Developing and getting there

Dear Readers,

Today I saw a crew of municipality workers putting up a Christmas tree here in Sal’s capital town, Espargos. Which reminded me that one of my previous posts featured last year’s plastic bottle tree. Which in turn made me realise just HOW long I have not posted anything in this blog. I have no excuse. Except my kids. And my general laziness. Moving on.

In my last post (I added a link because, after all this time, I don’t expect anyone to remember this) I promised to tell you a bit more about the down sides of living in my little tropical paradise. I’ve changed my mind. I mean, there are annoying things happening on a quite regular basis and I am diligently making notes to compile a nice rant. But then I never really feel in the mood to actually complain. Mostly because I am just too knackered in the evening, I guess.

So I decided that instead, I am going to educate you a little more on my adopted home, Cape Verde. I came across this little infographic the other day, and it went straight into my marketing file. How come only very few people back home in Europe have ever heard of this country? It’s about time this changes. Have a look:

Africa From Top To Bottom
Image compliments of Master of Finance Degrees

If you go to their homepage (http://www.master-of-finance.org/africa-economy/) they give you a bit of background information on the individual indicators for each category. I like that Cape Verde’s national security scores 100% (Cross-Border Tensions – Government Involvement in Armed Conflict – Domestic Armed Conflict – Political Refugees – Internally Displaced People). In other words, the likelihood to become victim of a terrorist attack here equals zero. One of our major arguments in the effort to divert Egyptian tourism into our direction.

Cape Verde is one of only two countries that ranks among the Top 5 in all four categories. Impressive, isn’t it? Being married to a Saffer I should probably not say this, but: Eat your heart out, South Africa! 🙂

So next time my bread isn’t finished in time for dinner because a power cut interrupted my bread baking machine I will find comfort in the fact that I live in a place that has the highest score of all African countries in the Human Rights section.

And this here might help as well:

Kite surfing south of Serra Negra

Kite surfing south of Serra Negra

Or this:

Don't move here if you can't stand kitsch

Don’t move here if you can’t stand kitsch

Or this here:

Just another day at the office

Just another day at the office

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

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Be prepared to cry

Dear readers,

I know, some of you have been dying to learn what on earth made me move with my family to a remote place like Cape Verde. The answer is certainly a mix of different reasons but in short it boils down to one word: sun.

Now, I am experienced (read: old) enough to realise that sunshine alone won’t make me happy in the long run. Why do you think did I bring my family, dummies?!

But seriously, there are other aspects that made husband and me take the leap and leave two perfectly normal, bourgeois lives behind for the time being: We don’t particularly care for normal. We wanted to try something else. We wanted to live our dream.

Which of course can turn out to be a sizeable nightmare, to be sure. But that’s another day’s post. Today I would like you to be jealous, very jealous. Of the sunny sides of live on Sal island.

Santa Maria beach. Atrocious, I know. This is a 3-minute walk from where I live and about 3 seconds from where I work.

Santa Maria beach. Atrocious, I know.
This is a 3-minute walk from where I live and about 3 seconds from where I work.

Picturesque, isn't it?

Picturesque, isn’t it?

Fishing from the pier

Fishing from the pier

Dinner? Definitely!

Dinner? Definitely!

Sunday, beach day with the family

Sunday, beach day with the family

Just hanging out

Just hanging out

Water sports

Water sports

This beats winter in Europe by a loooooong margin!

This beats winter in Europe by a loooooong margin!

Next time on islandmonkeys: How to cope with power outages, water cuts, limited supplies, broken appliances and other niceties. Just so that you don’t get too green in the face.

From Island To Island

Dear readers,

My life has changed. Not only did we have another baby, we have also moved to Cape Verde, an island nation in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. What made us move here is a story for another day. For now I wanted to explore the options of this blog.

I have neglected writing for a while, if for a good reason. I mean, apart from this baby business, moving to a different country has shifted my focus somewhat. So life in the UK and the quirks of the Brits suddenly didn’t seem all that important to me anymore – no offence.

But then I love writing. Okay, I’m not a bored housewife anymore, so I won’t be able to produce anything too regular. However, after only a few days here on our new island I feel the urge to put my experiences into words.

I briefly considered starting a new blog, but then I am also an attention whore, so forfeiting a faithful, hard-earned WordPress followership of, believe it or not, 51 was absolutely out of the question. Plus, we do live on an island again, don’t we? So I have decided to highjack my own blog name and re-dedicate it to my new adventures on the island of Sal. I know I will have to adjust my About page and the mission statement but bear with me, there are only 24 hours in my day.

For today, I will leave you with an impression of what Christmas in a tropical developing country looks like. Cape Verde is an up-and-coming tourist destination but one of the many sustainability problems that needs to be resolved before long is rubbish. Here is a creative and very Capeverdean way of recycling:

Building a Christmas tree

Getting there

The finished artwork in all its splendour

Happy Christmas to all of you. May you get to spend some quality time with your families and friends and may the quantity of presents only play a minor role in measuring your happiness.