I know. It’s been long since I’ve written a post. Too long. But you know how the saying goes: ,,Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I hope that applies to this little corner of Ayurvedic heaven as well. Me for one has sure missed you guys. Writing this blog seems to be the one thing, next to my yoga and meditation practice, that keeps me sort of sane. But I’ve been working like a maniac and after left for Curaçao to celebrate my baby brother’s wedding. And what a lovely celebration it was!
My sister, who is a very gifted stylist, and I were assigned the task of decorating the wedding venue. Which turned out way better than we anticipated. It’s amazing what you can get done with a little elbow grease and the help of many many sweet friends. At important milestones in life you really get to see who surrounds you and what ties you have bound during your lifetime. And my brother and his lovely bride sure have gathered some amazing people around them.
This wedding was not only a testament of their love for one another but it was also the first time in over 10 years that our whole family was back together on the island where we shared many happy and some less happy times. In that sense alone it was a transformational and pretty inspiring trip.
Curaçao is a funny island. You either love it or hate it. For the longest time I hated it. It represented small mindedness and a very superficial way of life to me. Everyone overly obsessed with appearances. Tiny tiny bikini’s, skimpy dresses and the next party seemingly being the only things on peoples minds. But thank God wisdom comes with age and I have finally begun to see the islands true beauty. Like with every precious gemstone you have to dig deep in order to see the islands true worth.
This time round dig deep I did and the beauty I saw was amazing and awe inspiring. First off the beaches are some if the most beautiful I have seen in all my travels. I remember being taken to the beach in Holland by fellow students in my first year of study and being absolutely disgusted at the dark brown muddy water that had to pass for a beach. I didn’t set a foot in that water that day and, in the 20 plus years I’ve been living here since, till this day have yet to do so. When you’ve lived in Curaçao, when it comes to beaches you are spoiled. Spoiled rotten. The water is so cristal clear you can see the fish swimming around you without any kind of goggles. The sand is a perfect pearly white, soft and warm to the touch and the water temperature comfortable to swim in year round.
Let’s not forget the stunning architecture and colours of the old houses in the colonial city centre that are so unique they’ve been put on UNESCO world heritage list. Macho though the male population of this tiny island may be there is nothing manly about the choice of colour for most of the buildings on the island. Soft pinks, baby blues and golden yellows. No boring uniform white or grey edifices here. It seems the brighter the colour of your house the better, and it makes for such a lively and unique landscape. Really eye candy and I just love it. Below is a picture of us bridesmaids and the bride dressed to match the colourful buildings around us.
Than of course there’s the people. What I mistakingly took for superficiality in my rebellious teenage days I finally recognize for what it is. These people really know how to live in the moment. No insightful books by Eckhart Tolle or meditation course by Deepak Chopra needed. The people of Curaçao know what it means to be truly grateful for yet another day to enjoy life to the fullest. Challenges or no challenges, ain’t nothing gonna steal their joy. That would be, hands down, the biggest lesson I’ve learned this trip.
But without any doubt the most beautiful feature on the island is it’s light. The sun can shine relentlessly from as early as 6 in the morning with sweltering heat as a result. No Curaçao inhabitant will be spotted outdoors between 12 and 3 pm when the sun beats down at it hottest. They leave that to the stupid tourists and take a well needed nap instead. But it’s just that abundant sunlight that gives the island it’s special glow making everything more golden, more vibrant and more alive. God, how I miss that light!
This very long love letter to Curaçao is my way of saying to you sorry I’ve been away for so long. Sorry to keep you waiting. I will make it up to you. Let me start with offering you a recipe for a vibrant virgin cocktail. Inspired by the fantastic Green Kitchen blog and a tribute to the tropical island where I grew up. I will be back soon with new recipes and wonderful food inspiration. I promise. But in the meantime I urge you to do as the people of that lovely island do. Get up in the morning and give thanks for yet another day of being alive, put on a pretty dress (and super warm coat to go with it -J) and your best smile. The sun may not be shining as bright round these parts nowadays. But if you look hard and far enough, behind every cloud there is a bit of Curacao gold in the waiting. Here’s to life! Cheers!
For 2 cocktails. For best results you’ll need a juicer to make this cocktail. If you don’t have one remove the skin of the kiwi and puree it together with 200 ml bought good quality organic apple juice.
- 1/2 lime cut up in small cubes (leave the skin on)
- 6 to 8 shredded big mint leaves
- freshly pressed juice from 3 medium apples (if organic you can leave the skin on). You’ll need more or less 200 ml juice.
- freshly pressed juice fom 1 kiwi (if organic you can leave the skin on)
- sparkling water to taste
- 2 lime wheels
- 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar and zest of 1/2 lime
- 2 drinking straws (optional)
Mix the cane sugar and lime zest on a small plate. Moisten the rim of two pretty cocktail glasses with some lime juice and dip the rims in the sugar and lime mixture.
Divide the lime cubes and mint leaves between the two glasses and mash with a pestle to release the lime juice. Now add the apple and kiwi juice. Top up with some sparkling water to taste. Garnish the rim of the glass with a lime wheel and serve with a straw.