Name: Samantha Jordaan
Coming from: South Africa, and grew up in Pretoria and I have lived all over the beautiful country, from Tzaneen in the north to Cape Town in the south.

Status: married, mother of a daughter and a son
Age: 44
What did you do in South Africa: I worked as an artist, so I had a studio, and did exhibitions and commission work. I also had the honour of being a private art teacher on many occasions and working in the community as an art therapist.
And what do you do here in Spain:
Almost the same thing, we have a collective studio in the industrial area of Estepona – called ‘Fireheart Studio’, we are currently putting together a gallery and art class space and are busy with commission work.
What are your hobbies?
I love dancing, reading, and walking in nature. I also enjoy creating in a multitude of mediums like, crochet, wood carving, weaving, sculpture ect

How did you end up in Estepona?
We lived in Coin, Malaga about 15 years ago so when we came back we went to visit friends there and explore the coast. We drove through Estepona and it’s got a beautiful, inviting feel so we thought, we’ll stay here.

And why Estepona?
Most of the work opportunities and foreigners can be found in the coastal town , and it’s quite central if you enjoy visiting all the interesting towns in the South, from Cadiz through to Granada, you need only drive a short distance.
I think there is also a good mix of Spanish and foreigners and of nature and industry.

When did you start living here?
Exactly two years ago.

With who do you live here?
My husband and my two children.

What are you doing. What’s your average daily life?
We are all creating our own opportunities and developing our art. My husband and son make sculptures, and have a plumbing business. My son gives welding lessons. He enjoys rebuilding motorbikes and metal casting are his latest projects. My daughter sings with various bands and does the social media and promotion of Fireheart Studio. I’m currently working on some commission paintings and participating in the International Mural competition in Estepona.

What were your plans and what are they now?
Our plans are always the same wherever we go. To live and work in a creative, inspirational space that others can also enjoy spending time in, whether they want to make something too, bounce ideas around or just relax and feel good.

Do you have a dream?
Yes and I think we are living our dream no matter where we are. It’s always in process, we are in it.

Have you made friends yet?
Yes, everyday more. There are a few special people that you connect with.

Where do your friends come from?
Holland, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Estonia and some Spanish… just so many places.. even the Spanish people are from so many different towns.

Do you have sports and hobbies you practice here?
Not at the moment but when I have the time and money I would love to dance again.

What do you like most about Estepona?
Ah, so many things. The interesting people you meet, the generous spirit the Spanish have. The nature, the flowers, the sun, the colours, the sky,
Our studio space is amazing, and there’s a lot of art happening here. The people here are quite open in so many ways to foreigners and to creativity. They love family, food, fun, beauty and they fill the streets with flowers, dance and art.

What are your favourite restaurants?
We don’t get to go out much…but I think Rick’s café is a nice place to go at the port. I like Las Delicias, in the Plaza de las Flores you have nice places and Tolone at Plaza Ortiz. For some good music: Cats Kitchen or Louie Louie.

Do you speak Spanish?
I get by… I mean I understand enough, you know, I am kind of intermediate, so that makes me lazy, I guess. It’s difficult when you’re in the middle to move forward. I can communicate well at times and other times I seems like I have no Spanish but I can at least understand what other people are telling me.

And what are you doing about this?
At the moment, not much. I like to read in Spanish, and I like to get together with friends and chat. I studied really hard in the beginning, when we lived Coin but now, I’m not very motivated to learn by studying, I’d rather learn by living.

And do you have any tips for fun getaways and Estepona or nearby?
Definitely the beaches and nature walks. Then there’s the mural route, and the Orquidarium, which is interesting to visit. The port with the boats. And then there are so many beautiful places nearby to visit like Tarifa and El Chorro.

What are you annoyed about in Estepona?
I guess the bureaucracy and there is still an element that’s quite conservative.
And then there’s the dog shit on the street and pollution in the sea.
I think the school system also sucks, although my kids are big now and I don’t have to worry about that,  I feel for my friends kids who have to still go through that.

I think the schools often have the feeling and appearance of a prison
The way they learn is very rigid and like parrot fashion, you know, it’s just repeat repeat repeat. It doesn’t really cultivate or nurture creativity and uniqueness. I know they try….. I just find that especially the foreigners’ children really have a big struggle to adjust.

What would you want to change if you were mayor?
I think it’s a big responsibility and I don’t like to criticize, it’s not a job I would like to do.
But I think that one can learn from what is successful and new developments in other countries.