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Ny Gade and Salvation Army

May 19, 2013

Virgin Islands – Wednesday, May 8

We were out the door by 7am so that I could drop Taryn and Jared at the airport. It’s been fun having them around, and now they must head back to Michigan. We’ll miss them! I was disappointed my camera wasn’t working last night – we got a good picture of the 4 of us at a restaurant, but they turned out too dark on the cell phone cameras. When I got back to the resort, Christy and I got ready for some walking – we had 5 extra miles to make up before we leave in a few days since we fell a little short on Saturday (our first day here), and Monday (due to being all sandy and wet from rainy day in St. John). And we also had a couple donations to take care of.

Yesterday when we were out walking, Chris noticed a street called Ny Gade. Our maiden name is Nygaard, and I wanted to make a donation somewhere on Ny Gade for that reason. (Perhaps not the most logical reason to make a donation, but that seemed to fit this morning!). Gade is the Dutch word for street. As luck would have it, there was a cathedral right across the building that had the Ny Gade sign on it. A couple of guys were painting the doors, but we were still able to go inside, where Chris saw a donation box for me right away. This church was St. Thomas Reformed Church, which was founded in 1660 by the first organized group of Dutch settlers in the area. It’s one of the olde3st churches in the Caribbean, and the Reformed Church of America is the oldest denomination in America (according to the church pamphlet), and it’s a close cousin of the Presbyterian Church. Since this church building belongs to the oldest denomination in America, and is one of the oldest churches in the Caribbean, it was a good place for my donation on Ny Gade, especially when one of the painters told us how everyone pulled together and worked hard on repairs after a really bad storm damaged the church. I was happy to find it!

We had seen a cruise ship in the harbor first thing this morning, and by the time we were done in the church, there were 3 of them lined up – and lots of people in town again. We continued our walk – heading along the bay back to the Frenchtown area where we ate last night – we wanted to walk around there and get some pictures of some of the boats in the marina. Actually my sister wanted to re-read the hand-lettered “Crew Wanted” sign in the restaurant – advertising the need for crew members to sail to Grenada from June to November! I think if the boat was at the dock leaving right then, she would have wanted to hop on and join them on the spot – haha! If she vanishes in June, I know where to find her! We left the docks and continued walking as far as we could – getting kind of close to the airport. Then we walked back into Charlotte Amalie, where I did another donation. We had been walking down one of the back streets in town looking for a women’s shelter that a local lady had told us about, and we couldn’t find that, but then we noticed the local Salvation Army. It was housed in a historic old building built in 1860, and Chris remembered our mom mentioning how good the Salvation Army had been to my late brother when he was in need of assistance and no family was around. We could smell the lunch they had just served to the homeless people, and many of them were sitting around in the courtyard. We decided it was a wonderfully appropriate place for a donation, and we went into the thrift store part of the building to talk with a couple people, who were very kind and thankful for a donation. Sales from the thrift store help support the program, and there were several people in there shopping and buying things. It was a cool old building, and the upstairs used to be where the original shelter was, although it’s now used for storage. It was probably the most interesting Salvation Army place I’ve seen, and I was happy to find them too.

By then we had walked over 6 miles in the heat, and were ready for a break. We stopped at the grocery store and headed back to the resort where we fixed a light lunch and headed to the pool for a little while. We had also been trying to check into a sailing/snorkeling trip for tomorrow, but there had been no response from one of the contact people and I was getting conflicting information from another person. It sounded like nothing was running tomorrow, so we put our names on a list for Friday’s trip to St. John and will have to take care of details in the morning.

Then we headed back into town – we couldn’t afford to get any farther behind with miles, and even though rain clouds were moving in again, we went back into town for more walking along the bay. We wanted to walk a total of 11 miles today, so we parked in our usual spot, and headed out along the boardwalk by the cruise ship marina and along the sidewalk by the sea. We watched as 2 of the cruise ships sailed out of the harbor – floating cities that quickly became little specks on the horizon. It started to sprinkle a bit and then Chris caught her flip-flop on some wood on the boardwalk, and broke them. She was able to put it back together, but every now and then they still came apart. Most people wouldn’t wear flip-flops for all the walking we were doing, but she did, and she ultimately walked all 56 miles with me in the Virgin Islands – most of it in flip-flops and the rest of it barefoot on the beach! I don’t think anyone will match that record on my journey! When we were at the farthest point of our evening walk, the sprinkles turned into rain, and there wasn’t much we could do about it – we got soaked! It was coming down pretty hard. We sloshed our way back to the car, and surprisingly didn’t make too much of a wet mess in there, and headed back to Magens Bay, where we just stayed in for a late dinner.

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One Comment
  1. lindacompson permalink

    I love reading about your daily activities! I recognize Chris in these photos – looking good 🙂 Those of us with that Scandinavian heritage look so youthful on our fifties!

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