Late Tuesday night Eleanor left the MTC in Provo to travel to Barbados with two Elders: Elders Casady and Griffin. They were to have a two stage journey- first to Miami and then, after a two hour layover, on to Barbados. Needless to say we were tracking her flights every step of the way:
On arriving in Barbados Soeur Holt was able to send us a quick email. I’m here and I’m safe and I have all of my bags!! We made our connection with lots of time to spare. I tried to sleep again. We arrived in Barbados at about 3pm, the views from the planes approach were absolutely breathtaking; I am so lucky. IT’S SO HOT!!
They met up with another new missionary, Sister McGinn, and had lunch with President and Sister Herrington who are responsible for overseeing all the missionaries in the mission. Eleanor says that they seem so friendly and loving.
Soeur Holt’s first area is going to be in Les Abymes in Guadeloupe and my trainer is Sister Heno is who FRENCH!! I am actually glad so that I can get into the full swing of the language straight away. After a couple of days in Barbados for orientation, etc Eleanor will be travelling to Guadeloupe on Friday.
We thought we’d share some information about her first area; we have to admit that a lot of the following information will be collected from lots of sources around the internet- but thought by putting it all in one place it would save others, who were interested, the effort.
Guadeloupe is a region of France and one of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It has a land area of 1,628 square kilometres (629 square miles) and an estimated population of 400,132 as of January 2015.
Guadeloupe’s two main islands are Basse-Terre to the west and Grande-Terre to the east, which are separated by a narrow strait that is crossed with bridges. They are often referred to as a single island. Guadeloupe is an integral part of France. It is thus part of the European Union and the Eurozone, and its currency is the euro. The prefecture (regional capital) of Guadeloupe is the city of Basse-Terre, which lies on the island of the same name. The official language is French, and virtually the entire population except recent arrivals from metropolitan France also speaks Antillean Creole.
We were also able to find the climate information for Guadeloupe which is tropical. This means that in January the temperature ranges between 20oC and 30 oC which is one of the colder months!!!
Churchwise there are 3 congregations that meet on the Islands with two Church buildings. Eleanor will be based at Les Abymes which is on the eastern island. It would seem that the branch boundaries (the area which the branch covers) is essentially the whole of the Grande-Terre which has a land area of 586.68 km². The population of Grande-Terre is nearly 200,000 and has 10 communes (municipalities/boroughs). Grande-Terre’s coastline is surrounded by coral reefs and the island is a limestone plateau. Its geography has rolling hills, white sand beaches and cliffs. Of the two islands, Grande-Terre is home to the majority of Guadeloupe’s farmlands and tourist resorts.
Les Abymes itself is the most populated commune of Guadeloupe with nearly 60,000 inhabitants (it consists of approximately 30 smaller hamlets). Les Abymes is part of the larger metropolitan area of Pointe-à-Pitre, the largest urban area in Guadeloupe. It is located very close to the airport. We don’t know exactly the area that Soeur Holt will be working as it could be Les Abymes itself or in the wider parts of Grande-Terre- we will learn more as the weeks go on.
Eleanor’s email address remains the same, but her postal address while she’s on Guadeloupe is:
17 res. Les Paletuviers
Bat. A Apt. 17