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Field Trips

The children had a field trip last week and were taken from their schools down to the beaches to learn about conservation. They were released like a kindle of kittens to tease the water’s edge, scattering across the sand while being reminded to keep their sun hats on and their school shoes out of the water. They discovered the feathers of sea birds and the shells of old crabs while their teachers explained what they could take home from the beach and what needed to stay.

Then they were driven past town to the Longpoint Industrial Site to see where garbage is taken, to see how it is separated, piled and packed. It is not a place for children to get out of the bus but they could see the heavy machines pushing and shoving, building a mountain of landfill that will be the monument that remembers these days of plastic and waste. Let our children learn from this looming mass.

We didn’t have the same trips when I was a boy, but still my friends and I walked down to the sea when other children went home for lunch. It was a much smaller town then, with not many cars and every adult knowing who each child belonged to. So we went down to the water, with lunch in brown paper bags, and once or twice came back to our classes soaking wet, with no good explanations for our teacher.

We also found our own way to the dump, walking into the savannah, outside of town where junk was heaped. It was an informal place, communally maintained with a sign in big painted letters: “WHERE EVER, HOWEVER, AND WHATEVER YOU DUMP WILL DECIDE THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU ARE.”  We went by ourselves, not in a class, just children looking for amusement, to rummage through the flotsam and jetsam of our island life. We found old rope to make swings, broken fans to build windmills and broken appliances we were sure could be fixed.

Now, hearing about my children’s field trip I wonder how has the world changed?  Is island life not the same anymore, or is garbage just different than it used to be?

Caribbean Strong – Nevis

Nevis was very fortunate, we suffered minimal damage. The ancient saman tree in the town square was blown over, a few other trees have been lost and our beaches have been strangely rearranged but it is nothing that can’t be repaired with time and tide. With village names like Hardtimes and Burden Pasture, Nevis has known many challenges.We are not strangers to the storm.

Don’t You Agree?

After a trip away, I’ve just returned to these sweet charms of Nevis, the warmth of hospitality and the embrace of friends.

My Nevis Perspective

The best way to survive as a hotelier on a remote island with difficult logistics is with patience and a sense of humor.

Hermitage Newsletter December Edition

Interestingly, a celebrity magazine shoot shared the property with a crew of geothermal miners. We can’t say which group was the more tantalizing and filled us with anxious delight at the possibility of unearthing a deeply hidden treasure.

Experience of the Caribbean

Some days are clear Caribbean skies and placid, turquoise, clear seas that reflect the frigate birds and passing clouds; some days are faded yellow from the Sahara dust that drifts across the Atlantic, some days are rain, hard bullet-like tropical rain...

Covered in vines

There are little wooden houses on the island of Nevis and many are covered in vines. They were built 100 hundred years ago, in a tradition that was handed from master carpenter to apprentice, one generation to the next. Their beams are pegged together with...

The Pink House History

My mother lives in a Pink House, the house that we built for her mother, my grandmother, who we called Muzzy.

The Ocean’s View

Where the water meets the shore is the edge of the world, either in the rough collision of waves against rocks that tells the story of resistance and erosion or in the soft lapping and gentle wash that dresses the sand, with a fringe of foam like lace. The...

Leave Her As She Is

Over coffee in the mornings he spoke about it, at the bar in the evenings he promised to restore it. 

Summer days

The summer time is true to the heart of island living, with fewer tourists and expats, the buzz of visitors subsides. The days are longer and the nights are cool and refreshing. We spend more time in the evenings sitting outside, and I find myself looking...

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