MEMBERS of Eikenhof Women’s Institute welcomed guest speaker, Teresa John, to their September meeting where she chatted about the Cayman Islands.
Teresa’s son and daughter-in-law live in the Cayman Islands, and Teresa has enjoyed many holidays with them there, so she knows a lot about the islands.
“The Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, consists of three islands, namely the Grand Cayman which is the largest, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
“There are three things which describe the Cayman Islands: sun, sea and wealth and it’s a little piece of paradise with very little crime,” Teresa said, adding that the first murder ever on Little Cayman was in 2014.
“Grand Cayman was first sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1503 when sailors landed on these beautiful islands. The capital is George Town. In October or November each year, Pirate Week is celebrated with thousands of tourists watching the carnival. About 10 000 tourists arrive daily from cruise ships and enjoy spending a few hours just shopping, sunbathing or swimming with stingrays.
“George Town has a population of about 20 000 and with its seven-mile stretch of soft white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, it really is heaven on earth,” added Teresa.
“The Cayman Islands are duty free and there is no gambling and no lotto. The shops are full of beautiful items to buy although everything is brought in by container ships, including many food items which aren’t available on the islands. In George Town there are only two supermarkets which sell fresh produce.
“The islands are home to 43 of the largest banks in the world and many people have off-shore accounts here,” added Teresa.
It was only really in 1990 that tourism exploded. About 1.7-million tourists visit annually.
“In 1994 Queen Elizabeth II opened the botanical gardens on the island, and this is something to see. There are sign posts advising you not to linger long under trees for fear of a coconut dropping on your head!”
“In 2004 hurricane Ivan (category four) flooded George Town and still today there are wrecked homes which still haven’t been renovated. It took a long time for the tourist industry to recover.
Teresa told of her favourite restaurant, The Lighthouse, where she has tasted turtle stew and other delicious food.
“At Christmas everyone decorates the outside of their homes with christmas lights and on Christmas Eve families talk a walk or a drive to see all the décor. It really is beautiful. Celebrations carry on into Christmas Day and Boxing Day and traditions are mainly English,” she added.
Teresa also spoke about the stingrays and turtles on and round the islands and described it as possibly the most perfect place on earth!
The Eikenhof WI members dressed up, enjoyed a Grand Cayman Treasure Hunt and enjoyed some Caribbean-themed lunch after Teresa’s talk.
If you are interested in joining this vibrant group of women who meet on the second Wednesday of each month, please phone Joy Boswell (president of Eikenhof WI) on 084 526 5857.
Add us on WhatsApp today! Comaro Chronicle: 079 427 8074 and Southern Courier: 079 404 5789.