Bati Bleki Buzz Weekly Recap, October 14th, 2018

The Apotheek is officially open

At the location of former Garufa, on Wilhelminastraat, a new bar is now open and in full swing with mixologists Maki Wiggins and Marksonn Maduro, playing the pharmacists in the Apotheek roles.

You must admit, Apotheek, a very cute name for a bar offering prescription pick ups including Remedies, Herbal Concoctions, Painkillers, Elixirs and Dr’s Orders.

How does it work? Patrons are invited to pluck an Rx. off the wall and hand it to the bartender, basically, their drink recipe.

From what I’ve seen the two handsome entrepreneurs turned craft-cocktail makers scoured bar books from around the globe for most original libations, and are now making them, no corners cut, to a crowd of mostly single gorgeous women.

I wonder why?

Maybe because M & M are so easy to look at. Or because their cocktails are delish?

We tried an Rx called Dr. on Duty: 2 oz of Bourbon, muddled orange slices, muddled blackberries, and ginger ale. Rocks, muddle, stir, strain, garnish with orange peel and blackberry. Tada.

Famous pharmacist M.X Wiggins says the recommended dosage is one every 30 minutes, and he does not want me to drive or operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities while taking his remedy. #Amigodidi.

He also advises to respect the prescriptions and adds that the Apotheek is not responsible for clients’ hallucinations. Smart move.

Oranjestad Aruba. Apotheek Remedy Cocktail Bar #730 0801

Las Brasas Peruanas, an authentic Peruvian Roast Chicken and more @ POLLO A LA BRASA PERUANO 

At Paradise Beach Villas as a charming branch of Asi Es Mi Peru, restaurateurs Jan & Roxana Van Nes now operated a Rotisserie Chicken Hut, eat-in or take-out.

The charcoal burning rotisserie was made in Peru and shipped to Aruba, and it traps heat and steam internally, thus producing no smoke, while retaining full flavor, in juicy, moist birds.

Roxana reports the chicken is marinated for 24 hours in a special mix of Peruvian herbs and spices including garlic, cumin and Peruvian pepper then spit-roasted for an hour and twenty minutes!

The recipe is Peruvian, the chef is Peruvian and the nicely browned beauties live up to their reputation of being delicious.

The birds are accompanied by French fries or Chaufa rice, Peru’s version of Chinese Fried Rice, and a fresh garden salad.   

One version, Brasa a lo Pobre includes rotisserie chicken, fried eggs, fried platanos, French fries, and garden salad.

My take-out in a nice brown bag was greatly appreciated by son#1, wolfed down in one seating.

Art Fair 2018

It was bigger and bolder this year and after 3 consecutive editions I am still a BIG fan of the Aruba Art Fair, which just whooshed by in San Nicolas October 5 – 7, 2018.

In a previous column, I already told you about the spectacular opening fashion show, Art Fashion, on Theaterstraat, last Thursday. The show received a monumental background, a 30m x 6m mural executed in honor of #ArubaArtFair2018, by a Dutch multidisciplinary street artist, Eelco van den Bergh. #IamEElco @IamElco.

San Nicolas now flaunts over 30 murals and it has become a tourist destination by virtue of it being the Caribbean’s largest outdoor art museum, say Alice van Romondt who through her ties with Dutch cultural foundations, manages to drum up some funding each year, for a relatively modest organization, big on talent and volunteerism.

When we arrived Saturday evening at main street SN, it was busy, with hundreds of people of all ages, admiring the art displays, murals and exhibitions, artisans’ work, and musical performances.

Alas, at about 9:30pm it started raining and it did not give up.

What I managed to see in the short time was very impressive. Youth art, a photography contest, and about 5 pop up galleries, many street vending artisans, as well as a rich display of local arts and crafts at Cosecha.

Organizer Tito Bolivar did not know exactly how many artists participated but 150 seemed a reasonable number, and Diana Croes was especially proud of youth artwork displayed in the street giving budding artists, between the ages of 8 to 17, an opportunity to shine, as they come together with a mature generation of creative talents.

Those walking around could enjoy the culinary offerings of the expanded O’Neil’s Caribbean Kitchen, a popup Nikkei Sushi Bar and a lovely pop up operation by Divi Resorts, recreating their Fusion Bar & Restaurant in an abandoned main street structure, dramatically lit, with an inviting set up. We stopped for a beet at Mundi Health Café.

The main stage offered a complete program, three nights in a row, we could hear a poetry reading going on but were distracted by our intense socializing.

Atelier 89, presented a great collection of its resident artists: The exceptional photography of Anuar Habibe, the crude empathy of Velvet Ramos protesting the scarcity of food, the whimsical soft creatures by Luna & the Wolf, the striking, linear black & white murals of Irvin Aguilar, the personal quest of Lupita Bernabela, the delicate collages of Samuel Sarmiento and the intricate work of Romelinda ‘Kala’ Maldonado.

Two sculptures, one life-like by Hendrik Schouten, and another by Giovanni and Angelica Abath, on the outside wall of one of the pop-up galleries, titled Let It Grow, will hopefully remain on permanent display.

Funding? I did not ask. No answers were offered, except Bolivar did say it was easier this year, albeit political. Since he did not explain exactly what he meant, I am not going to go there.

Our art fair is organized by a foundation, a private-sector nonprofit, and as such will always need to fundraise aggressively to sustain itself.

Celebrating 60th years of Cruise Ship arrivals on the island

We’ve come a long way since 1958 when the Prudential-Grace Line was the first cruise line to begin weekly visits to Aruba, sending its ships Santa Rosa and Santa Paula packed with tourists every Thursday. 

A grand total of 500 passengers a week.

That segment of the Aruba Tourism Industry is oxygen for the merchants on main street. But the person who will find a way to actually get our visitors there, has not been born yet. And the monumental tram investment was no great help.

From what I understand the Cruise Ship business is volatile.

The operators change ports of call at their convenience, and depending on economic shifts move ships to closer ports operating shorter itineraries.

In recent years passengers prefer to drive to their port of embarkation, take a short spin thru a few Caribbean ports, eat and drink, then head home driving.

Aruba in the southern-most Caribbean is never included in short itineraries, we are far removed from mainland, and fuel is always a great expense.

And as such we remain at the mercy of cruise ship companies.

To keep them around we subsidize their docking here. Our rates are the lowest in the biz, we gratefully remove trash and supply water and whatever, to safeguard the industry for the benefit of our retailers, our tour operators, APA and all other support businesses.

Are we bad negotiators or just desperate?

Because of economic benefits to cruise ship company, the ships grow bigger and bigger, and the ports must be dredged deeper and deeper at considerable investment.

Some of the ships carry up to 6,000 passengers, same cost, more revenue to their happy owners. We keep dredging and adjusting, so that Horizon, a giant by Carnival Cruise Line, 3,916 passengers, with a Victoria Secret boutique on board, could visit.

(We’re thankfully unprepared for Symphony of the Sea for example, that is able to accommodate 5,518 passengers at double occupancy up to a maximum capacity of 6,680 passengers, as well as a 2,200-person crew)

But as the age of passengers rises, their desire to shop declines, and the truth is that cruising is cheaper than retirement homes, and much more fun, so the elderly are now traveling with gusto, but they spend less.

And in the spirit of the time, most ships now belong to two or three mega companies, which operate the different brands.

Good news: The Ritz Carlton flaunts its own cruise experience with very upscale, moderately sized ships, but the well-heeled will not get off the boat in Aruba and run the gauntlet of crazy vendors at the entrance of the port to experience the un-manicured Oranjestad sidewalks.

We still have some work to do in town, before the boutique-passenger leaves the lap of luxury to explore Oranjestad.


This week a lecture at the University of Aruba tackled the ocean with a UNESCO expert who discussed the 2030 agenda after presumably a decade of Ocean Science research with the goal of helping governments and societies achieve major goals.

What are the goals? You know, the fending against marine pollution, degradation of habitats, ocean acidification, climate change and protection of seafood, our major source of protein.

This global effort described by the educated speaker is designed to serve as the global framework supporting comprehensive efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in Ocean Health and creating improved conditions for SD.

That’s a mouthful.

Apparently, collective research and investment is needed in the next two years, in preparation for a decade of Ocean Health activity: 2021 to 2030, the UNESCO decade of ocean science for SD.

When modern day science started looking at the world in the 50s and 60s, the scientific community was more interested in space and the heavenly bodies. Very few bothered with the ocean, diving, exploring and mapping, and as a result there is a HUGE knowledge gap as far as the ocean is concerned.

Examples? 99% of habitable marine areas lack basic biodiversity knowledge for their management; One million is the approximate number of marine species that could still be unknown to science; Three is the number of people who have explored the deepest known point of the ocean; 103 million square miles of deep seas are in perpetual darkness; Only 5% of the ocean floor has been mapped at high resolution.

So, there is a lot we don’t know and to catch up with our ignorance UNESCO is working on creating a global framework to boost scientific efforts at national and international levels, to address global and regional SD challenges.

If we band together and do the right thing, the benefits to society are HUGE. We’ll have a clean ocean having identified the source of pollution, quantified it, and reduced it, and finally removed pollutants from the water.

We will enjoy a healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are mapped and protected, and climate changes measured and reduced, after all the ocean is our weather engineer, and if we understand ocean conditions, and forecast changes it can greatly impact our wellbeing and livelihoods. Just look at the damage all storms leave behind and if we can divert some resources to research, we might be able to mitigate disaster.

If we study the ocean carefully, we will have a safer ocean, that is sustainable and productive.

Think about it, in order to protect communities from ocean hazards and in order to protect the food supply, all nations, stakeholders and citizens should participate in this push to close the knowledge gap, so that information gathered may be shared among all nations, making informed decisions, that affect us al.

The UNESCO vision for the decade: Develop scientific knowledge, build infrastructures, and foster partnerships for a sustainable healthy ocean.

Get in touch:; [email protected]   

 Conference for the Performing Arts, Oct. 12th.

At the Conference for the Performing Arts you’ll hear talks about the benefits of the arts for many aspects of a community: social, educational, economical, beautifying life and more. Be inspired and moved by best practices and acts and meet friends and new interesting people. Let’s start a dialogue! Register between 8am y 8.45am. The program begins at 9am. Also register before that day at Cas di Cultura, Superfood or Van Dorp Dakota.
General price Afls. 55,- including lunch.

Speakers and their topics:
Imara Thomas (NL/AUA), professional opera soprano working in Germany at the “Deutsche Oper am Rhein – Düsseldorf”. Topic: “How to distinguish yourself as an artist to break through”.

Clayde Menso (NL), director of Amerpodia leading 4 theaters in Amsterdam. Topic: “The function of the theater as a platform, rethinking old models and connecting with the audience as a platform but also as an art provider”.

Segni Bernadina (CUR/BON), ex director of Teatro Luna Blou Curaçao, now leading the Bonaire YOFArts Program. Topic: “For the love of Art and the Art of love: art to create beautiful human beings from the inside out”.

Belinda Boyd (USA), Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida in the drama department: voice coach, acting, directing and a coach at Disney. Topic: “Art as a tool for social change”.

Albert Arens (SUR), director of Suriname School of Talent. Topic: “Music as a powerful tool for the development of children”.

Xiomara Ruiz Maduro (AUA), Minister of Finance, Economy and Culture will open the day stating her vision upon Arts and Culture in Aruba.

Joan Danies (AUA), teacher at the Dept. of well being at EPI associate degree school, studied social work and drama. She’ll be speaking through theater about theater as a genre.

Alice van Romondt (AUA), accomplished stimulator of the arts, vice president of the Prins Bernhards Foundation for the Arts Caribbean. She will be wrapping up the day, summarizing all the things said and give her reflection upon where to go from here.

Tito Bolivar (AUA), director of ARTISA, organizer of the Aruba Art Fair. Topic “Organizing Aruba Art Fair, a different stage with different challenges and benefits”.

Michael Lampe (AUA),
Bachelor of Arts Music Technology, currently member of Parliament and musical director of DATAPANIK, the official band of the Conference. Topic: “The strength of authenticity for the formation of your identity”.

Vicky Arens (AUA), director of Cas di Cultura, main organizer of the conference. Topic: “When it comes to art, more is better: analyzing Aruba’s cultural numbers”.

Main language spoken: English

UNOCA | Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied | Elite Productions | Subway | Vertegenwoordiging van Nederland op Aruba | Subway | High Performance | Smit&Dorlas.




About trash collection

There is so much to write about, these days…

Where do I start?!

Trash, based on:

It’s all noble and compassionate to exempt certain demographics in the community from paying for trash collection, but it is wrong, discriminatory and non-democratic.

There basically are two tariffs for garbage collection, residential and commercial.

And the cost should be based on volume/weight.

If you are a big garbage producer you should pay more.

If you reduce, reuse, recycle you should pay less.

We should have an INCENTIVE built in, to minimize what we send to the dump, and if we are wasteful and produce unreasonable amounts of waste we should be penalized for it, by paying more.

The Awg 25 per household is very reasonable, and should be paid by every household to teach our community that there is a price tag to careless wastefulness. (Fill two totters? Pay double.)

We understand that Serlimar is in the hole for Awg 11 million, and that employee pensions have not been paid to APFA for months and that the government is looking to create income opportunity for Serlimar.

FYI: The best income opportunity is consistent, democratic collection.

Why is GOA so ambivalent about trash??

It’s just a form of taxation.

Payment against a government service.

Why wait for March 2019 to enforce?

Start tomorrow, and get out of the hole sooner.  And charge everyone and teach us how to RRR.

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October 14, 2018
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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