Bati Bleki, August 16th, 2015

TRUDY LAMPE’S EXPO KIMATERRA. UNOCA lent its space to a solo exposition of ceramics by Trudy Lampe. We love and appreciate Trudy’s work, she is a genuine artisan, making a living off pottery, crafted on a wheel, fired in a kiln, in the Savaneta studio. She also experiments with indigenous ceramic-baking techniques with live fire, finishing her pots in dug-in pits, simulating how the Indians made their food-containers during the ceramic period here, about 500 years ago. The evening at the UNOCA Gallery was well-attended but from a personal point of view what I enjoyed most was the lively line-up of the Lampe clan, all diversely talented, supporting each other in their individual artistic quests. The expo featured a sample of Trudy’s work, one of this, and one of that, in a subdued and muted color scheme, and I want to tell you Trudy, if you yank people out of the comfort of their homes on a Friday evening, you owe them a WOW experience. For your next solo expo get Maria Teresa Madariaga to do your displays. She had the craziest product exhibition at the Historical Museum, her handcrafted leather satchels, hanging from laundry lines on backdrops of vintage, white, crocheted and cross stitched garments. It was fun. Then get Eliza Lejuez to dress you up in color and flair, because you are part of the show too, you deserve to stand out and be recognized, also ask Fernando Mansur or Rosetty Elenora to add pizzazz to the cocktail party. I am all for collaboration and cross-promotion. The party DJ, Michael Lampe, was a nice perk, by virtue of being related! UNOCA should have regular exhibitions, every month, a different local artist!

STRANDED, AND COSTLY. A breakdown in the AWOS, the Automated Weather Observing System on the island caused the cancellation of numerous flights in and out of Aruba. The Aruba Tourism Authority graciously offered to pay for stranded passenger’s added expenses. I hope the resorts granted ATA a reasonable rate, and that passengers refrained from charging ATA for Champagne and lobster. Apparently our AWOS was so old and outdated, it expired, and a replacement part flown in from Curacao, belonged to their old system, which they traded in for a new one. Luckily they were able to hand us down a piece of their discarded AWOS, and put us back in business. So when the bills are added up, this will prove to be a costly exercise. The respective authorities should have a plan B. Things break down all the time, so why isn’t there a contingency plan in place?

THE MARRIOTT CELEBRATES TWENTY-YEARS OF PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST. A customer appreciation party at the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino convened clients, media partners and suppliers, for a glamorous gala ball. Add up at least 200 manicures, pedicures and visits to the hair-stylist, new long dresses, high-heeled shoes, at least 100 tuxedos and 100 elegant suits, and you got yourself a decked-out crowd of 400 party-goers, injecting money into the local economy, in preparation for an all-out party. We were all generously rewarded for dressing up, and showing up. The food, the cocktails, the music and the entertainment, were da bomb. General Manager Tom Calame, handsome in a black tux, thanked his guests for their support over the past two decades and reported the hotel still employs 132 associates, there from day one. Providing almost 1,600 jobs, the three Marriott properties continue to rank high among the chain’s top performing resorts, always putting people first. Director of Sales Carolina Voullieme, gorgeous in a white, long, form-fitting gown with black accents, welcomed guests to their party, designed to make them happy, while celebrating the resort’s landmark. I noticed some pretty spectacular gowns, a flowy Halston Heritage on Jacqueline Suttle, a glittery sheath on Ligenne Trimon, an off the shoulder, asymmetric baby pink with rhinestones body-hugger on Bettina Gonzalez and a black number with Swarovski on the bodice, on Monique Janssen. New contemporary hair cuts on platinum blonde Arlette Oduber, stylish Cristine Hintz and trending Zugheila Lindeborg. Indra Zaandam exuded exotic charm in a turban. The Sales and Marketing team of the resort looked awesome with Abigail van der Linden, in red, making the introductions. Best dancer, a tall, tux-clad, quirky, long-legged guy by the name of Rex, entertained the girls with cool moves and fast foot-work, his shirt untucked, his body waving, doing the crazy leg dance. He said he worked for AZV and judging from his performance on the dance floor, AZV is in great shape. My charming, long-time-no-see friend Angel Leon was around, remember him, from the Wyndham/Westin days? Angel invited us to the after-party with EA Band, from Venezuela, at the Sand Bar, and just as I remembered, his parties are always fantastic too! Chef Teddy Bouroncle’s delicious keshi yena made him an instant crowd favorite. We dined on prime rib, beef ribs, Peruvian ceviches, sashimi and sushi, Asian delicacies in Chinese take-out boxes. The ladies loved the butler-passed, bite-size desserts, all absolutely delicious. What can I say about Bouleria, besides, Mama Mia!? They only had to hit one Carnival tune, Friends & Family, to instantly fill the dance floor with people waving hands, in full parade shuffle. I made a new friend, Joerg Delin, the Complex Director of Food & Beverage, who arrived here a number of weeks ago, from Thailand, where he worked for the JW Phuket. The fabulous décor, all awash in white gauze, pearly scalloped tablecloths, and overstuffed Louis XIV chairs, was all courtesy of Fernando Mansur and other collaborators. Believe me, the party was even better than its description.

KAYA EWALD BIEMANS.  Tisa LaSorte and the entire Bucuti Beach Resort & Tara Suites crew enjoyed the street naming, just outside the resort, as much as Ewald did. Four of the resort’s original employees had the pleasure of unveiling the sign, Caya Ewald Kurt Biemans, in honor of the hotelier, and the pioneer in sustainable tourism! The determined Tisa reported, that when she requested the street naming, the government explained that Ewald wasn’t 85 yet, the minimum age required. When she questioned, why 85, she was told that at that level of maturity, chances are that honorees won’t tarnish their sterling reputation. So anyway, an exception was made for a much-deserving Ewald, and the late Ike Cohen, from the neighboring Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa is probably wondering, from his seat at the pearly gates, when will he, be getting a street too?!

MAY YOUR LOVE LIVE FOREVER. Congratulations to Sabrina Sonensein and Ryan Maduro, who tied the knot this weekend, at a civil ceremony followed by a perfectly orchestrated party at the Indian Rock Garden with many friends and family members in attendance. Sabrina, a psychologist, is over the moon with Ryan, a musician. The honeymoon will be taking the lovebirds to Costa Rica. Sabrina’s mom, tireless and forever-young Mirta, was the life of the party on Saturday night, kissing, hugging, dancing, her joy contagious, sharing the happy occasion with the world, husband Carlos by her side.  Sabrina’s dress was a white lace masterpiece, with a plunging back and an elegant train. The flowers, the décor, the black prune cake, the wedding day mementos, the tiered white cake, la hora loca, the devil is in the detail, and these girls worked hard to make it perfect. May perfection last forever. [email protected]

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August 16, 2015
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster