Tag Archives: Statia

With “Love & Guidance” from Statia

Great song, many familiar faces and made on St. Eustatius.

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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

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)

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)

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.

Leatherbacks2

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)

The Golden Rock Adventurers and the Beautiful Secret of Little Mountain

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It was a warm day in the beginning of eternal spring on the island of Golden Rock. Two adventurers started their search for the Beautiful Secret of Little Mountain. It was not an easy road.

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But they did not know fear and started their journey bravely.

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They found many challenges on their way. A cactus forest…

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But with some help…

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they managed to get back on the right track. Although the signs were written in a secret language.

???????????????????????????????They barely had time for a drink and a snack…

???????????????????????????????because they noticed the signs…

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of a giant beast with hairy claws as big as swords!

???????????????????????????????Ruuuuuuuuuuunnnn!!!!

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More spiny challenges were ahead.

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But a trail of fantasy flowers…

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were leading the way to the old tree…

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???????????????????????????????LITTLE MOUNTAIN SUMMIT (translated from the secret language).

They had to hide for Indians in caves…

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and keep an eye on the volcano that was about to erupt.

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In the distance was a strange island that had never been there before.

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But something told them that was OK.

???????????????????????????????They finally made it to the top.

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But when they leaned over they saw…

???????????????????????????????POISON!! Millions and millions of liters of poison!!

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Was this the Beautiful Secret of Little Mountain?!?! That couldn’t be!

They turned around and saw the Real Beautiful Secret, only to be seen from Little Mountain. It was so beautiful, it couldn’t even be fully captured on camera. It was the WHALE THAT WOULD SAVE THE WORLD!

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With peace in their heart the Golden Rock Adventurers walked back to civilization, already fantasizing about their next adventure.

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Check here for more adventures of the Golden Rock Adventurers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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TV

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

shopping

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)

Going green inside the crater

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In my last post I wrote about a new endemic plant species being discovered on the inner slopes of the Quill. The Quill is the dormant volcano on Statia, soaring to a height of 600m  (1,969 ft) at the Mazinga Peak. The name Quill comes from the Dutch word Kuil, which means ‘pit’ or ‘hole’. Thanks to the English settlers who couldn’t pronounce Kuil properly, we now have a volcano named Quill. I admit, it does sound more exotic and exciting than Kuil.

After reaching the rim at 380 m (1,246 ft) you can descent into the crater, which contains a lush tropical rainforest with enormous trees, like Fig trees and Yellow Plums.

The national park is managed by Stenapa and the crater trail is well maintained.

Here’s an impression of the crater trail.

getting ready My new bag – thanks mom & dad! 😀

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The Blue Bead & another story of slavery

This is “my” blue bead.

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In the 17th century the Dutch used these pentagonal shaped blue beads for trading. The beads were made in Amsterdam, out of glass. In St. Eustatius they were given to slaves as “wages”. {Sometimes I am so terribly ashamed of being Dutch!!}

picture from the Secar website

After emancipation, the legend says the ex-slaves gathered at the cliffs and threw their beads in the sea to celebrate freedom. Up till today blue beads can be found in the sea or on land. Mostly they are found on a dive spot called “the Blue Bead Hole” after a storm when the sand has been stirred up. It’s likely a ship loaded with blue beads sank there (or maybe all the blue beads thrown in the ocean by the freed slaves somehow ended up at the exact same spot, hm hm…).

Occasionally the beads can be found on the beach or somewhere in the mud on the roadside.

There are many fake blue beads around, which you can buy for a few dollars at gift shops. The real blue bead though is always pentagonal, sometimes a bit rounded by the sand over the years, and has this typical dark blue colour. There are very few white beads found too, but it’s just a handful of people on the island that ever found a white one. And be assured: a real blue bead will never be for sale for a few dollars. I heard stories of blue beads being sold for US$ 250 or US$ 300. But a real Statian will never sell his blue bead out of respect for the slaves. You can give it away, but not sell it.

I can tell you it’s a funny feeling having a blue bead. It may be “just a bead”, a useless piece of blue glass, but knowing that one day “your” bead once was a slave’s only possession makes it… unique.

The legend says you don’t find blue beads. The blue bead finds you.

And if you’re found, you will always come back to Statia.

I will always come back to Statia.

The first salute was fired…

After 2 weeks of “issues” with WordPress… I’m back!

In the meantime, I mashed up my blog by first deleting some big pictures (thought the problem was there), then deleting some posts (thought the problem was there) and then deleted the whole content (the problem wasn’t there). So here I am starting from scratch.

I decided to change the address and the name of the blog. Instead of showing you “My Planet Earth”, I now write about “Life on the Golden Rock”. Which is basically the same since my own little planet is situated on the Golden Rock.

The Golden Rock is the nickname of St. Eustatius, better known as Statia. If you’re not living on Statia or one of the neighboring islands, if you are Dutch and didn’t pay much attention during history class, you probably have no clue where I am or what Statia is all about 🙂

Let me introduce Statia to you with a little video about the island’s rich history. Enjoy!