The trials and tribulations of life in the Caribbean continue for the Americans in Ferry. We recently stumbled upon an emaciated Rhodesian Ridgeback rummaging through the trash in downtown Deshaies and succeeded in bribing her into the back of the pickup to take her to the veterinarian in Sainte-Rose. She was skin and bones, inundated with fleas, covered in sores, barely able to walk and missing her bottom front teeth. After a rough night at the vet and learning that she had no chip, she returned with us to the lovely La Tramontane…a refuge for many over the years. Odette’s previous resident canine, who bore the name Tequila, was a pure bred Irish Setter who wandered onto the property hungry and homeless after being abandoned by Europeans returning to the métropole. In line with the alcohol theme, we decided to name our newest arrival Bourbon. We have been nursing “Bo” back to health, just as we did for our beloved (and now pleasantly plump) Créole cat, Mademoiselle Rocher Leroux.
We celebrated Brynn’s 12th birthday last month and her pool party was a grand success. Lilian, skilled baker and proprietor of the neighborhood boulangerie, LaTerrace de Leroux, made a pineapple cake and a flourless chocolate cake for the event and there was barely a morsel left. Bob grilled a generous amount of hamburgers and chicken on the BBQ. Good thing we planned ahead as we had no idea how much adolescent girls could eat. As for other news, Brynn takes yoga on Wednesdays and left the Sainte-Rose Tennis Club for private weekly lessons with Julia, our fabulous Swedish tennis pro at the Langley Fort Royal Resort in Deshaies. Lounging on the comfy sofas near the resort coffee bar is a step up from sweating on the club bleachers (although both are nice) and, if I’m feeling really brave, I might even order a $5 cappuccino. With my coffee expectations scarily low these days, I at times even enjoy it.
As you could probably surmise, our 4×4 still causes me tremendous angst, but Bob refuses to trade it in for one of those cute voitures sans permis (cars for which no driver’s license is required) that go no faster than 30 miles per hour. I am embarrassed to say that there have been three more vehicular incidents with the truck, including another unfortunate meeting with a volcanic rock in our driveway and an accidental rendezvous with one of Paola and Bruno’s palm trees at Au Ti Sucrier. But the third, I am very happy to say, was not my fault. A local who was driving too fast up our tiny road, smashed into the side of our pickup while Bob was turning right into our driveway. She somehow thought she could pass on the right side…never mind that there is a large drainage ditch that would have engulfed her miniature car had it not been stopped by the side of our truck. As she had no car registration and no automobile insurance, we sent her on her way and let her know we would deal with our own repairs. She believed we would also be kind enough to pay for her repair costs, but we made it clear that was simply not in the cards. So, off we went once again to Isbert’s abode-turned-body shop in the village of Beausoleil. Given his occupation, we have become quite close. He even pops by the house for a beer when he’s in the area…which reminds me that, on the island, one never knows who might stop by if the gate is open. Even the two government employees who drive around the area educating residents about mosquito-borne diseases, such as chikungunya , dengue fever and Zika, stop in for beverages when working their Bornave route. People don’t need an appointment to hobnob with friends here and I suppose that spontaneous social visits are commonplace when there is not much else to do.
Tourist season has begun, so things are getting more lively. It’s certainly harder to find a parking space in town and our friends are all back at work. Pat, top chef and all around good guy, changed his concept at Kaz à Pat to gourmet burgers. Bob made house BBQ sauce from scratch with Pat and supplied a key ingredient from the states: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. We have been eating out a bit more and enjoy meeting the owners of local restaurants. We hit the new Kawan restaurant and wine bar when our good friends and world travelers, Tere, Kevin and Kori, visited from the U.S. and watched the sun set over the Bay of Deshaies while sipping champagne.
To top it all off, our older daughters and son-in-law (Shelby, Sarah and Alex) visited for Thanksgiving. It was a delight hosting them and they enjoyed snorkeling at Leroux, kayaking to Pigeon Island, napping in the hammock, fishing with Bruno, scuba diving with Cor, eating boudins and accras at local eateries, and drinking Ti Punch anywhere it could be found….what more could one want? Johno, our new American friend, long time Guadeloupean resident and international businessman extraordinaire (whom Bob met in first class on a flight from Miami to Pointe-à-Pitre a few months back), told us that frozen turkeys would be available before Thanksgiving at Primantilles, the high end grocery store in town. Having lived on the island for over 20 years (but somehow still able maintain his California surfer look and laid back je ne sais quoi), Johno is dialed in. So, with that awesome tidbit of information in hand and knowing that Pat gets weekly deliveries from Primantilles, we were able to pick up three frozen turkeys from Kaz à Pat that were delivered in a refrigerated truck along with the burgers and sweet potato fries for the restaurant. Island life seems to be getting easier.
The Kassaverie near Rifflet Beach (where a couple makes manioc and cassava patties filled with fruit):
Wahoo fish taco BBQ at Rifflet Beach with friends:
Pat’s 80’s themed birthday party: