22 July 2008

Friday 4 July

St. Martin from our planeAfter checking out and taking a taxi over to the airport (which was fairly empty, but it could just have been the morning), we then caught our flight to San Juan where we had our connecting flight to PTP.
When we arrived in San Juan (yes, we were briefly in the US for Independence Day), instead of just going to the next gate over to catch our next flight, we went through customs, then picked up our checked luggage, then deposited it with the TSA agents, then had to go through another security checkpoint, even though we had already gone through one in St. Martin, and then finally were at our gate.
Rachel with the pool of our hotel in the background
After we got to our gate, we got on a bus that took us only about 200 feet away(!) to our plane. After we were on the plane and started to taxi, we then waited for an hour to take off - apparently, it was due to some radar problems in the Guadeloupe area(?).
We then arrived in Guadeloupe and took a cab to our hotel. Whilst leaving the airport, we noticed cattle grazing nearby. In fact, as we went, we kept seeing more and more cattle, which was weird to me (finally, on Wednesday, I would find out why).
Drew & Rachel at the beach at our hotel
Eventually, we got to the hotel and it was fine - we then looked at the bar, the pool, and then the beach on the hotel property, which was neat.
We then walked over to the synagogue, which was about a ten minute walk from the hotel, and inquired as to when services would be that evening. We headed back to our hotel and got ready for shabbat and headed over to the synagogue.
There were between 30 and 50 men there and several women there. For Kabbalat Shabbat, they were using the regular Sefardic tune thing until they reached Mizmor LeDavid, when they used the tune that is commonly sung in America. Some of the youths were wearing shorts, though all of the adults were wearing pants.
After services, we headed back to our hotel, where we had some food and went to sleep.

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