Jewelry Studio of Hans Meevis       

Jewelry Designer of fine custom
art jewelry


Time for Reflection

Autumn is in the air, bringing many changes with it.  

But first we want to pick up were we left off last time and “rehash” the World Cup. Ok, we admit it. It was a disappointing result. Look, to be honest the best team won and congratulations go out to them.  But did you know about the story behind the scenes? The Dutch team has a loyal following of supporters. They planned and schemed for two years to form a large convoy to do a three month long African overland trip. The pinnacle of the trip was to reach South Africa and follow their team around in their World Cup matches. This is where the comedy of errors crept in. What they did not anticipate was that their team would do so well. In a cruel turn of fate they booked their return freighter ship for Monday, the 5th. In doing so, they missed not just the semi-final but also the World Cup final. Words fail. But pictures tell us they had a fantastic time.

Convoy leaving Johannesburg Convoy arriving in Cape Town - 1200 miles

On the convoy subject. Another large convoy of teeny weenie little leatherback hatchlings safely ambled along to the waters edge, right next to Karakter Beach Bar, while a party was in full swing…..arriving in style with much hoopla into this world. The Nature Foundation in their press release stated that this was a very successful nest. There were 108 eggs of which 78 hatched successfully. Only one full term embryo did not make it and the rest never developed.

Hurricane Earl, a Category two hurricane passed near St Maarten at the end of August. This is the second hurricane in seven years to impact St Maarten. Fortunately there was no loss of life.  Damage was limited to vegetation, signs, awnings and a few roofs were blown off.  Some beaches suffered erosion but the sand is returning rapidly. This was an unusual experience for us, in so far that the storm passed in day light. We were in a fortunate position that the wind direction was parallel to the building. That allowed us to open the doors for the duration of the storm and actually sit outside in pumping wind gusts of 75 miles/hour. There’s no doubt. Mother Nature commands a healthy respect.


The aftermath:

The clear demarcation line is caused by run-off and silt formation. This is taken from the vantage point at Savane. In the distance is Anguilla.
The Blue Mall sign blew over.... ouch expensive. The Destino sign remains but they have closed for good.
Damage to the Maho shopping area
Huge waves rolling in. The beach sand temporarily eroded.  Maho is in the distance

Hurricane Earl put a spanner in the works of the planned visit to St Maarten by the Acting Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Jan Pieter Balkenende.  He flew in on the normal commercially scheduled flight arriving just after lunch. But Hurricane Earl had other plans and meetings were re-scheduled at lightning speed. The Acting Prime Minister then left St Maarten on a specially arranged Coast Guard plane, barely a few minutes before Princess Juliana Airport was closed at 5pm, in preparation for the hurricane.

Why Acting Prime Minister you might think? The Dutch recently had elections. There was no clear majority. Formation talks with coalition partners have been ongoing for a few months. At this stage it seems like a coalition of the centre-right has been agreed upon. In the meantime Jan Pieter Balkenende is the Acting Prime Minster for the caretaker Government.

The other notable change is that St Maarten has finally cast the Netherlands Antilles yoke off its shoulder and will as of 10-10-10 operate as a Country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. That is around the corner yet much uncertainty prevails. ….small little details like how mail or FedEx parcels should be addressed in future. So much work still needs to be done. But with hard work all goals will be achieved.

St Maarten had elections on the 17th of September to elect their new Parliament. Voters turn-out was very high. The ruling party National Alliance garnered the most votes winning 7 out of 15 seats. Theo Heyliger got the most votes for an individual and his newly formed United People’s Party won 6 seats. The Democratic Party won the other two seats. This resulted in a coalition government between the UP and DP with quite a twist - the Democratic Party leader, Sarah Wescot-Williams will be the first Prime Minister for Country of St Maarten.

Interesting analysis can be drawn from the voting statistics that were made available. Eligible voters totaled 19601. The largest group of voters, numbering 8422, were born elsewhere. The number of voters born in St Maarten totaled 6043 and another 5136 voters were born in other parts of the Dutch Kingdom. These figures clearly indicate the important role that the migrant / naturalized settler plays in the St Maarten political arena. This has brought on an intense debate as to the definition of a St Maartener. There are no easy answers.      

Aerial view of road approach The Studio visible from the road

The road works have taken on a life of their own. We patiently wait for the completion, which by the hive of activity and looks of it should be very soon. The parking in front of our studio has been completely blocked off for the past two weeks. It still isn’t clear how the Mary’s Boon junction will join the new road. All will be revealed soon. From the pictures you can see the remarkable progress that was made. The completion of the road extension will be ready before high season and won’t impact traffic in any way. The runway extension will be worked on at night avoiding delays in normal air traffic flow. This project has to be completed by December 2010.

High season is nearing and most restaurants will re-open soon. We attended the launch of the newly renovated Three Palms Restaurant (near Pineapple Pete's). They extended their cocktail lounge area with comfortable seating arrangements maintaining their modern sleek ambience. A perfect place to meet for pre-movie, pre-party cocktails or hanging out after enjoying a romantic dinner there. This remains our favourite restaurant in Simpson Bay.

Three Palms Restaurant Simpson Bay - new stylish lounge
The romantic deck dining area overlooking the lagoon

The Carousel is a recent addition to St Maarten and a must stop if your kids / grandkids accompany you on your vacation. They serve up plethora of exotic ice-cream flavours made on the premises.

We are all set for high season. Please stop by our studio for a friendly chat and take this opportunity to see some of our new jewelry designs.

You are probably looking forward to your sunny St Maarten reprieve. In the meantime snuggle up warmly against the cold.

Stay safe,

Hans and Anne

Other News Links:

Newsletter : Celebration Time
Newsletter : Holidays are here


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