The View
from Here:

    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline and is the new editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine, and when she's not organizing the St. Barth Film Festival, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.

    August '06

    If You've Got It
    You can get a lot of things in Saint Barth, from a 20 million dollar house on the beach to a 20-dollar pair of shoes. But one thing most people don't expect to get is dengue (a mosquito-borne viral disease). But it seems as if global warming is overtaking the planet (think about that while tooling around in your SUV), and the climate around here is getting more equatorial than tropical. That means warmer and wetter. In fact after a dry start, 2006 has been a rather wet year with rain almost every day for the past month. Unfortunately rain encourages mosquitoes and they can carry disease. The island is doing its best to spray, in an attempt to keep the flying pests under control, but so many people have gotten dengue fever that they are calling it a mini-epidemic. And not only don't people expect to get it, they don't even know how to pronounce it: I've heard everything from dingy to dang, and even din-gay. However you say it, try to avoid it- and use bug spray lavishly if you are anyplace you see mosquitoes. Not all bites are dangerous but you might as well be cautious. Other than that, summer has been its usual self around here. We all watched as an American won the Tour de France bicycle race for the eighth year in a row: this time Lance Armstrong was replaced by a good, upstanding Mennonite boy from Lancaster, PA. - but wait a minute, no sooner did they crown him, than they are trying to prove he was cycling under the influence of testosterone. So what else is new? Gives the anti-American faction at the local sports bar something to hoot about anyway (its been over 15 years since a Frenchman won the Tour de France, maybe they should just call it "Tour R US"). In any case, August looks like it will be an interesting month, with lots of local festivities and the return of BouBou's popular music festival - this time at the Christopher Hotel, with the residents of Pointe Milou trying to decide if they should join in the fun or simply run for the hills. They will each be given stickers for their cars so at least they can go home if they want to. There are also a lot of local weddings on the calendar, and my husband Rosemond has become the de facto photographer, loaded for bear with a Nikon digital camera competing with his old Nikon SLR for the best snapshots of smiling brides. One recent wedding for a 100% St Barth couple (bride from the Windward side and groom from the Leeward side of the island) drew at least 1,200 people to a large open field romantically lit with Chinese lanterns and decorated for the occasion with tents, bars, and a dance floor. The typical fare of wedding cake and champagne upon arrival, and soup and sandwiches as the clock strikes midnight, was augmented with lovely hors d'oeuvres from the Rotisserie and a good time was had by all. If we run into you at any of these local events, I'm sure Rosemond will be happy to take your picture. Whatever dang thing you might have.

    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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