Bati Bleki, May 18th, 2015

BELINDA OPENS AN ART GALLERY. We were invited recently to an art happening at the home of artist Belinda de Veer who shared the just-created exhibition space with her pal artist Irene Peterson. Belinda, looking tres chic, welcomed friends, family members and fellow-artists into the totally transformed art environment. Think about it, furniture and personal effects out, paintings and installations in. It was her dream she explained, to create a gallery, on the same stage where her life usually unfolds. Belinda’s painting are personal statements in which her inner artist debates womanhood, parents, life, death and creativity. Irene does the same thing, only she doesn’t paint she puts crazy objects together to convey her free-floating ideas, about identity, belonging, and collaboration. Armin Solognier on behalf of UNOCA, pledged his organization’s support for art, at the official opening act of the gallery. He spoke well of society’s need to do that, because the world would be dull and boring, devoid of pictures, music, or poetry without it. The artists of our time, take it upon themselves to debate the issues which burden us, and they struggle on our behalf with contemporary ideas and concepts. So thanks girls for doing the thinking for me! We drank wine, we nibbled on snacks, we listened to a dramatic Angela Croes song interpretation, describing the workings of her inner organs, her entrails, her guts. Don’t forget to invite me to the next happening!
BBO, STRONGER THAN EVER, AND HERE TO STAY. Kudos to Marisol Lopez Tromp, the President of the Aruba Parliament for voting according to her conscience and not according to party-line, but that doesn’t mean that I will vote for you, when you break away to form a party of your own, this is just to say we appreciate your think-for-yourself conduct. You have a knack for self promotion, and a real talent at presenting yourself in a complimentary light. Poor BBO. It was originally a good idea when introduced during the previous government . Then during elections we were told it was a rotten idea, and that it must go away. It sort of went away, but stayed, and now it’s stronger than ever. Should we expect another increase in BBO sometimes down the road? On behalf of the little people I would like to register an official mal-governance complaint against all of you, lamenting the political, moral and intellectual leadership vacuum you have created! You’re always picking on the bird in hand, instead of also trying to catch the two birds in the bush. We’re the good ones, we already pay our taxes. Why don’t you focus and identify the huge gray segment of the market, not paying its taxes. A handyman by the name of Luis recently overcharged me for a maintenance job and refused to give me an invoice, or write me a receipt. If I had his last name, I would call the Ontvanger, so that he could finally join the joyous ranks of tax-paying citizens. And he is not alone.
THE CHURCH OF PARADERA WELCOMNES VISITORS. I met Ing. Jossy Lacle at the festive mortgage signing of the new residential community at Jan Fleming, Santa Cruz. Jossy was there representing the developer of the project, namely the board of the Pension Fund Tourism Sector Aruba. Having retired from WEB a number of years ago, Jossy now serves us as board member for a number of key organizations, in education, tourism and healthcare. But his favorite pet project is the church of Paradera which was just re-consecrated following extensive renovations funded by the neighborhood, and the community in general. The church is now gorgeous and worth a visit, Jossy explains, during the day time is best, when the sun hits the color window panes. As you all know, a number of years ago Santa Anna church in Noord decided to no longer welcome tourists, popping in at all hours of the day in their itsy-bitsy bikinis. This created a landmark void, which Paradera now wishes to fill. The renovated church would like to extend an invitation to all our visitors, please come visit and worship freely. Just remember to put your cover up on before entering.
AMSTERDAM MANOR CELEBRATING IT 25TH ANNIVERSARY. The Amsterdam Manor is hosting a 10K run, it’s first, in honor of its 25th anniversary, on May 31st, at 6am. Owner Jurgen Van Schaijk, an avid runner and sport enthusiast is recruiting guests and staff members, friends and any one inspired to join the IBISA organized affair, running the loop between the resort, Divi Phoenix, and Alhambra Casino & Shops. Originally conceived by Van Schaijk Sr as a timeshare resort, in the 80s, Amsterdam Manor repositioned over the years and became one of Aruba’s success stories, as a family business with a strong environmental commitment to Eagle Beach. Jurgen reminded me that back then when he arrived on Aruba he enrolled into the Dealer’s School at the Alhambra Casino, using his excellent math skills to easily figure out the game of craps and its complicated payout tables. He never worked as a dealer, but enjoyed the learning experience, nevertheless.
THE ISLAND HERITAGE FESTIVAL, SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 7TH. A new impresario is born. Ian Molina who is naturally related to Martin Molina of Pelican Watersports, and to artist Giolina Henriquez, is creating a beach event, mixing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. The tag line refers to a mix of old and new music, with local and foreign DJs, against the backdrop of our turquoise ocean, Sunday, June 7th. The day features 12 hours of local vibe, and is an opportunity for Ian to showcase his father’s business sense, and his mother’s environmental consciousness. Ok, a little bit of grandpa’s pioneering spirit too.

THE HIKE TO THE NORTH CAP. The North Cap is an outpost on the rugged north shore, a small concrete platform raised on top of a hill overlooking the ocean where an observation bunker once stood, sometime before the second world war. There is nothing left today, but the cracked platform, and the view from the top is majestic. Sunday, we took off at 6am, armed with water, and sunscreen, from the parking lot of the Natural Bridge. Gershwin Lee was our well-informed guide and Melissa de Veer the organizer. We sauntered for about one-hour and a half, past Andicuri and Black Stone Beach, took a million pictures at North Cap, then turned around, and were home for coffee by 9am! Fifteen people signed on and fifteen people returned, so I have no special adventure to report except that the scenery is lovely, and the wind and air so fresh, and clean. Gershwin described some of the natural bridge-forming processes and pointed out the geological rock formations, naming basalt and quartz and the sedimentary chalk filled with fossilized coral. He showed us the metamorphic rocks which were once something different all together, and changed due to temperature and pressure. We learned to recognize the signs of tectonic activity, millions of years ago, as the earth’s crust cracked and moved. You will be happy to know that the area is clean, and we realized that tour operators stayed away from it by the absence of stacked rocks.

CONSTRUCTION ON THE BEACH. I was sad to notice that the ugly wooden box on the pristine beach stretch between the Divi & Tamarijn All Inclusives is still standing. It serves as a day spa and completely ruins the luxurious uninterrupted aspect of the view, which it now rudely interrupts. I was even sadder to notice that the lounge chair rental shack in front of Moomba Beach just tripled in size. I read that the beach bar complained that the construction crew was stealing its electricity supply. How lame, you should have complained that it’s stealing your view! Did both operators file for construction permits? Where their plans approved? [email protected]

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May 17, 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