Social Confoes

Hosted ByDiego Ameerali & Jeanluc van Charante

Social Confoes 030 – A Reverse Virtual Drink w/ Sandrina Hunsel

Do you have a This week on #SocialConfoes we’re having a reverse #virtualdrink with Sandrina Hunsel. Tune in to learn more about her story with volleyball, starting businesses and connecting with people through virtual drinks.

Episode Overview

  • 0:00 – Intro: Jean-luc forgot he met Sandrina before
  • 3:42 – Not being on the volleyball court
  • 8:08 – Transition from player to coach
  • 19:03 – Sandrina on the Suvobo controversy
  • 22:59 – Getting sport scholarships in the US
  • 26:06 – Moving away from Facebook
  • 30:04 – Starting Virtual Drinks on Linkedin
  • 38:57 – Getting to know people on other continents
  • 41:07 – The do’s and don’t when approaching new people
  • 48:44 – Why the virtual drinks are not recorded
  • 52:12 – Starting a coaching career and a radio show
  • 58:27 – Processing and synthesizing information
  • 1:01:27 – Being a tall woman
  • 1:07:28 – Closing remarks

Video Version of the Episode

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Full Transcript

Diego: [00:00:13] Good evening. Good morning. Good afternoon. Wherever you are in the world. And welcome back to Social Confoes it’s been awhile. Jean-luc it’s been awhile, but before we dive into our guests today, it’s been a quite a July last month. A lot of reflection, a lot of one-on-ones with the two of us with the Ask me anything.

So I hopefully our listeners get to know more about us, more about the show. But today, first week of August, we are back with a brand new guest and it’s been awhile. We got someone local again in Suriname now. Fun fact, the boat actually had a so-called virtual drink with this individual, but I will leave it up to you to introduce her. And then we can talk a bit more about our experiences with that.

Jean-luc: [00:01:26] Okay. Well, I’m going to share a story of one story that happened during our virtual drink. So our guests that I’ve actually met for the first time, like really got to know each other during a Birthday of a mutual friend. And it was at a boat, it was on a boat.

It was a party on a boat. There was a lot of cake involved. There were people jumping off the boat into the river and she told me the story that after we’ve met and we actually kind of met for the first time and that the next time that she met me, she was trying to greet me.

And I was like, not responding or not interested are acting like, I didn’t know her. Till this day, I’m trying to recall what actually happened, but after she told me the story, I’ve been thinking for the last couple of weeks and it’s actually, I do remember there being something and do remember not a greeting or the next time when, when we met, but I still don’t remember.

Remember what the reason or the mindset was after that. Luckily there, it was a one-time thing. We now greet each other. We now know each other. Our guests is a really wonderful woman. I know our, mainly as one of the best volleyball players, female volleyball players, Suriname has ever produced.

She might be a little like, yeah, there are others as well, but I can guarantee you that she used one of the best of volleyball player, female volleyball players here now, Suriname has ever seen. And she’s very modest about it, but we know for a fact. And we want to introduce to you today’s guest Sandrina Hunsel welcome, Sandrina

Sandrina: [00:03:05] thank you. So Luke, what an introduction, especially the story.

Thank you. Thank you so much for the nice introduction. I appreciate it. Hi everyone.

Jean-luc: [00:03:19] They’re definitely introductions. Definitely. So the, the volleyball one is definitely one that I think, like, I remember like I’ve been out of the volleyball scene for quite some time, but I do recall you being a real power on in the volleyball circle so, so one of the questions of course, that I asked a lot is do you visit, do you, do you still miss being on the court?

Sandrina: [00:03:42] Yeah, it’s, it goes on and off. Like now I’m in a phase I’m like, okay, I’m so ready to play again. It doesn’t even matter if I need to be libero or the middle or the outside or on the bench.

I don’t care. I just want to, you know, like be in the game and the adrenaline rush and everything and be with a team. I miss the girls so much also the girls from the national team. It’s so it’s like the friendships that are built during sports are simply amazing. And that’s a part I really miss. On the other hand, I’m very happy with the rest that I’m getting right now, especially with my son, he’s almost seven months.

And I’ve been having so much time with him, which is which I don’t know how it would have been if they would have, would not have been COVID and I had to go to practice and all of that, it would have been a bit different. You know, God’s timing is everything. I’m, I’m happy how it I’m very happy out for how it is now. And I’m excited for when it’s going to start again, because I think I’m ready. Yeah. Physically and mentally.

Diego: [00:04:46] Yeah. I think it’s a good thing to look at a positive side. Last week asked me anything. There were some individual’s questions coming in from him, his experience as a father after the pandemic hit.

So it, it gave him a chance to have more quality time with his family. And as you said, the timing you make the best of the timing and the situation you’re in. So even though you’re not field anymore, but there’s something else now that’s keep you up. It keeps you occupied and keeps you energized and takes up all your time.

So tell us, how has it been, I guess, Since you stopped being on the court and kind of more, you know more introspective as you know, we don’t go out as much anymore doing your own thing and actually having a son now in the midst of all this, how has that been for you in the past year? I I’d say

Sandrina: [00:05:39] I’m gonna start with the best thing, which is my son. Obviously, he’s such a, he’s such a light. He’s always laughing and wants to play and everything he loves to cuddle. Thank God. Cause I’m a cuddler. So I’m all over him all the time. So that has been simply the best thing. Also, my pregnancy, I got pregnant during the pandemic, like in May and which was good in the sense of, you know, not too many people around only like selected people while you’re going through this phase.

Only positive vibes, you know, not too many people can see you look at you. I’m not really spiritual, but I still believe in those things, you know, like a bad eye or something. So it was, it was good. And now in like the pandemic is continuing, I hope that it ends like the end of 2020 1, 20, 20, 20, 22 does it, we don’t want it.

So other than that, with volleyball last year, I’ve been before the pandemic in January, I decided to like go in a transition because my team, we, we had our youth players that were becoming the senior team. So I decided to take a step back and become the coach so that they can, you know, like step up and, you know, like it’s, I think it’s better.

They have to do it alone. Like, you know, sometimes you do it together, you know, you, you, you, you pull them up and then at some point they need to step up their game and do it themselves. So I decided to become the coach for that season for last season. So that was my plan. And then maybe in the finals, I would play again and especially national team, I would play too.

So during that transition the pandemic happened. So it wasn’t really hard for me not to play at all because I was already, I already had decided that I was not gonna play, but like now a year after, and my son is born and I’m in shape again. And I’m like, okay, people let’s move. So I miss that now. I didn’t miss it.

Last year. Last year, I was relieved that I didn’t have to play or go to  like the gym where you have  and stuff. But now I kind of miss it. I also Ms. Beach volleyball. So that’s it for sports. I would love to play sports again. Yeah.

Diego: [00:08:08] Yeah. We’d love to see you again and represent us as well, but good quickly on a topic of coaching. I do have a quick follow up question. We’ll probably get into this later as well on personal, on the partner side, but from a sport perspective, from a volleyball perspective, what would you say the most important thing is as a volleyball coach? What’s the biggest difference or the biggest impact that a coach has from your experience having done the transition from player to coach?

Sandrina: [00:08:35] Well, I must say I learned from the best as in my coach, the belief that men had in me and still has, even when I’m not under court, that’s Eric Eichmann. It’s I don’t know sometimes. We believe in me more than I believed in myself. So I think that’s the most important ingredient for a coach that you need to believe in your team.

And of course, you’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes you’re gonna believe a bit less in someone that needed it more, you know, like you’re gonna make mistakes. I’m sure that you made mistakes too. He grew a lot also in the past years as a coach and I give myself that room to grow as well. And so the first thing I always try is to connect with my players.

Once I’m, once I’m seat, that’s a grown moment for me, one time a player told me, like, why are you always talking so mean? And I’m like, am I talking mean? Cause when they, when they like fall on the ground and they’re like, oh, I can’t take the ball. I’m all over it. Why do you think you can take the ball?

You just need to jump and you need to take the ball. You need to believe that you can see it. So for me, it’s like, I’m empowering them, but she was like, you’re always so mean and I’m like, girl watch. So that was a, that was like,

Jean-luc: [00:09:47] this is definitely a difference in perspective, I guess. So I quickly want to jump into this. The first thing I want to jump into Eric is a legend. I think, I mean, in the sports industry, to me, sports world, we have a lot of legend, like legend coaches. Like they have a legacy and it’s amazing and he’s definitely one of them, but I quickly want to jump into, and I’m not sure if this is typical Surinamese, but you just mentioned.

Yeah, I don’t have to play. And then maybe in the playoffs, maybe in a finals, they’ll need me and I’ll just step on the court and I’ll just destroy. You didn’t say it the other way, but that played a whole season. I’ll just play in the finals and that will be enough for us to win. So that, that brings to mind because the, the, the, the legacy teams that we had, we have a couple of teams in Suriname. So, first thing I’m going to have to ask you, you’re still defending champions Condor ladies.

Sandrina: [00:10:42] Yes, because last year we didn’t have a competition because of the

Jean-luc: [00:10:47] pandemic.

And for how many years have you been defending champions?

Sandrina: [00:10:50] With the senior team for eight years now. Yeah.

Jean-luc: [00:10:53] So Diego, just to put in perspective, they’ve completely dominated the field for eight years.

And for her it’s like, yeah, maybe at a finalist. I play, no,

Sandrina: [00:11:04] I didn’t mean it like that.

The other goes to grow.

Jean-luc: [00:11:12] The other goes to grow. I mean, in sports you have that as well, but okay. Like locally, like nationally they’re, they’re not really that many accolades for you still to achieve, I guess. I mean, Caribbean cup and the Caribbean. Those are, I think you, you you became, you were second once and did you

Sandrina: [00:11:30] twice, she came second.


Jean-luc: [00:11:33] So I can imagine that, like, there’s still the goal of, they’re always saying like, yeah, we, we want to win the Caribbean cup. And I do understand that, but like on a, on a national scale, I do understand like giving others the opportunity, but what, from a, from like a non-sports perspective, like somebody does doesn’t know anything about sports is like, okay, we just turn it up in the finals and the rest of the season.

It’s like we, we coast through. It’s kind of ironic because it’s partially true, but it’s also, like you’re saying, like we’re actually doing it for the better of the team, but it’s, it’s just such a funny, funny thing to hear how good you guys are and how good you are. You are still and to bring it to beach volleyball. What, what do you think compared to like a six versus six? Like indoor, what do you think? Our chances are regionally, like for beach volleyball.

Sandrina: [00:12:33] I think beach volleyball is it’s another way of playing volleyball too. Volleyball is a mental sport, but beach volleyball is like. Mental. How do you say it?

Do you know, like you have an iPhone pro is like a mental pro okay.  so I think, and that’s like to put the, put it in, like, what’s the difference between those, but like how far can we come with beach? I believe we can come pretty far. Because we played against different teams in the Caribbean and we, we are a good match for them.

It’s the only thing that was missing is that you had to put in more hours and more, experience as I said is like a mental game. You have to be very tactical about the way you play. It’s not like an on the court. And indoor volleyball is like hitting hard. But in beach, volleyball is playing smart.

So putting in the years is very important at beach ball. And if you have a determined team, like the two people that are determined to go together, or maybe like four or five people that can play together, like become teams of two. I think we have a great chance of going to, I wouldn’t say Olympics yet because I’ve seen the Olympic players and some of them are 40.

So that’s, that takes like 20 years or something to build, but a bit more realistic, you know, like being in the top from the Caribbean, moving on to south America, like competing in the south American games, I believe we can really do that. Yeah.

Jean-luc: [00:14:08] And I do have to ask now because, why, why don’t we approach it more like that? Because thinking of it, like, especially during COVID, we could actually. Go to a beach court and play beach there. So what’s kind of keeping us back from saying, putting in that commitment, like putting in 10 players or saying like, okay, these 10 players are just going to come compete and going to prepare themselves for the world cup qualifications and and the Olympic qualifiers.

Sandrina: [00:14:38] I must say in 2013, we started this journey. If I can call it a journey which had Dion Brunings and Lynelle Blockland, and later on Dion Brunings became our coach. And also we had chef NAS, Franco’s Tara Williams, better. All those names are very familiar to you. Of course, they’re like the indoor top volleyball players and Chavelli Wip also, that is the team we started. And we went to the south American games and we did all four. We qualified for all four rounds from the Olympic qualifiers. But after that I remember that Cheryl and I, we had our, our degree in 2018. So we finished school and then we decided to go and work for a bigger company, you know, like starting the career life.

After that, after that beach volleyball was in 2019, we still did a tournament. But after that, you know, like with school and with We didn’t really have the time to play before 7:00 PM because we didn’t have a facility where there was lights to play beach volleyball. So then, you know, you like, you’ve come from work at four.

You don’t need to do something else. So you can go to practice at five. All those things were like a combination of things made that we didn’t go further with the, with the project or the beach journey, but the surname Olympic committee, they were committed to focus more on beach.

So that’s how this old full

Jean-luc: [00:16:09] beach yeah.

Sandrina: [00:16:13] And lineup block land also from the Suvobo

Jean-luc: [00:16:16] so it’s interesting because that’s the main reason. I wasn’t able to combine work and volleyball well understandable. And Dion and Mark continued. They’re also like eight or nine times. Yes. Yeah. And that’s actually, they, I stopped the year before that.

I, I decided to stop playing competitively just because also I didn’t feel that I still had the, the, the strength and the, you know, it’s, it’s what you’re saying is as well, like these young up-and-coming talents, they’re like 16, 17 year old, and then they go to school and then they’re home the whole day.

And then they come popped up to the training and you just had an oh, like eight hours of work, the 10 hours of work. And then you had to rush through is your food. And it’s like night. And I also three. The SP the, the girls under 14. So went from work to train them. And then after that I had my training and I was like completely exhausted. So I can imagine, but I didn’t play as, quite as high level as you did. So

Diego: [00:17:23] it’s basically a second job if you put it and it’s more physically, physically taxing. And if your mental state isn’t there that doesn’t work in synergy. It just not

Sandrina: [00:17:35] true. Very true. But I’ve seen girls like Cheryl was one and Xaviera was one. Also they went to work then to school and then they came to practice at 8:00 PM. So I was like, whoa,

Jean-luc: [00:17:53] that’s dedication. It’s, it’s pure. And I know Cheryl and Dion quite well. And since, since they were young, I mean, they technically, they is, they sleep with a ball in their bed, you know? Like, like you can, they can find you like blindfolded, you could, they could blindfold you.


Sandrina: [00:18:11] I liked, I like how you put it. I like how you put it, that they sleep with the ball because people often look at like with the, with the ladies team, they look at Cheryl right. And like, how is she the best setter? Like for Solvis. Cause she’s the best setter in the Caribbean for like, I dunno since 10 or something.

Yeah. And they’re like, yeah. Why is she always the first idea? Yeah. But this girl, everything she did in her life was volleyball with her brother. Also, like when they’re at home, they’re not playing around, they’re playing volleyball, they’re practicing playfully, but you know, it’s like you have to put in the work, if you want to achieve something with it

Jean-luc: [00:18:53] every week, a couple of shutters were broken.



Sandrina: [00:18:59] heard those stories.

Diego: [00:19:03] So, so you’ve got some quick shout outs from the comments Zachery giving your shout out or last time, how are you? That’s they were from two HS, well, motive giving you a thumbs up on the performance. And I guess I’ll throw in this question from Joel as this, as the close up the sports section. And he asks as a top athlete in Suriname. What’s your take on the recent SVB controversy and what could the Suvobo learn from this.

Sandrina: [00:19:32] Okay. I’m gonna say it plain. Don’t let politics mix with sports. Any politics, not company politics, not politics from the country, not anything because they don’t go together. Same as church and politics. You don’t make those God and they don’t work sports and politics don’t make the same as God and politics because when people are focused on positions and money and they don’t think about the athletes and what is good for the country, they see past everything that is good because they see the gold pot.

So what’s a Suvobo can learn from this. And I’m just saying it plain. I am not from any organization. So. Nobody can, how do you say it? I’m just a, an athlete from Suriname that with some pride, especially for not sure. You know, I was so excited about this whole soccer journey. Anyway, sorry. Back to the Suvobo question.

What’s it for what can learn from this is stick to the plan and have more people that make decisions. It’s not, it’s not a, what, what was Hitler again? Like a dictator? How do you say that in English? Dictator? Yeah. Don’t, don’t put that in sports or in, in like plants with sports. No, a lot of let’s put a group of people that need to make the decision, not one or two, because otherwise ego’s going to come in and things are going to go bad. So that’s my take on it, but I’ll do respect.

Jean-luc: [00:21:11] We’re just looking at a comments because it’s, it’s getting kind of busy now. Uh, Anil jumps in, we have a furry special, viewer all the way from SeaWorld is joining us,

Diego: [00:21:22] coincidentally with the same last name. Yeah.

Jean-luc: [00:21:30] Just seeing you just do it. It is our idea I had learned Marvin is also joining in Joel is keeping it COVID and coughing in the south and as I will. And yes. So did I say hi? It’s not a one man show we can all learn from it. Yes. Yeah. Okay. So that’s a little bit of a viewer interaction as well.

And basically, I want to make a transition, a transition from sports to the social media because we’re streaming now on. I think five different platforms at the moment at seven. Oh yeah. But five different channels, different channels, five different platforms. And we’re going to quickly do Motev’s question first before I ask this question. So a lot of love from uh,  and most wants to know uh, see you as herself ever see yourself coaching the national football team.

Sandrina: [00:22:26] Yes, sir. I coached the national team with Janice Valies, the under 18 team. And that was like the best experience ever. It was so nice. I was her assistant coach and we became champions in Jamaica, the Caribbean under 18.

And after that I was the assistant coach of Eric icon for the under 23. And I am ready. I’m ready to learn more and grow more and I’m going to be. The, the coach also from the national woman’s our men’s team. You never know what I’m working on it.

Jean-luc: [00:22:59] Yeah. We have some great female coaches leading men’s teams as well. And now I do have to ask the question first, like we’ve seen like a change come in, that there are scholarships coming from the U S like Janisa just mentioned Janiece, but also Gabriela Bouterse all went through scholarships. So how did that program start? Because all of a sudden, not just, not just in the beginning was just tennis players. And now we’re seeing basketball players, volleyball players, all receiving scholarships from the U S so how did that process go and how does that help develop our, our sports to bring it to a higher level?

Sandrina: [00:23:34] Yeah, I think I think Cindy Smuller she was from the generation before me and I think she was. One of the first, which I know of please forgive me people if I’m not seeing it correctly, which I know of that played abroad. I think he played in Brazil for a little while. So I think that’s what broke the ice. And I remember I think Janice got scouted by Mr. Trevor. He was a Trinidad Trinidadian coach who was working in America for a big school.

And I think that is how it started, I think like, because Denise is the first for me that got a scholarship in the U S and I know that Mr. Trevor helped a lot of other girls as well. Like my friend, Jill. He also, he, how do you say he guided them in the process? Yeah. And I got help from my friend Yves Goedschalk and a tennis player, Joanne for Adda and also Janiece.

They helped me to look for schools. Looking back, I should have also when I was in USA, I should have talked to Mr. Trevor more as well, because he knows a lot of people and he knows a lot of schools. So that is how the other girls get around a bit in the beginning and then they move on. And so when one person went the Suriname, it becomes popular with the coaches.

So they’re going to like my coach from there asked me to like, Hey, do you have an outside hitter in Suriname and M do you have this? So now Gabby’s coach gonna to ask her. So the next generation and  coach the next generation like Shaya Sharon, Sherry’s like the, the girls that play under 23. They are gonna, you know, like when someone, as Gabby Gabby can recommend them and send the videos to the school, so the girls can go as well. So I think that’s how it started a bit, but if it’s not true, someone else,

Jean-luc: [00:25:31] no, but it’s a great organic development. And I mean that wasn’t there like 20 years ago. So this is like a snowball effect. Yeah. It’s really like a snowball effect like that and saying like, you guys became Pathfinders and basically that’s this generation we, we kind of, we don’t play it a bit, but due to this, just like you said, like now we have multiple volleyball players who actually made it to the us and went on scholar on college. And I mean, Gabriela is like, she’s killing it.

Sandrina: [00:26:01] She grew so much also, you know, like mentally and everything. It’s amazing.

Jean-luc: [00:26:06] Yeah. And I think that, because I think what I remember from volleyball, in Suriname our, our volleyball culture is really like a being the prolific score. And like if your, your offense is on point, you get all the praise, like, and it’s, it’s, it’s almost Showtime. Whereas like, and I, I studied and I played in the Netherlands where it’s all about the higher your plea, the less mistakes you make.

So it is this really structured. It’s kind of, it’s not one hit and then everybody just goes crazy. And for 10 minutes, everybody’s running on adrenaline, they’re headed, but it’s just like the structured kind of play, which is like completely different to what we’re used to here. And, and I think the U S is a mixture of both.

You kind of have the star power as well. But there’s also more time and resources to go into like the technical side of it as well. But now to the real question that I wanted to ask We posted this announcement on multiple channels. And when we posted it on Facebook, we couldn’t tag you. So, and then I was like, but wait, this isn’t Sandrina and I like, what? She’s she isn’t on Facebook? And like, no, I can’t find her on Facebook. And that’s kind of, it’s not necessarily unique, but we have a lot of people saying like, yeah, I’m tired of Facebook. I’m not going to be on Facebook anymore, but we stayed there. So how did you end up not being on Facebook?

Sandrina: [00:27:39] I deactivated my account a couple of times. Especially around times when there’s a lot of negativity going on. And that was the case again. Two months ago. I think people talk a lot on Facebook. It’s all talk and no action most of the time. I also want to give a big up to the people that use Facebook for their business.

Cause I like those people, like, you know, like I need to hustle, I need to make my money. I need to make the best of my life. But I don’t like when people like one small thing happens, everybody talks about it and they talk about it. Like they’re going to change it, but they never do. They just sit and do nothing.

So I’m a very, I’m a bit, I wouldn’t say highly sensitive person, but I like a medium, medium sensitive person. So when, when it’s a bit too much for me, I just log off. I deactivate my account. I’m like, I don’t want to be part of this nonsense. You know, it’s like nonsense for me when people are all talk and no action.

So I, I had to think about it though, because you said sometimes people want to. Move from Facebook, but they don’t. Because I also use Facebook as a voice. I’m like an advocate for mental health and I love to empower people. And I found such a, responsibility to do, you know, like stay in, stay on Facebook and help the people. But at some point I was like, okay, people, you can. I gave him

sometimes even that, sometimes they are, because when I posted about psychologist, you know, when I broke the silence about getting help and therapy, people really, really went into it. So there’s like a positive side to it as well. So that made me like, okay, shit, I should not leave, but that I thought, you know what?

Facebook is not the word. I have my own world. I know, you know, it’s not that important. It’s just social media. So if they can find me, they will find someone else. It’s not my responsibility to make people happy or feel good at the end of the day. It’s your own responsibility. So I hand you the tools and then I go on with my life.

So that’s how I decided like, okay, for now, no more Facebook for me. I got attached to LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn. So, so much good information

Diego: [00:30:04] since you’re going to Lincoln already. So you said to about two months ago, two to three months ago that you deactivated Facebook, did this coincides with the timing that you started, your virtual drinks. If I’m not mistaken looking back at the history. So it was that kind of like a shift in focusing your energy towards trying something new and focusing on LinkedIn specifically to try that.

Sandrina: [00:30:28] Yeah, I, I would, I would call it a shift. Yeah. Because I remember, you know, what, the funny thing was, that’s good. I can put it like beside each other, because when I, I posted a thing on LinkedIn that I want to connect more with people and want to have a virtual drink and everybody was like, yeah, let’s talk about a profession.

You know, let’s get to know each other. Let’s see what we can do for each other. You know, like business wise, then check, I put the same, not the same, but I put the same kind of thing on Facebook. Like, Hey, what’s up guys. I want to connect more with my people, especially from the Caribbean. Let’s, you know, let’s talk, I want to know you on another level, zero responses.

And I’m like, okay, okay. Thought

Jean-luc: [00:31:10] I thought people were going to slide into your DM or something like that.

Sandrina: [00:31:14] That’s what I thought

to. Like if, if men would say like, Hey baby, what’s up? You know, so that’s why for, at first instance, I didn’t post it on things because I don’t like small talk. But I, but then I did decide, you know, like, okay, maybe I can have a bit bigger reach.

And I saw like, wait, Facebook and going to give me this that really gave that, that kind of encouraged me to like, see, like the time you are in now, the phase you are now, what you’re trying to achieve right now, Facebook can help you. I’m saying right now, because when I start by business, let’s say, I decide to have a clothing business.

For example, I’m going to need Facebook because that’s where the women are. They want some clothes. That’s where the men are, that one’s clothes, clothes. So you can use it for good things. But right now in what I’m doing now, It’s not, no,

Jean-luc: [00:32:08] interesting that let you put it like that. But also I think people are becoming aware more and more people in Suriname are becoming aware that LinkedIn is not like a lesser platform, that the engagement is actually real, that the people over there are very much committed.

And if you are committed, if you’re putting the same amount of hours into LinkedIn, as you would put into Facebook, oh,

it’s so much better. Like you don’t have, you have less trolls of course, because trolling on LinkedIn, there are trolling on LinkedIn, but not close to what there is on Facebook. All the negative people are gone. Like I remember like year, for years, if you would put something negative about Suriname on LinkedIn, people would be like, no, we don’t do that here.

You know? There’s a really positive energy and a positive five going on. So it’s really interesting too, to have you explain, like the switch and seeing like what’s important for me and not being afraid because I think most of us, and I also speak for myself going into me from Facebook. Like we’re kind of afraid to do it.

Especially if you go to another platform and like you post that, like there’s no zero response and you know, on Facebook, if you post something, then we’ll fire up. So I think that’s, it’s a good realization that you’re saying, like, I might need it for something, like if I have my own business, but for me personally, I don’t need it.

And really going to the extent of deactivating your account. I think that’s, it’s a big inspiration for many that you, that you made that switch. And I’m happy to hear that. And I’m happy to hear that you’re saying like LinkedIn is, is awesome. I don’t know why you guys need new Facebook when you have LinkedIn, for instance.

So thanks for sharing,

Diego: [00:33:55] On that note, on the topic of fair children’s I do. Two quick questions. One the stroke, me and Jean-luc’s ego. And one,

Sandrina: [00:34:05] I got two. I got to and one

Diego: [00:34:07] at a more macro level. So, so the fun one first we’ve both had virtual drinks with you. So what stood out most from our conversations?


Sandrina: [00:34:18] Okay,

Diego: [00:34:19] good, good.

Sandrina: [00:34:26] but you’re smart. You’re smart. Okay. Let me see what stood out from you Diego? I remembered that I was very impressed by your approach because especially the approach, you should only take on what you can handle because we live in a fast and a lot is better, fastest, better, a lot more is better, et cetera.

And you said like, no son, if I, if I can get a project that can keep me for three months, I don’t need five projects to get more money. Like, you know what I mean? So that stood out for me that you are not afraid to say, like, I do it my way, you know, I don’t do it the way everybody thinks you should do the bit do business.

So that stood out for me. Look, it was fun having our pudding, getting out of this, like having our moment of peace and friendship about the, not reading me 12 years ago, but no, that’s a joke, but what stood out for me at our virtual drink was I I’m, I’m thinking of starting a business. Right. And, but sometimes it comes to my head like, oh no, what if it’s not a success?

You know, cause everybody sees you and like, it’s a bit of a shame if it feels, but I look told me like, yes, I had this and then, okay. I did this with my friends. And then after a few years we did this and then I started this and then I started this. And I’m like, what? You did all of that because in my head it was like, is C O and an F a boat.

Yeah. And no, that’s a success story. He’s the social media man. But, but he also had his failures, but he didn’t even talk about them as like these. And I feel like, yeah. And then I did that yet. Like, okay, I can do it too. I can kind of start this. I’m not, I’m going to do something else. So yeah. That’s I think those two things really stood out in the convos with you guys.

And I’m not going to answer the last question.

Diego: [00:36:41] Fair enough. Fair enough.

Jean-luc: [00:36:42] Quickly, quickly on your answers Diego the Eagle, the Eagle is a crypto millionaire, you know, so he doesn’t have to worry about not just getting,

Sandrina: [00:36:51] maybe that’s why I’m getting to have a master class.

Jean-luc: [00:36:56] I think you should definitely Sandrina. You should definitely also consider the crypto space and start creating content on the blockchain. I think you’ll find it interesting as well, especially if you’re not on Facebook. There’s, there’s another, a lot of other students that are interested

Diego: [00:37:10] mandatory Hive pitch.

Jean-luc: [00:37:12] Yeah, no, I’m not going to plug hive. I’ll let somebody else do it. Whatever guests, the Rachim joined hive as well. And he’s pretty excited.


before you give a quick debit, I also want to see. The thing about the, the, the failing is very important because I once got approached to do a effed up night. It was basically a night where you tell people about your biggest failure, failure. And I told them like, wait, I don’t have a biggest failure. I have just like 10 failures.

And I want to tell them all, I want people to know that I started a business. I completely strategized everything and we purchased way too much inventory. And till this day, the inventory is still stuck at somebodies place because we bought like five times the amount of inventory that we should have bought, you know?

So I want to tell those kinds of stories as well. And, and people only think like, wow, okay, this is your success. But through all those past experiences, you kind of learn what your mistakes are and make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes again. So see, I told you I don’t have to do the, the plug.

The flux already there

Diego: [00:38:24] since, since started going through the comments. So before I ask the next question Marvin says he agrees with you about Facebook. A lot of people talk less. It’s just a small group that stays committed to sharing parts of this stuff. And you get some love from 

Sandrina: [00:38:39] that’s my girl

Diego: [00:38:41] on that topic of the crypto Gregory says Sandrina would be a good advocate for this space. It would be a, for a refreshing take on the topic, considered it considering it’s for, you know, the nerds and geeks, apparently

Sandrina: [00:38:56] who says I’m not a nerd though.

Diego: [00:38:57] Exactly Gregory, who says she’s not in,

we’ll come back to the question under the virtual drinks. Now on a more macro scale and a more tactical level, what was your most unlikely virtual engagement? Deal that wasn’t local because I know there have been international people when, at one of the internet, the bare children pizza last time, there was someone all the way from India in the group. So we had to mix it up a bit. So can you share some of those experiences that you would like one word that you didn’t expect to even happen talking someone at the other side of the world?

Sandrina: [00:39:39] Yeah. My first, my first experience was with a woman from Africa, which I thought was so cool. I even told her about like, yes.

And the people from here, they come from Africa too. Like our ancestors, I was so excited.

Jean-luc: [00:39:54] Which countries?

Sandrina: [00:39:55] Oh, I don’t know. Sorry, I’m going to say something. That’s not even true. I’m sorry. I don’t know which exact, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Yeah, I wrote it in the post though. I think. That’s one that was like, my mind was, is with a woman, Yvonne.

She’s originally, also from Africa, but she lives in Canada and I follow her on LinkedIn because she’s an advocate and a consultant for change leadership. And she has like how do you say, you’re saying webinars and stuff about, about change leadership and I’m really trying to get into that. Like how do you, how do you change an organizer of help an organization?

And so I’m, I follow her, all her posts. I like all her things. I, you know, I’m always like, whoa, that’s a good insight when I see something from her. So I decided to send her a message on another platform. I follow, I also follow her on and I told her like, Hey, Yvonne I’m having this thing on LinkedIn.

And it would be nice if we could have a talk. And she was like, yeah. Okay girl. And I was like, oh my God, I’ve got to talk to him. And it was, it was so much fun.

Diego: [00:41:07] Do you think that approach, what was it a one off incident, do you think?  Let, let me rephrase this. A lot of people have the fear of approaching people are asking people for a conversation or meeting. And now, especially with LinkedIn at the digital space, zoom virtual sessions, the gap has been kind of kind of been eliminated or shrunken by a whole lot. So would you say that that 1, 2, 3 approach you did engaging a lot with her and just asking would be a way for a lot of people to get connected more to the people they look up to and what would be like one no-no to do online? I mean, no, no, not to do online. And one thing you already mentioned what you did actually, but one more thing that you would suggest people do if they want to approach people and connect with them.

Sandrina: [00:41:59] Yeah. Nice. Very nice question. Because I did approach someone also a CEO in, in Suriname from a big company and you never really got back to me. And that’s the reason why I started virtual drinks, because the thing is, why do we need to talk to people? That we only look up to like why we only have to talk to the big dogs? You know? So that’s a mindset first. Don’t look, don’t only look at a position from someone because anyone can inspire you.

So it’s good that he never really answered because that made me, you know, like realize San, you can talk to anyone that you want. So I decided to put the post on LinkedIn. And the other thing from the mindset is it doesn’t matter if one person says no, because if one person says no five seconds, I did ask people.

I like any type of person, like, doesn’t matter the position. I then approach people like, Hey, do you want to do a virtual drink after they added me? Like, right. And they’re like, ah, no, not really my thing. I’m like, okay, good. No problem, girl. And I just move on. I don’t take it personally because for one, I know I’m a big ass extrovert.

So for me, it’s a bit more easy. And two, sometimes people don’t want to talk to you and then it doesn’t matter, you know? So don’t give up. If some, one person says, no, the mindset should be five are gonna say yes. And if Yvonne said, no, I was about to go to Maxwell. You know, like John Maxwell, I don’t care if anyone says, no, I’m going to keep it going. You know what I mean? And if he says, no, I’ve got to move on.

Jean-luc: [00:43:43] Well, as the CEO, the CEO is just watching this and he just called you, like, sorry, I did it. I did it. The answer, just kidding.

Sandrina: [00:43:54] That would be awful. He doesn’t know I’m talking about him.

Jean-luc: [00:44:01] I think it was the CEO calling back like, oh wait, I made a mistake. I should’ve, I should’ve gone.

Sandrina: [00:44:08] No, no, sorry. That was

Diego: [00:44:13] hilarious.

Sandrina: [00:44:15] I wouldn’t, I would not have picked up, you know, like my time now we can talk later.  so the mindset, I believe the approach you asked about approach as well. I also talk about this a bit in short, in the networking edition from virtual drinks, don’t try to sell, don’t try to get a job, your approach should be a genuine connection, Cause people know that when they work a certain place or they have a certain position or something, or if they are an entrepreneur. a lot of people are approaching them to get a job, or to buy something from them. So don’t start with that. Just genuine connection. And if from the genuine connection comes to sale, there comes to sale.

If not, there’s a genuine connection, we need to focus more on connecting with people, stop focusing on the money and on the status and everything. So that would be my ultimate. My golden tip. Make a genuine connection. Don’t take no, no, personally, just keep it going. Like there are like millions and billions of people on LinkedIn and on Facebook and everywhere on social media. Trust me if it definitely counts that if one says no five are going to say yes, I didn’t do the research, but I just know for sure. That’s the statistic.

Jean-luc: [00:45:33] So I just have to ask now, because I’ve been thinking of this as well. If it has been virtual but once COVID is like, kind of like really out of the picture, or at least it’s a little bit normal to go get and get drinks. Are you going from gonna go with like locals from virtual drinks to having just actual drinks?

Sandrina: [00:45:56] Yeah, I I’m having a actual drink with one of my friends. I think I can almost call her my friend now. We’re gonna have our first like physical drink tomorrow. So I’m very excited about that because I really just met her on LinkedIn.

You know what I mean? Like from a virtual drink, this one is an awesome, it is. And also I was planning on talking to you as well for it’s fun. I want to do a networking addition also, you know, like maybe upstairs, but like the same way we rotate in the networking addition spiritually. I want to do, I don’t know. So, yeah. If someone wants to take the, the idea, they can take it.

Okay. Thank you so much. I want to use that.

So when COVID is gone, I think we should do it when it’s safe.  but that’s what I have in mind for the networking edition and what goes for people. I mean, I’m, I’m excited about my first physical, virtual. I can’t call it virtual drink anymore, but you know what I mean? Tomorrow

Jean-luc: [00:47:04] the physical, virtual

Sandrina: [00:47:08] drink, physical addition,

Diego: [00:47:10] I, I noticed it’s it makes him think of a Chatroulette if you’ve ever heard of that.

Sandrina: [00:47:16] That’s cool.


Diego: [00:47:22] I’ve had some online kind of networking events where you just on a single platform and they shuffle you up in kind of different rooms. I think it’s, I forgot what the platform is called, but yeah, they just mix you up into it, throw you in a group room or a one-on-one room for like five to seven minutes and they have this prompt cards to help you start the conversation.

If you don’t know what to talk about, and then you can skip the cards, like, okay, talk about a book or talk about the elephant or something just to get the conversation started. And that’s how you start to make the connection.

Jean-luc: [00:47:57] I was thinking of the Chatroulette website.

Diego: [00:48:02] I actually do not know what that is.

So if you want to enlighten us on that,

Jean-luc: [00:48:07] no, they’re actually, yeah, they’re actual these websites. They kind of are being used for the wrong reasons, but there are online websites where you can just go and you can chat with people. And then if you’re not interested anymore, you just swipe or you just remove and you go on,

but it’s not only for dating. Like people do all the crazy stuff. Like people are just playing music. And then if somebody is interested in music, they’re stops the confrontation. There are also some lesser nice things because you’re like nice. And it’s all it is. It always is. It isn’t always that nice as you, as you can imagine.

Diego: [00:48:44] Last question on the topic of virtual drinks Gregory wants to know what conversation do you wish was recorded?

Sandrina: [00:48:52] Oh, actually I can call a name right now, like would, I would love to talk to again, but I’m glad I didn’t record them because I have it in my mind. I did. Right. I did make my notes though, from the conversations. So I still have the, I have the gems, but it’s nice that they’re not recorded. You know, it’s like a genuine moment with me and the person I can show anyone if I want to relive it, I need to recall it from my head. So it’s all natural. I like that about this other things can be recorded though. I’m not against recording, but for this, it was good.

Diego: [00:49:31] Yeah. Yeah. So it’s basically all your focus and attention is on the other individual.

Jean-luc: [00:49:36] I, I really loved it. I really think it was, it was, I really loved it. Like even with the show. My head is still going. Like, do we need to put you in full screen? Do I need to have this devoted to like when, when you do a recap video, so it’s different when you know, like all those things are off, you’re just having a conversation.

Just the two of you are, are even in a group. I think that’s, it’s kind of comparing it to having dinner with friends and putting the mobile for like a way, like really a way and being in the middle. And I think it’s for me personally, I really respect like that because for me it’s always like, okay, but time is important.

Time is important. Time is important. But on the other side, you don’t, you don’t get the authenticity anymore when you realize like, okay, there’s a camera on, are we recording something? Yeah. I always kind of, even if it’s in the back of your head, they’re still kind of like this and you can say things. You might have to say later, like, yeah, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that because it’s just genuine conversation between the two of you. So I think that really, for me, it was a really, really positive experience.

Sandrina: [00:50:48] I’m glad you experienced the debt way too.

Diego: [00:50:50] Cool. Well, maybe you should invite Anna to the next networking, virtual networking. Bring her out of the competition. So Anna at each out to Sandrina on LinkedIn, because you won’t find her on Facebook at the moment. So LinkedIn is the place to be.

Sandrina: [00:51:06] Yes, girl. Get on LinkedIn.

Diego: [00:51:09] And Gregory just quickly makes a comment. It’s funny how me and Jean-luc have American English accent, while you have a Caribbean English accent.

Well, apparently, so

Jean-luc: [00:51:23] you understand that

Sandrina: [00:51:27] Gregory’s or friends? I think,

Jean-luc: [00:51:30] yeah, very, very positive.

Sandrina: [00:51:34] Yeah. American English is good, but Caribbean is better. Good job.

Jean-luc: [00:51:38] Surinamese English is the best

Sandrina: [00:51:43] because then everything comes in like Sranang Tongo

Diego: [00:51:47] all right. So this brings me to the final part. I guess you, you briefly mentioned that one of the most memorable engagement, you help us with this individual, Yvonne, who you follow for change leadership and stuff. And you’ve been quite an advocate for mental health, personal development, a lot. You’ve started I’d call them passion projects in, in our country. Yeah, I like

Sandrina: [00:52:09] that too. Yeah.

Diego: [00:52:12] These initiatives. So I want to bring this back in the things you’ve started, you you’ve had this talk with Jean-luc about all his, the things he started and you actually started and did a lot of stuff yourself.

And so we should not overlook those things. So we want to quickly shed some light on those as well. So, you know, like moonstone was, was it moonstone coaching and consulting, and you also had a radio show Sanflower so could you briefly tell us. Those experiences, what it was like and how that kind of transplanted propelled you forward to 2021.

Sandrina: [00:52:47] Nice. Ah, thank you. That’s awesome. One stone moonstone west. My first, I would say entrepreneur project, because I was I was always wondering, I always wanted to help people. And then I, I got to discover coaching and counseling, like a school that did that insert in them. So I joined the school.

And for the school you had to make like pilot hours. I had to talk to people for a few hours before I could get my degree. so I decided, you know what, I’m going to start my consultancy, my counseling, my coaching and counseling. And make my hours during that time. And I was very open with my patients, with my clients, sorry, they’re not patients, I’m not a doctor with my clients as well.

And I, and they even helped me to sign the hours. Also, like when we had to talk, they had to sign a paper like, okay. I had like three hours with Sandrina one hour with Sandrina nine, this session. And it was how they found, like give the feedback. So that is how moonstone coaching and counseling started.

And it was great. It was a great experience. I did a lot of motivational sessions under that name also. I talked to a lot of people like guided them cause the point of moonstone because the moonstone is a, like a stone that at the power of the moonstone stone is to help you experience your inner strength.

And that’s what I wanted to do with my counseling business. I wanted to help people realize. The beauty of life is inside of them. That’s the quote. I also go by, because it’s not me, that’s giving you something, it’s you discovering something that you already have. So that was like the fundament of everything I do now.

I decided to how do you say that? Close moonstone? I stopped with moonstone and the name moonstone, and then I started to like, my volleyball career was going one way. People from sports and schools started asking me to do motivational at the schools because they saw me play or something.

Right. So I started to just do it as Andrena. To have my personal brand. I think I can call it that. So, but like an athlete. Right. And then since 2015, I wanted to do a show, a radio show where I do music with motivational, but that was not the time yet. So in 2019, it was the time. And I called it empower with sunflower because I really love sunflowers and my name is San

so that’s how I combined all of that. And this was a passion project as Diego gave me the idea to call it that way, because I have a lot of passion for empowering people and I didn’t get any money, but it was a lot of work. So it was definitely a passion project. So I did that for a year and in that year I got pregnant and COVID.

And it wasn’t really safe to go to the studio because a lot of people came in and went out and then it became a video cast because I couldn’t go to the studio anymore, but I really did want to I had like every month a theme and I really wanted to finish my calendar. So I decided to like finish the project in November so I can then focus on my pregnancy.

Cause it was my first baby and everything. And I just wanted to put all my time in, you know, I’m I really, I don’t only advocate for mental health. I really look at myself and make sure that my mental is very healthy. So I don’t take on too much if I don’t know the situation or what it’s going to be. So then I stopped with sunflower and put my full, full focus on preparing to become a mom.

I became a mom in January 7th. beautiful day, of course. And then I think I, I got, got used to it. I, you know, I got it handled. I could handle everything. So then in may, the other idea came from like another passion project. Let’s do some virtual drinks girl, but then

Jean-luc: [00:57:04] it was spirit.

Sandrina: [00:57:07] But I got tired too. It was, it was like, I was working because I was working till three or four.

O’clock like my job. And then I started drinks at five to like 10 in the evening. And my son was with his dad. They were always chilling at the couch, but like when I got out of the room, I was like, oh, that was good, honey. But honey, I’m tired because you get tired when you talk to too many people at once.


Jean-luc: [00:57:35] how many, how many drinks have you done?

Sandrina: [00:57:39] Oh I think it is. 60 are almost 60, like 59, I think. Yeah,

I got tired, but it was great. It was great. It was the best thing I could have done.

Diego: [00:57:56] Yeah. I was about this. Say, and look, she has done double our conversations in less than two months what we did in six

Jean-luc: [00:58:04] months. Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. It’s like,

Sandrina: [00:58:10] but yeah, I understand. But you guys are doing like more than just talking to people. I think you’re like editing and everything and putting it together. So it takes a lot of work. So I understand that you don’t want to talk to four people in one day, every day.

Diego: [00:58:27] It’s doable, but we decided to schedule, we could manage that would not be taxing for us to, you know take our time away from our other perhaps, you know, responsibilities and such. But yeah, having all that, this does bring up a question. You mentioned, you know, we, we do editing post production, but you’ve had 60 conversations with 60 amazing individuals. I presume. How do you synthesize, remember