Just in the last month the island has changed a lot. It is now ‘high season’ for tourists (from ships and planes), time-share condo owners, and other visitors to come to the island. That means that the number of people living on the island has doubled or tripled!
The best way to see this is trying to drive around the island. It is like driving in bumper-to bumper rush hour traffic all day long! What used to take us 5 minutes to drive to church now takes us 15 minutes or longer. Even the farthest missionary apartment could be driven to in about 20 minutes…now it takes an hour.
We are having to cancel meetings, or change the times of meetings, or use other means of meeting or communication just because a person cannot get around the island anymore.
But it is still a beautiful island, and the missionary work here is going well.
Picture of the bridge swinging open to let a sail boat through into the main bay. This is the route I take every morning when I walk. It is about a 1.5 mile course that crosses Simpson Bay. Here are some pictures of the bay now. Take a look at all the large yachts in port now!
Large crowd at the electric company waiting to pay for their service. In spite of St Martin being quite a modern island, with internet, etc., they do not permit people to pay for their utilities on line, or even by check or credit card…you have to come in and pay in cash!
Here are just a few ships in port. There are many days now that there are 6-8 ocean liners in port at one time, repeating almost every day! Thousands and thousands of people exit the ships and come onto the island each day. That is in addition to all the people coming by plane or that own time-share condos on the island…
Here is a view of Simpson Bay from one of the highest hills.