Today I spoke to all my lovely students 😔❤about the following and we had emotional conversations and there was a lot of love shared today…. so now I want you all to hear this from me and not on the street.
I am getting a lot of questions about if I’ll be renewing my contract on Sint Maarten..
With a lot of pain in my heart and soul I have to announce that I’ll be going back to my family in Holland after being in the Caribbean for 5 wonderful years.
I’m writing this with tears in my eyes.
The Caribbean became my home and will always be my home forever. It is me and will always be living in me.
The first day in the Caribbean I hugged an older woman on the street and I knew that this is where I can live and make myself at home.
I love the people, life, culture, music, events and most of all my job that I am so extremely passionate about.
5 years ago I moved to the Caribbean with the goal to stay one school year on Saba and to make the Dutch language more enjoyable. I fell in love with everything and stayed on Saba 3 years and developed my own teaching method for Dutch. Teaching Dutch through music and I wrote my own songs. Songs in Dancehall, soca, zouk and Reggae. I had the opportunity to be in a magazine and perform with my choir for the King. I also became the representative of Saba for the Dutch language for the whole Caribbean and after Saba I became the representative for Sint Maarten. This was such a honour to work with people from all the Dutch Caribbean islands to improve the Dutch language.
The experiences on Saba were amazing and I still feel the support from my Saba family.
I developed myself personally so much over these years, living alone abroad on the other side of the world. Going through things like living together, break ups, hard times and beautiful, happy times.
After 3 years on Saba, I couldn’t let go of the Caribbean and I decided to move to Sint Maarten to help the lovely kids over here.
Now 2 years later and also 2 deaths in my family I came to realise how important family is. In Holland we find it important but the culture is different. In the Caribbean I saw the family for sure every Sunday for a cook up and sometimes even every day just to talk about how the day was. And if I wouldn’t come I would definitely get a call why I couldn’t make it lol.
The Caribbean taught me a lot about family. They are the people who really know you and will always be there for you no matter what. After my grandmother her passing I realised this even more.
I learned so much about life here. Everyone accepted me as their own and this makes me feel so loved, appreciated and special. There wasn’t a place on Sint Maarten I couldn’t go to alone.
I always want to help people and I hope I left my mark here. And that I made a positive change for someone along the way.
It was very hard to make this decision, but life changes and my brothers, sisters and parents are also getting older.
Life comes with stages and choices and this is a hard choice to make (I had to think this through for a year) But I am also very happy that I’ll be having my family around me again after 5 years being away from them.
What did I learn and will I be taking (most of it) with me as a person back to Holland: haha
– Not walking on bare foot (where r ur slippers gyal?)
– Eating only with a fork
– Eating with a napkin
– Food is holy
– Crying? U want something to cry fuh?
– I’m speaking ghetto slang fluently
* wha u saying boii?
* u mako man
* we gonna link up
* small thing
* u like di mele ha?
* Nah, fix your face and stop that freshness
* (everything is thing)
* I unruly like Popcaan (Students loved this comment)
– Bag not on the ground, bad luck
– Vicks is magic
– Sazon, Season all, all seasoning and ketchup can’t be done
– Aloe Vera at my frontdoor for bad spirits plus I eat it and use it for my skin for everything
– bush tea
– wok up and dancing to all tunes
– soca drumming
– getting to know lots of new people and also artists from all over that became good friends
– had my own choir, soca band and carnival troupe
– organised big events and was part of different foundations
– my dancehall, reggae, zouk, soca and so on list are filled up
– I also went to church a lot in the Caribbean
There is much more I learned but it’s too much to write down.
Plus I am having a lot more patience now also knowing that 9 o’clock most of the time means 10 and that traffic can be fun with nice tunes blazing in my car with a johnny cake in my hand.
I want to thank everyone who has always been supporting me and believed in me and all my projects.
You all are craved in my heart. I will never forget all of you and I hope when I ever come back to sxm that I will be welcomed with open arms and a hug. Because I love all the hugs I am always getting here. And the friendly waves from the people who are always recognising me through my car.
This is also my home and I love you all very much. You guys mean the world to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for that you were being part of this beautiful chapter of my journey in my life. I’ll make these 4 months count and will finishing of some projects and I’ll always be here for my students. They will get my information and they can always get my guidance through video calling. I love you guys and I am so grateful! This is not a goodbye, this is an until next time.