Abby and I joined Tom in St Thomas for 10 days after the arrival of Lady Slipper, and Doug caught up with us after a holiday visit with his family in Texas.
Thanksgiving for the Bergen’s is about family, friends and food (Tom was able to make a reservation for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so he checked that box). We enjoyed our family & friend time together with each other and with Doug making memories of the people met along the way and the fellowship with enjoyed with each other.
Doug will tell you that he is retired and doesn’t have a schedule to keep, so the days are relaxed. He loves to share “donut diplomacy” with those who provide dock services, or with friendly neighbors, by bringing a treat (everything from donuts to pizza to strudel – the latter of which was reciprocated by our neighbors Roman & Barbara in Cornwall/Salaberry De Valleyfield, Canada with the local favorite poutine). This kind gesture brings huge smiles and appreciation from the recipients.
Some of the people we met were taxi driver Sumentra, who shared the gospel message in song. Doug met MacDonald, a taxi driver who invited him to attend church, which we did as a group. It was a beautiful time of sharing our faith in a cross-cultural environment.
At the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, we met Divina, Tamara and Kilene, our lovely waitresses who took great care of us and taught Doug to dance (yes, there is video proof!). On Jost Van Dyke, the Bergen’s met Carmen, a street vendor with a warm, engaging personality, who spoke elementary Spanish with us and allowed us to pray for her; at the same time, Doug, ever looking for a way to serve others, was searching for mosquito spray for the woman at the Visitor Information booth who was being tormented by the little critters (Debbie and Abby came away with a couple hundred bites between the two of them!).
The takeaway from this trip is that the people we met in the Virgin Islands are warm, friendly people from all over the Caribbean, and they are happy to share their beautiful islands with those whose journey takes them there.