As a dad, it’s been a treat and a delight to watch my son develop and grow his love for baseball over the past eleven years. He has loved that game more than I loved anything as a kid.

Little Tanner playing T-Ball

I’m not sure where it came from, really, because sports has never been my thing. At all.  And when I do pay attention to anything in the sporting world, it’s usually college football.  But no matter.  I’ve been more than happy to nurture and encourage his love for baseball.  In fact it’s been a lot of fun.

Tanner has never been happy simply playing ball.  Just showing up at little league games wasn’t enough to quench his thirst, and he became the ubiquitous instigator of neighborhood games.  He would work the telephone or scour the neighborhood to round up all the usual suspects, corralling them into our front yard where they would play until it became too dark to see the ball anymore.  Even as late in the year as November, Saturday afternoons would find a group of boys bundled up in winter coats and hats, playing their hearts out as if that very game was the Little League World Series. And in the dead of winter they would pile into our basement to play the same game, but on the Wii.  On those sad days when nobody else was available to play, he would stand in our front yard for hours, just swinging his bat, alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Cari and Piper enjoying the sites and sounds of the beach.

Last Saturday, the 18th of February, we were planning an entire day outing to the Marigot Market in the morning and then back to Guana Beach in the afternoon.  Matt and Cecily Lew instigated the outing, and at first Cari was planning to sit this one out to study (again) but the rest of the family would have absolutely none of that.  Saturday marked eight weeks since we’d been on the island, and she had yet to ever see anything past the walk from our condo to the school.  We literally dragged her away from her books and kidnapped her into our outing.

We’re happy to report that at the end of the day, she declared she was thrilled to have come with us and delighted that we talked her into it! I’ll let the photographs do most the talking. Read the rest of this entry »

Having Michelle come down here with us has been wonderful for Andi.

Next week I plan to do a post about Tanner and his cultural adventures in island Little League Baseball.  But this week I’d like to focus a bit on Andi.

For both of the older kids, their number one challenge since we arrived here eight weeks ago has been their lack of friends.   And we still haven’t really overcome this yet.  It’s not that there are no kids here their age; it’s just that we’re having a hard time meeting them and getting to know them.  Tanner has had an easier time at this because there are boys his age that live close by.

But Andi really has nobody.  Thank goodness Michelle came down here with us, because she’s helped tremendously in easing Andi’s homesickness. Those two have been good friends for Andi’s entire life. Read the rest of this entry »

Andi and Tanner with their body boards

In the past week or so we’ve been able to get out a little more and enjoy St. Martin’s most beautiful and bounteous resource: it’s many beaches.

There are so many beaches on this island, and each of them are unique in their own way.  We’ve only seen a few of them but we look forward to enjoying more now that we have a car.  And in the mean time I’ll share some of the fun we’ve been having at the beaches we have been to.

Also, I’d like to let Andi do some of the talking.  For a home school assignment she wrote up a short report on Guana Bay, and she agreed to let me post it on the blog.  You’ll find it below. Read the rest of this entry »

The girls after church standing by Moby Dick.

We have a car!

It took a while to find a vehicle that is 1) big enough, 2) affordable, and 3) in good condition.  But I think we managed to get all three.  Our branch president, Rinaldo Kasanwidjojo, called us last weekend to tell us his neighbor was selling an Isuzu Trooper and if we want to see it we should call him fast because he’s asking a great price.

We called the owner, he brought it over, we test drove it and kicked the tires and looked under the hood… and then we bought it.

The thing is huge!  Most of the cars on this island are little sub-compact smart cars, and the big ones are little mini SUV’s.  This thing is a monstrously huge SUV.

We wanted to give it a name and it didn’t take long to come up with something.  It’s a big white whale… so we named it after the fictional giant white sperm whale, Moby Dick.  We’re grateful to have Moby in our family and we look forward to exploring the island with him.  (Or her?)

An actual giant white sperm whale

Our giant white sperm whale

A panoramic view of Marigot and it's harbor from the hilltop next to Fort Louis.

This afternoon the girls had a play date / cooking date with another spouse, Katie Wightman, so Tanner and I decided to take off and have some boy type fun. First stop: Fort Louis just outside the french town of Marigot.

The ancient and dilapidated fort was built by the French Navy in 1776 and is perched on a hill top right next to the bay and the city. It commands a sweeping view of the area all around it, and the remains of the fort, the rocks and the grass around it, and the ocean below are an absolute treat to see and to photograph. Read the rest of this entry »

A panoramic view from the top of our building, facing the lagoon (click to enlarge then scroll from side to side for the full effect)

I thought it would be fun to share a few images of the complex where we live, Rainbow Beach Club.

My feelings about this place are mixed. In some ways it’s a great place to live, and in other ways it drives us nuts. (See post about not having water for three days.) It was intended to be an upscale resort, and while it falls short in some ways, in others it absolutely succeeds. Read the rest of this entry »

Written on February 4th, 2012 , Rainbow Beach

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