Student - December 23, 2017

Christmas far from home: It's over 25 degrees here on Bonaire

Evelien Castrop

Christmas is the time that most people will celebrate with their families. However, it is not possible for everyone to be home for Christmas. Some people are abroad due to their studies and cannot make it back home to celebrate the holidays. Marten van Pelt ’ll make a jolly time of it with his colleagues.

‘Bonaire is a totally different environment to Wageningen’, says Marten van Pelt, MSc student of Earth and Environment, from the Netherlands. It’s nice and hot here, of course, over 25 degrees. So that in itself will make my first Christmas here different to what I’m used to in the Netherlands. I’m living in a little hut in the middle of nowhere, at a parrot sanctuary. I am studying how we can optimize the growth of threatened tree species. I’ve been seeing Christmas decorations in the village for two weeks, and there is even a Christmas tree in the KFC.

A lot of volunteers will be away at Christmas; there will only be three here. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be on Bonaire for Christmas or only for New Year. I have a friend on Curacao and I might visit him in the holidays. If I am here for Christmas I think I’ll make a jolly time of it with my colleagues. People here live from day to day so most of them haven’t planned much. And people are so hospitable that it wouldn’t surprise me if my boss invites us to his home. Normally I spend Christmas with my family and it mainly revolves around a lot of good food. But everything is different this year, with the sun and the beach.’

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