|The name of our house. Windblown|
Lets get back to our story about the cruise;
On the way back we decided to top our cruise off with a stay at Club Caribbean where we owned one of the cottages at the Hotel Club Caribbean in Runaway Bay.
We were told by the owner of Club Caribbean, Richard Salms, that we were welcome to stay, but that the Hotel was damaged by Hurricane Gilbert and all cottages were under construction.Hurricane Gilbert had struck the island on September 12, 1988 and had caused a lot of damage. We had no idea how much damage this storm had caused. But he told us that he was able to provide us with a couple of cottages and that we had to take care of our own food. He supplied us with a large barbecue, and what fun we had, between all the rubble which Hurricane Gilbert had left behind when it had hit Club Caribbean on September 12, 1988 full force.
|Jack McKay and John looking after the barbecue.|
Friends from England, Sheena Hartley and her husband Joe, who we would meet every year at Club Caribbean decided to come over and spend the week with us.They owned one of the cottages as well.We both were share holders.
|Picking-up Joe and Sheena up from Mo-Bay airport.|
We see Sheena still every year and we became friends on one of their holiday stays at Club Caribbean some time in 1980. When we arrived at he Hotel from our ten days cruise we were shocked to see the Hotel.
|Camping at hotel Club Caribbean Feb.1989|
|Dinner is ready!|
|We were playing horse shoe.Sheena was the best.|
We had no idea that Hurricane Gilbert had caused so much destruction. I cried my eyes out when I saw it, we had no idea.This was our second home,here we spend our vacation every year with our children. We had come to Club Caribbean since late 1976, and would spend some wonder full times with our children Monique and Dan for many weeks every year.. They almost grew up here, both speaking the language patois. Specially Dan our son is very good at it.Oh how sad it was to see the cottages like this...
Here some photographs of the destruction of the cottages at Club Caribbean.
|With our friends, camping at Club Caribbean 1989.|
Hurricane Gilbert was an extremely powerful tropical cyclone. It was the most destructive in history. This hurricane was the first in 37 years that hit Jamaica directly. It was the most severe storm since Hurricane Charley in 1951.
Because of its devastating impact, the name Gilbert was retired from the list of hurricanes names. We had seen destruction from hurricane Allen in 1980 when we were vacationing in Jamaica but the damage from Gilbert was not to describe. The entire island was ravaged and Club Caribbean had received a lot of damage. It was closed for more than a year, but it was rebuild and we spend many happy years at this beautiful property in Jamaica on the North coast of Jamaica.
When we were invited to stay at the Club in 1989 during the reconstruction of Club Caribbean, we were approached by the owner Richard Salms and were offered to open a dive shop on the property. We were ready to take on this challenge. Building it from the ground up. In May four months after we had spend a week at the club between all the rubble Ruud stepped on the plane and started our new adventure in life. Opening our first dive shop in the Caribbean on the island of Jamaica. Not knowing that we soon would owe four dive operations all over the island and a sand pumping business, building beaches for hotels. Hotels who had lost their beaches in this horrible hurricane.What a life experience. Not many people in their life time would have the chance to do what we did. Of course it took some guts, but we did it, and no regrets. Twenty years we spend in Jamaica and our kids Monique and Dan worked along side with us. What more is there to wish in life, having your children helping you to set up a business in Jamaica.Both Dan and Monique are divers. Monique became a dive instructor in 1990.Dan became a dive master and we had numerous dives together.
|So much destruction.|
|This is how we found the dive shop after we took over.|
|In just five months of hard work the dive shop was in operation.|
|Our fleet ready to take guests out to make their vacation a memorable one.|
|Our crew, second from the left our son Dan.|
|More crew members.|
|Our crew at work at the rinsing basins.|
Patois is a dialect of the common people of a region, differing in various respects from the standard language of the rest of the country. Like we have in the North of The Netherlands, like Friesland, where the people speak Friesian, which people from the other states can't understand a word of what their own countrymen are saying.
|Our youngest crew member.|
|Saska's first school uniform in Jamaica.|
|In Runaway Bay at school. Saska middle row third from the right.|
|Sam with his friends at school in Jamaica, Third from the right.|
We got to know many Jamaicans while we were living there. Jamaicans we still keep in touch with and are on face book. Many of them are living all over the world, England, Germany, Holland, Canada, and America. How nice is that. We share many stories with them. Some of them worked for us and at the time were only twenty years young. They now have their own children and with them we share many, many memories.Children who are growing up in a different country , and hopefully they are able to visit the country where their parents came from. A country called Jamaica, a country which the Jamaicans will tell you, a country out of many, one people.
|Coat of Arms of Jamaica.|
We did not only do the diving but also provided the quests from Club Caribbean with windsurfing, sailing, glass bottom boat rides, snorkel trips and water skiing.To rebuild the club took quite some time but one year
after the monster hurricane Gilbert, the Hotels cottages were ready to be occupied again and the hotel reopened.
|See picture below, from the swimming pool.|
|Slowly the cottages were repaired.|
|Club Caribbean in full operation again.|
It's therefor we are thankful that our children are not taking life for granted. While we were living in Jamaica we went through four hurricanes as I wrote in my blog before.We learned many life's lessons. Lessons and memories we should preserve, memories which should be transmitted. If these memories are not shared, they will be forever lost. People often do not understand how breakable ones memory is. It's very important to listen attentively, true tales are meant to be transmitted to keep them to oneself is betray them. Once we reach adulthood, most of us assume we know all there is to know about our parents and other family members. However, if you take the time to ask questions and actually listen to the answers, you may find there is still so much to learn about the people so close to you.
Every person has a story to tell.
|We lived on the Runaway Bay golf course.|
|Our drive way .|
|Our road in front of the gate.|
|I loved working in the yard, but sometimes it was too hot.|
|The front of our house.|
|A Phalaenopsis orchid on my Almond Tree in our drive way.|
|We loved the design on our gate, which Thea designed.|
|Our front yard.|
|Other part of the front yard.|
|Our living room.|
|Our Den, an extension of the living room.|
|The master bed room.|
|Our house had a wrap around terrace by the pool.|
Many nights we would sit on the terrace listening to the sounds of the tropics, with a nice ice cold drink. Our fan would give us some relieve from the sometimes hot evenings in the summer months.
Many, many nice evenings we have spend here serving dinner, with our family and friends. I wonder how it is now. We sold the house in 2011 to two brothers who live in England. They bought the house for their mother. The amazing part is that these brothers are film makers and had just made a documentary of the lives of the mafia in The Netherlands and the mafia in Jamaica.Since we are originally from The Netherlands and were living in Jamaica we found this really amazing and an unbelievable coincident.
|Watching the sun sets from the terrace.|
|Sun is going down. It's around 6 PM|
|At the end of the pool we had an Orchid house, with many different orchids.|
|Just clinging to a tree in our front yard.|
|This white phalaenopsis just grows on the tree by our driveway.|
|Parrot fountain in my orchid house.|
|At the side of the house we had another beautiful fountain.|
|One of my favorite color.|
Well, when we turned the spot light on I nearly had a fit!! Most orchids breed from their roots which are hanging down, some roots are one meter long, these roots are their breathing and feeding mechanism.
|Roots from my Vanda orchids.|
|Showing the roots.|
Jack the gardener had been scissor happy, I nearly lost it.Most of my orchids did not make it. He some times did the weirdest things, and at the end we had to let him go. He was a very simple man with not a bad bone in his body but this was a little too much. We once came home and he had painted the whole front gate black. Now you would say what is wrong with that, but if you look at the picture below.. you can understand why we were mad!
|Can you imagine this gate painted all black??|
One day we found out that Jack our gardener used the back yard as his toilet under the Poinciana tree. Not only to pee but also to do his big job, as you know what I mean. I noticed one day a funny smell under the poinciana tree and noticed a lot of poop. Now you have to know that we had two dogs, but I wondered why all that poop was laying under the Poinciana tree, and why Jack had not cleaned it up.
The next day when Jack arrived at work I asked him about it. He told me that it was his toilet where he did his doo-doo...he called it.I asked him why he was not using our bathroom, for pete's sake we have four in the house, and one of them was designated for the helper (Annabella was her name) and Jack.He told me that he did not know that he could use the bathroom in the house and I told him in future that's where you go. The next day I get a phone call from Annabella telling me that she and Jack had a fight and if I please could come to the house, because Jack had pulled a moonie at her and she was scared. I jumped in the car and drove home. Jack greeted me at the gate and told me that Annabella had refused to let him use the toilet because he had to do a major doo-doo.She had chased him out the house with an umbrella which she poked at him.So I pulled a moonie at her; he said. I asked Annabella what this was all about and why she did not let Jack use the bathroom. She told me that she used that bathroom and her good clothes were hanging there and that she did not liked Jack to smell up her clothes when he had to do his doo...doo. This is really hilarious, but that's why she did not let him in and told him to go to the Poinciana tree where he always did his job.
We already had a couple of arguments with her, because when she broke something she never told me. Once she broke one of my wine glasses and had put it back together . She had put it back in the cupboard and when I picked it up a big piece of glass fell of and cut my hand. When I asked her the next day why she had put the broken glass back in the cupboard she was showing me how she broke the wine glass and by showing me how she broke a piece off she broke another glass right in front of me.A few days before I had come home and noticed a big piece of glass broken off from one of my cupboards which had a glass top. When I asked Annabella what happened' she told me that she was dusting and the glass moved and the corner broke off. She then proceeded to show me how it happened.....hmmmm yes.. ....she broke another large piece of the other corner, and told me ...."See missus"....(that's how she called me)..... "that's how it happened".
Needless to say when I found something broken in the house in future,I didn't asked Annabella anymore. She also did not dust under the bed, because she told me "missus I have bad knees so I can't clean under the beds". One morning when I happen to be home I noticed how she dusted. She did not pick up any thing but dusted every where around it.I asked her why she did not move the picture frames and why she dusted all around it. She told me...."missus"....I am afraid to brake these things". I was losing it a bit and told her that she had to be careful and don't be so ruff, pick it up very careful and put it down again very careful. When we had bought a new electric stove I had bought dust covers for the burners because our house has open shutters,this makes the house very dusty. So I had told her that before you start cooking you have to remove the dust covers.. Annabella decided to cook on top of the dust covers and called me at work that she had trouble with the stove. She said 'Missus' I can't cook today because the stove is setting itself on fire. Well the covers had become so hot that it burned a big hole in my brand new stove. When I asked her why she had not removed the covers, she told me that she thought if she cooked on the covers the burners would not get covered with food, because Annabella had a tendency to let every thing boil over. I had enough of it so I looked for another helper. So after the episode with Jack and the arguing what was going on between Jack and her, I decided to let her go. After Annabella we had Lauraine for 16 years and we believe she is still with the new owners of our house.
|Jack our gardener's bathroom under the Poinciana tree.|
|This is how the tree looks when it is in full bloom.|
|The flowers are beautiful.|
|The inside of the seed pods.|
|Here the banana's are just starting to bloom.|
|Our breadfruit tree.|
|Our Papaya tree.|
|Our avocado tree.|
|We also had one plant with scotch bonnet peppers...hot..hot..spicy!!|
|Our delicious sweet juicy oranges, our tree near our pond.|
|We loved the yard and so did our dog Jessie.|