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Posts Tagged ‘Seychelles’

ImageHave I mentioned the ghost sitting on my roof?

Apparently … or is that apparitionalyly? … it’s just Sydney, my dead neighbor. Not that anyone has ever actually seen a wispy version of a long-departed guy perching near my rain gutter, but that hasn’t stopped the story from spreading from Anse Soleil to Baie Lazare like an invasive creeper.

Like many islands and much of Africa, Seychelles, being an island AND African, enjoys a casual familiarity with ghosts and gris gris. Although steps are routinely taken to keep the number of zombies (locally known as ‘dandotia‘ to a minimum, it seems there are few effective methods for keeping the wraiths away. Believe me, if I could find a spell that would convince the people around here that disembodied Sydney had moved on to a more comfy spot than my hot tin roof, I would put it to use. Not that I’m much bothered by the idea of a rooftop phantom neighbor, but the kankan makes it difficult to find someone willing to walk down my road to cut my grass.

Although it seems silly … and it’s been no few times I’ve watched people scoff with horror attempting a skepticism they so don’t feel … far be it from me to insist on a non-existence of spirit beings. Heck, for all I know we’re surrounded by them all the time, just as we go through life unaware (thankfully) of all the mites, viruses, bacteria and such that inhabit everything and take every opportunity to become one with us. Not to say I believe we die and turn to dust mites, although that is more likely than growing wings and strumming harps given decomposition and all, as the idea of Sydney morphing into millions of tiny bits that could infest my mattress is just too gross to consider. Perceiving the unseen, the unknown and the unknowable may or may not be within the realm of human potential. ESP and other notions of connections with a higher consciousness have been debated for centuries, so who am I to point a finger and laugh?

Someone whose grass needs cutting, that’s who.

And, yes, I am keeping with the date theme that started with May the 4th (be with you), but may have to shift gears as the month goes on. Tomorrow, however, I will be spending the day in 7th Heaven, so watch this space.

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Yep. I’m still here. Back-in-the-saddle

I won’t lie; it’s not been an easy few years, but I continue to survive. The process of reading back over old posts has brought back much of the journey I’ve been wandering and I have to admit I’m glad I wrote at least a bit about some of the shit-filled puddles I’ve slogged through. It serves to remind me that I can … survive, that is … and to appreciate the far clearer, far cleaner path I now tread.

Gone are the dregs of ex-husbands, Latino musicians and other unpleasant tastes that lingered. Old friends are still with me and wonderful new people are now enriching my life in unexpected ways.

To catch you up a bit, I’m fine. The kids are great and much bigger than they used to be. They continue to be wonderful, smart, funny, kind, caring and gorgeous and I continue to be blessed by the gift that is them.

I have been working, but most of the writing done has been for other people with the wisdom to understand their own lack of skill … and for dosh, of course. Social media management has kept me busy and up-to-date on many things I might have otherwise missed, and two new clients are such a joy to work with that I may never stop.

As some may know, I had another radio gig. It was a hoot and I enjoyed the people I worked with, but the station could only afford me for a while.

And, yes, I am still in Seychelles.

The country has changed a lot over the years. There are now real supermarkets and more than one traffic light, but still no fast food franchises, thankfully. The Internet is faster and more reliable, but expensive and still nowhere near ‘real world’ speed. There are more hotels and ginormous houses, more private jets flying in, more humongous yachts. Heroin is taking a toll on those too stupid to understand its consequences, so crime is up. Almost everyone has a smart phone and most houses are hooked up to sat TV. In other words, like just about everywhere else in the world.

In the wider world adoption has become less an option for children in many countries. As the rich get richer Pearl S. Buck’s account of the effects of that become ever more worrying. The USA has apparently become the country of the greedy and the stupid, the world’s religions are getting progressively more desperate and middle ground seems to be vanishing on all fronts.

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One search engine parameter that comes up often as I peruse stats for this blog is some version of Moving to Seychelles. Readers from way back know I don’t go out of my way to answer all the questions on the ins and outs of a relocation, seeing as how that brought a load of ungrateful grief at one time, but I’m cool with the occasional query on island life.

Of course, now that I’m selling my place I’m happier to share my wisdom with peeps who could be interested in investing in my fabulous piece of paradise, and those folks would be wise to hear me out.

This being a whole country, not just an island resort place, there are many options when it comes to how and where one would choose to plop a load of dosh, then settle in for long or not-so-long periods of time depending on whether it’s a primary or holiday home. There are apartments available, small houses in local neighborhoods, bits of undeveloped land here and there, hotel-linked homes and … well … my place, and each option offers something different.

The dense living of developed areas is what it is, and although there’s a difference between units designed for expats and houses in local neighborhoods both come with their share of sharing … space, noise, traffic.

The closest comparison for my property would be the hotel-linked homes, both offering views, a degree of privacy and an existing structure. For those who like the idea of putting their home in a hotel’s rental pool for anyone to use for the time they’ll not be in residence, it makes sense to go that way. It’s also nice if you like the idea of neighbors near enough to eavesdrop.

The hotel will take care of many details for owners, a privilege that costs a fair bit, provide some security, also at a price, and make sure someone is always keeping an eye out … even if you’d rather they not. There is also the added advantage, if one deems it so, of having a home you can check in to and out of with a charming receptionist handing over the keys, wishing you a good day and paying attention to whomever you might invite over.

The advantages to buying my place include real privacy and control, the option of doing whatever the hell you feel like doing with the huge garden and the house … build another house or three, put in pools with water slides, even a dungeon if you like … and NOT having to deal with a receptionist.

And if THAT’S not enough for you, check out these photos, shot from the public road, of real-life hotel-linked living provided by Raffles Hotels on Praslin and some of Anse Soleil via me, … and keep in mind my place is far less expensive … and 200 meters from the public road!

And if that’s not enough for you, here’s a link to more.

Yep. This is marketing, so feel free to share this post around widely!

Raffles Seychelles ... from the road

The Raffles environment

Where Raffles meets the road

My house

The environment at my place

The view from the bed ...

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With super storms brewing earlier each year, floods and droughts becoming common as mud and dust, and just about everywhere tossing some sort of difference in climate conditions at the inhabiting plants and animals, I thought some might be interested in my totally unscientific take on how Seychelles is being impacted by global warming.

When I first came here in the early ’90s, it was pretty much guaranteed that at least a few weeks a couple of times a year would have people lining the streets at odd hours of the day and night waiting for a water truck to chug into dispensing range to fill a wide variety of receptacles … buckets, barrels, pots, bottles, jerry cans — you name it … that would then be carefully toted back to houses with bone-dry taps and toilet tanks for judicious use until the next time water could be driven within reach.

The dry seasons were correctly defined as such. Brushfires often grew out of control as the bush went crispy and the oil in the cinnamon leaves that cover much of this island made for aromatic conflagrations.

Small rivers all but dried up, so the roadside ‘car washes’, small turnouts near streams that attracted taxi drivers who kept buckets in the boot of their car … okay, that’s ‘trunk’ in the old language … and others who’d want to spiff up the coupe for an island drive-around, were out of luck and driving dirty.

People with jobs, but no water tanks at home (and very few had water tanks at home, for some reason I’ve yet to figure), had to stagger schedules so that someone could manage to be near the house and roadside when the bowser passed and poured. Anyone that didn’t or couldn’t was out of luck water-wise until the next day when the same problem would present.

We spent a couple of years doing the water bucket dance before building a 30,000 liter tank that would allow us, with some prudence, to go about three months without new water coming in. Since the usual dry spell was about two months, we were covered … and clean.

Sometime after we built our tank, the government installed two desalination plants, to the tune of somewhere around $24 million.

About that time, the weather began to changed in earnest.

Seychelles no longer has dry seasons. We have marginally less wet seasons, but sometimes those end up being wetter than the wet seasons. Because of this, things are much greener around here and fires don’t tend to go anywhere but the smoldery little pile of garden refuse that’s refusing to burn.

Water comes from taps, for the most part, and when it doesn’t it’s because there’s a broken pipe somewhere spewing an Old Faithful all over a road.

We do have more mosquitos now, and an extra mosquito-borne disease that wasn’t here a few years ago, an unpleasant agony called chikungunya that migrated up from Mauritius after hopping across from East Africa. We also have dengue, but still, so far, no malaria.

So, there’s good and bad in our local version of climate change, and seeing as there’s not much that can still be done to avert whatever consequences the world shall suffer because of human idiocy and greed, I’m happy enough being in one of the places that’s getting wetter, rather than dryer.

Of course, the sea level rises that are certainly coming will cause problems here, and I’m glad we live a good distance uphill, especially since high tides and rough seas already have water going many places it never used to go.

I sure do wonder, though, about the wisdom that has companies building multi-million dollar projects on beaches, but that habit seems to be continuing all over the world.

Oh well. Maybe they know something I don’t.

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