How Fragile We Are

Nowadays, we hear so much negative things about St. Eustatius. I want to be positive. So here I will write down, what I think is positive about the island.

In school, everyday, the children sing. In church, everybody sings. Rare talents were raised on Statia, music and dance are in the genes of all families.

On St. Eustatius, all year long, the sun shines. At night, it becomes dark, all year long, around 6.45 to in summertime maybe 7.15, 7.30. That means, that when you have a family, with children, it is easy to get them to go to bed. After having dinner, it’s dark. Not dark, but pitch-dark. When you move from house to house, you do that in the dark. Children are tired, they sleep easily. Nowadays, sports are being played at night.

The Hurricane season is exciting. The people know the signs. The animals do too. After a storm, cleaning up the island is a joint effort and people help each other.

Around Christmas time, it is cooler and that is the time people fix up their houses. Christmas is Caribbean, but it is English-American aswell, everybody makes their homes friendly and with loads of colorfull lights and Christmas decorations.

In this climate, people get up early. For festivities, like Statia Day, Emancipation Day and the Queens’ Brithday, there is ceremony at Fort Oranje, there are drums throughout town, waking up the people, this happens at 4 in the morning.

There used to be a cactus called the prickley pear. This fruit was used by Ms. Blyden, to make her favorite drink. Drinks are made of some kind of cherries and tamarind, sour sop, papaya, mango, sugar apple, and much and much more.

On Statia, there are many, many small areas where you can be alone, where you can enjoy the view and dream.

People are fragile, children are fragile. If we would care for each other, listen to each other and give each other some space, slowly but surely, Statia will rise.

This is the link to the letter Koos Sneek wrote:

He resigned as commissioner, as before him did Glenn Schmidt and before him did Koert Kerkhoff and before him did Clyde van Putten…

At this moment, it is very difficult to be part of the executive council of St. Eustatius. St. Eustatius has to change and wants to change, but it is difficult to change. I think St. Eustatius first has to figure out where its’ strenght lies.

Statia has many heroes and many stories but above all Statia is a family island. Everybody is family, also the police officer and also the island secretary. You might agree to disagree, but the next day, you meet again. Of course, you can hide and live a private live. But you do meet everybody all the time.

Mr. Gerald Berkel, the Lt. Governor, will now work with Mr. Carlyle Tearr and Mr. Reginald Zaandam in the executive council. Berkel and Tearr are businessmen, Zaandam is an educator. Maybe something good will come out of it.

I want to share this song with you; Sting and Stevie Wonder, a white man and a black man. I think the musical people of St. Eustatius will appreciate it.




1 thought on “How Fragile We Are

  1. Small Island politics is frought with challenges as you indicated with the interpersonal relationships.

    However we as Statians must never forget the collective vision that we have for our home. We grapple with the issues of colonialism,slavery,white privilege and a host of other historical issues.

    Yet we are interdependent on Holland and those from Holland.

    Shuffle the deck if we must but the house of cards must never fall

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