The Coconuts at Le Grand Pavois Boat Show!

We have been invited to one of the biggest boat shows in Europe, as guests of honor!


We are very pleased to welcome you in the Grand Pavois Boat Show in La Rochelle. Each year we present sailors who have extraordinary adventures and we put the focus on them for our visitors. Your story with all the family is very attractive.

The Grand Pavois has 800 international brands, 750 boats on show over 100,000 sq. metres of exhibition space, more than 250 new features presented each year and 90.000 visitors expected.

Best regards,



Family-made Commercial Videos for .is

As our sailing season comes to an end this winter we settle into a berth in South Brittany, France and to continue promoting our sailing-sponsor we will be making short and witty commercials such as these two, enjoy and share them as you wish.

As we sailed between England and France Captain Jay had the idea of using this children’s rhyme for a witty video promoting .is, “I see London, I see France, I see .is underpants.”

This video came about when we actually returned one late night to the marina where we were keeping Messenger to find out that our card to enter the secure gates didn’t work. We were astounded when Luna said she could fit through the gates. We thought she would get her head stuck but she fit right through. This is where the story to this video came about.

Have you visited our new website?

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I have been thinking a lot about my WordPress blog and all the followers who have subscribed to receive an email whenever I post a new blog entry. Since we began this years sailing season I have written many stories but have only posted them in our new blog site and not here due to a lack of time. Sailing to a new place nearly every week with 4 small children where wifi is not easily accessible all the time makes it difficult to keep up with everything.

I will share links to the new blog entries as much as possible on my WordPress blog page but you can also subscribe to receive an email whenever I post to our new website blog.

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It’s very easy just click on the photo and it will take you to the website page that is pictured above, then you simply enter your email address under the Subscribe block and click the red Sign Up button. That’s it! Then you will receive an automated email each time I post to that blog as well. Thankyou for following us!

Familia Coconut .is Sponsored

So we have ‘sold our souls to the devil’. Just kidding! It is actually with pride and joy that I announce that the vision that my husband Jay had, which by the way took me months to understand, has come true. When Jay first told me about his idea, he said he no longer wanted to work with his hands but rather with his head by convincing companies to sign on as sponsors and in return get exposure for their products through advertisement, using our boat and our personas as the conductors of such exposure. I remember thinking there is no way companies will pay us to sail around. Well, he proved me wrong, we now have a sponsor!

Jay created his company Unique Exposure and after a few grueling months designing a logo and a website for him I slowly started understanding and thinking that maybe his idea was possible. The idea was to offer the boat as a ‘mobile billboard’, the sail is like a 30 square meter canvas on which to advertise on. The boat can be equipped with products that a company is interested in either testing or showing them in use to fellow mariners. We offer attending boat shows, participating in regattas and visiting numerous ports where the boat can be seen and visited by many people. We also offer media coverage: photo and video documentation, social media publication, blogging and interest from newspapers, television and radio.

After a failed attempt to get a company to sign on, one that offered a product that Jay believed could be a total hit in the boating community, Jay had read that if you wanted to get a company to do something ‘outside the box’ you had to speak directly to the CEO, these are the visionaries of the companies. But it’s almost impossible to get a meeting with the CEO, usually the Marketing Director is as good as you can get. So on his first attempt, Jay’s vision was stalled there, at the marketing department. Therefore Jay was back to working with his hands, he was in Reykjavik this spring rigging up a boat that had been dismasted during a storm the previous winter when he befriended a man who was tinkering on his own boat next to the one Jay was working on. They hit it off and were hanging out, talking about boats, sharing meals and good times together for a week or so before Jay found out what he did for a living. It turns out that this ‘neighbor’, who’s name is Jens, is the CEO of the top-level domain .is, he understood Jay’s Unique Exposure idea, ceased the opportunity and jumped on it.

Today Messenger and it’s crew represent .is, our goal is to create awareness that .com is not the only and best option out there for a web domain. There are over 100 million registered .com while only around 50 thousand .is, which means you are most likely to find the name you want under a .is than a .com. A live example of this is us, it’s always been difficult to tell people our website and have them remember it. “So our website is”, “What was that?”, “It’s ‘familia’ which is family in Spanish ad is spelled f-a-m-i-l-i-a and then ‘coconut’ in English, we are known as the Coconut family or Familia Coconut to go hand-in-hand with our bilingual identity”. Now it’s as simple as “Our website is”. Not only has .is been consistently rated among the top five most secure domains in the world but it is also one of the few where you can buy the domain directly at the registry without going through a ‘middle-man’. The coolest thing about a .is is that it is a readable domain, this means that you can use your domain name in a slogan or phrase on your url. When on our homepage the url in the browser reads, so our url incorporates our slogan, we’ve actually made everyone of our pages on our website have it’s own unique readable domain on the url browser window, check it out for yourselves.

So no, we have not ‘sold our souls to the devil’, our deal with our sponsor has not limited our freedom in any way, on the contrary it has given us a bit more freedom to sail to more places because we don’t have to worry so much about stopping to look for work. And yes, Jay doesn’t have to work with his hands, now he gets paid for doing what he loves most, sailing and converting others to ‘his religion’ along the way. On that note, when Jay told Jens that his family was up in the Westfjords of Iceland and that he would be returning there after his work in Reykjavik was done, Jens joked saying that maybe he would sail him up there on his 8 meter boat Maja, he didn’t know Jay would seriously take him up on it, anything to avoid traveling by car rather than by sea. But Jens being the spontaneous and ‘just do it’ kinda guy he is, got busy getting his boat ready for his first passage ever. Together they set sail on a two day journey up the west coast of Iceland, the partnership started as a friendship on an adventure. It couldn’t have started on a better note.

For this new partnership I have crated a new website that is more thorough than this blog on wordpress. It also has a blog I will be writing on more regularly, please subscribe to that blog as well if you would like to continue receiving updates about our adventures. You can also follow us on Facebook We are excited to share this new family project with you.

Ártico’s Birth Story

The Day You Were Born…

We had been invited to spend sometime in one of the farthest Vestfir∂ir (Westfjords) of the north of Iceland, Ísafjör∂ur meaning ice fjord, is the largest and most beautiful of all the fjords in the area. With a population of about 2,600 it is located on a spit of sand and despite its small size and historical isolation from the rest of the country, the town has a relatively urban atmosphere while still retaining a small town cozy feeling.

It was a sunny beautiful Saturday and we had been waiting to go on a hike in the snow for some time. Your father had been busy all week and the girls had been promised a family hike in the snow covered mountains surrounding the fjord. Your Grandmother Baba was visiting for the birth, so her, your father, your 3 sisters and I all got ready for the hike, we all bundled up with warm clothes and packed a lunch. We walked out of town toward the end of the fjord and once we got there we walked up the base of the mountain on the crest of a hill which led up to the ski lodge. At times it was difficult to continue on with snow up to our knees and the wind hauling by, nearly knocking us off the hill but as we ascended the view of the town was grand. We reached the old abandoned ski lodge and had walked for about a mile and a half, the new ski lodge lay still another mile up the mountain so we decided to have our lunch in the lee of the abandoned building and after begin our descent. On the way back I began having contractions and at times they were strong enough for me to have to stop walking until it passed, they were still far in between and didn’t last very long. I had already had a couple of false labors that week so I wasn’t sure if this was the day you would come. There are so many myths on things to do to make a woman go into labor and after 4 births, all in different countries and widely varied cultures, it is still a mystery to me. What has worked in one pregnancy hasn’t in the next and vice versa.  By the time we got back to the house and had walked about 3 miles in total contractions continued and we began getting things ready for your arrival. Your father made a delicious dinner while I put together the birth shrine on a table in the living room, there I placed candles, incense, photos of the family, drawings Sol and Luna had made for you and small objects that had a special significance. The birth shrine is a space I can go to during labor, a place that gives me peace and strength. After our usually late dinner, around 10pm labor continued to escalate and I became more sure that you were coming so your father began to set up the pool in the center of the living room, Baba prepared the bed and the girls and I lit candles. Then the girls began watching a movie and by midnight they had all fallen asleep in the bedroom and labor was at full swing. Your father tried to gage how long labor would be but even I wasn’t sure. Since my last 2 births were 6 hours long we thought this was my best time therefore we calculated that you would come sometime between 4 and 6am, so your father was filling the pool up systematically, that way it would be at the perfect right temperature and level at the time I would need it, he filled it slowly and with very warm water. Labor escalated faster than we thought, the rushes (contractions) got very strong and efficient. Labor with you was very different than with your sisters, I did not experience the distinct 3 stages of labor that I did with your sisters. Rushes never got closer than about 5 minutes apart but each one was very strong and I never experienced a clear moment of the “urge to push”, rather the rushes began bearing you down without me really knowing it, basically my body was pushing on its own. When you started crowning I told your father, it was only 2am and the pool was half filled and too warm so your father quickly began pouring buckets of cold water to get the temperature right. When he had it perfect I got into the pool. I had never broken water and as your head began to come out we saw it was covered by the caul: the amniotic membrane enclosing a fetus which looks like a semi-translucent bag like tissue, thought to bring good luck. You were coming out fast and I began to panic a bit, afraid I would tear as my body continued to push on it’s own, but your father calmed me down with his wise and calm disposition. I then toke a deep breath, went “inside of myself” and gently pushed with the next rush. I held your head between my legs while I felt your body turn inside of me, telling me it was now time for the rest of you to come out. On the next rush I gently pushed and your body gently flowed into the water as the sack broke dispersing the cloudy amniotic fluid. Your father had gotten into the pool with me at some point which I can not recall and we both reached for you at the same time slowly bringing you to the surface while taking away the caul which drooped from your limbs. We placed you on my chest as I began talking to you and welcoming you to this world, it was 2:30am on Sunday May 8th, 2015.

After a few minutes I remembered I didn’t know your sex but your cord was short so I couldn’t manage to turn you to see the secret you held between your legs. Your father helped me and even though it was dark in the room I was able to see, to my surprise, that you were a boy. I was delighted, I had finally gotten my boy but my celebration was interrupted by a contraction and my body wanting to expel the placenta. Your father helped me stand up, I held you in my arms as I stepped out of the pool and sat on a couple of stools with a bucket between my legs, a makeshift birthing stool to deliver the placenta. Baba wrapped us up in towels and blankets, you were comfortable in my arms and began to attempt figuring out how to latch on, this immediate instinctual behavior never ceases to amaze me. When the placenta detached from my uterus and dropped into the bucket it pulled you down since the cord was so short. I grabbed the cord near your belly and pulled it up while your father grabbed some nearby books and stacked them underneath the bucket to raise its level. Once this was all sorted and we felt no pulse on the cord, your father clamped and cut it after saying a few words: “I’m going to release you from the mamá and this placenta that has given you life for 41 weeks. Your big enough now that you can be on your own. You can breath and will learn how to suck and drink. We will all take care of you.” Baba then went to wake up your sisters so that they could meet you. After the cord clamping I walked over to the bed, all of the family surrounded us, we were all in awe looking at you and falling in love with you.

I was filled with joy to finally be holding you in my arms. Although your birth felt to both your father and I to have happened faster than we would had liked, it all went perfectly well and it went the way it was suppose to. It was an intimate and beautiful birth in a very special house, town and country. You were born in Albertshús (Albert’s House), a 200 year old house in the center of town where 25 babies had been born, the last in 1944. So in 2015 you were baby number 26 to be born in this house. Herdís Albertsdottir (Albert’s daughter) lived in the house nearly her entire life, she passed away four years ago at the age of 103 and her house has remained the way it was when she lived in it. All her belongings and her spirit are still there, I felt her wise and caring presence during the birth. The photos of her extended family still hang on the walls, we have met and befriended a lot of them who opened their doors and their hearts to us and made us feel welcomed and at home in Ísafjör∂ur.



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Iceland, our winter berth and birth

“Visited by only the most intrepid yachts, a passage to Iceland offers an experience difficult to match anywhere else in the world.” 

Our passage to Iceland was epic, riddled with highs and lows.

Iceland feels like it is centrally isolated.

Sitting right between America and Europe it feels central, a stepping stone in our journey across the Atlantic ocean.

Hovering right bellow the Arctic circle it feels isolated, a vastly unpopulated island of stark beauty, an island of ice and fire, of mighty glaciers, live volcanoes, hissing geysers and boiling lakes and rivers.

Iceland feels uniquely isolated as well as centrally located in the globe.

We picked Iceland as the birthing grounds for our next crew member, the extreme contrast to our last birth in the Caribbean appealed to us. Extreme dualities have naturally played out through our lives, so it feels natural to be here in Iceland to traer a la luz our next crew member.

We sailed into Reykjavík harbor in mid-October of 2014. We spent the first four months there in Reykjavík and are now in the northwest smaller town of Ísafjör∂ur. So we have experienced Iceland’s capital city, it’s majestic and vast country side and it’s quaint small town life in the westfjords.

The European-like, fast-paced and modern city life of Reykjavík surprised us. The amount of wealth, new cars, well dressed shopping-craze citizens, expensive restaurants, and the two-hour limit children’s birthday parties were all a big surprise.

The beauty of its countryside was expected. The expansive open landscapes completely covered in white snow this time of the year. It’s grand towering mountains which look as if they have been painted onto the blue sky. It’s rivers partly frozen but still running due to the waters warmer temperature from geothermal activity. All these things we had envisioned but perhaps didn’t expect for it to be as breathtakingly beautiful as it is, truly majestic.

The quiet slow-paced and snow covered streets of the smaller town of Ísafjör∂ur are what we envisioned it being like in Iceland and I suppose the vast majority is this way.

The Icelander is an educated bilingual person. It’s surprising how nearly everyone speaks very good English and many speak Danish and many other languages as well. Family is very important to the Icelander, they have large families, having up to four children is not rare at all, therefore we feel pretty normal here, at least in that regard.

Our two eldest daughters, ages 9 and 8, have been attending public school here in Iceland and for unschooled (non-curriculum based) children they have loved the school here. The educational system in Iceland has been a nice surprise. It is not heavily academic but rather very hands-on allowing the children to learn practical real-life skills suca as cooking, carpentry, sowing/knitting, library/research, community behavior, social behavior, exercise/health/swimming and even chess.

And finally birth in Iceland. On this topic we had no idea what to expect but thankfully birth in Iceland is viewed as a natural physiological process for women to go through. Icelanders believe women’s bodies still work, natural birth is the norm and all births are attended by midwives. Obstetricians are only involved in births if there are complications needing medical intervention. Home births in Reykjavík are gaining in popularity and in numbers but outside of the capital there are less home births, non in Ísafjör∂ur for example. Water births are very common in home births and in hospitals maybe only 10% are in water but they do have pools in hospitals which is great. But of course unattended home births are rare but we have been allowed and supported by midwives to do it our way, which has been wonderful. We formed a lovely relationship with a midwife who specializes in home births in Reykjavík who has been helping us with the necessary paper work as well as loaning us a birthing pool and helping us acquire all the special things we will need for the birth. Now that we are about a 6 hour drive away from Reykjavík, she has put us in touch with another midwife in Ísafjör∂ur who will help us announce the birth to the system once the baby is born so that we can get a birth certificate. I was even fortunate enough to attend a lecture by the world renown Ina May Gaskin, the mother of midwifery, who happened to come to Reykjavík for a lecture.

So yes, we like Iceland, we like it very much, a great place for this nomadic family to stop at and have a birth, a great country with great people to share our lives with for a short time. No regrets on picking Iceland to winter with our boat and as a birthing place, no regrets at all.

Christmas in Iceland

Unless you were born in Iceland or spent a holiday season in this island near the Arctic Circle you would not have experienced the unique traditions and beliefs surrounding Christmas in Iceland.

While children around the world believe in Santa Claus, who by the way is referred to as the Coca Cola Santa Claus here, Icelandic children believe in the Yule Lads, Gryla and the Christmas Cat. Rather than being visited by only one Santa children in Iceland are visited by 13 Santa’s called Yule Lads, one by one every night starting 13 nights before Christmas. Children place a shoe on the window sill in their bedroom and if they were good the Yule Lads will leave a present in the shoe and if they were bad he will leave them a potato. These 13 Yule Lads are all brothers and sons of Gryla, they are trolls portrayed as a dysfunctional family who all live together in a dark and damp cave in the middle of the highlands of Iceland. Their pet is an over-grown cat with sharp teeth who will eat children if their parents don’t give them a new piece of clothing or outfit during Christmas, a brilliant way to get children to appreciate clothes and not only toys as presents.

The first to arrive on the night of December 12th is Stekkjarstaur – the Sheep Worrier, he got his name from trying to suckle on sheep when visiting farmhouses back in the day to quench his thirst from his long walk through the country. These days he has to settle for cow’s milk rather than sheep’s milk from modern kitchens. Children leave him a glass of milk which makes things easier for him now days.

The second to visit on December 13th is Giljagaur – Gully Gawk, the biggest, tallest and strongest of the Yule Lads. He also loves milk but prefers cows milk, especially the creamy froth from the top of fresh warm milk. I wonder if children warm and froth milk for him?

The third on December 14th is Stúfur – Stubby, the smallest of the yule lads, his short legs make walking in soft snow a nightmare for him. Children usually leave a stool for him to be able to reach their shoe in the window sill.

The fourth on December 15th is Pvörusleikir – Spoon Licker, as a child he was always sucking his thumb, so he turned his attention to spoons which is how he got his name. It is a good day for baking a cake or cookies and not washing the spoon but leaving it on the window sill next to the shoe.

The fifth on December 16th is Pottasleikir – Pot Licker, quick-witted and single-minded his preference of course is licking pots clean, so that evening pots and pans are left unwashed.

The sixth on December 17th is Askasleikir – Bowl Licker, the last of the lickers, he liked licking askur, or traditional wooden bowl with a hinged lid used to keep the food warm and protect it from household pets. He has not been himself since askurs have stopped being used, he doesn’t know what to make of new plates but nevertheless he still licks them so it’s a good excuse on this day not to do the dishes.

The seventh on December 18th is Hurdaskellir – Door Slammer, this loud and boisterous lad is said to be a frustrated percussionist, he will slam the door when he leaves just for the fun of waking up everyone in the house.

The eighth on December 19th is Skyrgámur – Skyr Glutton, Skyr is an Icelandic dairy product, like greek yogurt but better! So now you know what he likes and how he got his name.

The ninth on December 20th is Bjúgnakraekir – Sausage Stealer, Bjúga is a type of sausage he finds irresistible, in olden times they were large sausages six times the size of todays hot dog. He has adjusted to these vacuum packed hot dogs so children make sure there are plenty for him at home that night.

The tenth on December 21st is Gluggagaegir – Window Peeper, he likes peeping in windows in the chance that a child sees him he will make funny faces in the hope of scaring them. So parents usually close the curtains if they have really small children.

The eleventh on December 22nd is Gáttapefur – Door Sniffer, when his big nose gets a whiff of all the delicacies being prepared during these days of Christmas, he is guided by his highly developed sense of smell towards kitchen doors. His favorite is laufabraud, or leaf bread, a flour and water based dough, flattened into thin pancake like circles on which very intricate designs are made by cutting out pieces and then deep-fried, making a crispy and sweet cookie like treat.

The twelfth on December 23rd is Ketkrókur – Meat Hook, he is a big, self-confident carnivorous lad. Smoked leg of land is believed to be his favorite.

The thirteenth (and last) on December 24th is Kertasníkir – Candle Beggar, before the advent of electricity candles were made of tallow (animal fat) which is what Candle Beggar seamed to have a liking for. These days he can’t eat the candles any more but still enjoys collecting them so children leave one for him to take.

CocoNuts on TV in Iceland

RUV TV did such a good job, check it out on Landinn

Love the animation they did of “Messenger on a map”, especially with the sails during the calm underneath Greenland, have to see it to know what I mean. The filmmakers and interviewers were very professional and talented. It was a pleasure to work with them and glad to see such good quality shows being made in Iceland. RUV is a government funded channel. I hope funding for shows like these are never cut now that there is a lot of funding for arts and culture being cut in the country.

Unique Exposure in Iceland

Today the Coconuts appeared in 2 of the largest newspapers in Iceland. All of a sudden on the same day we were contacted by reporters who wanted to write an article about us. They initially heard of us from a story that was written in the Faxaflóahafnir Associated Icelandic Ports website.

The first paper to contact us was Fréttabladid who put us on the front page and Morgunbladid wrote about us as well, we appeared on page 4 of their paper. There aren’t many cruisers who venture this far north and especially not to winter here therefore our story and life style is sort of a novel idea to Icelanders.

Tomorrow we will be filmed by the National Broadcasting Service in Iceland for a weekly news and culture program that they produce called Landinn.






Luna’s Birth Story

Today 8 years ago on November 6, 2006 at around 6am Luna was born. Her birth was a home and water birth. We were living on the North Pacific West Coast of my home country Costa Rica, in the small but developing beach town of Tamarindo in the province of Guanacaste. The nearest hospital in Liberia was an hour away and the roads were bad, there were also no midwifes working in the area, actually the only midwife working in Costa Rica (it seams at the time) was in the capital of San José. So we left our bellowed Magic House which sat on a small hill off a dirt road far away from town with only howler monkeys as neighbors and went to stay at my fathers house in La Guaria, Moravia for a few weeks to await Luna’s arrival. I was a single mother and had been raised my daughter Sol, Luna’s year and seven month older sister, on my own but at the time was renting out the bottom floor of the house to a couple who were also expecting and had a beautiful girl Azul nearly 4 months after Luna’s birth. Azul’s mother Andrea was American and her father Diego from Argentina, we where a family and for the next year grew together under the same roof.

I started labor on a Sunday around midnight, right after watching a movie. Exactly as I had with my first born. With Sol, over a year and a half before, I had also gone into labor on a Sunday night after watching a film, Sol was born on Monday around 6pm, as the sun was setting and the moon rising while Luna was born also on Monday but 12 hours earlier when the sun was rising and the moon setting. This is how close and intricate the life of these two sisters has been. There always seams to be a big difference between the first born and the second, as if ones body has figured things out and because I surrendered more the second time around. When I felt labor begin I ate a bowl of soup which I ended up throwing up a couple hours later. I called my midwife Uva and started passing the hallway of my fathers old house. My father wasn’t there since he lives on the South Caribbean coast in the beach town of Puerto Viejo and was keeping this house to have a place to stay when coming to the city. He inherited this house form his parents and has been in the family since before I was born so the house had a lovely vibe to it. Uva arrived around 2am and sometime after 5am when I began to feel the urge to push I got into the pool. Our maid Rosa, whom I had brought from Guanacaste with us to help me with chores, had woken up. I laid in the pool with Uva on one side and Rosa on the other with Sol sleeping ion the room next door, surrounded by female support I began pushing, it felt so different to be laboring in water. Sol was not a water birth though I labored in a jacuzzi for some time during her birth. Everything felt more natural, more elastic, I felt less pressure and burning sensation while pushing in water. We filmed the birth which I have shared with Diana Paul, founder of Love Delivers a non-profit organization where you will find information and videos about Homebirth, EcoBirth and the Motherbaby International Film Festival. Diana used Luna’s birth in a multi­-chaptered DVD compilation titled Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies showing homebirths in Guatemala, Costa Rica, France, the USA and Bermuda.

Luna was a very special birth because as rare as it is she was born with her caul intact, I never broke my water, so when she came out she was still inside the amniotic sac. I pushed her out and slowly grabbed her as she floated naturally to the surface, we began slowly to open the sac and take off the slimy transparent membranes, I put her on my chest and began welcoming her into this world. She slowly started breathing on her own and making those little sounds newborns make. After a while when I felt she was breathing well I stood and stepped out of the pool to sit on Uva’s placenta birthing chair. Uva gently massaged by uterus and asked me if I felt any contractions. I felt nothing but still I pushed and there the placenta came all out. What a beautiful piece of human architecture!

As soon as I laid in bed with my precious little Luna Sol woke up and came out to met her, it was such a beautiful and special moment, Sol seamed so wise, I could tell she understood perfectly how baby Luna had emerged from my big belly. Sol held her little sister and kissed her over and over, they had bonded for ever.

Many belief systems hold that being born in the caul is a sign of special destiny and psychic abilities. In medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck. It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness. Over the course of European history, a popular legend developed suggesting that possession of a baby’s caul would give its bearer good luck and protect that person from death by drowning. Cauls were therefore highly prized by sailors. Medieval women often sold their cauls to sailors for large sums of money; a caul was regarded as a valuable talisman.

We shall see what the future holds for Luna, at her 8 years of age she has definitely shinned as bright as a full moon, her constant smile a symbol of that.