Category Archives: pros of living on Statia

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!

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!

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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.

 

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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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fruit

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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.

boat

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)

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

Last month I decided to make a list of 25 advantages or pros of living on Statia. You already know how to become a frequent flyer, how to tape your scooter, how and where to swim and how to become a wedding witness. I’ll show you Pro #5 of living in Statia on this short YouTube commercial by the Statia Starz.

Statia is a 21km2 island with around 4,000 inhabitants. Not all 4,000 are in excellent physical condition 😀 Some say there is nothing to do on the island, but after watching this video, you know that’s just excuses excuses excuses. Get STATIA IN SHAPE!

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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)

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

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

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

Last month I decided to make a list of 25 advantages or pros of living on Statia. In case you missed pro #1, #2 and #3, click here to find out 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) and how and where to swim (or pro #3 of living on Statia).

Statia is a 21km2 island with around 4,000 inhabitants. It’s a municipality of the Netherlands, but located in the Caribbean between St. Kitts and Saba. Not in the last place because of our ‘special’ status, the government is the biggest employer of the island, next to NuStar Energy.

wapen St Eustatius

Being 1 of the 4,000 residents, it happens to be that I am working for the island government too. And if you happen to work for the island government, you might just happen to work in an amazing place like this:

Fort Oranje

This is the view from my office in the historical Fort Amsterdam. Not bad, huh?!

And then it happens that the colleagues of Civil Affairs are looking for two witnesses in a wedding that is going to be held in the Fort. Sure, no problem! Where’s the champagne?

So on an average Wednesday afternoon, this is what happened 😀

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Me doing the signing business here for two happy complete strangers

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Cheers! Pro #4 of living on Statia!

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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)

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)

How & where to swim (or Pro #3 of living on Statia)

Last month I decided to make a list of 25 advantages or pros of living on Statia. In case you missed pro #1 and #2 click here to find out how to become a Frequent Flyer (or pro #1 of living on Statia) or how to tape your scooter (or pro #2 of living on Statia).

Statia is a 21km2 island with around 4,000 inhabitants, five schools, too many roaming animals, one public swimming pool, one sea (the Caribbean), one ocean (the Atlantic) and limited fresh water when it hasn’t been raining for a while. Since a year there is a drinking water network connected to most houses, but the majority of the Statians still uses their cistern, that catches the rainwater coming from the roofs. So am I. It’s natural, it’s free. If you’re not connected to the drinking water installation, you can always call the water truck to fill up your cistern. That means, if the water truck is working.

The public swimming pool of course needs to be cleaned and filled up regularly. You can imagine that is easier said than done. So once in a while this happens:

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The pool is empty. I mean quiet. No kids. The water need to be refreshed. Swimming prohibited. No Goldenrock Leatherbacks swim team allowed. No Makeda, no Mel, no Matthew, no D’Seante, no Marshel, no Aziz, no Samuel, no Johnell, no Fernando and no coach.

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Now this brings me to Pro #3  of living on St. Eustatius: there’s always a sea around!

On the North East side the Atlantic Ocean (the “deep blue ocean” in the Statia anthem). I wouldn’t recommend swimming here. The undertow is crazy. A few years ago a stubborn nature photographer died here.

Zeelandia

On the South West side “the Caribbean Sea” (you should really listen to the anthem). And this is how & where it happens. Swimming up & down, here and there, going crazy and cooling off in the sunset.

Who needs a pool?

in the seasunset

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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)

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)

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

After some recent adventures on one of our neighboring islands St. Maarten, I decided to make a list of 25 advantages or pros of living on Statia. In case you missed pro #1 click here to find out how to become a Frequent Flyer (or pro #1 of living on Statia).

Statia is a 21km2 island with around 4,000 inhabitants, five schools, one small airport, some bars, a bunch of churches, too many roaming animals, one medical center and bad roads. That means very bad roads. I probably shouldn’t be saying this as a policy adviser for Economy & Infrastructure, but the roads on Statia. Seriously. Suck!

The bayroad:

Bayroad

My road:

my road

As you can imagine, Mr. Brown’s garage is a busy place and Mr. Brown a busy man. If anyone that’s not familiar with the shape of the roads on Statia would look into my phone history, they’d think I have a thing for Mr. Brown. If anyone from Statia would look into my phone history, they’d notice that I live on a bumpy road.

Our Jeep Cherokee was officially declared dead last month. The shock absorbers came right through the rotten bottom plate. FUBAR* Luckily the car was already breaking down in the middle of a crossroad at least twice a week, so the loss was not too big.

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My scooter, my dear blue scooter, is still alive. She has always been my favorite, my everything. And living on Statia I learned to care for a scooter like I never did. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health. So here’s my pro #2 of living on Statia: you really learn how to love and tape your scooter when she needs it most. I’ll love and cherish her ’till death do us part.

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(* Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition)

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More pros of living on Statia:

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

How & 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)

How to become a frequent flyer (or pro #1 of living on Statia)

Statia-Airport

After flying up & down to St. Maarten twice in the last month (the first time to do an exam, the second time because I was not having a heart attack), I decided to make a list of 25 advantages or pros of living on Statia. Where? Statia, or St. Eustatius, also known as the Golden Rock. Caribbean Netherlands. Confused?

Statia is a 21km2 island with around 4,000 inhabitants, five schools, one small airport, some bars, a bunch of churches, too many roaming animals and one medical center. Reason enough for all Statians to be Frequent Flyers.

To visit a medical specialist (cardiologist, optician, orthodontist, pneumosomethingologist, you name it) you have to fly off-island 😀 For many cases you will be sent to the Dutch side of St. Maarten. If you’re lucky enough you have a free trip to Colombia or sometimes Guadeloupe. Forget about the fact that you have to leave family, friends, pets and work behind. Your hotel room is ready for you, your bed is made, you don’t need to clean, cook or work. Finally some privacy on a different Caribbean island. Forget about the fact that you have to stay in your hotel day in, day out to wait for the hospital personnel to finally call you for an appointment. Who needs to get out of a hotel anyway? Why go shopping or explore the place? You are on a Caribbean island!

I recently experienced this when I did not have a heart attack, but still had to check with the cardiologist on St. Maarten. Unfortunately I could stay on St. Maarten for only 1 night. The hotel that was booked for me and a good amount of fellow medical Frequent Flyers from Statia, was just lovely: the Paradise Inn.

Paradise Inn

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But for true, for a small island girl like me the location of the hotel is paradise.  KFC, Burger King, McDonald and even a proper restaurant with grilled mahi mahi and red wine are on walking distance. Not to mention the Grand Marché and Cost-U-Less. Paradise for Statians!

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Cost-U-Less

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Apart from the doctor’s visit, there are always tons of other reasons to fly off-island: big feet (no shoes my size for sale on Statia), schools/exams, the lack of a notary, jail…

And the greatest thing of it all: we all really support WinAir! Because St. Maarten is our only direct destination and WinAir is King, we just love to pay the highest price for a ticket. We love WinAir! We love being Frequent Flyers!

WinAir

I love living in the Caribbean!!

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Other pros of living on Statia:

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

How & 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)