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AUGUST 8, 2009

Wildlife photo contest - Last chance!!

ext weekend marks the deadline for submissions to this summer’s big WEEKender photo contest. Last year we had you all snapping shots of our beautiful flamboyant trees. This year, we decided to make you work just a little bit harder. While we didn’t touch last year’s record number of entries, we still are seeing a strong response from the community, and even some controversy! Let me explain. We wanted this photo con-

test to be only photographs taken on St. Maarten/St. Martin. It was a clear decision on our part to focus everyone’s eyes on the hidden, and certainly vanishing, natural environment of the Friendly Island. We never meant to exclude other islands that are within The Daily Herald’s readership, but merely to promote and give attention to the wildlife that is still here, despite our pervasive land development. Inevitably, though, residents of Saba and Statia wrote with

complaints and questions. Emails have been exchanged back and forth, we explained our reasoning, and for the most part everyone seems to understand the rationale. In an effort to be inclusive and welcoming, we are planning to show some of the best photos sent in from other islands, even though they are not technically part of the contest. Those contest entries that have been sent in are looking amazing! We have seen insects, reptiles, amphibians,

St. Maarten

birds and mammals. Hey, I don’t want to give too much away! We asked participants to include the location where their photo was taken and this has yielded some very interesting results. The prime spots to see wildlife seem to include alongside Illidge Road, Ebenezer, Dawn Beach, Colombier, Lowlands, Philipsburg, in a French side pastry shop; one person even took a photo while stuck in traffic on Airport Road! Talk about camera ready! To the photo contest par-

ticipants and the off-island honourable mentions, we say thank you for your interactions and involvement with The WEEKender and The Daily Herald. You are all great enthusiasts, both for photography and for wildlife, and we are thrilled to see just a glimpse of what you have seen. Next Saturday is the final chance to submit a photo. Check the Ad on page 12 for all the specific details. Results will be published in the August 22 WEEKender. Good luck!

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Full name: Mischulaikah A.S.C. Richardson. Artist Laikah


St. Maarten Mischu

Mischu nickname:

Age: 25 City and country of residence today: Rotterdam, Netherlands Occupation: Singer-songwriter, musician. Recap your story: I was born in the Netherlands, and left here when I was 12 to go to St. Maarten. My mother always wanted to go back home. I went to MPC and by the time I was finished with high school, St. Maarten had also become my home. I left for Holland to pursue my education, but after having tried different studies, I was never satisfied. In 2004/2005 I lived in Curaçao to get my VWO diploma in a year and after that moved back to Holland to go to a University to pursue medical studies. Still I wasn’t happy, and just started writing music for fun with my sisters Roxxiomarah and Tsjaichmaidah

and started perform- stories in which people can ing for festivals and in identify their experiences clubs. and be consoled or scream out with me! At the end of 2007 I met with Stone (Sto- I am also an ambassador for nerich studios) and IKN (Internationaal Kinderstarted recording my hulp Nederland), which colmusic there. He was lects funds for ICC (Internaimpressed as I was tional Children’s Care) and serious about music, takes care of parentless chiland we signed a man- dren worldwide. I support agement contract! I’ve it because I truly feel every been busy with music child is entitled to food, a ever since. I also decid- home and strong people to ed to pursue it 100%, look up to! which meant putting school on hold and I am happy with the decitruly giving it a shot. sions I’ve made and I am I haven’t regretted it proud to have St. Maarten so far! I performed in Hun- roots. I believe in the fugary, Austria and Germany ture, and the idea for this at various reggae festivals article St. Maarten checkand recently I played guitar me-out! I think it’s great in Eros Ramazzotti’s (Italy’s because I did the same for #1 singer) band for a Euro- Teen Times in 2007/2008 for pean tour. We’ve performed a couple of editions. My colin Sweden, Italy, France and umn – mainly to inspire the Spain. The videos are also youngsters and show them on youtube! It was an amaz- that no matter what haping experience and it taught pens in life, no matter what me a lot about how it’s done decisions you’ve made, you in the music business. And can still make it – was called this is just the beginning! SXM’s Finest and it focused on the students here in HolRight now I am focusing land who were finished or on my album, which will be almost finished with their finalized at the end of the education and ready for the year. I’m so excited about next step in their lives. I am it because it’s my heart and happy that the people who my soul. I have a band of five will inspire the youngsters and they are creating the in- still get the chance to tell strumentals I will be record- their stories! ing on and it’s so interesting because I sing reggae, What St. Maarten district but my band members hail are you from? My family from Canada, Aruba, Korea, hails from St. Peters. Venezuela, Morocco and my drummer Elvis Morris is Where did you go to school from St. Maarten as well. So on St. Maarten? I went to it’s their creativity blended Milton Peters College 1996with mine, which creates 2003. sweet Caribbean reggae with a twist! My album will What is your favourite St. be named Life.Music.Love Maarten memory? Going and it’s all about life and to school and being part of love, the ups and downs, the Student Body (secrethe good things that hap- tary). Organizing the Valenpen and the bad. The most tine’s Day exchange (HAVO/ important thing about it is VWO) and the annual that it is real. My songs are Christmas shows at MPC!

Winning the Talent Showdown 2002 and singing for Prince Willem Alexander & Princess Maxima when they visited the island. What was your biggest surprise when you left the island? My biggest surprise was how much I missed the island and realized that the island we live on, truly is all. God is my strength. My paradise! mother and family support What are your accomplish- me, and I have great people ments? My accomplishment surrounding me with posiis my passion for music. I’ve tivity. Via my management, done a couple studies, like Stonerich and Mildred Biology and Medical Labo- Cairo, I got into contact ratory Research and also with a young and upcoming Environmental Sciences. clothing designer, Remko It was a difficult decision, Sintmaartensdijk (his name because I was taught that is purely coincidence!) and school should always be he is sponsoring his creanumber one, and everything tions for performances, else comes after; but music interviews, photo shoots is still my first love and I de- while making his name in the fashion industry here in cided to follow my heart! Holland. Anything is possiWhat are your goals? My ble and I will do my best to goals are simple. I want to make it! be happy in whatever it is I do. Happiness is most important to me. I’d like to inspire people with my music, and if I can do so, then my mission is accomplished!

What makes you special? The fact that I always smile and love helping people. I listen to them when they talk and genuinely reply. I feel that if I put enough energy into it, I can change the world. Thinking that I can do that is kind of cool, because it makes me feel unstoppable! It makes me wanna go for it 24/7. I feel the same about making music and performing. I have a story to tell and I’ll tell it to anyone who wants to hear it! Where do you get your drive? My drive comes from the will to succeed. I’ve decided to pursue my music career and I won’t rest until I’ve given it my

Additional information: Website:


Ambassador of IKN www. International children care website: http://www. Youtube video’s with Eros Ramazzotti:

Spain: Spanish version of X-Factor watch?v=oOHXWUR-Oj8 &eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fww How long have you been gone? I’ve been gone since YEATTEMchannel&feature 2003! So it’s been six years! =player_profilepage I miss St. Maarten tremendously. Sweden: TV show in an amusement park Do you have any advice for the young people of St. watch?v=HmRT8NaEbJA& Maarten? Believe in your- eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. self! If you have a gift, don’t be afraid to shine. We need EATTEMchannel&feature= people to look up to. Don’t player_profilepage be afraid to follow your dream. And when you do, Italy: Award show in Vegive it your all! rona Are you planning to re- watch?v=gdxKmQClF9k&e turn to St. Maarten in the url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. future? Absolutely! St. Maarten EATTEMchannel&feature= is home and I cannot stay player_profilepage away too long. After leaving the island, I appreciated St. France: Fete de la Musique Maarten even more. There’s with Seal, Kelly Rowland, no other place like it and I Jason Mraz, James Morriwant to play a role in putting son and more the island on the map by ex- celling in what I do! watch?v=plFSo_ya-DU

Mischu Laikah - Daily Herald  

Mischu Laikah's Article in the Daily Herald on August 8th 2009.