2006 Programme


Operation Sunshine logo1



Registered Charity Number 1121315

2006 programme

21st June - 27th June

with Bill & Nowdla Keefe's Wild Dolphin Adventures



Family from Japan

Shoei is the mother of Minga. Minga is 13 year-old girl who is called autistic. Shoei calls Minga her angel/dolphin and says “Minga has always been my guide and she is the one who really connected me to all the dolphin people”.
Shoei is also the closest partner of a priest in Kyoto, who opened the Dolphin Healing Centre inside his temple. The priest will be joining us in Bimini with Shoei and Minga

Comments from Shoei prior to the programme:

We were told that Minga was mentally retarded when she was 3 and later we were told she was autistic. We were shocked and depressed at the beginning and did not know what to do. But of course, later we learned somehow to conquer this situation; or I should say, we all learned that there are meanings for everything. And we learned to be positive about every situation, but it did not happen over night, it took a long process. We had heard about Dolphin Therapy for autistic people. When you have a special-need child in the family, you would want to do anything to improve his or her ability. So I decided to take Minga to Hawaii and swim with wild dolphins. We were taken to the ocean by Terry Pinney, who had been working with special need children and dolphins.

I knew that children who did not speak at all, would say "Ah" or "Oo" after the encounter with dolphins but my daughter Minga had voice, so I did not know how she would change. She used to love to watch videos so she was able to sing some kid's songs. She could only sing them by skipping words or sentences, and never perfectly. After a week session with dolphins, Minga started to sing all the songs she knew very clearly, which surprised all of us! Not only Minga, but I myself, after swimming with dolphins, had a deep change mentally and spiritually. I could not say how exactly, but many things that mattered to me changed. I felt like I only knew about such a small part of the world, and there was definitely some other worlds beyond what I knew. Meeting dolphins is a great experience for special need children and people. After the encounter with dolphins, my life changed completely. I started to meet all the dolphin related people throughout the world, and learned a lot about spirituality. It completely changed my life, and I can only thank my daughter Minga for being my guiding angel.

Having a special need child is a challenge, but also a great gift. I learnt that through the process which dolphins connected for me. I greatly appreciate the "Operation Sunshine" program. I will get to meet other families with autistic children on this trip, and I know all the families will benefit greatly from it. We will also be meeting the people/children on Bimini Island, and I know this encounter will benefit all of us as well. Thank you, "Operation Sunshine" ! Thank you for those who came up with this wonderful idea and thank you for those who make this trip possible for families like mine.

Eve Hanf-Enos from USA

Bill_EveWeb.jpgAttending a dolphin healing conference at Regents Park in 1996 was Shizuko Ouwehand and Eve Hanf-Enos, who was 25 and autistic. She could not speak, but vocalises in grunts and noises and communicates through a computer keyboard, with the help of her mother, by a process known as facilitated writing. Eve and Shizuko had met three years earlier in Santa Fé, where Shizuko discovered that Eve was a gifted writer, expressing her thoughts in poems and prose with unusual but powerful juxtaposition of words. A book of fifteen of Eve’s poems, written in 1985 - 1991 is available from the IDW Dolphin Shop £5 + 50p p&p.

Before the conference, Shizuko had given Eve a copy of Horace’s fictional book Dilo and the Call of the Deep. She felt that Eve needed a challenge, and so she suggested that Eve should lead a group to help others who are autistic. Eve responded immediately and typed the words 'Dilo Group'. When she asked how she would do it the answer again came back instantly on the keyboard: I would like to give the gift of laughter to other people... I don’t know how I feel groups should be about humour and dipping into mind ideas.

Eve, her Carer and Guardian along with Shizuko look forward to joining us in Bimini.


Working with Ashley Saunders and the Bimini School children, we plan to include IDEAL (Integrated Dolphin Educational and Learning) into our programme. Education and learning should be connected with joy and easyness for everyone. IDEAL is a concept developed by Dr. Horace Dobbs – scientist, dolphin researcher and visionary – who wanted to share the experiences and amazing discoveries of his research with parents and educationalists. His aim is to show the possibilities of using the positive effect of dolphins on children, by stimulating their learning motivation.

Of course it is not possible or desirable to integrate wild dolphins into regular lessons. However, you can obtain a similar effect by appropriate teaching materials (such as books, pictures, films, etc.). The method developed by Dr. Dobbs has turned out to be especially effective with children with special educational needs and/or learning difficulties.

IDEAL is a concept to support and enrich holistic and interdisciplinary teaching methods. It is connecting modern tried and tested teaching methods with new subjects and provides an easy and stress-free access to learning. IDEAL can be adapted and integrated within every educational concept. For further information click here http://www.idw.org/html/ideal.html.



The dolphins were not the only focus of the programme. Other activities on offer included, art, music, dance, watsu techniques massage, dreamtime meditations and Japanese herbal healing.

Watsu Techniques

Watsu techniques are used to allow the participant to let go of life's turmoil and challenges and become one with self and the flow of the water.  Allows for more self-acceptance, which opens the door to tolerance of others.  The technique provides a safe and supported environment where the body can physically relax and move with the gentle flow of the water that surrounds the body. The body is gently stretched and flexed releasing built up tensions The release allows for an at-oneness with the water and the self.

Three Sisters Rocks

3 Sisters Rocks are just off the Coast of Bimini North Island. In shallow water the group could see many colourful fish and coral. It was found to be an excellent place to unwind, relax, to get used to life jackets/floats for those that needed them, using snorkel equipment and being in the open sea before heading off on the first Wild Dolphin Adventure.

Atlantis Bimini Road

The group enjoyed hearing about the mysteries of Atlantis and the Bimini Road – explained by Kathy our Boat Captain. They then had time to snorkel and see for themselves what lie below. Please see http://www.biminiundersea.com/atlantis.htm

Healing Hole

Some in the group asked to visit The Healing Hole. Ebbie, local fisherman and restaurant owner, escorted the group through the mangroves to the Healing Hole at the eastern most end of North Bimini. It is a natural phenomenon where a section of the creek is connected to an underground labyrinth of narrow tunnels. On the out going tide, cold water with a very high mineral content flows out of these tunnels and into the creek. Many people believe that these waters have healing powers. Some believe that the "Healing" is mystical. Others just believe that the minerals themselves have an analgesic effect.

Bimini Art Centre

Previous activities at the Bimini Art Centre have included pit firing on the beach, tie dying T-shirts and teaching local children how to make cane baskets. This year, hosted by Annett Saunders, the group worked with clay. Benoit enjoyed being given the freedom to create his own piece. Building a tree, garden and house, he resolved problems by working out how to make the tree stand up by adding extra pieces of clay to the trunk and base.

The group created a clay plaque and each person was able to add their own personal touch, such as dolphins, hearts, roses, cutting out shapes, finger prints, personal insriptions. Denise Doussin, the mother of Benoit, enjoyed reconnecting with her artistic talents and spoke about developing that further when she got home. The group worked together to create a beautiful clay plaque in memory of Annett’s sister – Carolyn Burke who lost her life in a plane crash December 2005.

Following this year’s successful programme, Annett wants to continue that support - see message from Annett:

Dearest Jackie

You are truly a bringer of light and are appropriately suited to the Operation Sunshine program.  I enjoyed having everyone at the Bimini Art Centre and felt warmly surrounded with the love they felt for the children and were ready to give.... I think the projects are definitely guided by a higher power and I will continue to care for and finish the wall plaque.  When it gets done I will find a place to put it up on the building and proudly remember the giving and creative attitudes of the contributors... I will not soon forget Benoit and I know that God must have a special place for him in the future...I truly felt like the project went well and even though I felt I could have shared more about the Art Centre with the group I don't feel so confident yet that it wouldn't have ended in my tears and I didn't want to bring that to the group.  There is always a creative spirit in us if we are willing to reach for it and think about what we want to express.  I felt like the group worked well together and had a good time doing the clay project.

Much love and well wishes for your continued success and you will hear from me about the progress of the piece.  I am in hopes that some connection can be made for further interaction from your world to ours by internet.  I think the conservation project is wonderful and even though we have done many projects about that much needed activity in Bimini we continue to need support for the conservation of our environment.  I don't think the adults are very aware of their part in the care of our little island so it is no wonder the children have a hard time learning and caring about the conservation of our resources.  It must continue to be taught so that the next generations will be more caring of our environment and help to protect and care for it... I think Ashley is setting a wonderful example with his teaching of agriculture and use of the natural resources, he is a marvel...

Go with God and may peace be with you.

On we go


The Dolphin House

Ashley Saunders is School Teacher and Author of ‘History of Bimini’ Ashley invited our Operation Sunshine group to The Dolphin House. In his presentation, Ashley talked about how he was inspired by
Dr. Horace Dobbs and the dolphins. He said that the dolphins had completely changed his outlook on life, making it more spiritual and meaningful.

Ashley has created the Dolphin House – a masterpiece of craftsmanship, incorporating artwork, and dolphin mosaics using recycled materials. He has created 2 CDs about The Dolphin House: Volume 1 – Construction. Volume 2 – Discover the Dolphin House, a chronology since 1993, a detailed journey through the artwork in the interior of The Dolphin House.

For further information about The Dolphin House, copies of the CDs bookings and reservations – contact Ashley Saunders, Alice Town, Bimini, Bahamas. Phone 242 347 3201,
Email: ashleysaunders2@yahoo.com

Music and Dance

In the book ‘Dolphin Healing’ by Horace Dobbs, he writes about the first Ki and Dolphin Healing Centre that was opened in 1992 at the Myoren-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan. ‘The Dolphin Song’ was written in Japanese for the opening ceremony. The song was to be free to spread love, joy and peace throughout the world.

This song has now been given to ‘Operation Sunshine’. An English version has been composed to help raise funds for special needs families to participate in future Programmes. 

Those with special needs often find it easier to communicate through self expression using art, music and dance. Shizuko Ouwehand facilitated a music and body movement playshop during the 2006 programme in Bimini. The Japanese and English version of The Dolphin Song was shared with a prayer to bring love joy and peace throughout the world.

For feedback on this programme please see
our Feedback page.


Minga looking for the dolphins

Dolphin close up

Dolphins close up

Facilitated Communication

Eve doing Facilitated Communication

Eve at art centre

Eve at the Bimini Art Centre

Dolphin from boat

Dolphins from the boat

Sonya & dolphins

Dolphins all around

getting into the water

Getting into the water

Benois and clay

Benois and clay


Dolphin House


Group outside the Dolphin House




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