There is something you need to know about me.

I am difficult. It’s my eyes, I can’t help it. I have this ridiculous thing where one eye has, like, -3.5 and a cylinder one way and the other eye has -6 point something and a cylinder the other way with some different number. It’s my disability and as anyone with special physical needs on the island can attest to (whether it be shoes, teeth, bras – oh, the toils of finding a decent bra! –  coffee, etc.), a handicap on a rock is a double burden which can turn into a debilitating difficulty where you have to travel to a neighbouring island and lose a day (or two) just to get what you need (in my case, glasses).

Because of this, I am extra grateful that Lucy from Eye Care Optical opened up a shop on our rock three years ago. A fashionista and strong woman (besides an optician, she is also a qualified pilot), she has tailor made my glasses to my liking, which are stylish and unique. I can go there to get them adjusted whenever I want, no need to get tickets or deal with insurance headaches. Seeing-eye glasses are obvious necessities, yet ask yourself, where would we be on our tropical rock without SUNglasses? Lucky for me, Lucy’s fashioned a pair for me, complete with polarized lenses for my ludicrous eyes. One glass is way thicker than the other but with her skills, nobody ever notices. I don’t leave home without them and (fellow glass wearers will understand) I even clean them only with the special microfiber cloth. She has taught me well these past three years and my eyes are thankful. I am blind without my sunglasses during the day under the beaming Caribbean sun.

So can you imagine my horror when, one evening, I realized I had left them in Well’s Bay?! Well’s Bay, our “wandering beach” that, like cats and some men, comes and goes as it pleases, had graced our rock with its presence that week. When it’s there, we keep it to ourselves because this secluded spot at the far end of another very steep road has to be experienced with as few people as possible. Looking out over the rolling waves, Diamond Rock in your visor and backed by a cliff of 15-stories high, you get to feel pointless and potent at the same time and a crowd of people tends to interfere with this sentiment.

Well’s Bay and the wandering beach

Upon realizing my sunglasses had remained down at Well’s Bay after we had departed, I knew I had two options I could take to deal with my sunglasses pickle. The first was to drive back down and fetch them myself. As I made the trip, my heart rate went up as the car inched down, but (insert Psycho shower curtain scene music here) there was no hint of my sunnies!

My second option was to drive back up to where I could get reception and attempt to track down who took them through our island’s Facebook classified page. Because you see, Facebook is this rock’s watering hole. Here you can find news from our government, schools, businesses, whenever there’s a fire, if a hurricane is coming, or even when somebody has passed away. If you are thirsty for information, tap into this stream for quenching (somebody should really write a thesis on this for some sociological research). Anyway, I rested easy with the knowledge that nobody, and I mean NOBODY, could use my sunglasses in their current form. Nobody in the world has my unique set of eyes, least of all on Saba. But still, I was like a mole above ground, blind as a bat in the sun while I waited.

Within two hours, somebody had already contacted me. No-nonsense style, like everything else here: “Hey, I brought your sunglasses back up. I’ll bring them to work with me, so you can pick them up on Monday.”

Of course I knew where she worked, just like she knew the glasses were mine.

Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:


Island Girl Since:

August 2012

Originally Hails From:

The Netherlands

A traveller at heart, this landlubber has managed to stay in one spot for over five years now. That is because her heart has found a home on one of the smallest rocks in the Caribbean: Saba in the Caribbean Netherlands. Before her 30th, her travels had taken her around Europe, to Australia and New Zealand, Canada, the US, Malaysia, and Thailand. Turning 30 in a big city like Kuala Lumpur made her and her husband reevaluate what’s really important and so they meandered their way to this beautiful tropical rock.

One childhood dream of hers was to have a portal into a different world where time flows differently, so she could read an entire book, step back into Reality, and only 5 minutes have gone by. Let’s say she’s not quite found the portal, but instead a rock where time takes its own pace. The former concert goer and adamant believer in the power of books has not had one moment of regret of adding her rolling stone to this amazing rock.

Adding to the workload of teaching English language and literature at the high school that consists of about 100 students and the care for a cat and a husband, she now also has the care of twins and a baby. When they are not trying to pull the cat’s hairs or daddy’s beard, their mom tries to find the time to a) soak up the Caribbean lifestyle and b) sleep, which is supposed to come with point a), but somehow never materializes. Now also there is a new point in the line of personal development: c) write about the perks of living on a rock compared to her long ago life. This “Life BS” (life Before Saba) seems a distant past, where the words “workload” and “busy” and “commute” meant something else entirely.

Anyhow, if you’re curious about life on Saba and/or with kids in the Caribbean, be sure to check in every once in a while to her blog.

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