November 2007

Beautiful weather here in the last few weeks. The hot & humid days are gone till next June comes along. We can now spend way more time outside and at the beach.

It was a great day to do some chores outside and hit the beach. One of the things was to take down the hurricane shutters.  We figure its alright to do it now ; officially hurricane season end November 3oth, but there is nothing on the horizon and most of our Caymanian neighbors have taken theirs down in the last few weeks, I would say its safe!   So no more hurricanes (or risk of) until next season comes along in June 2008.  After  the shutters and while cutting the grass, I spotted this guy in the tree. These green iguanas are quite common on the island, but tend to stay closer to the water.


Our course, then came the traditional car wash 🙂


Then on our way to the beach we saw that there was a Cricket tournament. Seemed like a big event with sponsors, tents & all.


Finally, here is Aipa with her new water toy. Its a “Kong” that is attached to a yellow cord and that floats. We toss it in the ocean and she jumps right in to get it.


A business trip to Turks & Caicos is coming soon ; stay tuned for some pictures!

This post is quite off topic with regards to the Cayman Islands. I feel many of my readers (from the emails I get and stats, there are quite a few of you) may be interested by what I will say here.

A very good friend of mine, Peter Schwarz, just wrote a book. The title of the book is, as you may have guessed, “Staying young for life”. A picture of the book can be seen here.


Peter gave me a copy a copy of his book when I was in Montreal a month or so ago. I read the book in only a few sittings and found it to be an entertaining and exceptionally refreshing book. Peter writes about all kinds of strange experiences and funny situations he has been in and how he has stayed “young” all of these years. I have known Peter for almost 13 years now and I must say, I have never met anyone like him.

Ok, so whats the big deal you may be saying! Who is this Peter guy and why would he be writing about how to stay young? Here is the punch : Peter is 89 years old! He is legally blind yet typed the book 100% on his own on his personal computer, got it published and is now selling it on his website and on very soon. He also still travels extensively, works 6-7 days a week at his travel business and is 100% “all there”. He always gets the newest gadgets and uses the Internet extensively. He even created his own Facebook profile! How many 89 year olds do you know who do that? Peter is in many ways “younger” than many people who are 30 years younger than he is. If you ever struck up a conversation with Peter, you would never know he is almost 90 years old.

In his book, Peter talks about when he met the Dalai Lama, bought a Harley-Davidson at the age of 75, met Lyndon Johnson, Audrey Hepburn & Huphrey Bogart, owned a nightclub and many other amazing situations. If the name “Forrest Gump” comes to mind, you would be right on. I know for a fact those events happened, since over the years, Peter has showed me some of the pictures of those celebrity meetings. This book is not at all theoretical! Its all life experiences and how staying young is all attitude and has nothing to do with the date written on your drivers license.

I highly recommend this book for people of all ages, as it will give you a new perspective on life and make some of your problems look quite small compared to the trouble Peter has ran into in his life and how he deal with it, something he discusses in his book.

For more information and to get a copy of this book, simply visit

For the record : Peter is not paying me any commissions on sales. He can be reached by email at

Also, for those who are not familiar with buying stuff via the Internet, Peter is using “Paypal” for payment, which is one of the most secure ways to purchase stuff online.

As you may not know, homes in Cayman (and in most of the Caribbean) are contructed much differently than in Canada and the USA.  In Canada, homes are mostly constructed in wood.  Here, a wooden home is virtually impossible to insure because of hurricanes.  Most of the wooden homes were destroyed during hurricane Ivan in 2005.  So here in Cayman, the homes are made out of concrete blocks which are filled with concrete and metal bars to reinforce the whole structure.  There is no insulation put, although concrete does a pretty good job.  On some homes, to enhance insulation from the heat,  they put a 1 inch think styrofoam layer over the concrete on the outside of the house.  It is then painted and looks quite good.

Here is a house the is being built on a street very close to where we live.  You can clearly see the concrete blocks.  Of course there is no basement.  I would say that 90% of homes here are all on the ground level with no 2nd floor. A house like this, in a nice area like ours, with single garage & 3 bedrooms will be on sale for somewhere around 500,000 – 650,000$US + 6% duty at purchase time. 


Here is another place being built a bit further away from our place.  They are building in a flood zone (remember those pictures I posted after hurricane Dean?) so the foundation is very high. This guy is protecting himself against 3 or so feet of flood water.


This is another house where the have covered up the concrete with a sort of “thick concrete paint” so that the individual blocks cant be seen.  Next step they will paint the house.


A final picture.  On weekends we usually go for 1-2 hours to 7-Mile beach.  Here is Julie floating around with a styrofoam noodle. The temperature of the water is great and you can stay in for a very long time and never be cold.