St. Maarten Visit January 14-20, 2018
During the third week of January, my wife Bette, and I had a chance to go back to St. Maarten. Bette is the Director of Library Resources for the American University of the Caribbean on the Dutch side of the the island. During the month of September a devastating hurricane, Irma, did major damage to the island it's infrastructure and buildings. While on the island, Bette was working, and I had a chance to see some of the major damage.
|Sonest Hotel, Maho, St. Maarten|
While spending time on the island during the last two years I have had the amazing opportunity to volunteer some time at a local school. The Hillside Christian School, started by an amazing woman, Asha Stevens, is a vibrant school with a very competent staff and administration. The school weathered hurricane Irma fairly well. They lost their main office but were able to reorganize and reopen once the government allowed that to happen.
|Front of the Sonesta Hotel, Maho|
Back at the American University of the Caribbean (AUC), the damage during the storm was not as bad. The buildings constructed of concrete withstood the hurricane force winds. Winds up to 185-200 mph were recorded on the island. Students and staff were evacuated after many days and just now have returned to the island.
|Main road through Maho, St. Maarten|
It was evident that cheaply constructed buildings did not withstand the storm leaving them in rubble. The tragedy is that now many individuals are out of work until the island gets back on its feet. There is signs of reconstruction all over the island. Hopefully we will be able to see more new construction when we return again in March.
|Mullett Bay Lagoon|
The beauty of the island still is evident as you enjoy the warm weather and crystal clear waters.
St. Maarten Strong!