Category Archives: animals

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.

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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!

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8. Turtles hatching 

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

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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.

 

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

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#1   TO WALK YOUR DOG

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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

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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)

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

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Monday April 28 STENAPA (St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation) held its first Bird (Vogel) Festival.

After being tested what our knowledge of the local birds was -I admit, I am terrible in identifying birds- we made a guided walk through town to spot the local beauties.

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Spotting and identifying the birds is hard enough as it is, taking sharp pictures of them is a nightmare. Most of my pictures looked like this:

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Not a bird in sight!

We spotted our national bird, the Kili Kili…

IMG_0220the common dove…

IMG_0225the banana quit….

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and many more, that of course wouldn’t sit quiet.

Back in the library, there was enough to do for young and old.

???????????????????????????????Making bird masks.

bird feedersMaking bird feeders out of empty plastic bottles.

In the end prizes (camera’s, binoculars and bird books) were given out to the kids that handed in the most beautiful picture or drawing of a bird. The jury, that consisted of two professional iguana-watchers that visited the island for the opening seminar of CNSI, had a hard time.

whisperingThe winning photograph by Tom showed one of the few (pet) parrots the island has. Congratulations!

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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)

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

March 27, 6:00 AM

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A group of more than 20 people from St. Eustatius, including crop and livestock farmers, gardeners, employers of the department LVV (“agriculture, livestock & fisheries”) of the island government, the vet and other people interested in agriculture, boarded the Waterman to go to Nevis to visit the yearly agricultural fair. As policy adviser of the directorate Economy & Infrastructure, working with the unit LVV, me and my camera were there 😀

Apart from people, the Waterman carried around 1000 kilos of sheep meat and a small amount of cow meat. Over the last year, Nevis has become a regular buyer of Statian meat.

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The manager of the agricultural department and the veterinarian/meat inspector made sure the meat was delivered properly to the Nevis abattoir.

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The fair was very educational and covered a wide range of agricultural subjects. Various techniques of growing vegetables were displayed. This can easily be done by anyone without a big garden:

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The information was abundant, on growing different types of grass, invasive species, health, backyard farming, pesticides etc. Farm animals, pets, flowers, vegetables, seeds, meat, herbs, homemade products like tomato and spinach-wine and much more was for sale. Especially the fruit trees were favorite: guava, lemon, lime, Julie mango, avocado, starfruit, grapefruit, you name it.

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snail

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flowers

fruit trees

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The Waterman arrived back on Statia at 5:30 PM filled with fruit trees, flowers, herbs, seeds and many other goods, possible business deals, a wet goat and a seasick Rottweiler puppy.

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Pro #6 of living on Statia is; for a work-related trip you just hop on the boat to another Caribbean island!

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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)

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

Nose

Hint: She ran homE

Shelter Helper

St. Eustatius Animal Welfare Foundation (SEAWF) is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 2002 to help the dogs and cats on Statia. Twice a day volunteers are feeding the animals at the shelter, walking the dogs, cleaning up the cages, the kennels and the outside run, squeezing ticks and giving the furry guys their daily portion of TLC. It’s not that we love cleaning peed & poo-ed up newspapers. It’s not that we love coming home covered in mud, with dust in our ears and nose. We do it (or at least I do it) for the thankful looks, the wagging tales and sometimes the outrageous love-explosions you get from your friends. Because that’s what they are: friends on four legs.

I remember the days we had one or two dogs at the shelter, sometimes three. That was when we adopted our first dog, Gipsy.

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Over the last year the number was growing and growing. At one point we had 22(!) dogs at the shelter, plus some kittens. It was a madhouse! It was decided that some dogs had to be put to sleep. But on the day the vet came to the island, around 6 dogs were adopted and we could keep the rest. That really was one of the best days in my SEAWF-history! I couldn’t stop dancing.

Another great event was the official opening of the extension that was built behind the existing kennel room. Thanks to donations from Statians, people in Holland and NuStar (the oil terminal) and thanks to the great work by the constructor, we now have 4 pretty big outside kennels with separate sleeping parts. One-bedroom apartments so to say 🙂

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Sometimes we find dogs or cats (often being dumped and left to die!!!) that are too young and vulnerable to stay in the shelter. They need to be bottle-fed and kept nice and warm the whole day. They often end up being temporarily fostered by one of the volunteers. That’s what we did with these guys. We decided to officially adopt them. Yes, it’s a full house at the moment (they have grown about 10 times their size), but pure happiness!

Onai, Rosa & Nelson

Once every two weeks the vet from St. Maarten, Dr. Garry Swanston, comes over to help the Statia pets.

The animal shelter is located behind the LVV office in Concordia and their phone number is 318 4150. They also have a Facebook page.

If you move over to Friends with Paws you’ll find an overview of all the dogs that live in the animal shelter at the moment. They are all available for adoption. I’ll update it regularly with stories about my friends. Please check it out. If you are looking for a friend, or if you know someone who is interested, please let me know or just pass by the animal shelter any day around 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. Some dirty, sweaty but happy person should be there.