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For two years this photo has been on my phone as a screensaver, together with a countdown calendar: I was on my way to the blue house and it took a lot of months at first. From last year it became weeks and last month it suddenly became days.

For two years the blue house was my mantra: I was on my way to the blue house within walking distance of the azure blue sea. I already wrote it in the previous blog: the plan to leave had been there for some time, the blue house then determined the place.

The blue house soon became more than just a house for me, it became the symbol for a new life, for rest and space. I was on my way to rest and space. Peace of mind and space to do what really makes me happy.

Almost all the choices I made in recent years were in service of this multi-year plan. ( see also this video ) I sold handpop.nl and turned Miraculous Mirrors into a training center. Something I wanted when I started in 2004.

Of course it hurt to sell it, but it was necessary to continue. My strength does not lie in selling hand puppets, but in transforming the hand puppet into practice. I am not a salesperson, I am a trainer, educator, creator and researcher. I do best ‘in the field’ and get frustrated when I’m stuck in front of a computer. I’m happiest when I can ‘play around’ and experiment a bit, when I can test my ideas.

Bonaire became an attractive location because everything I like comes together there: the peace and quiet and the space and the possibility to develop activities for and with children. (see also this video ) From Bonaire I can also give webinars, continue to offer my courses and train new hand puppet coaches. A good internet connection is enough for this and as long as there are flights between the island and the Netherlands, everything is actually feasible.

Our one-way ticket to Bonaire is now 14 days ago. We live just as long in our blue house. It is still almost empty, the sea container with our stuff will arrive this week and with a little luck we can open it within two days and unload our stuff.

We sleep on inflatable mattresses under a mosquito net, have two folding chairs, a lounger, a hammock and a picnic table in the garden. Have a cafetière, a few mugs, plastic plates and bowls, a little cutlery, and a little linen, JaNee and Karl H. (my puppets) are with us and are looking forward to the arrival of the container. Especially since that’s where our bed is. A real mattress, that’s real wealth!

But we also enjoy our blue house to the full. It turns out to be even nicer than I thought for two years. This is by far the nicest house I have ever lived in and every day I feel privileged and rich that I now live here.

The house is now also colorful inside. We started working with pink, orange, purple and sea blue paint. We put the pruning shears and lop saw in the lush garden and removed anything that was dead or a bit too much. Within a short time it will start shooting again and that’s okay, we’ll be there to prevent it from proliferating.

We have looked at this house as an educator looks at a child: what does it need to come into its own? How can we emphasize the individuality and strength of this house and how do we ensure that the house comes back into balance? We are on the right track, the house feels good and Toef, our dog and quite worried child in the Netherlands, is completely happy at this new place. Here she has the space, here she can do what see want and here it is not a problem that she is so clumsy. Here she doesn’t have to slow down before she has good speed, here she doesn’t hit anything and here she can be totally Toef. Great to see her so happy!

In the next blog I will tell you something about the Bonairean bureaucracy because it is not all roses and moonlight. To be allowed to stay here we need a residence permit and we have to meet a number of conditions. And that, if you can look at it that way, makes for a lot of funny situations. But more on that soon.

To be continued!

Author

Helen Meurs (helenmeurs.com) is a pioneer in the field of Puppet Power, an independent trainer and developer. She offers online courses, is the lead instructor at the vocational training for puppet coaches, and authored the book ‘The Hand Puppet as a Educational Tool’. Subscribe to her newsletter if you want to know more.