Our sister supplement, the Health & Beauty, is doing a giveaway starting in November.
How do you enter? Simply send in stories about your experience as a young parent and win FREE baby prizes from French stores like Super U, OKAIDI and PIOU.
What will you win? You get a feature for you and your baby in the Health & Beauty. You can also win baby care products from Super U, clothes from OKAIDI, or baby décor from PIOU.
When does it end? Winners will be announced on November 26 in the month’s final Health & Beauty issue.
Send your submissions to [email protected] for your chance to win!
Making Maki is the home of Maki B. It’s where all of life’s parts meet. Figuring out the work-life balance, managing finances, navigating relationships, finding the things that give us joy, appreciating life’s journey and caring for ourselves along the way. Making Maki isn’t about finding any particular thing; it’s about always searching for the best versions of ourselves and making the most of all of life’s lessons and opportunities.
This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be invited to present at SHTA’s SMILE. It was my second time at SMILE and my first time presenting at the event. My presentation partner was pretty great so I had a grand old time. Our presentation was about building communities and partnerships via Corporate Social Responsibility. I’m super passionate about national development and public private partnerships, so despite being completely exhausted from a long week, I was on cloud nine.
Somewhere during our presentation, we were sharing tips about partnerships and the benefits of giving back. At some point during our giving back talk, I started seeing a teeny bit of uncertainty in the audience. As it was a mixed crowd of business persons, I figured the fear was about how much is enough when it comes to giving back. As I saw folk doing some quick mental math to find the right amount of dollars and cents, I figured it was a good time to mention that no company should give to the point of bankruptcy. There was some immediate relief so I followed up by explaining that communities need businesses and businesses need communities.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. While we all want our business community to give cash donations or offer services in kind, I think it’s irresponsible to give so much money that you can’t maintain your payroll. Not that giving is irresponsible, but if businesses have to let go of employees, the unemployment rate rises and the socioeconomic impact of that would likely make matters worse – it would be super counterproductive to sustainable national development.
When I got home that evening, I thought about the balance between giving what you can and giving too much. Businesses can run the numbers to calculate what they can give. They can measure their income against their expenditures. They can see profit margins and pinpoint almost down to the exact dollar that they can safely give without putting the company in jeopardy. As individuals, we can do a similar exercise with our personal finances. We can guesstimate if we should buy a barbecue ticket for a local fundraiser. We can quickly decide if we can afford to drop a few dollars in the donation jar at the checkout counter. If we really want to, we can take it to the spreadsheets and figure it all out. Where numbers are concerned, we can calculate it out.
Where the numbers don’t exist – human interaction specifically – is where the trouble starts. Despite humanity’s best efforts, human interaction can’t always be measured down to six decimal places. We can’t accurately measure how physically, mentally or emotionally taxing an experience will be. We don’t know how a conversation or meeting will be. We don’t know how we’ll come out on the other side afterward. Talking to a friend about this, we both concluded that it comes down to knowing yourself, taking care of yourself, and protecting yourself.
Give openly and freely, but don’t bankrupt yourself. Don’t give to the point that you are unable to function. We all want to give and give some more. We want to be there for family and friends. We want to be supportive and be a shoulder that others can lean on. We want to be reliable and the go-to person. We want to be the team player. But at some point, being something for someone else can become too much. While we may be physically able to be a great listener, can we take in anymore?
When we start feeling like it’s too much, we have to set some boundaries and start dropping some nos. I’m pretty proud of my ability to say no. I used to feel super guilty about it, but not so much anymore. I say no to unhealthy environments or commitments I can’t keep. I also check out pretty often. I can stay at home alone and take care of me without feeling bad about it. We should all check out every now and then. Give that time to yourself to do things for yourself – maybe it’s a beach day or some time fishing or crocheting.
As a wonderful mentor often reminds me, at some point, you won’t have time for you, and then what good will you be to the world?
Titia van der Mark has worked in several different fields in her lifetime, but nothing beats running her own business – Livvitt BV – where she gets to pool her life and work experiences together for one super package. She gives insight into her world in this week’s Hot Seat.
Tell me about yourself; who is Titia van der Mark?
I am an entrepreneur that is spontaneous and creative. I hate the norm and I’m always looking to do things out of the box. I want to help the community and make a difference for Sint Maarten, and I will do so without being in politics. I swear I am going to make it happen.
How did you come to become an entrepreneur?
Born entrepreneurs just know it. From young, I felt restless in school. I wanted to do more and felt I was wasting time. I tried to be a housewife and that too did not suit my persona. Working for a boss was okay, but also not great – I had authority issues because I saw things my way and wanted to execute it as I saw fit. This, of course, did not work. Owning my own business was always a given, but I had a late start as I had to go through those stages of life. It happened when I reached back on Sint Maarten five years ago and started to work for Prime (Distributors). That was where I found my passion and acquired my first very wise business mentor which has led me to where I am today.
What type of business is Livvitt BV?
Livvitt does luxury signage, marketing, advertising, graphics and events. Livvitt caters to large and small businesses alike. Our foundation is based on customer loyalty from both sides of the spectrum, so once we have committed to handling your request for service, we will deliver no matter what. From a stamp to a branded umbrella, receipt books to banners, poster and flyers to a building rendition, we do it all for them.
What type of jobs did you do before Livvitt?
I worked at American Airlines; here I learned that timing is crucial. Divi Little Bay; I learned the value in good customer service and had the freedom to implement my ideas. The Daily Herald; I learned about advertising, but also was the creator of “In the Hot Seat”. However, the original name was “Sint Maarten check me out”. In Holland, I worked for an events company and learned the ropes of organising, executing and marketing events. Most memorable job was with Europol – I worked for the Serious Crime Department; here I learned intercultural management and helped in organizing European Member States Meetings to combat organised crime. Prime is where I found myself. This is where my love for brand marketing really took off.
How did you come up with the idea for this business?
Connecting the dots backwards: Everything Livvitt does currently is a result of past job experiences. The signage part of the company was a take over from a former company called Sxm Signs.
What was your goal from the start; and is it being achieved?
I wanted to be the first company on the island that a business could go to, to handle all their requests and as a VIP. It took a while for me to get there, as signage took up most of my time. And now, yes, I have finally achieved my goal. It is sometimes still shaky here-and-there with minor mistakes as with any business; but by 2020, Livvitt will be operating at full capacity, within all our services.
Where can we find some of the signs that Livvitt has created?
Carrefour, Roxxy Beach, Lotus, Rhythm & Booze, in Maho at Royal Islander Beach Club and Le Terrace, Sherwin Williams, Market Garden, Commodore Suites, Hospital and the Airport just to name a few.
What is unique about Livvitt?
Because of our marketing background, we view your business needs from that aspect and therefore the advice given is relevant and quite different to others. As you can see, we are not just another sign company; not only do we offer a full range of other services to elevate your brand, we offer so much more than other companies can offer. We actually have no competitors on island.
To what do you attribute the success of Livvitt?
Livvitt is a local company run by locals. We have families working within the company which make our customers’ experience very personal. We go the extra mile for our clients.
What is a typical day like for you at Livvitt?
We have weeks of everything going great. We also have weeks of things going wrong. The clients have no clue. It is very hectic and problem solving is often required, which I certainly have mastered.
What is your secret for moving your client from “regular” to “loyal”?
It’s the family affair. They trust us and we trust them. If they are not happy with something, we speak about it like adults and we correct it. We don’t stop until it is right and they are satisfied. We brainstorm to higher heights together.
How has being the owner of Livvitt made you a better person?
It has not been easy. It has made me into a much stronger person. Better things are coming ahead in the future as Livvitt is planning to give back to the community. Doing this new project for the youth of Sint Maarten along with the sports facilities is going to give me a real sense of purpose, thus achieving all what I feel I was destined to do.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Making my clients happy; bringing the customers’ ideas to life. Putting the smiles on peoples’ faces is priceless.
Most memorable experience as an entrepreneur?
That was a three-day event on Kim Sha Beach. My two besties and I organised that event. It took two-and-a-half days to set it up. The organisation and marketing were beyond anything we have ever done before. Results were truly magical.
How would you like people to remember you and your company?
A company that has a heart for our people; that gives back to the community; that’s Sint Maarten owned. Tis we own thing! We have our hearts in the right place; it’s a company that has the answers to all your business needs.
Besides money, what is your favourite way to reward your workers?
To be honest, we have not done much of this and I really should be doing so much more for them. They are great. We have been going non-stop since Irma. I do force them to go on a vacation – Lol.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Handling our first project abroad – which was Carrefour Curaçao. Furthermore, we have hit every big project deadline on time.
What is the most outrageous request a client has ever made?
Haha… I had to make a 3d Front light F#@K Sixty sign.
If you could be anything else other than an entrepreneur, what would you be and why?
A lifelong back packer and travel the world. In business, you take life way too seriously. You tend to keep going and forget to make time to enjoy life. I love to travel, but have not done much of that in the past four years.
What keeps you busy outside of Livvitt?
My lovely daughters, family BBQ’s and I love to dine out.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Just chilling at home on the couch watching a movie; I make sure my home is my sanctuary.
What advice would you give to someone now starting out in a business?
Get mentally prepared for the challenge. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. You will get obstacles, it means you need to take another look and maybe change your approach. Or it’s time to fix the problem. Read or watch Think Rich Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. You will save lots of time trying to figure out the remedy that works. It’s all about energy. Filter your friends or whoever is negative out of your life. This you will do a few times during your venture. Meditate! Surround yourself with likeminded people. Find an experienced business mentor. Trust your vision and follow the process. Listen to the universe. It speaks! Listen to your own gut. Don’t listen to everyone’s advice. Don’t ever give up without a fight.
Hi, my name is Desiree Winkel, owner and founder of Fitness Coaching. Fitness Coaching is a studio/gym where you can work out with professional trainers. Among the workout programs we offer are boot camps, cardio boxing, functional training, weight loss training, group training and personal training. We have studios in Simpson Bay and in Philipsburg that are open six days a week.
~ Getting ready for admission ~
Being admitted to the hospital may bring some anxiousness for you and your family. Prepare yourself as well as possible by reading about maternity care and following the advice of your doctor or midwife, so that you are not faced with any surprises.
At least a month before your due date, you should start making preparations for your admission to the hospital. You want your admission process on the Big Day to go as smoothly and as quickly as possible. For pre-admission registration, your physician will provide you with your admission letter and estimated due-date. If you have health insurance you should take this letter to your insurance agency, which will then issue a Guarantee Letter authorizing coverage of your hospital admission. With these papers in hand, you then visit our Admissions Department. All your information will be inputted in the hospital administration system. If you have limited or no insurance coverage, you will be informed how to settle your financial responsibility before your admission date.
Dependent on the conditions set forth by your insurance provider, you will be staying in a private, semi-private or open-ward room. You can, however, make an additional payment to upgrade your accommodations if available. Private rooms are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. Your partner or a support person is allowed to sleep in with you on a bed if you have a private room.
You can choose to have a form of pain management during your labour and delivery. Pain management includes epidurals and breathing techniques. If you are interested in this, it is encouraged that you discuss your pain management plan with your obstetrician/midwife.
Packing for your hospital stay
You should have all the things you’ll need for yourself and your baby packed and ready to go at least four weeks in advance. For those seeking a quick solution, a maternity pack, containing some necessities for mother and baby, is available for purchase at the Cay Hill Pharmacy located on the premises of Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). (See full list on page 2)
~ Arrival at the hospital ~
When you think the time has come to have your baby, call your doctor before you leave home. Remove all jewellery and other valuables before leaving or give them to a family member to take home. Report at the Emergency Department hospital entrance, where you can check in at the ER Admissions Desk. The admitting clerk will verify your information, and the emergency doctor may physically check you to see how far your labour has progressed. They will then contact your midwife or gynaecologist. The OBGYN nurse will guide you to the ward or labour room. If needed, expect a quick ride in a wheelchair to the labour or delivery room! If you have not yet progressed that far, your Maternity Ward Room will be your first stop where the nurses will welcome you and check you in. After the nursing assessments, your midwife or specialist will be notified by the Registered Nurse.
Delivery of your baby can take place in the following ways:
- Natural childbirth
- Assisted childbirth (epidural) and induced labour
You may have up to two support persons with you during labour and delivery. However, it is recommended they alternate their visits during this time. Your doctor and midwife will want space to provide you and the baby with the best possible care. Your support persons will be the only ones allowed to stay with you. It is suggested your support person report to one supportive member of your family who can then update other relatives and friends who are anxiously waiting for news.
~ Post-delivery care ~
After delivery, your baby will be taken to the nursery for weighing in and post-delivery care. If, however, the obstetrician or the paediatrician determines there is medical need, your baby may be transferred to the High Care Neonatal Unit on the Paediatric Ward. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is well equipped to care for up to six new-borns that may be premature or may need special observation or intensive care. While your baby is in the nursery or NICU, your mobile phone must be turned off or on silent. To reduce the spread of disease, you must always wash your hands before entering the nursery or NICU and always before attending to your baby. The NICU RN will update you on how to dress upon entering the NICU.
Once it is determined that your baby has no medical complications, your baby will be brought to your room. Rooming-in, where your new-born baby remains at your bedside, fosters the development of parent-child bonding. This also enables you to get familiar with your baby’s routine as you help take care of your baby. The nurses will teach and guide you on baby’s care. For safety reasons, your baby will be placed in the baby room during visiting hours.
After visiting hours, your baby will be brought to you. Breast feeding will be initiated within the first hour after birth. As SMMC is a breastfeeding institution, it promotes breastfeeding, encouraging mothers to breastfeed. You will get instructions on how to breastfeed and why breast is best. Mothers who choose not to breastfeed will be assisted with bottled milk.
You will be instructed in feeding, burping, handling and changing of the new-born. When you change diapers and feed the baby, report this to the nursing personnel so that this too can be recorded. The baby should never be left unattended in the room and should not be in bed with you while you are sleeping. Any concerns or questions you may have can be directed to the nurse.
~ Feeding your baby ~
Depending on your baby’s condition, the paediatrician or nursing staff can recommend feeding every two to three hours. Breastfeeding is especially beneficial if your baby is sick or small. The practice of “rooming in” is very conducive to breastfeeding.
If you choose to bottle feed, the nursing staff will assist you and provide information on preparing and giving the baby formula in a hygienic manner. Whatever your feeding choice, the nurses and midwives will help and support you.
Bathing, weight and length
Your baby will enjoy a refreshing bath every morning, but this can also be done at a different time to accommodate both parents being present. The midwives and nurses will teach both parents how to care for your baby.
Baby’s length is usually measured at birth. Your baby will be weighed daily, usually during the bath routine. Expect your baby to lose 10% of his/her birth weight within the first five days of life; after which it should continue to grow.
As parents, you want to know how your baby is developing. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to explain anything you do not understand about your baby's care or progress.
~ Length of stay ~
Your expected length of stay after a normal birth is one to two days; with a Caesarean, it may take three to five days. If you or your baby experiences any complications, your stay may be extended. Earlier discharge is only recommended at the discretion of the attending obstetrician and/or paediatrician.
Fathers: You have the opportunity to remain after visiting hours for bonding time with your baby. You are welcome to come in the early mornings for instructions along with Mom on how to bathe and care for your baby. Make an appointment with the nursing team leader or the Ward Supervisor.
Children: For the protection of the new-born, the new baby’s brothers and sisters are the only children less than 12 years of age allowed to visit the ward under parental supervision.
~ Going home (discharge and follow-up care) ~
When you are discharged, you will receive instructions to prepare you for home and when your follow-up visit is scheduled with your specialist. If you have valid insurance, the nurse will give you the okay to leave. If you are responsible for your own hospital bills (no insurance coverage), the nurse on duty will direct you to the Admissions and Discharge Department on the morning of your discharge. After this process is completed, the admissions clerk will give you a discharge pass which you will take to the nursing office.
At discharge, the nurse will provide you with any medication prescription made by your doctor, your baby’s birth documents, as well as any appointments recommended as follow-up care. At this stage, you are ready to leave, which will be around 11:00am.
SMMC wishes you and your family much happiness with the arrival of your new baby.
On Monday, November 11, our island in the sun celebrated a longstanding friendship between the Dutch and French sides. Did you take part in any St. Maarten/St. Martin Day activities with your school or family? The line-up included an amazing parade. Check out our KIDS Herald picture page for some fun holiday pictures! Our national bird is the Brown Pelican. This bird is depicted on the St. Maarten flag as well as on the St. Martin Unity flag. Let’s learn a bit more about this icon.
Exploring Health with Wali
Authors: Dr C. A. Michie and the students of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
Wali was munching on a papaya skin the other day and chilling with the medical students on the beach. One of them said something strange, as we looked out to sea. He said, and I am not kidding, “You know, Wali, you are a lizard, but you are just like us students – we all have sea-water in our blood.”
A recent report by NOW Grenada revealed that fake universities have been targeting Caribbean people.
Shane Mc Quilkin, the Quality Assurance Officer at Grenada National Accreditation Board (GNAB), told NOW Grenada “[Fake universities are] a huge threat because of the ease of access to computers... Education is now like selling a car or clothes, meaning anybody can do it and advertise. There is no rule to say that you can’t provide the service of education, but it is up to the consumer to decide.”
By Mark Yokoyama
On the first morning of the Museums Association of the Caribbean conference, John Angus Martin gave a presentation called Exhibiting Slavery in the Caribbean Museum. It is a challenging topic that many museums have avoided in the past. His presentation sparked animated discussion amongst the attendees.