January 1, 1999
Tamarind Tor
Jones Bay
Nevis, West Indies

Greetings from Paradise
"New Year's Eve Rocks Till Dawn, Nevisian Style"

Hi Everyone,

Well, we celebrated our first New Year's Eve and it was wonderful. Our friends, Lee and Dexter, had invited us for our first New Year's Eve on Nevis to their home around 9:00 for a gathering of a few close people. So Dad and I, being somewhat punctual (USA style) arrived at 9:00 to find their friend Gary setting up the drinks, the house wide open but nobody else around. We asked if the party was still on and Gary told us that it was and that Lee, Dexter and children were at church with Dexter's father. So we waited in a most spectacular setting. Lee's and Dexter's home is one of the most beautifully set homes in Nevis, quite a ways up the mountain with a panoramic view of St. Kitts all lit up far out on the horizon, separated by the bay between the two island and an unobstructed view of my favorite massive, majestic Mt. Nevis that juts up and dominates the background of their home. The wait was enjoyable listening to the night sounds and enjoying the bejeweled-sky with stars suspended from the heavens in their glistening white shimmer against a jet-black sky.

Soon enough Lee, Dexter and children traipsed back from church and began to get ready for the few guests. Packages of frozen food carried down from the States by Lee's sister were pulled from the freezer and arranged on trays to be baked or nuked. I helped as food was prepared calmly with no attention to paid to the passing time on the clock. Hors d'oeuvres were served along with cheese and crackers, drinks aplenty and lots of Calypso and Reggae music--from Dexter's college and DJ's eclectic collection-- reverberating among the mingling and gyrating guests. More friends arrived and kept coming and coming. The few close friends ended up sixty people. From the man who repairs the cable to those in the national cabinet, guests socialized with each other; there is no social strata here. When I later asked Lee about everyone mixing, she said, "We all know that we depend on each other." It was somewhere around 1:00am that I noticed my husband Lee and I were the only non-locals there. The relaxed attitude and delightful, wholesome fun were a sneak preview of Nevisian life ahead. About 3:00am, I could no longer stay awake, so Lee and I headed back to Jones Bay. It was a wonderful evening, the beginning of 1999 and the creation of our dream with ground-breaking only nine days away.

Love to all.