10 things about Curacao I’m looking forward to

In 8 days I will be moving back to Curacao. Of course there are many things that I’m going to miss about Statia, but on the other hand there are many nice things to look forward to. Except for seeing old friends and making new ones, these are the 10 things I am looking forward to most of all:

1. Papiamentu

In the years I lived in Curacao I learned to speak the local language and I love it. I hope I will be fluent again soon.

2.  The Cinemas

After two years of watching the same movies on DVD and YouTube… Yesss!

3.  Running after dark

Of course it’s too hot (and in my opinion not healthy) to run during daytime in the Caribbean. On Statia there are no streetlights on the roads where I prefer to run. That means I always have to calculate the exact amount of time I need for the planned running distance and subtract this from the time of sunset. Let’s say I do a 10k run in 1:13 and sunset is at 18:23, I have to start running at 17:10 sharp, when it is still hot. On Curacao there are more streetlights, so I’m really looking forward to running when it cooled down a bit.

running shoes

4.  A boatride along the Bandabou coast

I just love the rocking of a boat while watching Knip, Jeremi and the other beaches pass by. And a cool dip in the water at the Blue Room.

5. Shorediving wherever, whenever

Shorediving on Curacao is just great. Diving gear in the car, broom broom, jump in the water and hello different world. I can’t wait to see the underwater world of Hundu and Manzanilla again.

6. Horsebackriding lessons for Makeda

Horsebackriding is one of the things I used to “bribe” Makeda (sorry) into  agreeing to the move to Curacao. She wants this for so long and there is only one single horse on Statia. On Curacao she can do lessons with other kids and go crazy about horses. And every now and then we’ll make a trip together. Yeehaa!

7.  The variety of white beaches

Like Grote Knip, Kleine Knip, Cas Abou and Lagun. Picture from Grote Knip here is from Tripadvisor.

kenepa-grandi

8. Brownies at Sol Food

The best brownies ever, in the heart of Westpunt!

9. Shops

On Statia, everything needs to come from St Maarten, the States or the Netherlands. Choice on such a small island is simply not there. Shoes my size? Forget about it. I’m not a shopping person at all, but I know certain shops are waiting for me on Curacao.

10. Watamula

One of my favorite places on the island, on land for a good hike, but especially under water. Packed with hard and soft corals, lots of marine life, shallow and deep. And all that just around the corner!

My bags are packed.

10 things I’m going to miss about Statia

In little more than one week I will be moving back to Curacao. There are many nice things to look forward to, but of course there are things I am going to miss too. Except for my friends, young and old, and special people I met, these are the 10 things I will miss most of all about the Golden Rock:

1. The travel time

Wherever you are on Statia and wherever you need to go, travel time is minimal on an island of 21 km2. Have an appointment at 11:00 sharp? Leave home at 11:00 and you will be right on time, Statia time.

2. My scooter

Although I sometimes have to tape my scooter to prevent it from falling apart, I love my blue monster. No need for air conditioning, the wind through your hair and Makeda’s arms around my waist.

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3. My running route

As a runner you love certain roads. I will miss running the road to the Botanical Garden and the road at Lynch going down towards the Berkel plantation.

road

4. The animal shelter

For almost two years I have been volunteering at the SEAWF animal shelter. How I will miss all these cuddles!

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5. The roaming animals

Although there are roaming animals on Curacao, it is nothing compared to the number of cattle and goats on Statia. I know, they are supposed to be fenced and kept under control, but I still love it when a big  bull is slowly peering through the shutters of the pub.

6. Everybody greeting each other

On Statia everybody is greeting each other. Waving, honking, nodding, “good morning”. I think I’m going to stick with this habit on Curacao.

7. The Leatherbacks swim team

Makeda has been swimming with the Leatherbacks since almost two years and I have been a coach for a year and a half. I will miss all my kids, the swim meets to St Maarten and St Croix, the fun we had and even the times they drove me crazy🙂 I love you, guys!

Leatherbacks

8. Turtles hatching 

I’ve witnessed Leatherback turtles, Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles hatch on Zeelandia beach a few times. This is so special!

LB

9. My big yard with fruit trees

Mango’s, guavas, bananas, soursop, starfruit, cherries, cashews, sugarapple, papaya… and a hammock.

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10. The chance to find my own blue bead

Blue beads are very special for St Eustatius. I have been given one by someone special, but I never found my own. If you find your own, or as some say ‘if a blue bead finds you’, you will always come back  to Statia.

We’ll see where the wind takes me.

Next: 10 things I’m looking forward to about Curacao.

 

From the Golden Rock to Dushi Korsou

It has been a while since my last post. Many things happened. I’ve traveled to St. Croix with the Goldenrock Leatherbacks swim team, to Costa Rica and Panama with my daughter and to Saba with my family. In the meantime I decided to leave St Eustatius, the Golden Rock, after two years, one month and three weeks and go back to Curaçao where I was living before July 2012. Curaçao, or Korsou in the local language Papiamentu, where everything is ‘dushi’ (sweet), is another part of the Dutch Kingdom in the Caribbean. Yes, it’s confusing. Soon I will be working again in the dive center of Go West in Westpunt.

It’s quite a hassle to arrange flights for not only me and my daughter, but also for my three dogs Nelson, Onai and Rosa. Plus some excess luggage of course.

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The move back to Curacao also means that I will rename the blog from “Life on the Golden Rock”, to “Life on a rock”. And that I will do my best to post more often again. Promise.

 

3 days and 500$ to go for the Goldenrock Leatherbacks!

As you might have read in my post On our way to St. Croix, swimmers take your mark! we are preparing for the annual swim competition in St. Croix. “We” are the board members and parents of the Goldenrock Leatherbacks in St. Eustatius and especially the swimmers Matthew (16), Mel (10), Marshel (10), Jason (10), D’Seante (10) and my daughter Makeda (8). I’m the coach of this crazy bunch.

Last year in St. Maarten we looked like this:

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This year in our brand new uniform we look like this:

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Because of some organizational issues (let me not get into detail with that because it will take a week), we all of a sudden have to travel on Thursday instead of Friday, and we have to come back on Monday instead of Sunday. This is going to be a looong weekend. No problem, because we love long weekend on new islands, BUT….

* We have to pay for 2 more nights hotel, transportation and food

* We leave THIS Thursday, June 12!!! That is three more days to go to get the funds together for these extra costs. We already harassed all our friends and family members, so things are really getting tight.

If you would like to help us out and give a little donation, please contact me on vfraukje@gmail.com and we can do this via Paypal. I wanted to add a Donation button, but apparently I do not have the right account type😦

Also if you don’t like to donate, all crossed fingers, toes, prayers, positive vibes etc are more then welcome!!!

GOOOOOO LEATHERBACKS!!

Mission possible!

On March 7 my mom and I started an interesting experiment. See my post from March 7. She posted a letter in Leiden (the Netherlands) to me in St. Eustatius (Dutch Caribbean or better Caribbean Netherlands) with only my first name

Fraukje

and the name of the island

St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean.

No last name, no street address, no nothing. To receive mail on this 21 km2 island is not always easy, but my blind faith in the Statia post office, or rather the Statia post lady, is rewarded. Exactly two months after my mom posted the letter, see what shows up in my mailbox:

experiment letter

Inside  cute little duck😀

duck postcard

Thanks!!!!

 

Mr. Anansi in St. Eustatius

Wijnand “Mr. Anansi” Stomp is visiting our little island in search for stories. Personal stories about the past and slavery. Together with his team (documentary maker Jean Hellwig and camera man Ewoud Bon) he visited first Ghana in Africa and Zeeland in the Netherlands; to complete the triangle they’re now filming on St. Eustatius, the Golden Rock.

Between interviews and filming sessions the gentlemen took the time to visit the Golden Rock school for a performance. Mister Anansi telling the story how to outsmart Mr. Tiger and the other animals. As most Caribbean people, the kids loved Anansi. What a great way to keep a real African/Caribbean tradition alive. Thanks Mr. Anansi, come back soon!

Anansi 1

Anansi 2

Anansi 3

Anansi 4

Anansi 5

Anansi 6

Anansi 7

Anansi 8

Oma vertelt – deel IV, laatste deel

My sister shares my grandmother’s story of World War II. This is the last part. A must-read for everyone that understands Dutch!

Vingerspinsels

“De herrie van vliegtuigen… Vandaag de dag nog steeds sla ik mijn handen voor mijn oren als ik een vliegtuig hard hoor bulderen.”

Op 10 mei 1940 om 03.55 uur liet Adolf Hitler de invasie op Nederland inzetten. Vier dagen later eisten de Duitsers de overgave van Rotterdam. De stad werd overgegeven, maar toch volgde het vernietigende bombardement. ‘Communicatiefoutje’ met grote gevolgen: 800 doden en 78.000 daklozen. Onder de daklozen was mijn oma Jitty.

Lees deel III hier >>>

“Naarmate de oorlog langer duurde, werd de honger steeds erger. We hadden een tante, Jo, in Goor in Overijssel. Zij woonde tussen de boeren en daar was nog wel wat te eten te halen. In maart 1944 zijn Ali en ik op de fiets naar Overijssel gegaan. Ik had een oude herenfiets met driedubbele – kapotte – banden over elkaar want er was geen band meer te krijgen. Ali had een…

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Oma vertelt – deel III

My sister shares my grandmother’s story of World War II. This is part 3/4. A must-read for everyone that understands Dutch!

Vingerspinsels

“Ik schiet nog vol als ik eraan denk hoe hij stond in die gang, die gekke gozer: ‘Zeg dat het niet waar is’. Maar het was wel waar…”

Op 10 mei 1940 om 03.55 uur liet Adolf Hitler de invasie op Nederland inzetten. Vier dagen later eisten de Duitsers de overgave van Rotterdam. De stad werd overgegeven, maar toch volgde het vernietigende bombardement. ‘Communicatiefoutje’ met grote gevolgen: 800 doden en 78.000 daklozen. Onder de daklozen was mijn oma Jitty.

Lees deel II hier >>> 

“Na het overlijden van mijn moeder, mocht ik van mijn vader niet meer werken. Ik moest thuisblijven om het huishouden te doen en daar kreeg ik zogenaamd huishoudgeld voor. Dat was in het begin natuurlijk een hele sport, want ik had nog nooit ergens voor hoeven zorgen, en dan sta je er ineens alleen voor. Ondertussen werd de situatie door de oorlog steeds slechter.”

Beledigen…

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Oma vertelt – deel II

My sister shares my grandmother’s story of World War II. This is part 2/4. A must-read for everyone that understands Dutch!

Vingerspinsels

“Van ons huis waren alleen vier muren over, en een diepe put waar een hoop rommel in lag.”

Op 10 mei 1940 om 03.55 uur liet Adolf Hitler de invasie op Nederland inzetten. Vier dagen later eisten de Duitsers de overgave van Rotterdam. De stad werd overgegeven, maar toch volgde het vernietigende bombardement. ‘Communicatiefoutje’ met grote gevolgen: 800 doden en 78.000 daklozen. Onder de daklozen was mijn oma Jitty.

Lees deel I hier >>>

Jitty: “Na het bombardement heeft Ali zich bij haar verloofde Kees aan kunnen sluiten. Ze zijn bij boeren buiten Rotterdam gaan vragen of ze ergens slapen mochten. Bij één boer mochten ze komen. Die had zijn stal leeggemaakt en overal stro neergegooid en zoveel mensen als er in konden mochten daar slapen. Vlak na Ali en Kees kwamen een man en vrouw binnen, met twee kinderen bij zich. Hun andere drie kinderen waren al bij het…

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Oma vertelt – deel I

My sister shares my grandmother’s story of World War II. This is part 1/4. A must-read for everyone that understands Dutch!

Vingerspinsels

“Eruit meiden, ik weet niet wat er aan de hand is maar het is fout!”

Op 10 mei 1940 om 03.55 uur liet Adolf Hitler de invasie op Nederland inzetten. Vier dagen later eisten de Duitsers de overgave van Rotterdam. De stad werd overgegeven, maar toch volgde het vernietigende bombardement. ‘Communicatiefoutje’ met grote gevolgen: 800 doden en 78.000 daklozen. Één van de daklozen was mijn oma Jitty.

Jitty van Leeuwen (3 juli 1921) en haar oudere zus Ali woonden ten tijde van het uitbreken van de tweede wereldoorlog in de Touwslagerstraat in Rotterdam Oost. Hun vader Cor werkte bij de Gemeentelijke Drinkwaterleiding aan de Honingerdijk, hun moeder Aafje zorgde voor het huishouden en voor Piet, de jongste van het gezin.

Het leven voor de oorlog
Jitty blikt terug op het leven vlak voor het uitbreken van de oorlog: “We hadden een gelukkig gezin, woonden in een leuk huisje, iedereen was gezond en we…

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5 reasons why I love Zeelandia (or pro #8 of living on Statia)

Z

 

#1   TO WALK YOUR DOG

dogwalk 2013

This was last year’s dog walk organized by the St. Eustatius Animal Welfare Foundation.

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#2   FOR A STORMY DAY

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#3   FOR EDUCATIONAL TRIPS

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#4   TO SEE HAWKSBILL TURTLES HATCH

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#5 TO SEE LEATHERBACK TURTLES HATCH

LB

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More pros of living on Statia:

How to become a Frequent Flyer (or pro #1 of living on Statia)

How to tape your scooter (or pro #2 of living on Statia)

How and where to swim (or pro #3 of living on Statia)

Wedding Witness (or pro #4 of living on Statia)

Statia in Shape (or pro #5 of living on Statia)

Nevis Agricultural Fair (or pro #6 of living on Statia)

Vogelfestival * Bird Festival (or pro #7 of living on Statia)

Y for Youtube

This post is part of my April’s A to Z challenge. Today’s letter is Y.

Y

I was brave enough to challenge my readers to give me a letter-assignment, and Dirk challenged me with “Y for Youtube”.

ninja girl

Thank you, Dirk!

The second last letter of the alphabet is finally an easy one. From the moment Dirk “handed” me the letter Y + assignment, I knew my post.

Let me stop the writing and let Norah do the singing, together with Elmo and their friend Y in “Don’t know Y”.

elmo

Xenophobia

For the April A to Z challenge Uncle Spike challenged me with the letter X for Xenophobia.

X

Xenophobia is the irrational or unreasoned fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange (Wikipedia). 

xenophobia

Personally, xenophobia is something strange to me. Since long I have less fear talking to a complete stranger in a foreign country than to an unknown not-so-strange person in my own surroundings. Maybe because a complete stranger, to whom I obviously am a complete stranger, expects me to act strange or different. In that case I basically do not have to have any hesitation or uncertainty in being myself. Whatever I do, they expect me to be or act strange anyway. While a not-so-stranger expects me to act not so strange, or even normal. Do you feel the pressure?

Similarly, a strange place, somewhere I’ve never been before, tends to frighten me less than the thought of being stuck forever in the same very well-known place.

But probably I’m just strange. Maybe you can call it Xenophilia?

😀

Xenophily or xenophilia means an affection for unknown/foreign objects or people (Wikipedia).

On a less personal note, I think Xenophobia is a really scary thing that might cause violence and hate, so please take a moment to read this poem by Rudyard Kipling (Debits and Credits):

All good people agree,

And all good people say,

All nice people, like Us, are We

And everyone else is They:

But if you cross over the sea,

Instead of over the way,

You may end by (think of it!) looking on We

As only a sort of They!

What cleaning up can do

W

As some of you know, my April A to Z challenge is off schedule due to moving.

houseSo the letter W in the A to Z challenge is for What cleaning up can do in a house. We’re not completely finished yet, but we’re getting there. Some before & after pictures😀

The kitchen before….

IMG_0125… and after:

IMG_0273The living room before….

IMG_0127…. and after:

IMG_0276Bedroom #1 before….

IMG_0131… and after:

IMG_0269Bedroom #2 before…

IMG_0119… and after:

IMG_0280What do you think?