October 9, 2016


My Summer fling at the Curaçao Sea Aquarium was tall, dark and handsome. 
Happy World Animal Day. 😊❤️🐶🐴🐠🐄🐸🐨🐼🐰🐤🐅🐫🐘


I love animals.

And I love this photo, hence the exception of my (rather extreme) use of emojis.
It was a beautiful, sunny day on Curaçao. Beautiful and sunny... aren't they all?


Though I was born in the Netherlands, I grew up on this little space in paradise.

It is where I spent my happy, carefree childhood. 
This photo was taken years after leaving the Caribbean. I had already lived in the United States for eleven years and had moved back to the Netherlands for many years.
So I was overjoyed to pack my bags and revisit Curaçao together with my family. 

It was a beautiful, sunny day on Curaçao.

Beautiful and sunny... aren't they all? "

I can't remember a time while living on the Island, that we didn't own at least three our four pets at home. I was not the only one who loved animals, my entire family loved and loves them. Perhaps this explains, why before I left Curaçao to live in Boston by myself, I had to face the sad reality of not only saying goodbye to my family. I had to say goodbye to our three dogs, two cats, two turtles, twenty something fish, our bird and our ever growing family of rabbits.


It was a sad day.

A sad and cloudy day.

A sad, dark and cloudy day on Curaçao. 


OK, let's skip the dramatic metaphors or perhaps oxymorons.
It had been over 10 years that I had visited Curaçao, and the last time I was only there for a few days. Those days consisted of doing interviews, being (read sleeping) at the recording studio, rehearsals for my concert and then flying back to America the next morning.

So this time we decided it was going to be a real vacation. We would all take a break and relax. I did a few interviews here and there, but most of my days looked like that first picture.
A dream.


Though thinking of the times when our rabits played with the turtles and our bird chased the dogs, makes me smile, I've always been well aware of the fact that not all animals, and in particular dogs and cats, live this dream of a life in Curaçao.

This is why I immediately said yes when Stichting Dierenhulp reached out to me last year. I applaud what this organization does to end the suffering of stray dogs and cats on the Caribbean. They write; "... too often we encounter animals that are dumped like garbage. Young and old animals put out or thrown out of cars."


Yes, if you're an animal lover like myself it is hard to imagine that people are capable of this, or even worse, but it is the sad reality. Luckily there is something we can do about it. Everyone is welcome to donate to this cause. 


Now, please say hello to my little friend. Her name is 'Selfie'. She's my cat and she hates taking selfies. Selfie hates selfies with a passion. So to switch from Al Pacino to Shakespeare... What's in a name?

Just look at her face. I appreciate her effort and patience. I guess she too realizes that life is about giving and taking.

Ha! I'm lucky that I was able to capture this moment in time.

I shall never bother her in that way again.

There are many memories and childhood photos with my pets that I have but I will place them at a later moment in time.

And though it is so very tempting to end this story with a cliche fueled by admirable intentions I will not end it with every day should be World Animal day. 

I will say however, that perhaps, on this day when we feel extra warm and fuzzy inside we may want to turn those feelings into action and support a cause that helps our furry and slimy friends.

 I immediately said yes when Stichting Dierenhulp reached out to me last year. I applaud what this organization does to end the suffering of stray dogs and cats in the Caribbean."

I mentioned Stichting Dierenhulp, but there are so many other organizations that help, rescue, cure or spoil animals. You can pick and choose.

I am certain that the animals there would be forever grateful and we would all be satisfied knowing that we did something special and positive for these creatures.

See? We've killed two birds with one stone.

Wait. Let me rephrase that.

And as I relished the moment,  jetting off into the sunset with my sister behind me, we sang songs like The Hills are Alive and Dushi Korsou... depending on the speed of the yet

What a gift to be here again after so many years. I had no idea when I would be back and wanted to hold on to every beautiful and relaxing moment I had on the Island.

Zen is the word.

Little did I know that the very next year we would all be back - this time with my band included -  to perform at the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival.


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