YESTERDAY, TODAY & TOMORROW. Rory Arends’ book should be available for sale at all book stores this week. Launched Thursday with the help of the Minister of Tourism, Rory’s book recounts history from his own individual perspective, having witnessed the island’s growth, working as a professional in the tourism industry, from the late 50s to today. Daughter Abigail was a charming ceremony emcee, and the gathering at the National Library brought together the Founding Fathers of tourism, Oscar Henriquez, Michael Kuiperi, Harold Malmberg and also members of the second generation of tourism trailblazers Myrna Janssen and Raymond Maduro.
THE SAND BAR IS OPEN. On Saturday, the Sand Bar delivered on its promise to unveil a cool, and chic, barefoot hangout, under a tropical sky. The grand opening party orchestrated by the Marketing Department, Patrick Melchior and Mirla Elings Passchier, had many great touches, as far as music, décor, food and fun, and the official festivities were nicely handled by Minister Dr. Richard Visser and Wally Posner. Tsunami at an all-white party? It doesn’t get any better than this. Drop in for a laid-back, chilled experience, Peter, Jossy and Wileke on the management team, will be showing you a great time!
THE INTERNATIONAL BEACH TENNIS TOURNAMENT. The colorful event got a shot in the arm, a huge upgrade, with the help of its new generous sponsor, Divi Resorts. Eagle Beach looked like California with all the gorgeous hunks and chicks in action, rolling in sand, or vaulting to meet a flying ball. I watched a most entertaining match on Saturday night between Italy and Venezuela, and enjoyed the acrobatics of a man who looked like he was wearing diapers. Apparently, when you are a world champion and you look like a Roman god, you can get away playing in diapers. The festival atmosphere with more than 600 beach tennis playing visitors from all over the globe was fantastic, and the beach set ups with lights, lounges, food, drink and tribunes really took the event to the next level.
FASHION WEEK, ARUBA IN STYLE, A HUGE SUCCESS. Take a look at some of the superb international coverage the event received, especially our very own talented Maestro Ronchi de Cuba, who is a production genius: http://www.fashionweekdaily.com/chic-report/article/arubas-very-own-ronchi-de-cuba, and http://fashionista.com/2012/11/fashion-shows-in-swimming-pools-street-style-on-yachts-and-more-a-dispatch-from-aruba-fashion-week/2/. Also the debut of the Arubianas flip flops was super impressive, poolside at Divi Phoenix. The funky footwear will be available for sale on the island, at San Marina shoe stores, from Wednesday on. The local designers among them Elisa Lejuez and Gigliola Designs blew the Dutch designers away and Elisa’s collection will also be shown in the USA, as the Aruba Tourism Authority decided to add the glamour and fun of her design collection to the island’s next promotional blitz.
MEET JEFF GHITMAN. Jeff Ghitman recently returned to the island after being away for quite a few years. His family has been living on Aruba since the early twentieth century, yes, almost one hundred years, and he’s back to contribute to our national economic growth as a supply-chain expert with a background in sustainability. He worked at big consulting firms in the USA, in that field, and upon his return to the island started his own company, which focuses exclusively on locally produced products. Jeff is currently representing various farmers on the market including Ari Lichtenstein and Rene Naar. Jeff’s company Island Fresh Aruba, may be visited on line. Kids who graduated the International School of Aruba remember uber-teacher Suzi Ghirman — you guessed, Jeff’s mom. Check out islandfresharuba.com, and when you see him, engage him in conversation regarding his vision for Aruba, which is bold. Jeff would like us to grow 20% of our own food within the next decade, which will create jobs as well as a healthy lifestyle option. If you have an interest in agriculture and you own a piece of land which you would like to exploit, call him, for advice, he has a lot to say about the subject. PS Brother Andrew is also back on the island, working in the family business.
CONGRATULATION, CHANITA TA DI FIESTA. I was pleased to hear that the island of Aruba, more specifically the University of Aruba has been selected as second runner up in the Category of Innovation in Enterprises, by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, for a Ulysses Award of Excellence, with its Chanita ta di Fiesta, an initiative designed to encourage local agriculture and the use of home-grown fruits and vegetables. The university was nominated by the Ministry of Tourism, and Gerald (Gino) Kock M.S., went to accept the award in Istanbul, Turkey, on behalf of the school. Developer Eduardo de Veer was also nominated for a Ulysses Award, by the Ministry of Tourism, in the category of Lifetime Achievement. Pa bien for nominees and winners.
BATI BLEKI VIA MOBILE APP. Complete Aruba information is now available in the Visit Aruba mobile app for Apple iOS devices and for Android devices. The Visit Aruba Guide is a comprehensive Aruba travel guide compiled by VisitAruba.com including helpful information visitors can use prior to their trip as well as during. It is 100% FREE to download for both iPhone and Android and free to use including unlimited updates, offline maps and GPS navigation, augmented reality viewer and a trip planner. NO ROAMING FEES – app users choose which information they want to be available offline. VisitAruba Guide exclusive features are: Special Deals updated regularly, VisitAruba Plus discount card offers conveniently listed in the app and always up to date, daily News and Events updated regularly including my weekly Bati Bleki column, and for people looking for their dream home in Aruba we have a selection of listings from ArubaRealEstate.com! The app content will be updated daily, and has just been launched officially. [email protected]