Thursday, June 5, 2014

Adjusting to Fatherhood and What's New in SKB

Whew! The last five months have flown by since we got back on the island with our new addition, Clara. I am still alive and apologize to my regular blog readers for such a long gap in between posts. There are several reasons for the gaps, mostly it's fatherhood, some of it is lack of motivation, and I haven't been out much to attend anything interesting enough to write about.




With all that said it brings me to this: If you enjoy writing, live in St. Kitts, get out more than I do, and don't mind working for free as I do, then please send me an email and I'll consider you for writing some posts for the site. My email is jeffben19782003@gmail.com

I think having some more perspectives would be interesting and could help fill in the gaps. Please email if you're interested.

Ok, on to the blog post....

In a few weeks Clara will be eight months old. If you want time to fly many people will tell you to have children and I'm pretty sure they're right. They should also tell you that if you have too much extra time on your hands you should also have children because you won't once they arrive. Don't get me wrong, it's an amazing experience, but parenting is a full time job. (at least if you're doing it correctly).


Check out these photos and look at how much she's grown!



For those who are new readers or for anyone who needs reminded: My wife and I agreed that she would continue to work at Ross University and I would be a stay-at-home dad. This makes perfect sense in St. Kitts because I can't really work here since obtaining a work permit is nearly impossible for non-nationals.

We could send Clara to Ross's Preschool, which is very good but there she would have multiple caretakers whom she wouldn't be able to bond to like she can to me. Besides, if you've read any of my past posts you'd understand that she'd never get the outdoor adventure and cultural saturation there that she would with me.

The first four months have been a little tough in that regard because we couldn't easily go out much. In the past month though we've been out quite a bit more and that's better for both of us. I have a hard time being in the house for very long and with so much to see here why would I want to be inside?



The timing of Clara being able to get outside coincides perfectly with the weather. It's Spring! Ok, maybe not but I'm calling it that. Here's why: Wintertime at home in the U.S. is also the coolest time of the year here. The winds here are the strongest from around December until around the beginning of March which cools everything down immensely. 

As soon as March came the rain stopped. I think it only rained three or four times the whole month and the temperatures slowly crept upward at night and especially during the day. As soon as May came the rain picked up again and it's been very pleasant, but still getting warmer daily. The sea temperatures have been rising, so you get the picture. Today it was 88 degrees and in a top floor apartment it gets hotter than that. We don't use air conditioning because electricity is too darn expensive.

Very overcast. Looking towards monkey hill from Bird Rock.













With the house heating up and the sea temperatures doing the same I decided it was time to get Clara and myself in the water. There were a few times before this past month I tried to introduce her to the water but just dowsing her feet induced a sad whimpering because it was too cold.

I did manage to get her sensitized to the water by first taking her into the warm water hot tub at the Marriott. I think some of her inhibition was out of fear of the water too. After less than five minutes she was bouncing around and tying to grab the bubbles coming from the jets.I then took her into the main pool and she seemingly forgot that it was cooler.

At the Marriott pool.
The real test was the ocean and now she loves that just as much. Currently the Sea temperature is a frigid 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a side note, if you're interested in weather check out this site: National Data Buoy Center The site is really neat and gives you water temps and wind temps all over the world.

She is beginning to crawl, not efficiently but she can get to nearly anything she wants. She looks like a little green army man when she crawls because she doesn't quite bed her right leg.



She is learning something new everyday and it's a gift to me to be able to see her developing.

Well, what's new in St. Kitts??

The new roundabout is now open with a few minor touches for it to be completed. The construction started I'd say last summer, so it's going on a year now. It'll be great when it's finally finished. At the moment they are finishing up the last portion that connects into the Bird Rock road in front of the EC Bank. A portion of the stone and fence wall of the EC Bank had to be taken down to add a curve to the road. Now they're rebuilding the wall. These photos were taken just before this portion was paved. It's now paved and open. What a relief because all of the "detours" were terribly bumpy and inconvenient.




The Hyatt at the very end of the Southeast Peninsula at Banana Beach is in its very beginning stage. The workers have started clearing the land with bulldozers and excavators. The sad part is that St. Kitts will be losing one its nicest beaches once the project is complete. At first there was some confusion by the developers in that they tried to block people from getting to the beach. The developers have also built a chain link fence around the site recently. Someone must have enlightened them that they can't legally block off the beach to the public so now they have signs up stating "Banana Beach Public Access."



We spend a lot of time at this beach, but in all honesty it's more secluded now then it was before, at least for the time being. While I was there this past weekend I took some photos of the ongoing work. The builders dug some huge holes and foundation footers and if you're curious you can follow their progress online. Range Development is the construction company doing a lot of the work.Range Developments Hyatt St. Kitts


To many people seeing the Hyatt going in is very depressing because it's ruining such a beautiful spot. One part of me is sad and the other is not because St. Kitts does need more visitors and progress in order to grow the economy. (I'm also skeptical of the financial backers of the project too.) There are many beautiful beaches here that are secluded and I'm sure a new one will take over as a "hangout" and "bbq" spot. Besides, if the project takes as long as all the other ones in St. Kitts it will be completed much later than any of the developer's estimates. It always takes a long time here for anything to get finished. (According to the developers, the completion date will be the end of 2015.)






One of our family visitors nailed it on the head when they visited recently for a second time. He said, "It looks like there are many projects in St. Kitts that are Almost finished."

Here is a link to one of the articles about the project: Hyatt Article.

The second major development, The KOI Resort in half moon bay is also moving along at what appears to be a decent pace. The 14 acre property has also come under some criticism by some local residents, but I try to stay as unbiased as possible. If you're interested in more information on this project, check out their web page here: http://www.koiresort.com/#ad-image-9

This is an artist's rendering of what it will look like when completed.


Here is an interesting article in the Baltimore Post-Examiner about this project and some others: http://www.cuopm.com/?p=6538

Please note that the article above says that there is a second pier that the government is having built in Port Zante and that it will be completed by November 2014. There is absolutely no sign of any construction so without a miracle from God, I don't see that timeline being met. You must take news here with a grain of salt because it's often over inflated, over dramatized, or overly biased.

Again, I try to refrain from writing about politics but I do notice a lot of new government projects taking place and I can't help but make a connection with this and the current government's political instability which I believe is going to lead to new elections before 2015.

Maybe I'm just listening to too much daytime radio here. Most of the time the callers are the same people and they're always very passionate, but that's good that they care about their country and I must admit, it's sort of addictive.

I hope all of you readers are doing well and again, sorry for the long gap between posts. Until next time......