Interview with Gerry Sluiter

This week we are featuring an interview with Gerry Sluiter. Gerry is Dutch, from The Netherlands, and lives for more than 10 years on Madeira Island, together with his Madeiran wife Guida, son Bart and daughter Annika

Gerry, we want to thank you for the opportunity for us to have a ‘peek’ into your relationship with the Green Pearl of the Atlantic also known as Madeira. Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I met my Portuguese wife 20 years ago on Guernsey (Channel Islands). When I heard that she was from Madeira, I couldn’t wait to visit “her” island and from the moment I arrived by plane I was in love with Madeira. Since then, over a period of 10 years, I visited Madeira twice each year. After that we decided to live here definitively. I have been never be so happy in my life since I took residence in Santa Cruz,
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Interview with photographer Virgilio Silva

This week we are featuring an interview with Virgilio Silva. Virgilio, born in mainland Portugal, in Cascais, and lives for almost 15 years on Madeira Island, since August 1998.

Virgilio, thank you for the opportunity that you allow us a ‘peek’ into your relationship with the Green Pearl of the Atlantic also known as Madeira. Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
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Interview with geocacher Luis Ruben de Freitas

This week we are featuring an interview with Luís Rúben de Freitas aka Luísftas. Luís is Madeiran, and his work is related to educational technologies. His free time is largely devoted to the outdoors: hiking, geocaching and canyoning.

Cache Garganta Funda, Madeira
Cache Garganta Funda, Madeira

Luís, we want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to have a ‘peek’ into your relationship with the Green Pearl of the Atlantic also known as Madeira. Can you please tell us a little bit more about yourself?
My relationship with Madeira is a happy marriage. Madeira has been the perfect couple, giving me shelter and good living conditions. That would be enough, but no… it exceeded my desires and frequently shows me how wonderful it can be, slowly uncovering its deepest secrets. It is always ready to receive me from a tiring week of work and fill up my batteries. One of Madeira’s slogans can describe it very well: Body. Mind. Madeira.

Lets talk about your ‘passion’ which is geocaching. But first … what is geocaching?
According to the geocaching website: “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”

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Interview with Paula Van Kleij-de Keijser

We are very happy that Paula Van Kleij-de Keijser has agreed on taking part in an interview for the Levadeiros of Madeira. Paula is from The Netherlands and has visited Madeira since 1989, at least once a year but mostly 2 or 3 times in a year.

Whales and Dolphins spotting on Madeira
Whales and Dolphins spotting on Madeira

Paula, first of all we want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with the readers of our blog. Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a 53 year young married woman, no children. I used to be a bookkeeper but at the moment I’m doing an education to become a Process Operator. I work hard and as soon as I have enough money to go to Madeira my husband and me will book a Holiday and spend our money on Madeira. We really love the Island.

Can you describe Madeira in just only one word?
Home
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Interview with Erik Bouwmeester of FFOP C.C.

This interview will be different from the previous ones. This time we interviewed a group of gentlemen cricketers who will be visiting Madeira for the first time. They call themselves the Fellowship of Fairly Odd Places Cricket Club (FFOP C.C.) from the Netherlands. Our interviewee is Erik Bouwmeester, and he is the tour manager of FFOP C.C. Erik was so kind to share with us their Madeira ‘invasion’ plans that will take place next month (end of August 2013).

Erik, first of all we want to thank you for granting us this interview and taking the time to share your thoughts with the readers of our blog. Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well I am 56 years of age and happily married for over 26 years. Two sons, one living in the Netherlands and the other in Indonesia. I am a retired Lieutenant-Colonel of the Guards (RNLA). My hobbies are reading, travel and cooking. I am rather hopeless at DIY, so no joy there.

Fellowship of Fairly Odd Places Cricket Club (FFOP C.C.)
Fellowship of Fairly Odd Places Cricket Club (FFOP C.C.)

Can you tell us more about the Fellowship of Fairly Odd Places Cricket Club?
FFOP C.C. is an assortment of semi-geriatric gentlemen from all walks of life, who cherish the old values and traditions of cricket. I.e. we are cricket purists. We strongly reject some of cricket’s latest changes. One of them being the possibility of playing in non-whites. It is referred to as ‘pajama cricket’. A gentleman should never lower himself to that standard. We also have second thoughts on the T/20 way of playing. We rather play a 50-over match, as it evokes more tactical thinking and playing. We also “walk” when having a slight edge off the bat and subsequently get caught behind.

What are the objectives of your Cricket Club? What makes it different from the other clubs?
Our main objective is playing at not so obvious venues (what’s in the name?), preferably against not so obvious opponents. Having said this, I suppose our main mission is more in the sense of wanting to be some sort of missionaries of cricket. Pray allow me to elaborate. The highest goal for us is to (re) introduce cricket in places where it either never has been played or – in the case of Madeira – where it at some stage has become obsolete. We introduced cricket in the Vatican as well as in Andorra. Both sovereign states – as a direct result of our initiative – now play either league cricket or friendlies. In this sense, no other team in the world does what we do. We made it twice in The Wisden (a.k.a. the cricket bible) as a result of these endeavors.

And why did you choose Madeira Island for your next venue?
I found out that cricket had once been played, but no longer. Also that there is a decent Commonwealth ex-pat community. That – in my book – makes one and one two. Ok, ok, the weather is also great and the food and wine beyond believe.

Is it true that this is the first time you are visiting Madeira? And what do you expect to find / see here?
Yes, first time ‘round. We expect (and know for a fact) that we will be meeting good and decent people and great cricket mates. Both players and spectators. In addition we will be soaking up some of the Madeira Wine festival.

Madeira Cricket Match 30-8-2013
Madeira Cricket Match 30-8-2013

When and where will the match take place? What time? Who will be your opponent here on Madeira?
The match will be played on Friday the 30th of August at 11:30 a.m. at the sports facility of FC Maritimo. Our opponent will be the Dukes of Clarence XI, a for the occasion raised team comprising of local ex-pats.

When was Cricket played for the last time here on Madeira? And can you tell us something about the history of Cricket on the island?
Last match was played in 1926. Here’s some info I got from Don Amaro:

(Source: Elucidário Madeira. Authors: Fernando Augusto da Silva & Carlos Azevedo de Menezes. Translated by Don Amaro and adapted by Erik Bouwmeester.)

Cricket was (as far as is known)strictly and truly, the oldest sport practiced in Madeira. This being the national game of Englishmen, the introduction of cricket on the island was thanks to the British subjects resident therein, especially the children of wine merchants, or indeed from other branches of trade and industry, herein, as they returned from their colleges in England, and also to the employees “Brazilian Submarine Telegraph Co.”, which later changed to “The Madeira Western Telegraph Co.”.

The first match appears to date back to 1888. In that year, the foundation of the first organization of cricket, was titled “The Madeira Cricket Club”, and it had the following key drivers: João Correia, F. C. Cornell, and H. P. Miles.

On 20 March of that same year the opening game took place on the farmland of Achada, in the parish of Camacha. The game was between teams consisting out of one for singles and one for married men.

The first match appears to date back to 1888. In that year, the foundation of the first organization of cricket, was titled “The Madeira Cricket Club”

On January 1st 1893, the “Excelsior Madeira Cricket Club” was founded, an organization that later merged with the Madeira Cricket Club.They purchased land at São Martinho, the “sítio do Engenho Velho” (Old Mill), which was adapted into a sports arena, which opened on April 19, 1894,afterwards being known as Campo do Brás (Bras Field), named after one of its former owners.

The group, that was partial islanders, played several cricket matches as well as other sports, with teams from ships that docked at Funchal, as well as with groups of employees of the Submarine Cable Company Ltd.

It was the “Excelsior Madeira Cricket Club” that adapted the name “Pearl of the Ocean”. This cricket team departed aboard the “SS Niger”, bound for Las Palmas on May 10, 1901, and subsequently played three games resulting in two victories for the Spanish island and one for Madeira.

Various games took place successively by this and other teams, until the interest in cricket was decreasing gradually, disappearing altogether around 1926.

Do you think that people will come to watch the game? Will the media and press be present also?
As it stands now all UK orientated pubs in Funchal as well as some restaurants are having a announcement poster on display. Then The Brit made mention of it in its July issue. I made an announcement on the digital Madeira Times, and last but not least the glossy Essential will do a piece on it in its August issue.

Also as I understand it the local ex-pat community is – per country – a rather close knit bunch, so that will also secure that word gets around.

We still have to get a confirmation of Madeira TV whether they will be there covering the event.

In short: we expect a decent crowd, with also quite a few Dutch ex-pats involved.

As an after action of the event, match reports will pop up on various (cricket) websites, one being the site of Cricket World.

And is it correct that there will be a big charity raffle?
Indeed, this match is in support of a charity. It’s the Dukes of Clarence’s initiative to play in support of the Banco Alimentar

“This match is in support of a charity. It’s the Dukes of Clarence’s initiative to play in support of the Banco Alimentar”

Last but not least, do you expect to win from the Dukes of Clarence XI? How motivated is your team?
To be honest I haven’t given that one much thought. For we essentially play for fun. Let me put it in this way: we only play one match a year, whereby the match at hand also works as an annual training session. Now, the Madeira lads – as I understand – haven’t played for say 40 odd years, but I have also heard they are currently training their asses off. The outcome of this match will consequently be a rather close call. Ultimately it is common knowledge that Cricket will win!

For us, far more important is the possibility of cricket sticking around in Madeira. If we (both teams) can get people enthusiastic for at least one annual game in the island, it will be mission accomplished. The moment Madeira XI gets a website or at least on Facebook, I bet there will be UK touring teams coming over. If not, then at least one inter ex-pat match per year. We will be monitoring the exploits of Madeira XI in the future.

Where can our readers find you on the web?
Our Facebook page: Fellowship Of Fairly Odd Places Cricket Club

Interview with photographer Phil

We are very happy that Phil has agreed on taking part in an interview for the Levadeiros of Madeira. Phil is a photographer from Manchester, UK.

Phil, first of all we want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with the readers of Levadeiros of Madeira. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into photography?
I’ve always had a love of photography but only recently bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D60. I like to photograph scenery, people and nature or anything quirky I see from day to day. I found having to switch from one lense to another an inconvenience so bought a second Nikon, a D5100.

Do you work as a professional photographer or is photography mainly a hobby for you?
It’s just a hobby. Some friends have said my work is good enough to sell, but I’ve never got round to it.

shimmering Festa do Piexe Espada, Camara de Lobos, Madeira
shimmering Festa do Piexe Espada, Camara de Lobos, Madeira

We see on your Flickr stream that you have a very large collection of Madeira images, captured with your cameras. Can you describe Madeira in just only one sentence?
Surprising! There’s always something happening around the corner!

How many times have you visited Madeira Island? And how did you hear (or read) about the island?
I’ve always wanted to visit Madeira, it seemed so intriguing. In 2007 I got married and we took our honeymoon the following year to Funchal and got hooked from day one.

“There is colour everywhere, around every corner. The least favourite thing, of course, is coming home!”

After discovering the island through your eyes and camera-lens, what would be your reason to visit it again?
I like the natural beauty, the light and the fact that we always find something new and exciting as we travel the island.

We say that Madeira Island is an excellent destination for photographers. Do you agree? If so, why?
Madeira is full of surprises. From Funchal with it’s Old Town to the mountains and scenery. There is always something going on in the villages and towns around the island.

When is the best season (for you) to travel to Madeira Island?
I think spring or summer are best. Although it’s a beautiful place, the weather can be a bit unpredictable in the winter.

Tell us about your most favourite, and also the least favourite thing about Madeira.
There is colour everywhere, around every corner. The least favourite thing, of course, is coming home!

St Benedict, Ribeira Brava
St Benedict, Ribeira Brava

What is the first thing you recommend people to do when they arrive in Madeira?
I’d say hire a car and explore the island.

Where do you recommend other photographers to go for the best pictures on Madeira Island?
The villages, mountains and never drive past a ‘Miradouro’ (viewpoint) sign.

Can you compare your Madeira photo collection with the other photo collections you have on your Flickr stream?
Before my first visit I looked at what other people had posted on Flickr, but in reality, there is no shortage of subjects to photograph

What do you think of the locals/people from Madeira?
The Madeiran people are very friendly. The place is clean and there is virtually no crime.

Any other thing about Madeira that travellers/photographers should know?
Just keep your eyes open. All the villages have their own ‘Festas’. The churches are well worth exploring too. Most are un-locked and you can wander inside and admire the decorations and architecture.

Where can our readers find you on the web?
Flickr: philra08

Interview with Ursula M. Hahn, Relocation Consultant

This week we are featuring an interview with Ursula M. Hahn, Relocation Consultant on Madeira Island, Portugal

Tell us a bit about yourself, Ursula: how did you come to live on Madeira Island?
I am German, and I had a training in the hotel industry. With this basis, it was easy to travel the world, settle anywhere nice and find work. I lived in several countries before I moved to Madeira Island. This was more than 20 years ago. Continue reading “Interview with Ursula M. Hahn, Relocation Consultant”