Tuesday, June 11, 2013

PayPal "Feezes" Us Out.

 PayPal has limited our account.
Donations can no longer be made via PayPal.
I have quested their email at the end of this post.

We believe PayPal is in the wrong on a number of levels
We will keep you posted as we work our way through the "freezing" of our account.
Here are some alternatives to PayPal.

Donations by cheque or money order should be sent to ...

Mackenzie-Papineau Memorial Fund
Attention - Sharon Skup
56 Riverwood Terrace
Bolton, ON L7E 1S4

MAC PAPS is a Canadian charitable organization.
Their registration and details can be found here
Canadian Registered Charities -Detail Page
 (Revenue Canada Charitable registration#88876 9197RR0001)

Make your cheque payable to the "Mackenzie-Papineau Memorial Fund" and please write "Spanky Project" on the memo line.
In Canada
Interac e-Transfer is available to send a donation.
No tax receipt will be issued.
You can do this through your on-line account.
The email address to provide is
Don’t forget to send us the answer to the “security question”.

Here is what they wrote:

There's an issue with your account

Dear Terry Shewchuk,

As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the
PayPal system.

PayPal's Compliance Department has reviewed your account and identified
activity that is in violation of United States regulations administered by
the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

PayPal is committed to complying with and meeting its regulatory
obligations. One obligation is to ensure that our customers, merchants, and
partners are also in compliance with applicable laws and regulations,
including those set forth by OFAC, in their use of PayPal.

We are very sorry but PayPal is no longer able to have you as a customer.
While we wish you the best of success in your future business endeavors, we
respectfully ask that you seek another method of payment for your online

Various U.S. agencies have sanctions in place that substantially regulate
or ban trade with particular countries, including but not limited to Cuba,
Sudan, Iran, Burma and North Korea. Activity within your account is in
violation of OFAC regulations. As a result of the violation, details of
your account and the transaction have been reported to OFAC.

For more details about U.S. sanctions regulations, you can visit OFAC's
website at


PayPal Compliance Department

Help Centre:
Security Centre:

This email was sent by an automated system, so if you reply, nobody will
see it. To get in touch with us, log in to your account and click "Contact
Us" at the bottom of any page.

Copyright © 2013 PayPal, Inc. All rights reserved. PayPal is located at
2211 N. First St., San Jose, CA 95131.

PayPal Email ID  PP1589

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day Off?

 On this Sunday we were "mandated" a day off.
It was... Election Day.
"Exercise your right to vote and vote early"
Spanky Project's Gladys Morales was working at one of the polling stations.
We were invited to visit.
For some news on those elections have a look at this article in  
Granma, the newspaper of Cuba's Communist Party.
After our polling station visit it was off to Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón.
 Colon is the final resting place for many famous Cubans.
The likes of writers Alejo Carpentier , Dulce María Loynaz'.
Famed revolutionary photographer Alberto Korda.
Buena Vista Social Club members,
Ibrahim Ferrar, Ruben Gonzalez and Pío Leyva.
It is also home to the living.
Actually, the whole day we were just killing time until some special guests arrived
Stephanie - Courtney - Leslie - Shelley
Four VetTechs from Southern Ontario.
Steph and I have been in contact for years.
She has a love of Cuba and animals.
She is now set with her second career as recent Vet Tech graduate.
She told me a few years ago that once she graduated
she was going to work with the
Spanky Project in Havana.
She kept her promise.
They generously took two days out of their beach vacation to spend working with us in Havana.
Even thought they got bumped from Hostal Los Frailes and had to spend the night at the Hotel Florida they were a happy gang.
They were also kind enough to haul three bags
 I had pre-packed for them.
Toronto - Varadero - Havana.
Good Morning Havana!
We were up and out at the crack of dawn to head to 
Talapiedra Cochero Garage.
After the group shot and the opening of the gates ...

...  we paired Courtney, a farrier before her Vet Tech career, 
with Talapiedria's "herrero".
Hoof care and related matters were discussed with Gladys providing the translations.

Outside the Cocheros and their horses began to arrive.

Quite the crowd amassed as Dr.Travers and  Dr.Belovich 
oversaw the treatment of the horses.
 At the end of the treatment session we had a get together.
The Cocheros had an opportunity to express some of the day to day
concerns they have for their horses.

The Cocheros gave us a ride back to Plaza de San Francisco or
 as the locals call it "Plaza de las Palomas". 
There we caught taxis to the clinic.
After arriving Emma gave an orientation to the crew.
 Leslie and Steph in the "prep room"
Pet cats get their nails clipped - colony cats don't.
We celebrated Dra.Rocio's Birthday with a cake thanks to Frank.
She put her surgical skills to work by cutting us all a piece.
On this day we dewormed 65 horses and sterilized 58 cats.
Certainly a reason to dance.
Shelly being experienced in neuters did a few for us.
Day two, with our four Canadian Techs, saw another 40 cats sterilized.
At the end of the day Courtney, Stephanie, Leslie and Shelley headed back to the beach. 
Their volunteer time with us was much appreciated by all. 
I hope they join us again.
OAVT continuing education credits are available to Vet Techs that work with us.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dubois Charitable Foundation

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that the Dubois Charitable Foundations was to send their first container of 2013 to Cuba. 
Specifically for distribution in the Province of Mayabeque.
Loading day was June 1st.
  John and Marion Dubois are very much hands on.

 A great group of volunteers assembled. Many of them regulars.
 These container packings are an excellent opportunity to meet people that you may only have known from the internet. 
This day was no different as I meet quite a few including Iriemon, Cubamiga, Bicyclman and Canuks.
Small world.. turns out I worked with Canuks' brother in a "previous" life - 30 plus years ago.
 They don't call him BigJohn for nothin'.
 Every inch of space is filled. 
The forklift was used to nudge the doors closed.
This container is headed to Mayabeque where the capital is San Jose de las Lajas.
San Jose de las Lajas is home to the Agrarian University of Havana -Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Readers of this blog know that the Spanky Project has excellent relations with 
the Dean, faculty and students.
So, once I heard of this container I got in contact with John.
He was very welcoming. I pack nine boxes of supplies for the "Vet School" and the town's clinic.

Hats off to the whole gang.
 Once the doors are closed Marion and John put on a very nice lunch.
And on special occasions there's cake!!!
John Dubois and Cindy shared a Birthday on load day. 
I still don't believe John is 72.
Dubois Charitable Foundation is a registered Canadian caharity.
Here is how you can help their work.

A container is planned for Havana in July.
I have begun packing veterinary supplies for Havana's Clinics.
If you have veterinary equipment and or supplies for donation... email John or myself.