Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A 14th birthday

June 7 Ethan turns 14! with a shaking knee, popping knuckes, and a crackling voice, he is nearly a man, yet still but a lad...

Celebrated at the beach..where else?

Rueben, Ethan, Hillary, and Jaylin (her nephew visiting from Holland)

Hamburgers for lunch....a real treat around here! We even splurged for a jar of dill pickles and a bag Cheetos! Whoohoo!

We had a simple party. We invited all of his friends. That would be 3. And three quality friends!

Ethan, Reuben, and Naomi

(wow, I am a great photographer. Gordon would be really impressed.)

We had a BBQ at the beach and were joined by Ruben, who we believe is the only other white boy on the island Ethan's age, and Ruben's mother, Karla, and sister Catalein, who is 16. They are a wonderful family and we enjoy them much. Reuben is fun. He likes tennis, snorkeling, scuba diving, and will go on a campout with Ed and the boys this weekend. He has a cheerful disposition, even when Sophia splattered ketchup all over his super-hip white shirt. Karla, his mother, is a beautiful red-headed school teacher (instantly entitling her to the highest respect in our family). She teaches the Dutch language and has been here from Holland for 2 years now. Catalien rides the only rideable horse on the island. She is going to equestrian school in Holland this summer. She also works at the Duggins, the grocery store.

Karla and the Dutch-style carrot cake she made just for Ethan! yummmy.
Tina and her daughter Naomi came as well. Tina is American and has over 20 years on the island. She is warm and kind and runs the animal shelter on the island, even though the government won't pay her for it. that is another issue in itself....

Naomi is going to be 14 on MY birthday (29 again for me). So this puts Naomi at the top of my A-list. She's a very very sweet girl and Tina homeschools her since there are some issues with sending kids to the public school. She lives just down the street.

Tina has the cake now. we couldn't get the candles to light due to the tradewinds so we just kept posing for pictures with it instead.

Finally Hillary, the niece of our landlady came. She is going to be 16 soon, or "making 16" as they say. She lives upstairs, but really spends a lot of time downstairs. her aunt keeps her close and out of the wild Caribbean culture, but despite it I can hardly understand a word she says. Her slang is strong! She has a beautiful smile, ya mon, even when she is "vexed".
Seriously, who can resist this smile???

There isn't much to buy or want on the island, so Ethan was the proud recipient of the first and only bar of pepper -jack cheese I have seen in the store. It is his favorite and I don't know if or when it will ever come in on the boat again. I snatched it up so quickly.....but I don't think anyone was in line waiting to get it behind me.

Ritz and chips and bottles of Crush soda , compliments of Connely the Chicken-Killer were necessary to go with it. He liked his gifts so much I was wondering why I didn't start the cheese and crackers thing years ago....I could have saved a lot of stress, time, and money.....

All in all, a great birthday jam, Caribbean style. We'll be doing it again very soon. Maybe for Connely's party we can eat chicken.


  1. So there is a horse on the island, eh? And you thought I wasn't paying attention! Tell me more, tell me more...

    Happy Birthday, Ethan!!!!!!!

  2. Too fun!!!! a birthday to really remember.
    xoxox Ethan!!!!!

  3. Happy birthday. I guess you already know food is better than things... you must be getting wiser.

    -Beth's husband

  4. Happy Birthday Ethan!

    OK. The system finally allowed me to post a comment. Blame it on the system.

    Your blog is terrific and makes us all laugh out loud. We miss having you in the neighborhood, but it looks like you are having a great adventure.

    Keep the stories coming. I will rouse my boys out of bed to post a comment soon. Lazy summer days.

    Lisa M

  5. Happy BDay E! Don't eat it all at once!

  6. Happy Birthday! I am a big fan of your presents too!