Pepe

Antigua and Barbuda

This is
Pepe Leegwater (1989)

Country of origin

Antigua and Barbuda

In the Netherlands since
1993

Lives in
Pijp

Profession
Rent boats in Alkmaar

Loves

The goings in the city

Amsterdam at his best

 ‘When I cycle through the Rijksmuseum, I think: ‘’Living here is so beautifull.’’’


Would like to
‘Start my own company in Amsterdam, so I not only live but also work in this city.’

 

 

“My parents owned a sailing boat and were busy restoring it in 1985 in England. It was a thirty metre charter ship and they meant to take guests with them to the Caribbean. It was during this period of time that my brother and I were born; in 1989 my parents took a trip on the Caribbean sea. When they dropped anchor in Antigua and Barbuda my mother went into labour. Which meant of course that her last weeks of pregnancy weren’t spent on the high seas, but sailing to the clinic in St. John. It’s there that I was born, and the reason I have the Antiguan nationality. Pure coincidence, in other words.

I’m not a local - in fact, I never returned there. It is mentioned on my bucket list. Friends have told me about it, as they made the same trip as my parents had. But more than knowing what the flag looks like, and that it’s not to be confused with Antigua in Guatemala, I know nothing about my place of birth.

My mother is Argentinian and my father Dutch. They met one another in Spain and after our adventures on the high seas went to live in Argentina for a while. I spent the rest of my youth near Alkmaar. When I came to live in Amsterdam in 2009, I received a message from the town council that I was representative of the 177th nationality. The first ever Antiguan resident of Amsterdam.

I already knew about Amsterdam when I came to live here. As a child I had made the tour of Amsterdam with my mother. Right into ‘the big city’ - I found it really  exciting. And ‘watch your pockets’. Now my attitudes have changed. I feel like a real Amsterdammer and feel completely safe. Amsterdam is a multicultural community and I love that ‘takes one to know one’ feeling. It’s great that you can walk into a place where no-one’s speaking Dutch. It’s really unique. I also love the vivacity of this city.”

1 person in Amsterdam has the Antiguan/Barbudan nationality. 

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