Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Joyce Prince - St. Maarten

There are times that you run across a jewel of a person and know she touches each and every person in the same way. Joyce Prince, from St. Maarten, offers tours to those that visit this beautiful island. Joyce gives the individual attention to the tourist in such a way that you feel as though you are a VIP that just rolled into town. We left the ship on Thursday morning and Joyce was waiting for us and she seemed to know who we were before we found her. From then on, we were on a trip around the island to see the beauty and uniqueness of the island.
Joyce arranges her trips to what YOU want to see. We were lucky that day as we were the only ones on the tour, as she sometimes takes more than one family. Since it was only my husband and me, we were able to cater the island trip to what we wanted to see. Of course I wanted to see the Anglican Church, (which she happens to attend right now - she is Methodist, but somehow she has a women's group in which she is a part and it prevents her from attending the Methodist Church, so she is attending the Anglican Church). On a tiny street in Phillipsburg, was the Anglican Church, which looked as though some construction was going on.
The streets were narrow and parking was pretty packed, so I only got a picture from the car. I am sure that Joyce would have bent over backwards to find a spot, but we had places to go and see.
Joyce took us to the Guavaberry Emporium, where they make Guavaberry Liqueur and Rum (and jelly, and honey, etc) - Guavaberry grows prolifically on the island so they have marketed these items and made a niche for themselves for this unique flavored fruit - tasty and unique! Husband has the idea of making a guavaberry cheesecake - that sounds yummy! Oh yes, we were graced with the presence of Sint Martin himself, right in the store. (Ok, I tried to upload the image of Sint Martin, but somehow Blogger won't let me).
We saw where the rich and famous lived, as well as the housing projects. Schools were also on the tour where children were still in school, both on the French and Dutch sides. Children wore uniforms. Noticeably, many had their jalousie windows open and clothes hanging on the line. When I asked about this to Joyce, she said, this was their way of living - their island provided the breezes and few people had the luxury of airconditioning and a dryer, some by choice, others because of the cost.
The economy and politics were discussed, especially in light of two countries on a very small island. I know why two countries claim it - its beauty is breathtaking!
So, if you ever find yourselves at St. Maarten, look Joyce up whether it is for a guided tour (in which you will NOT be disappointed) or to rent a car, or even need a babysitter.
We got much more that day than the tour, we felt as though we had a new found friend - she places her customer's happiness and satisfaction above everything else, however, she has room in her heart to be a friend.

I can't wait to go to see St. Maarten Joyce again.

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