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  1. Quick update on at least one part of St. Maarten. I sent a short email to Capt. Bob of Soualiga Destinations, to ask if the lunch place they traditionally would stop at (an on-the-beach cafe in Grand Case) had been rebuilt after being totally destroyed by hurricane Irma. I was hoping it had been restored so we could give the owner our business and further help the local economy when we're there in a month, but it's not to be. Here is his exact reply: I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, I think it's good that people who lost their homes are getting those restored as fast as possible around the constraints on available supplies and labor. On the other hand, what good is having your house back if you don't have anywhere to go to resume earning the income that paid for that house and the groceries and all the rest? Never mind the point previously mentioned in other topics here that being able to go to work and provide for themselves and their families gives a welcome sense of returning normality. Hopefully people like the cafe owner have found another place to work and are getting at least some of that feeling of getting back to normal. As our trip with Capt. Bob is all day and we're getting back to the dock only just in time to make it back for All Aboard call without being one of those runners, we won't have a chance to do any more for the locals than what we've paid to Capt. Bob and his crew. I'll just have to tip extra well and hope they spread it around that way.
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