The bees can’t do anything if nature is not providing."
It was Statia Week’s Night of Culture when I first met Celly. It started to rain during the concert and we all sought refuge in the MYF tent. It's plastic purple sheet covered us almost completely. My two colleagues from the after school program where hosting the tent and relaxed in their chairs. It was not until we’d hang out more that I would find out that Celly and my colleague are siblings. He is the brother of my colleague and the uncle of one of the students. It made sense, as he, his sister and his niece continuously referred to his mother as the lady of culture on separate occasions. I’ve been told by them that she keeps guard of what is truly Statian in a way that described her like a woman who knows the answer to every question. “What is Statia’s culture?” I asked Celly when he visited my house. “Statia culture is uhm, the culture that we had back then”, he answered. Walking along with him through the unexpected sites of the beehives he keeps would help me to imagine the Statia he was describing.
He described black and white TV’s that had antenna’s and stone ovens that were used outside. "That was Statia. "And what is Statia about today?" I asked. "Pffff, money. Everyone is hustling because of the different changes, a lot of things changed. Back then taxes was not like how it is now. And then you have different bills you have to deal with now and everyone got so caught up in that realm.”
"Its like a drug. They just can do without it, they just want the stuff. I would say the majority of this island want this stuff. The majority of Saba wants this stuff. Sint Maarten the same way. Right now, I am trying to figure out what's going on at St. Barths. Because my stuff reached all the way Canada, it reached Holland, England. It went really far: Florida, New York, uh. And they love the stuff!
"Everyone calls me Celly, Celford is my name, so Celbees.”
Oranjestad, Sint Eustatius