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Island Lifestyle

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My Struggle for Natural Hair Perfection

I decided to go natural about three years ago. It was decision I made after much deliberation. Before that I’ve been straightening or “perming” my hair since the age of 11 or 12,  I can’t really remember. I just remember it was around the same time I started wearing a training bra. The training bra of course meant that I was now almost a woman, well at least according to my mom, who immediately made an appointment at her cousin’s hair salon to permanently get rid of my curls and thus make her life much easier.

My unforgettable stay at the Palapa Beach Resort Curaçao

When I told my bff that I would be visiting Curaçao last October at the same time that she would be there for work, she insisted I stay with her in her condo at Palapa Beach Resort, her family’s hotel. Knowing about this project from when we were little girls I was more than happy to accept this generous offer. How could I resist? After all I had spent most of my youth looking at the plans, which her dad had hanging on his office wall way before the first block was ever laid.

Mercedes Vanessa Brown: TTIG’s Island Girl of the Month

Achieving greatness away from home

Mercedes Island Girl of the Month

STATS

Full name: Mercedes Vanessa Christine Brown
Nick names: Benz, Saidy, Merce
Age: 28
Occupation: Restaurant and bar supervisor
From: St. Maarten
Current home: Aberdeen, Scotland

Born on French St. Martin, Mercedes Vanessa Brown or Saidy as her family affectionately calls her, had a childhood filled with love by those around her. Raised by her grandmother and uncle on Dutch St. Maarten she did not lack anything. Her uncle and his family raised her as one if their own and her grandmother taught her the importance of religion by taking her to church frequently.

A day under the Mighty Tree

I have always been interested in other cultures. From a very young age my parents made sure to take us to cultural events all around the island of Curaçao, and there were many. So when I moved to St. Maarten I was actually surprised to find that most people were not that into the island’s culture. I get that St. Maarten has changed hands many times according to history books and I understand that the beauty of this little rock has attracted many nationalities who have all made sweet St. Maarten land their home. This of course can cause some dilution of the culture or enhancement depending on how you look at it. After all this island changed hands between the Spanish, French, Dutch and English so many times, it is enough to make one’s head spin. I’m sure they have all left a little of themselves behind. For many years St. Maarten was also considered Curaçao’s little sister (Curaçao being the largest of the 6 islands of the then Netherlands Antilles). You know, that one sister you keep back to make yourself shine brighter. I should know, I’m the oldest of four children and did this regularly to my younger siblings. In my opinion, the change of hands and the many nationalities who migrated here in the past have somehow all contributed a little to St. Maarten’s culture.

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