Straight To De Soul

Friday, July 01, 2011

Raphaela Stimmelmayr wants to chat


Raphaela Stimmelmayr wants to stay in better touch using some of
Google's coolest new

If you already have Gmail or Google Talk, visit:
You'll need to click this link to be able to chat with Raphaela Stimmelmayr.

To get Gmail - a free email account from Google with over 2,800 megabytes of
storage - and chat with Raphaela Stimmelmayr, visit:

Gmail offers:
- Instant messaging right inside Gmail
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emails into "conversations"
- No pop-up ads or untargeted banners - just text ads and related information
that are relevant to the content of your messages

All this, and its yours for free. But wait, there's more! By opening a Gmail
account, you also get access to Google Talk, Google's instant messaging

Google Talk offers:
- Web-based chat that you can use anywhere, without a download
- A contact list that's synchronized with your Gmail account
- Free, high quality PC-to-PC voice calls when you download the Google Talk

We're working hard to add new features and make improvements, so we might also
ask for your comments and suggestions periodically. We appreciate your help in
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The Google Team

To learn more about Gmail and Google Talk, visit:

(If clicking the URLs in this message does not work, copy and paste them into
the address bar of your browser).

Yours Truly,

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A horse! a horse! My kingdom for a horse!

Today was horse racing day on Nevis, sister island to St.Kitts.

First the race was off, then on, then off, then who knew. Finally at 16:00 hours, the first race was on. Three thoroughbred horses and their jockeys, good looking steeds/riders, took off clockwise (the English style) around the oldest race track in the Caribbean. The track is located along the beach, on the island side that faces Monserrat, a neighboring island about 30 miles away. For the price of 15 EC, one can sit in the grandstand, complete with boxes for the press, owners and other important people.

We were only able to watch one race, as our ferry back to St.Kitts was due to depart at 5:00 pm, but the one race we saw was worth all the wait. Several images stay with me, such as a bleating baby sheep, rolling surf, a blue sky with a clear view of Montserrat, and a jockey in virginal white garb that rides without his stirrups, holding on to the horse only on with the might of his thighs. Unfortunately, the innovative horse/jockey pair lost by half a horse's length.

On his way back to the start line, the white rider took a fall, but he was up on his legs again in no time, eagerly greeted by his horse who had wondered what had happened to him.

Yours Truly,

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Good Friday on St.Kitts is all about flying kites, and there is no better way to watch it than laying on the hood of your car.

Needless to say, I passed out and took a wee nap while staring of into the blue sky, following all those colored dots that are climbing higher and higher and higher until there is no more line and the sky is alive with tiny paper dragons.

PS: In Germany, kite flying is called Drachenfliegen, which literally means to fly dragons.

Yours Truly,

Balmy Palm Sunday on St. Kitts

Do you know what St. Kitts has in common with Rome apart from the holy day? At both locations the stations of the cross are framed by palm leaves. The Vatican has to import the palm leaves; on St. Kitts we grow them locally.

Yours Truly,


Need I say more? They are here in the Caribbean, those furry little arachnids known from the Southwest of the USA. Caribbean tarantulas come in different shades of brown and black as is the case with the wee one from Nevis. They live in holes in the ground, probably in many people's gardens; they only come out at night and as I was told, "Their bite is very painful, but not deadly."

Yours Truly,

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Honky Tonk Sugar City Blues

I had to buy a car to get around the island as I live on Frigate Bay where most of the expatriates and affluent Kittitians live and therefore the buses never venture. To drive a car successfully on St.Kitts, one has to obey several written and unwritten laws.

1. Cars drive on the leftside of the road and the best way to remember is, Always have your butt on the side of the midline.

2. At any point in time, dogs, cats, single and herds of goats, cows, roosters, hens and tiny peeps will cross the road. Always have your eyes on the road.

3. Signals indicating turns are irregularly used. Do not depend on them.

4. Everybody is in a hurry, and although there are only 34 miles of road around the island, everybody wants to get there fast. Beware of passing cars and keep your foot close to the break pedal.

5. The horn is to be used at all times. In particular, when going around a blind curve, honk; when passing a bus, honk; upon seeing someone you know, honk. There is always a situation where one could honk, so just honk.

6. Mind at all times the sleeping policeman (aka speed bump) and the traffic wardens in downtown Basseterre.

7. Do not expect to see much at night as the street ligths are few and far between. Always drive with your brights on even if the oncoming traffic is blinded by the light.

8. Round-abouts are sooo much fun.

9. Kittitian roads are steep, so a good set of brakes is essential.

10. Just honk.

Yours Truly,

HASHING on ST. Kitts

On Saturday, I walked my third hash. You, who are not familiar with the HASH, check out the website. Hashes are every three weeks and there are runners and walkers. I am a walker for now:>

Just like last time, we went up into the canefields, then into the rainforest, and 2 hours later, it was over. Initially, as always, I was bypassed by young and old, but the longer we walked, the stronger I got, while those who had previously passed me fell aside. Maybe it is my lack of competetive spirit that allows me to be overtaken by elderly people. However, in the end, it remains that while I am not fast, I do keep on trucking, which gets me there.

Oh - I didn't mention - it's hard work, and while climbing up the hills in 87F with very high humidity, my calves are trembling, not in anticipation, but in pain, and are in dire need of carbohydrates, and my face is bathed in sweat. Nevertheless, I can only recommend hashing; it's a great way to see the island.

I have been told Hash houses are everywhere across the world. Join one and find out that the afterparty is not to be missed. It's liming time all over again!

Yours Truly,

Doobie Doobie DOO Kittitian Style

They (the press) say Franky, that's Sinatra knew about the doobie doo.

Last weekend on the way back from the beach, I was first offered a cab drive, and then to have a couple of doobies in my car.

It took me a few moments to grasp the meaning, as I only know the term "doobie doobie do" from Franky's "Strangers in the Night." I smiled and declined; however, on my way home, I contemplated how many people probably agree to a sing-a-long with the "Stranger in the Night."

"Do dody doby do
do doo de la
da da da da ya..... "

Since my encounter, I have been finding a few empty tiny ziploc bags on the beaches. It appears that "Strangers in the Night" is a solid hit on St.Kitts.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


When in St. Kitts, do as the Kittitians do. Here on St.Kitts, we don't go out for a drink, we go liming. I was told that the expression goes back to the military personnel here who had to drink rum and eat a lemon every week or so as part of their health measures to keep the old scurvy away (Vit C. deficiency). As far as I can see, there won't be any scurvy outbreak on the island soon, but the rum drinking is still quite popular!

Yours Truly,

What's That Bug?

Most of the time I couldn't care less about bugs, but when they invade my space, I do want to know, in particular, does it bite, sting, stink, and/or attack?

St.Kitts has a plethora of bugs, large and small, pretty and not so pretty.

I have seen humungous cockroaches reminiscent of their fellow cousins in New York; huge black bumblebees continue to fly into my screened patio and then have the hardest time finding their way out; millipedes (black and red) of various sizes stretch their legs in my bathroom; so far I have only seen the famed canefield centipedes preserved in a jar; fire ants march through my kitchen trying to carry away a bread crumb; mosquitos, the little fast ones at night, try to thieve my blood; and butterflies, yellow, red, and brown, are always a delight to see.

I have been told there are many more insects, and I am prepared to deal with them in an appropriate matter following the motto of the islanders.

"A bug outside is staying alive. When it comes into my living space, it's a different matter."

All of Lizard Bob's relatives are helping, too! Muchos gracias, anoles de St. Kitts.

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Don't Miss The Boat

When you live on St.Kitts, it is fundamental to keep track of what day of the week it is because every Wednesday new supplies of everything the island needs comes in by barge. All day long, everybody rushes to the store to get stocked up on the fresh stuff. Somehow I keep missing Wednesday and thus have been without fresh milk for a while. Thank the lord that there is an apparent bottomless supply of cans of Carnation evaporated milk. Unlike most people, I am quite fond of evaporated milk as it reminds me of my grandmother, who always used Carnation evaporated milk in her coffee. Fresh milk was hard to come by after the war, so evaporated milk was the next best thing if one wanted milk in one's coffee. I am planning on getting to the store in time next week . Just in case I miss the boat again, I have already stocked up on my supply of Carnation evaporated milk.

Yours Truly,

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Birdie, Birdie, Birding

Birding on the island and mainland until today consisted for me in the general assessment of

"Are these LBF's (little brown #*@^%*?!!) or LBP's (little brown peeps)?"

Now after my first official shorebird birding session at the salt ponds (the island hot spots for shorebirds) I have names for the LBPs. Looking through a US $1500 spotting scope, I saw splendid examples of the common moorhen, snowy egret, green-winged teals, white-checked pintails, greater and lesser yellow legs, and the fabulous ruddy turnstone. Here are the specifics for the birdies when looking at them in the field.

I loved the red beak of the moorhen against her black coat, her shiny green legs with a dash of red at the garter line. The snowy egret was like any other egret, but behold, it has a black beak and black legs in contrast to other egrets, which have yellow legs. The green-winged teal sports a fabulous green eye shadow that reminded me of a grand drag queen. The white-checked pintail has a sassy red dash on the side of his beak, and the ruddy turnstone sports a brown necklace around its neck.

There is more bird watching on the horizon for me. The visiting American guru of birdwatching, Mr. R. will be with us for 2 more months and as he told me during the "shorebirding"

" I 'll go watch birds any day of the week. Just give a hollor. "

Yours Truly,

Vagina Monologues - Live Long and Prosper

Eve Ensler's confessional play of women of all ages celebrating, exploring, discussing, and living their vaginas was performed in front of a sold out house (500 people) on Saturday night in Basseterre, St.Kitts, West Indies. Nine fabulous women, Bernette Antonio, Carla James Astaphan, Unique Brown, Mary Jo Cannon, Toni Frederick, Debbie Goode, Kisha Norford, Denysee Richards, and Vanessa Walls) directed by Delfin Agustin Ilao, Stage Design Nancy King, gave their thundering voices, backed up by a good set of laveliers, and their bottomless passion to a great play.

I have seen the play performed before in good old Fairbanks, Alaska. The cast was terrific, playing their hearts out, and local people came in droves, despite the bone-chilling temperature outside, hovering around -35 F. Last night in St. Kitts, people came out in droves, too, but temperatures were instead a bone-warming 80+F. However, hot or cold, it is not the temperature outside that matters because it is always sizzling hot at performance of the Vagina Monologues.

Just like last time, the performed monologues made me think, made me laugh, and made me sad and angry, too. But when I looked around the audience, my sadness and anger vanished because I saw women celebrating women's texts, women's confessions, and women's truths about their uniqueness, their strength, and their vulnerability. It is in that communal experience where there is a strong future for new generation of self-empowered women.

So I say let's continue to kick some ass!

Yours Truly,

Piggin' out at Turtle Beach

The Pig on the beach is known to all as Wilbur. He is a 300 pound castrated black pig. Although he looks like he has brown hair, Wilbur is a true black pig that roots, eats, and lives on Turtle Beach. He is very friendly and loves having his picture taken, well-knowing that he is a celebrity. Wilbur likes to take showers; however, he does not have anything like opposable thumbs, so he is utterly dependent on humans, small or tall, to help him out. When Wilbur is thirsty or wants to take a quick refreshing shower, he will wait at the shower station for some visitor or local to come by, and operate the shower or faucet for him. It is a sight to behold. Happy people watching a happy pig taking a shower. Bliss all around! Makes you wonder whether with more bathing pigs and people to help them out, the world could be a happier place.

Yours Truly,