News Gathering On Aruba
So that’s how it works: News gathering on Aruba
Last night after 10pm the dogs were restless, I went outside to see what was so upsetting and saw a pickup, lights on, parked in the empty lot across the street. I hesitated calling the Police. Is there a law against sitting in a truck, in an abandoned lot?
I tried my best to talk to the dogs to keep quiet, but they persisted, this is not right, they said, he is howling, that’s usually our job, call the Police, mom, call them now. They can be hard-headed, so I took a listen. Yup, big animal noises were rising from the car into the dark-night sky.
At 10:27pm, I called the station in Noord.
We’re coming they said, we already know about the car.
At 10:31pm, the first patrol car pulled up. The Policeman proceeded with caution. I was praying for their wellbeing, because by now it was clear that the car-occupant was mid mal trip – Flakka? The Walking Dead drug – as he was humping the door, and jumping around half naked and craze.
In what my colleague Speed called a ‘tactical maneuver,’ basically a coordinated nose-dive, the two men in blue landed on the man’s back and just like that, he was face down in the dirt, bellowing, howling, all in gibberish.
At 10:37pm, three paparazzi cars arrived in rapid succession.
Which proves the point that the news-ferrets are listening to police radio traffic, some on ‘borrowed’ radios and some on radios they purchased themselves. I checked at Best Buys, go no further, scanners are available, from $79 to $449, plus shipping, for a really good one.
Then there was a period of no action, with five Police cars and three paparazzi vehicles and a few other curious motorists, hanging around. Speed was filming into the bush. He has an 11-minute video on line.
Apparently they were waiting for the Dog Catcher, which is a really a degrading, demeaning, urban term, for a prisoner transport van. As the PTV arrived, 10:55pm, the team unceremoniously hoisted the by then a-bit-more-subdued man, face down into the holding cell, in the back of the van.
By 11pm the street was almost quiet, except four guys left behind to banter, laugh out loud: Wasn’t that a hoot, wasn’t that crazy, haha, the incident seemed to have made their night.
When I looked at 24Ora on FB, the video shot on location, no editing, no cutting, no special effects, already had more than 4k views in real time – 16.2k by this morning, 79 shares, 185 comments.
Which comes to the heart of the question: Why does Aruba tune in at 10:45pm, and sticks around for 11 minutes to witness someone else’s misery? Don’t viewers have anything better to do? How does that view benefit them, their kids, or their well-being?
And there was lot of free advice floating on line, some cruel, some compassionate. Many people wanted to bring the man in agony to the hospital, give him water, but most were cynical, and entertained by the spectacle.
Boredom, is a terrible thing. But then again, only boring people are bored.
About HOH, Horacio Oduber Hospital
About HOH, Horacio Oduber Hospital
So, imagine EIGHTY of your associates get together and sign a letter that clearly states “The King Is Naked,” outlining why you are useless, and dangerous, and that you kill people with your negligence.
Would you react?
Would you spring into action to fix areas of concern and neglect?
Would you at least answer your associates?
Or, would you ‘Met Arubaanse Ogen,’ simply turn your back and sulk, never talking to ‘these people’ again, and totally ignoring their cry for help.
If you were the MinHealth and the secret political alliance, the triumvirat at HOH, you would opt to disregard the cry-babies, and shrug calamities away, because your statistics, if you are keeping any, are still not that bad.
I hear through the grapevine that Dutch inspection is coming, to help make some people accountable.
What am I talking about?
On April 15th, 2019, 80 HOH specialists signed a blood-curdling petition and I am quoting: “Unfortunately, we see how decision-making and functionality on multiple levels within HOH, in particular the Executive Board, is increasingly and structurally failing, with (potentially) disastrous consequences. We emphasize our concern regarding the current unacceptable situation and identified six main areas in which we believe the organization is seriously inadequate.”
O Lordie, Lordie. When the specialists say potentially disastrous consequences, they mean: People are dying.
The six areas of concern were the following — the letter was BTW published by Noticia Cla in April, but perhaps the content got lost in the general fabricated chatter. And you must forgive my occasional comprehension mistakes, hoog Dutch is not my forte.
One: The specialists were never consulted regarding HOH’s renovation project, they were NOT asked for input. Moreover, during construction, sections were opened and closed without prior notice, which resulted in inadequate patient-care. And they had to point out to management that the design did not call for operating-room improvements.
Two: The convenient and puzzling firing of the CFO, left board members in the charge, WITHOUT financial oversight.
Three: HOH’s HR department is seriously dysfunctional, failing to finalize recruitment of recommended specialists and remaining totally indifferent to work permit requirements. They are especially ungrateful when candidate recommendations are made.
(I know from my inner-circle that there are SERIOUS problems in filling oncological needs)
Four: The purchasing department is chaotic. Running out of stock on essentials, with chronic, inadequate supply levels, in operating rooms, and in aftercare. Zero communications between keepers of inventory and those walking the floors. Malfunctioning equipment, no technical support, no training. Why? Because of HOH’s distinguished mal-pagador status.
Five: Unreliable test results. HOH’s lab is a mess. Often, there are no test kits, the equipment is broken, and results get lost, it is a critical system and it is failing.
Six: There is no electronic prescription system, one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing and patients are prescribed conflicting medications which run the risk of unwanted side-effects for lack of a proper medication management system.
Dear Reader, are you scared? Would you check into HOH after reading the above? Would you go to the Landslab to get work done, when all specialist say the results cannot be trusted.
Elvis Lopez and the students of Ateliers 89 managed to fill the Crystal theater for an evening of short films, following a two-week workshop by Sharelly Emanuelson.
Fernando Mansur promoted his work heavily and I thought to myself, Nah, I am not sacrificing my lazy Sunday for that, because I would surely find it on YouTube, later.
I guess the MinCulture fell into the same trap thinking Fernando was the only game in town, but we were wrong, his film was greatly entertaining, but as reported by my spies, the evening exposed many more talents, and now I regret not attending.
In total 12 films were screened, by 12 creative forces who provided the script, the actors, location scouting, music, and sets. The Rotary Club had the foresight to sponsor three scholarships, and joined the list of Ateliers 89’ saviors. Blessings on your head for helping kids achieve their dream.
Emanuelson said she wanted her students to adhere to a Caribbean Code, and focus their work on the pot in which they are planted.
I spoke to some creators: Luis Anibal shot ‘No-Escape Island,’ as a form of therapy helping his process the anger, disappointment and frustration that was his, from the day he turned 18 and was obligated to turn to DIMAS for his legal status, having lived here for 20 years, getting ready to pursue a higher education. The poetic film is narrated by Luis, against the backdrops of iconic landmarks. He reveals a string of Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays, a nightmarish maze of stamps and legal papers, which he lets go of in 8 minutes. A liberating experience.
Fernando Mansur’s comedy “Oh Mirror,” is set in a gorgeous mansion and focuses on a bored and narcissistic queen in great make-up, Ronchi de Cuba – with cascading blonde hair and an up-sized crown. The resplendent monarch, Stormella, has a love-hate relationship with her mirror, the irresistibly pretty Johnathan Croes, and as long as the mirror cooperates confirming the queen’s gorgeousness, he is allowed to live, but as soon as the mirror deviates from official policy, out comes the gun, nicely handled by Fortuna, to shatter the mirror. An allegory on Yes-Manship? Or just a bunch of creative guys, having nothing better to do? Good job people. The Aruban film industry has a great future.
Fernando Vermeer and Megan Antoinette presented “E porta.” Fernando is an establish artist with a great eye for composition and color. He recruited his son Ditto, an astounding actor and his aunt, Tica Basha Abow, for the production. It’s a complex story about grandpa and his secret life, escaping to the north coast of Aruba and San Nicolas. The movie has an epic bathroom scene with Fernando, who is ALSO an accomplished actor.
Nuris Lampe, our beloved dermatologist had no time to compete her movie, having to work full time, so she presented an etude, a trailer, for “Sin Speranza,” a true story of family members involved in a boat accident, lost at sea. It’s a sad story she said, and it had good pictures and sound, had she enjoyed more time, it would have been an interesting film. Kudos to you for pursuing artistic avenues.
I got positive feedback on horror movies shot by younger participants, and some interesting teenager angst movies too.
My spy says: “We had been prompted on the invitation to show up early because it would start 8pm, but we had to wait for MinCulture who thought the whole thing was about Oh Mirror. So she only talked about that leaving out the rest of the participants. I guess he who aggressively promotes wins.”
The intermission was much too long, but otherwise it was a worthwhile evening.
More films: “Bise of no bise” by Kenna Hernandez, one of the youngsters, about teenagers, love, friendship and conflicts surrounding homosexuality.
“We need to talk,” by Valentina Ramírez, one of the youngest. A political film about Venezuela’s situation and some concealed interviews with 3 Venezuelans migrants in Aruba
“The Missing,” by Jhoselimar Guerrero, one of the youngsters. A graphic horror film about some apparitions and murder in a house in Calabas.
“Un día normal,” by Pamela De Coteau. “Relato di salud mental,” was the subtitle. Gentle and direct approach to a mental illness problem, such as panic attacks. The protagonist talks frankly and from the heart about her realization, and the method she picked for dealing with panic attacks.
“U r not alone,” by Rodrigo Peraza. About missing people and spectral attacks. Also a “Thriller /Horror film, similar but subtler than “The Missing. “
Suyin Ridderstap presented “Pronstuck”. Also about teenage conflicts. Showed this unbelievable house choked with knickknacks, gewgaws, pieces of bric-a-brac.
“Cas Menos Homeless,” by Shjakayne Manuela. Different images and views over downtown O’stad.
“El profecía ta riba su lomba,” by Irvin Aguilar and Velvet Ramos a very surrealist, film. Nice photography…I was wondering where the film locations were, at the end, the credits said: Cunucu Jimmy & Tierra de Canaan.
When the cashiers at a certain supermarket ask you to make a donation to Micky’s Foundation, please say YES, even if you are not familiar with the organization, and this is why:
Passport Micky’s Foundation
Chamber of Commerce number Aruba: S1413
Date of incorporation: December 18, 2014
Bank account number: Arubabank 2570960190
The Origin of the Foundation:
It is a private initiative by Gijs de Rooij, father of Micky who as a five months old baby sustained severe and irreversible brain injury after a car accident on Aruba on September 20, 2009.
The foundation targets children and young people with a physical and / or mental disability (0-21 years) in Aruba.
The purpose of the foundation is to look after general interests, including the physical and mental interests of children (0-21 years old), who have a brain disorder, promoting effective assistance on-island to them and thus promoting their general wellbeing.
Children with a physical and / or mental disability were and are often considered incidental cases in Aruba. At the start of the pilot project in early 2014, only 4 children with a disability were on the foundation’s radar. While writing this report in early 2019, the foundation has just welcomed the 90th child. A jump from 4 to 90 children in merely 5 years. These numbers speak volumes about the living situation and wellbeing of children with brain disorders and their families here.
What moves the foundation
Micky’s Foundation was established to compensate for and respond to the lack of intensive therapy in the field of specialized (child) rehabilitation in Aruba. The aim is to bring three specialized therapists from Europe to Aruba three times a year, during projects of three months each, offering intensive local home therapy. This includes pediatric physiotherapy, pediatric ergo therapy and pre-verbal speech therapy. All therapists have specialized knowledge and experience with children with a motor impairment and/or mental disability.
The growth continues
The number of children in need of this form of therapy grew in the year 2018 from 60 to 85. A growth of 41%! Since the pilot project in 2014, the foundation has run more than 5,000 therapy hours.
In 2018 the foundation collaborated with local therapists and doctors, in addition to 19 otherwise related organizations in Aruba. Micky’s Foundation has been part of the Plataforma Persona cu Limitacion (PPL) since 2015.
The therapy is offered for free of charge. Therapists participate on a voluntary basis and receive an expense allowance. All activities of the foundation are funded through donations.
Thanks to the generous donations of donors, sponsors and grant providers, these projects can be funded. This makes it possible in principle to get two specialized therapists to Aruba for each project. Each project treats a group of 25 to 30 children in their own environment for three months. The continuity of the projects is of great importance to achieving treatment goals. The foundation is therefore grateful for all financial support received in 2018 from:
Hertz Car Rental Aruba
Stinafo Den Haag
Rotary Club of Aruba
De Palm Corporation
Kiwanis Club of Palm Beach Aruba
Stichting Windkracht 10
Stichting Wereldmissiehulp België
Caminata van EPI
Pricesmart Communities Donations Program
Doctor Huub Rockx, revalidatiearts Spaarne Gasthuis
Candidatonan di confirmashon di centro categetico di misa pro catedral San Francisco
Familie Berthson Boekhoudt
Familie Van Stekelenburg
Familie van der Linde
Board with executive board members: Chairman Mr G. de Rooij, secretary Ms A.M.C. Knijn, treasurer Ms H.E. Kool-Slot. The chairman, in collaboration with the other two board members, forms the day-to-day management and is responsible for the duties to be performed.
Ginelle, a 10-year-old girl who had a serious car accident in 2017, suffered serious neurological damage that prevented, standing, walking and other daily motor skills. During project 10, Ginelle learned to stand up again and stand independently for longer periods. And at the end of project 10, Ginelle was even able to walk a few meters with a walking aid.
Janella, a 3 years old was born with cerebral atrophy and hypoplasia. As a result of this brain disorder, she has a very low muscle tension. But Janella has already achieved a great deal with intensive therapy. She was very happy when she was able to take her first steps with the help of this Walker!
Roshianne, an eighteen months old girl, born prematurely. She underwent major abdominal surgery during her first year of life. Roshianne has a dyplegia that causes a lot of tension in both legs. During project 11, child physiotherapist Marije taught her how to stand. And when Marije left, she walked like a champion behind a rolling mobility aid.
Celebrating 25 successful years
Paradise Beach Villas opened in 1988, as a timeshare resort developed by a group of fast-thinking locals. I wish I had a better memory, so I could tell you EXACTLY what happened there, but who cares, the end result was almost tragic, they sold multiple units successfully, turned visitors into owners, and then it imploded and owners stood to lose their investment in Aruba in an ugly bankruptcy.
Then one person stood up and said No Por.
Lee di Giovanni.
How she did it, I am not sure, but the proof is in the pudding, Villa Bougainvillea Development NV bailed the failing Paradise Beach Villas timeshare out, and order was restored.
That was 25 years ago. They reopened on July 4th, 1994, and Villa Bougainville Development, remained under the matriarchal, low-tech leadership of Lee di Giovanni, until she passed away, handing her life’s work to Freddy Albertus, who for the past 18 years managed the property with practical commonsense, and a group of loyal, long-term employees.
On July 1st, the resort hosted a cocktail party commemorating the anniversary. It was nicely attended by guests, owners, and dignitaries. The party checked into the resort’s lobby, because of the earlier drizzle, over cocktails, on Monday.
Emcee Bianca v/d Biezen greeted guests warmly and invited managing director Albertus to address the festive gathering. Then the CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority Ronella Tjin Asjoe Croes spoke about her experience of meeting long-time visitors, emotionally invested in the island. The ATSA president, Aruba Timeshare Association, Luigi Heredia, who manages Costa Linda Beach Resort, and Andy Osborne who shares the management throne with Albertus, added their two cents. It was a congenial gathering, and speakers took time to acknowledge the loyalty and immense contributions, of timeshare visitors to the island. The also credited the famous Aruban Zjeito, though they did not call it by name, for the warm and friendly bond between staffers and guests.
Worth mentioning that as Albertus was speaking, he also thanked his concessionaires, Asi Es Mi Peru and La Terrazza Italiana for adding an exciting Food & Beverage aspect to his resort.
Paradise Beach Villas’ success, Albertus shared, continues to grow thanks to the commitment of stakeholders, and as the second smallest timeshare resort in Aruba, he was proud of the property’s upgraded status to a Select Resort with Interval International. Paradise Beach Villas became the second resort on the island to receive the service-oriented Aruba Certification plaque, last year.
Albertus was also pleased to report that the average number of working-years among resort staffers was eighteen and that many of the renovations projects at the resort were executed without any bank loans, attesting to the financial health of the operation, resulting in a top rating among resorts on Eagle Beach.
Happy Community Initiative Aruba Launched, July 1st, 2019
I first heard about the Happy Community, initiative in May of last year when MGM Source partially assisted with a business case report by conducting a survey among timeshare owners.
Will you be willing to donate to an Aruban social cause, was the question, and how much would you give.
Americans are generous people.
The survey was commissioned by the tireless Daniel Techlenborg, of CEDE ARUBA, who had the idea that he could address some local social challenges, by fund raising among our timeshare resorts.
He speculated that our repeat-repeat-repeat guests who are emotionally invested in the island would lend a hand to help youth-related activities.
He was right.
The survey results were promising.
Based on the findings Techlenborg visited the ATSA members a number of times, accompanied by Bryan Korzendijn, they reported on their progress developing the Happy Community Initiative.
The idea was to collect funds, then turn around and support local organization prepared to do the legwork for after-school activities, sports and homework assistance.
Eight of ATSA’s hotels said I do, and Techlenborg spent considerable time looking for and finding, the fundraising software, identifying and banking partner and confirming with SIAD that the donations would be tax free. That was the easiest part, Techlenborg says, it just took two weeks.
On July 1st, 2019, Stichting Centro pa Desaroyo di Aruba, CEDE Aruba, and the Aruba Timeshare Association, ATSA, held a press conference to announce the official launch of their Happy Community Initiative, at Playa Linda Beach Resort’s Members Lounge.
ATA’s CEO Ronella Tjin a Sjoe, CEDE Aruba’s President Sheila van Veen, ATSA’s President Luigi Heredia, CEDE Aruba’s Director Daniel Techlenborg and Happy Community Initiative Project Lead Kimberly Mathilda, were there to show off the attractive and friendly lobby kiosk, where donations could be made at breakneck speed.
The kids of a social project in San Nicolas joined the gathering, they were the models for the short promotional movie clip and served as poster-children.
From their website: The HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE started in January 2019 as a collaboration between CEDE Aruba and the Aruba Timeshare Association. The initiative builds a bridge between the social sector and tourism to promote social and sustainable development in Aruba. Millions of people around the world love Aruba, their home away from home! The HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE is an innovative platform that allows timeshare owners, visitors and friends from Aruba around the world to contribute to charities on the island. Timeshare owners and visitors can donate online, in hotels and in restaurants. Every local and international HORECA company that wants to contribute to the HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE is welcome to participate. For more information: www.happycommunityaruba.org, [email protected] or call 582.7666
BOTTOMLINE: If you are a youth-oriented sport, drama, art, homework-assistance organization, you may apply for funding via CEDE Aruba.