St Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino features a parade of pleasant surprises and sits on the edge of the Atlantic. *MCT photo
St Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino features a parade of pleasant surprises and sits on the edge of the Atlantic. *MCT photo

Today I write to you from the island home of many Bermudians.  Today I write to you from the island of St Kitts.

God has blessed me to be able to return to St Kitts to visit familiar places, familiar friends and familiar family. 

Stepping off of the small 21-seater plane at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, I almost felt I needed to kiss the ground.

It has been five years since I have laid eyes on the lush mountains of the land of my great grandparents’ birth.  

Roots, natty roots

This is not just my heritage as approximately 50 to 60 per cent of born Bermudians descend from Kittitians or Nevisians.  

In fact, anyone with the following surnames can safely say that their family comes from St. Kitts and/or Nevis:

• Simmons

• Simons

• Jacobs

• Charles

• Archibald

• Pringle

• Browne

• Warner

• Rawlins

• Francis

• Mills

• Morton

• Caines

• Webb

• Rabain

• Cannonier

Familiar Faces

During the slavery era, St Kitts was the first stop for ships sailing from West Africa. Slave owners from the neighbouring islands came to purchase their human cargo.  

Essentially, St Kitts was the Eastern Caribbean Walmart for slave traders. As I walked around the port in Basseterre I felt the vibes of my ancestors’ colonial terror.

Everywhere you go in St Kitts you will either bump into a Bermudian or someone who reminds you of a Bermudian.

Our near identical bloodlines are reflected in the facial features between Bermudians and Kittitians.

As I drove around this beautiful Island, I saw a great nation that once many Bermudians had rejected, and labelled as ‘Third World’, now exceed Bermuda by leaps and bounds.

Whether it be by cruise ship or plane, tourists are practically pouring out of every nook and cranny.  

In 2012, tourist arrivals increased an impressive 20 per cent from 2008 levels.  

Local taxis and activity hosts are occupied showcasing the island. Kittitian  vendors are busily selling everything from t-shirts, caps and souvenirs to freshly squeezed homemade juices.

Smiling tourists are happily parting with their money.

For those who like adventure, you can take a train tour, climb the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga or visit the Brimstone Hill fortress and hike the amazing rainforest.

Tourism is King in St Kitts.

Unfortunately, many Bermudians of  my generation and below, will never be able to own a piece of Bermuda.

However, at prices ranging from $5-$8 per square foot for prime real estate, St Kitts is a real estate bonanza for Bermudians

In real terms, for USD$90,000 you can purchase a 1/4 acre of land on a hill side overlooking the ocean.

For USD$200,000 you can build a two-storey, concrete block mansion.

I strongly advise my fellow Bermudians to forgo a new SUV, and invest in St Kitts. It is your inheritance — grab it while you can.

In some upcoming columns, I will discuss other aspects of St. Kitts and Nevis such as:

• Economics

• Culture

• Crime

• Business opportunities

• And, yes, local politics

But for now, I will enjoy my last few hours of the warm Caribbean breeze, and a cool glass of white rum mixed with sugar cane juice. 

You may contact Christopher Famous via e-mail at carib_pro@yahoo.com