MESSAGE Caribbean *Video*
While on my Trans-Atlantic crossing we stopped off at three Caribbean islands: St. Maarten / St. Martin, Antigua, and Barbados. Interestingly, St. Maarten (Dutch) & St. Martin (French) are two countries sharing the same small island. You can drive around the entire island in about an hour, but even so each country has its own money, laws, and language.
MEET (Cool Meet Ups) – St. Martin’s Esplanade. Marigot, the capital of French St. Martin, is a lovely sea-side town of up-scale shops selling souvenirs, islands trinkets, and duty-free goods. Catering to the cruise lines, there were no bargains in sight, but it was still fun to look!
EAT (Tasty Eats) – Creole Food. After a long, sun burn-inducing day at the beach, my friends and I headed into town for a Creole feast. And we found it at Rosemary’s – grilled chicken, lobster, and prawns in savory and spicy sauces, all washed down with local beer. I definitely found an Island paradise!
SEE (Must-see Sights) – Colorful Caribbean Houses. I love these cute little houses. They remind me of the simple cottages on Hawaii, with open-slat windows and wide lanai porches, except these are painted in candy colors. Why NOT live in a bright pink house! Or a canary yellow house? Or a peppermint green house? How fun would it be to say: “I live in the violet house down the lane…”
SHOP (Gotta Have) – Fresh Coconuts. Did I mention the Caribbean is expensive? So no shopping for me, but it didn’t stop me enjoying one of my favorite all-time drinks: fresh coconuts! My German and British amigas had never tried a fresh coconut before and weren’t so sure they liked it. That’s OK – more coconut water for me!
ACTIVITY (Gotta Do) – Beach! I did some sun worshipping on each of the three islands, but the beaches on St. Martin and Antigua were particularly beautiful, with fine white sand.
And the Caribbean turquoise water had easy rolling waves to play in. Both days were the proverbial “Day at the Beach!”
Just check out how much fun I’m having!
Can’t see the video? Click on this link: http://youtu.be/rg08z9jwCtM
GIVE (Greatest Need) – Increasing Migration. The World Bank recently reported that Caribbean nations need urgent help in reaching their Millennium Development Goals. One of the major causes of economic strain is the widespread migration that is so common in Caribbean island nations.
Frequent migration occurs between Caribbean islands due to laws guaranteeing the freedom of movement of Caribbean people, placing unexpected strain on public services.
A great deal of migration also occurs between Caribbean nations to the U.S. / UK / and Canada. These migrants are contributing to a significant brain-drain for these countries. The highest expatriation rates are 6 Caribbean small states:
- Antigua and Barbuda (89%)
- Grenada (73%)
- Guyana (72%)
- Dominica (60%)
- Trinidad and Tobago (55%)
- St Vincent and the Grenadines (53%)
Anyway you cut it, the Caribbean needs a more closely managed migration plan to help the island nations lift themselves out of poverty.
ENJOY (Extra Fun) – Aloe Rub. Just our luck the coconut guy also gave aloe rubs! (He noticed our sun burn from the day before.) Each of us took a turn to be rubbed with raw aloe. It was a little globular going on, but it certainly removed the sting of the burn and softened our skin. I was particularly rosy, so he gave me a little extra aloe to take back to the ship. Nice!
The Caribbean has 7,000 islands comprising 28 island nations. And I visited just 3 of them on this trip…which means I’m definitely due to visit a few more! Can’t wait!