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There has been a recent change of deanship at Saint James Bonaire, with Dr Ravinder Kenue becoming Associate Dean over both Bonaire and Anguilla and Doctor Bruce Davidson taking over as Dean in Bonaire. We asked the two Deans to tell us a little about themselves

Dr Ravinder Kenue, Associate Dean of Saint James Bonaire and Anguilla

I received my Ph.D. from University of Delhi, India in 1980 and did my post-doctorate at All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi, India before joining as faculty at a medical school in Nigeria.

I worked in medical schools in Libya and Oman before joining Saint James School of Medicine Bonaire in fall 2008. I opted for a position at Bonaire because I wished to live close to my family in US and the reputation of Bonaire as one of the best diving places on earth was an added attraction.

I was promoted to Dean of Student Affairs in October 2008 and to Dean of Basic Sciences in December 2009. I left Bonaire in June 2012 and took up the position of Associate Dean at Saint James working from the US.

My current position requires me to supervise Bonaire and Anguilla schools. I have to monitor day to day activities of both the schools and make sure that policy decisions are implemented. I shall be visiting the schools periodically and will have interactions with students, faculty and administrators.

The Bonaire island life is wonderful; something you will remember all your life. Some of the things I liked doing most were going for a boat ride around Klein Bonaire, watching flamingos in the national park, and watching surfers at Sarabon and Lac bay. There are so many scenic places in Bonaire where I spent happy times. The people are extremely friendly. I really had a nice time there and have fond memories of time spent at the School and on the island.

Dr Bruce Davidson, Dean of Saint James Bonaire

I was born and dragged up in London, lived there for 27 years, then emigrated to South Africa where I lived for 32 years and raised a family.

I got my PhD at age 36 (which must make me a late bloomer) and did my research on fats, the polyunsaturates you get in omega 3 and 6 supplements. Initially I was interested in them in relation to cancer, then in cats and most recently sharks.

After my PhD I taught biochemistry to medical and other students at Wits U in Johannesburg, until I took early retirement at 59 to join Saint James School of Medicine, where I have been now for three and a half years.

Part of the reason I moved to Saint James was that it allowed me to be closer to both my son in Pasadena in California and my daughter in London in the UK. My cat came with me from South Africa, but he didn’t have much choice in the matter. I do miss South Africa. I love the country, it’s one of the most beautiful and diverse on earth, but the violence and the crime mean I probably won’t go back there to live.

Adapting to living and working on Bonaire was a bit of a change coming from Johannesburg, a city of around six million, to a country of only 14,000! My old university had 23,000 students!

But as the old saying goes ‘adapt or die’, so adapt I did. I guess the thing that took most getting used to is the lack of shopping options. Bonaire has a couple of supermarkets and fast food outlets and one of about every other type of shop. Since everything is imported, it’s more expensive than elsewhere and supply is erratic, so grab it when you see it, it may not be there next week!

But you do adapt and what a beautiful place to adapt to. With the turquoise of the sea, the clear blue sky, the heat tempered by the cooling breeze and the almost non-existent crime you can walk around, feel safe and just chill.

When I’m not working I’m a bit of a muso. I started DJing in 1972 and have been going ever since. I’m into rock, but my son DJs techno and house. He was here for his first wedding anniversary in March and we did a double gig. I do a regular gig at the City Cafe in Kralendijk, every other Friday over Happy Hour from 5 to 9, so if students would like to see one of the oldest active DJs in action then they should come on down!

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