAYS ROCK AND BLUES AT FUNDRAISER: Music, stories, emeralds, handcrafts, and more!

Sarah J, a singer-songwriter from New York City and Amazon Pueblo volunteer, will be performing during a fundraising event at Water Dog Tavern on Saturday night, June 14, from 7:30 until 10 pm. The event will be in support of building a pier and other goals in La Libertad. A $5 suggested donation will be accepted at the door.
Alane's event poster from Water Dog Tavern

Sarah is one of a kind in the blues and soul music world. She creates her amazing acoustic rock and blues sound by drawing on her southern background. You may find Sarah J on stage with a guitar today and a piano the next, but don't be fooled, this tattooed, whiskey and wine girl will haunt you with her polished melodies and lyrics. Currently living in New York City, Sarah J has lived and played all over the East Coast. "Happier", Sarah's solo debut album, was released in 2011.
Sarah J in concert!

“Versatile, soulful, melodic acoustic rock with lyrics that span vulnerability to empowerment, tricking the listener into thinking and feeling after being drawn in on the surface by hummable, radio-ready hooks.” - Gary Trust, Billboard Magazine

The evening will start at 6 pm with the presentation and sale of Colombian trade goods throughout the evening, such as:

• Indigenous handcrafts (jewelry, blowguns, Amazonian blood wood carvings, piranha and other river fish products);
Juan and Carlos the piranha
Indigenous handcrafts
Coffee and chocolate

• Exclusive low-acid Colombian coffee and forastero chocolate, and;
Emeralds and fossils

• Emerald gold and silver jewelry from the Muzo mines of the Colombian highlands, purchased directly from the emerald district of Bogotá.  Fossils from Villa de Levya, Colombia.

Ben volunteering with villagers in Leticia

During the sales, two former village volunteers and the other directors of the project will be on hand to answer question about the program, volunteer opportunities, and recount stories of adventure from the village.

Sarah J volunteering and singing in the village
At 7:30 pm Sarah J will start to perform. Sarah will be playing a wide range of music from original songs to top 40, folk, and rock. Sarah is a board member of the Amazon Pueblo project and volunteered in the village during the summer of 2013.

In addition to building the pier, which will help support the village’s sustainable business efforts, the money raised will support a number of other goals in the village, including:

• Paint the dock which was constructed from the project’s last fundraiser ;
• Replace the roof of the project’s guesthouse, and ;
• Initiate a program to reduce the village’s Dengue fever carrying mosquitoes.

Please visit Sarah J's website at for more information and to take a listen. Be sure to learn more about the Amazon Pueblo Project by visiting their website And to view the full menu and discover more about The Water Dog Tavern in Thomaston, please visit their website at