The View
from Here:
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline, and when she's not organizing the St. Barts film festival, or supervising the local volleyball league, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.
    October '04
    It's Too Late Now!

Next month, November 2004, marks the 15th anniversary of my first visit to Saint Barth! Yes sir, the very first time I set foot on the island was in 1989. How did all those years go by so fast? It’s almost hard to believe. In fact, it seems almost like yesterday that my friend Nancy convinced me to take a vacation with her at the Village Saint Jean. It must have been the lure of speaking French and eating French food that got me here in the first place, as I never sit in the sun, I don’t much like the heat and I wasn’t one for those up-close and personal encounters with insects and lizards. And if you told me then, that 15 years later I’d be spending a great deal of my life on the island, I might have laughed. But then again, maybe not. In the summer of 1983 I went on a trip to Avignon, France and ended up spending a great deal of time there over the next decade. I never intended staying there either; I just seem to get involved in things, unpack a bag or two and stay a while. Over the past 15 years in Saint Barth, I have acquired a wonderful husband as well as a wonderful house, along with two great cats and a garden full of tropical plants that have set down their roots along with mine. And of course our little Caribbean film festival is ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary next year. I still travel back to the States on a regular basis to spend time with my family, and I just got back from a business trip to Las Vegas (and there’s nothing more American than that!), but I think of Saint Barth as home sweet home. My circle of friends on the island includes many Americans, many of whom who come and go as frequently as I do. Maybe we see Saint Barth as an escape from the realities of life in the fast lane, or a haven of peace far away from the political problems plaguing the modern world. Or maybe its just the lure of a lazy, island life style punctuated with the occasional rum punch (okay, I’ll admit I don’t drink rum, but it sounds good...) or playing Scrabble on a terrace with a bird’s eye view of the ocean. So 15 years later, here I am. No longer afraid to look a lizard in the eye. Coping with a rust-covered refrigerator door (did I ever tell you that our house is affectionately known as “Chateau Rust-o-Rama”), and even going to the beach on occasion. There is no going back, I’m afraid. It’s too late now. I don’t think I could even live in a big city on a full-time basis anymore. This island has me. I’m hooked, insects and all!

    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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