We discovered a nest! Just beside the fence a bit back in the garden. A very cute white chicken is sitting on it. She probably hoped we wouldn’t see it, but the camouflage was missing on our side, so we could look in the nest and counted five eggs! One was already hatched, and we could hear a baby chicken cluck, so maybe we have a whole nest of baby chickens one of these days. She sits very quietly as we come closer, but she doesn’t run away, so maybe she recognizes us! I thought that chickens could recognize up to 20 faces, but I wanted to know for sure so I started Ecosia’ing (Ecosia is a sort of Google, but it plants trees with a certain amount of searches, I am not sponsored by Ecosia only by Peter). I felt this would led me down the ‘recent research about chickens’-rabbit hole so I was happy to find ‘Chicken Behavior: An Overview of Recent Science’ by Robert Grillo from 2014, so much for ‘recent’ but I could find the answer! Chickens can not only recognize 20 faces, but 100. Even after several months of separation. But this was not what surprised me the most. When the mother-chicken teaches their chicks, she can modify her teaching depending on the learning progress of the chick! This can be even difficult for human teachers. I also didn’t know they had long term memory, anticipation of future events like rewards and they have similar problem-solving brain wiring as compared to humans. There was also a study (Rugani et al. 2010) performed with newborn chicks and artificial objects they treated as social companions because of the imprinting process. It sounded interesting, but I don’t understand the conclusion: ‘These results suggest that identification of objects as different and separate individuals is crucial for the computation of number rather than continuous extent in numerical representation of small numerosity’s and provide a striking parallel with results obtained in human infants’. But the words ‘striking parallel’ and ‘human infants’ made me copy it. I won’t put any weird shaped objects in the nest, I promise. But I will make a video if we spot the baby chicks!
We almost completely emptied the water reservoirs, but Franklin helped us out. I hope he’s not causing too much damage in the windward islands, but so far, hurricane season (from June till November) is surprisingly quiet. With all the terrible El Niño predictions and breaking records in temperatures, I thought it would be different. The main effect of the climate crisis we recognize here is the rising temperature. It is HOT on Bonaire! For us it is most of the time beneficial when a hurricane or tropical storm passes, the rain is good for the soil, the plants and our water reservoirs, they are full again! The south-east trade winds blow the storms up to the north. From October on we will have the north-east trade winds again and that means rain. Hopefully not as much as last year, when we were moving from Belnem to Sugarthief, it rained for three weeks, and we couldn’t work on LIV and the container (with all our stuff from the moving) and area around it got flooded. That was terrible. In case you would like to know if we are getting any stormy activity, we track the storms on the website of the National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center. This is how it looks today:
Great busy week
As I described last week, I am getting into the marketing process of my ‘Yoga Business’. The classes are still attended by none or one student, so I started on an important part of marketing: a physical product. I would love to print the logo on yoga mats and T-shirts, give every student a free ATHA YOGA-towel, but without big funds I have to start small with business cards and flyers. By now, the business cards have been ordered, and the first flyer is at display in the ‘van der Tweel’ supermarket, but during the making process my perfectionism took the best of me. I had a couple of days a hyperfocus on placing objects 2 mm to the left and back in Canva (the program I use for fancy-making), I let the food burn twice and I got square eyes at the end of the day. But they are finished!
Luckily, there was something that got me out of the house. A very special occasion because it doesn’t happen that often. My cousin Bram was on Bonaire! He was on a holiday with his family, Willianne (his partner) and their daughter Wies. We had lunch together at Karel’s Beach bar, and it was great to see them and talk in real life with them! They were the first family members I saw on Bonaire after my parents in February 2022, and it felt for me like a mini family-day. We talked about a variety of topics of which holiday on Bonaire and living on Bonaire couldn’t miss, did a lot of catching up, talking about new plans and Bram came up with the idea to organize a family event on Bonaire. That would be quite funny, because on my mothers side the family is very big. My mother is the youngest of nine, and her brother and sisters have in total 17 children, and those children have grown up and have families of their own. All the partners included my best estimation is that we have 70 members on that side of the family. Would be quite a party! After lunch we enjoyed some famous Gio’s ice cream, and we took a picture! That is also quite rare, most of the time I take pictures of plants, animals, and boats, but I am very happy I can share it here. As a reminder of a lovely afternoon!
Thoughts about teaching
My video production this week was mainly focused on making promotion shorts and figuring out the whole process of posting Instagram Stories, Reels, Whatsapp Status’, and Facebook Stories. I like making videos and editing, but it feels a bit awkward to make commercials for myself and to put myself out there in a one-way-communication. I would rather meet people in person, talk about what motivates them, what their goal is with practicing yoga and guide them in their own path. Because everyone has their own path, their own obstacles, and fears. They should not surrender to their teacher, but they should feel supported by their teacher to develop the power and courage themselves to overcome those fears and obstacles. For me, the commitment to be a teacher means that I am there. Not only physically, as in on time, healthy and prepared, but also mentally. I am not there for myself; I am there to support and guide. It is like a conversation with a good friend who has a certain problem. When my friend trust me enough to share their concerns, feelings and thoughts, I am there to listen. I put my thoughts and emotions aside, I don’t judge, and I give all my attention to my friend, so I can truly listen to what is being said. I don’t give advice, I don’t compare the situation to my own experiences and tell them in what situation I experienced the same or worse, I just listen and ask questions that can help with getting more insight to the problem. This genuine attention, to be present in the moment, not bothered by my personal emotions and thoughts, is what I find to help the other person the most. It doesn’t happen that often that someone is truly listening or completely there in a conversation. It is with my own practice of yoga and meditation that I can pause my own thoughts, prejudices, and emotions, to be fully present for that person. It is that commitment I make to students that come into the yoga studio and trust me enough to let me guide them, to be fully present for them and their experiences.