Chiara’s involvement with nature

When I thought of this category, interviewing models, I thought maybe the first model should be my own private model. She is not a real model, working with an agency, but she models often for me.
So meet my daughter Chiara. She’s doing an internship on Curaçao at the Dolphin Academy, part of the Sea Aquarium. (She creates environmental education programs for people/children who are connected with the sea, dolphins and other marine animals.) She found this internship herself and was determined to go. In this interview she also gives her “to do” tips for Curaçao.

Maybe I wanted to interview her because I also was curious what “drives” here. I knew she had her travel genes from her mom ( me :)). But what drove her for this internship abroad? (I did also two internships abroad when I was younger) What drives her in life so far? Could she give tips for travellers in Curacao? Could she give tips for other students? And I wanted to know about her dreams too. So I went  to Curaçao for this interview.

What is your study about?
My study, Social and Cultural Studies, is about contributing to a better world. A world where people feel connected and where justice, diversity and creativity are central. Everyone contributes in his or her own strength to society. We learn to strengthen dialogue, stimulate creativity, engage in participation, defend social justice, demonstrate the power of diversity and promote sustainability: These are the connecting processes that tomorrow’s society needs.

What made you choose for this study?
You can be creative, enterprising and busy with people.

Why were you interested in doing an internship outside of Holland? And why Curaçao?
I have always wanted to travel; preferably around the world, but I wanted to finish my studies first.  My study allowed me to do a foreign internship though, so that was my first change to go abroad by myself. However, it was required that I speak the language fluently. So my options were limited: English or Dutch speaking countries. And you can’t say no to a Caribbean Island. Good weather, holiday feeling, I love it 🙂

What are your responsibilities at your internship?

“As an assistant coordinator education, I create environmental education programs for people who feel connected with the sea, dolphins and other marine animals.”

What do you hope to learn here? And what have you learned so far in these 2,5 months you’re already here? 
I was hoping to get to know myself better on this time abroad. I was ready to grow up, be on my own, be independent. I had already searched for houses in Amsterdam, so I could live on my own, but that would be a definite choice and this was kind of a saver choice, after 5 months I would go back home again. 

I learned that if something goes wrong I can solve my own problems.
As an intern in another country you are thrown into the deep. A new country with other cultures, other habits and a different kind of organisation. To carry out a project that is your responsibility, you need to pay extra attention. But as I learn how the company works and how things get together, it becomes easier.

What are your qualities/ traits that help you in a foreign country?
I’m not afraid of things that I don’t know. And I don’t get crazy if people do things differently than I’m used to. I’m open to trying things differently.

“If you are not open for new things, you should not choose for an internship abroad.”

By whom are you inspired in life and why?
By you (my mom), because you are an independent entrepreneur and have always followed your dreams. I grew up with that example and I think that’s beautiful. It is important to follow your dreams and in this you are my example.

What are you most proud of?

“Actually that I’m satisfied with myself how I am, and that I accept myself as I am.”

A lot of young people have struggles to accept themselves as they are. I always try to be myself and pretend not to be otherwise.  And I’m proud that I can feel this way at a relatively young age”

What do you love most about the people here?
That everyone is calm and relaxed. It’s also not so strict here with certain rules.

What do you love most about this island?

“I feel that everything can be done here. Nothing is too crazy. I feel very free here; I can be who I want to be. Nobody knows me. A new beginning.”

And I adore the feeling that I’m on holiday next to the internship. So the feeling of freedom, the beautiful nature, the good weather. What I really appreciate here is that you live very close to nature because you are much more outdoors than in The Netherlands.

What do you love most about your homeland Holland, if you look at it now you’re here?
Practical things are well arranged. Roads are well thought out. Hospitals and health care is well arranged and there is little poverty.

What will you say to other students to encourage an internship outside their country? You have some tips?
If it’s what you want to do, go for it. Make a to do list for yourself. Just start.

“Its better to regret the things you have done than regret the things you didn’t do”

What are your dreams for the future?
Start my own business because it will give me a lot of freedom and I enjoy freedom very much.

What’s important for you in live? 
One of the most important things in live for me is the way I feel. With everything I do, or everyone I hang out with I want to feel good about it. 

How would you like to see the world in the future?
I would like to see a world where people take better care of the earth. Politicians are already pretending to take better care of the earth but pretending is not enough. We need actions, not only words. Coral reefs are dying, because of things like pollution, etc. And not only fish, but also we as human beings eventually need those reefs to survive. 

What can we do better as human beings?
I think what some people could do better is to do things more consciously. A lot of people just do stuff, without thinking about the consequences. And of course you don’t need to overthink every little thing. You still need to be able to do spontaneous things and have fun. But when it comes to making decisions, especially for influential/powerful people, they should be more aware of the consequences of their actions. Not only the short term consequences, but also the long term ones.

Now about Curacao: What are your top 5 tips to do on the Island?

1) Go to the beach at Westpunt for example Grote Knip.

2) Go snorkelling with turtles at Playa Grandi.

3) Go snorkelling at Tugboat Beach that has a sunken tugboat near the coastline.

4) Climb the Christoffelberg; you will have a marvellous view. But do it early morning!

5) Go to happy hour to dance at Mambo beach.

Which hotel is the most beautiful you know at Curaçao?
Baoase by far ☺

Which restaurant you like most on Curacao?
I like By Blauw and all restaurants at the “Boogjes” cause you’re sitting directly to the waterfront.

What is your life slogan?
Life slogan is overrated.

Ok, take this one: 

“Don’t listen what other people say about you, as long as you’re happy with yourself.”


Would you like to give your opinion about this article, the pictures or do you have some tips for foreign internships? Leave a comment below:

Would you like to read an interview with the owner of The Sea Aquarium, Click here: Dutch, a man who makes a difference.

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