Bati Bleki Weekly Recap, August 21st, 2016

Dr Lili Beke, MD, Abandons AZV

One of Aruba’s most popular house-doctors is terminating her relationship with AZV the national health service provider sponsored by the government, or as translated from Dutch into English the General Sickness Insurance.

I met Dr. Lili Beke this weekend in the supermarket, needless to say, at the Fruit & Vegetable department. She told me that effective September 1st, she will be at Sun Plaza in her office on the first floor working independently, without the blessing of the national insurance gods, meaning you wanna see the doctor? Show us your wallet and we’ll help you ASAP.

Honestly, I favor that arrangement. I have been going in recent years to the ‘Urgent Care’ clinic in Noord, doing all I can to avoid that sad and overly-busy Dr. Samuels office in town, which is always cluttered with whizzing, sneezing people. And when you call that answering machine, boy, you must catch them between 8am and 8:05 to get an appointment for that same day! I am exaggerating, of course, but it is sad to say that our health services are somewhat inadequate as far as Customer Service, and though we should be proud that a small island such as Aruba offers a great variety of decent services, if you are in a rush, and have a life to lead, you’d better rely on Urgent Care to get you fixed, fast, and on the road again.

I love their slogan: Walk in immediate medical care, no appointment necessary!

House doctors in Aruba are half the problem. You can always get a house-doctor appointment. It may take a while, and it may not happen today, but if you are patient and not bleeding, you will get there. The specialists are a horse of a different color. If you call, you get an appointment for November, if lucky! And if you died waiting, so sorry, they say, but our dance card is fully booked! But that is not what today’s topic is about.

Today’s topic is Dr. Lili Beke, who also has valuable experience in pediatrics and gynecology.  She also served as Aruba’s Minister of Health for a while, back then, but went back to her practice, having found out that politics are challenging and polarizing, and she could contribute more in medicine.

Anyway, you may find her at Sun Plaza now, but down the road her clinic will be moving to Stadionweg, into Dr. Lampe’s derma clinic, and these two power houses will share the facility, one caring for our health the other for our beauty.

Huisartsenpraktijk Beke Martinez NV. Family physician medical practice; Sun Plaza, suite 104/110, Tel.: 588 0539, Mobile 738 3888

Mi Dudu Cafe a lovely spot on the rocks

We went for Happy Hour on a recent Friday to Mi Dudu Café, perched on an inland rock formation, in Moko. The neighborhood’s previous claim to fame involved a Love Motel, a rent-by-the-hour guest house, just in case you and Mrs Jones, have a thing going on, that you both know is wrong, and you have to be extra careful.

I read on line that Simon Arends and Debbie Kelly opened the café and named it In honor of Simon’s mom Dudu, a sweet and endearing nickname on the island. You gotta be impressed. Instead of calling the boulozers and clearing the boulder strewn field they thought out of the box and included the prehistoric rocks in the design. I got a bit of an aerobic workout on my way up to the top deck, for added value.

Hats off to you. You are excellent role models to follow, pursuing the principle of bending with nature instead of fighting it. We enjoyed a spectacular sunset from our perch on top the impressive hill, and at Awg 5 florin per cold Chill, our wallets were happy too.

Just before leaving we noticed the menu: Calco Stoba, Garlic Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp, some steak, chicken and pork dishes. The soups sounded great, served with pan bati. I understand chef Edwin is in the kitchen. He is a veteran of many years with Divi Resorts, and cooks delicious Creole style food.

Next time around we will escort our beers with some seafood or calco croquettes. Mi Dudu’s Cafe snack menu has some tempting choices.

Our waitress, an adorable chick with long braids provided friendly and prompt service!

Mi Dudu Bar & Restaurant ta habri di diadumingo pa diahuebs di 11.00 AM -1 AM y den weekend di 11.00 AM – 3.00 AM. Cushina ta keda habri te cu 10.00 PM. Yama pa bo pedido na: 587-7006.

STRESS: Valero Not Rolling Over, MinEnergy Undergoes Catheterization

A few days ago our energetic MinEngery underwent a Catheterization, or in other words a look/see. Wikipedia educated me that Catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions. During Cardiac Catheterization, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart. The procedure is performed to examine how well the heart works. If it works well, the Cardio-Vascular doctor says, thank you, it was nice meeting you. If they find anything wrong, they operate right there and then. Almost, he would have been air-ambulanced to a hospital in the area!

In the case of our MinEnergy they did not find anything wrong, because they did not operate, which means that the MinEnergy should be fully recovered today. But how is he going to stay away from stress?? How is he going to make life-style changes if he has to worry about Valero Energy Group? The practically bankrupt CITCO Venezuela? The non existing CITCO Aruba?

We were told, on various occasions, that Valero will transfer the assets to CITGO Aruba for $1. Then we were told by Standard & Poor that Valero will “transfer the facility and gasoline stations assets to the Aruban government in exchange for a relief in its contractual obligations regarding environmental contingencies and the dismantling of the refinery.” Now I read in AWE MAINTA that Valero demands 11 million dollars in tax benefits and cash, and I am wondering who is going to come up with the money, Venezuela is broke and Aruba is supposed to make money from the deal, not pay for the defunct, rusty, and crumbling ruin of a refinery.

No wonder the MinEnergy is stressed. Racing heart, irregular heart rate, palpitations, feelings that your heart may jump out of your chest, are scary, but normal in cases of emotional and psychological pressure.  So please take good care, may I recommend yoga on the beach, breathing exercises, 8 hours of sleep every day, cut back on caffeine, drink plenty of water, stay away from conflict.

From a July 29th article, I reported on Valero:

LOOKS LIKE VALERO STILL HAS A DOG IN THE RACE. I got some interesting chatter from a friend from the USA regarding Valero’s”…ultimately transfer ownership of the refinery…,” an excerpted from Valero Q2 2016 8K report, and in says:  In June 2016, the Government of Aruba (GOA) entered into definitive agreements with an unrelated third party that provide for such third party to lease the Aruba Refinery and Aruba Terminal from the GOA, restart and operate the Aruba Refinery, and operate the Aruba Terminal. Because of this development, we believe that it is more likely than not that we will ultimately transfer ownership of the Aruba Refinery and Aruba Terminal to the GOA and settle our obligations under various agreements with the GOA. Therefore, we evaluated the Aruba Terminal for potential impairment as of June 30, 2016 and concluded that it was impaired. We further determined that the Aruba Terminal’s carrying value of $56 million was not recoverable and we wrote off the entire amount, resulting in an asset impairment loss of $56 million related to our refining segment in the three and six months ended June 30, 2016. No income tax benefit was recorded for this asset impairment loss as we do not expect to realize a tax benefit.

Manifestation against Civil Unions fizzles

In the next week, the Aruba Parliament will vote on the acceptance of the updated Civil Code. I know nothing about it, just that a whole BIG book will be voted on and I pray to the universe that our 21 members of parliament will be reading what some lawmaker placed before them, and I hope they will be paying attention, otherwise we will end up like Puerto Rico that actually ratified an amendment which prevents the country from declaring chapter 11, and that is why they are in such hot water now, in addition to having no idea, how that amendment got into their civil code in the first place.

Our Civil Code contains lots of good stuff but one amendment has been talked about and debated, and last week even protested by three narrow-minded, bible-thumping demagogues. It’s the amendment in favor of Civil Union, that will eventually open the door to allowing same sax marriage here, but the amendment is truly about regulating civil unions, and the legal rights of partners sharing a life without the church’s blessing.

So three people manifested against it, carrying banners with the name of the Lord, and babbling incoherently about god’s will as they don’t understand it.

The MinPres graciously granted them an audience, and listened to their so-called demands, warning against turning Aruba into Sodom and Gomora. God bless him for being so polite. I guess it’s his job to listen to his people, dumb and bright.

Apparently the Netherlands was one of the first countries in the world to recognize same sex marriage, and Aruba has been getting used to the idea, slowly but surely,

Wikipedia says: The first law providing for marriage of people of the same sex in modern times was enacted in 2001 in the Netherlands. As of 28 April 2016, same-sex marriage is legally allowed (nationwide or in some parts) in the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The united Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. A similar law in Finland is not yet in force. Polls show rising support for legally recognizing same-sex marriage in the Americas, Australia, and most of Europe. However, as of 2016 South Africa is the only African country where same-sex marriage is recognized, and no country in Asia allows same-sex marriage ceremonies, although Israel accepts same-sex marriages performed overseas

An Aruban in Puerto Rico, a full report

One of my friends reports: So what I am impressed with here…not ONE stray dog have we seen.  Not a single one and over the past days we have driven the entire north coast from past El Yunque all the way to the other side rounding the corner to Aguadilla.  We have been in towns…villages…countryside…poverty areas…not a single stray dog with the exception of 3 dogs that were for sure owned but hanging out at the Bio Bay where food trucks and stands line up to feed hungry kayakers.  They looked very healthy and were friendly. The only strays are the cats in old San Juan but after noticing a clipped ear on them we found out that means they have been sterilized and released back into the area and they are fed by local shop keepers.

Other lessons Aruba can learn from Puerto Rico: Parks everywhere and not just in tourist areas but everywhere and very well maintained. Also the schools…whether Catholic or public they all look so well maintained and complete. And zero trash…anywhere…these people take pride in their island and don’t dump crap all over the place and like I said we were all over the island and not just in tourists areas…I am sure the US and their strict littering fines help keep people from dumping their crap but also I just think it’s ingrained in the culture now to maintain their neighborhoods and towns. All this despite the financial crisis here which was really not of their own doing but a bonds and bankers scam, which you already know. And they manage to maintain parks and schools and roads with much less tax cost to the people than what we are burdened with in Aruba Also…Aruba thinks they have the lock on the friendliness angle…wrong wrong worng. Everywhere we went again whether tourist areas or not everyone was very friendly and engaged. Super helpful…and seemed innately in tune to recognizing when we were lost or confused and we didn’t have to ask for help they jumped in and offered assistance, most importantly, we felt safe and at ease the whole time.

No problem with Insel Air.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BLT STEAK. The press was invited to the first anniversary celebration recently, on the restaurant terrace, at the Ritz Carlton, hosted by restaurant manager Jessica van Rijn. We were greeted with flutes of Prosecco chased by a specialty signature cocktail, 297, a modified Sazerac, which is a New Orleans variation of a Cognac or whiskey cocktail. Delicious. Then the new restaurant chef was introduced, Luis Malagon, who will be showcasing his culinary wizardry by means of the restaurant’s blackboard specials, changing each week, featuring two new appetizers, two main courses, and two sides, to complement the restaurant’s always-amazing menu. The party was also co-hosted and attended by Myandra Croes, PR & Communications Manager, Manuel Nelo, Assistant Food & Beverage Director, Annie J. Wu, F&B Marketing Coordinator, and sales executives Beverly Maasdamme, and Gail Sahit. Guests included Julian Tucker, Hyatt Regency, and the Pepia Est crew, Michael v/d Berg, Herdy Ten Lohuis, with their disciples. Among press personalities Erin Croes, Sandra Suarez, Aurora Habibe, and Toko Winklaar, all treated to good music and great hors d’oeuvres, befitting the Ritz Carlton Style. BLT is a modern American steakhouse serving USDA Prime, certified Black Angus & American Wagyu Beef, fresh seafood, raw bar & seasonally driven blackboard specials, which distinguish each BLT restaurant and make it regional and ever-changing. You should know that Sunset Menu is served daily from 6pm to 6:45pm for $55 per adult and $12 for children. We tried it once with a group of friends and it was perfect! BLT Steak is open for a la carte dinner from 6pm to 10:30pm. A special 1 year anniversary menu is also available with yummy choices such as BLT Arepa with braised veal and queso Paisa, or local catch Ceviche with Aji Amarillo as starters, American Wagyu Spinalis Steak, with 5 pepper mix, or local Grouper in Balashi beer batter, mango slaw and remoulade sauce, accompanied by steak cut fries, or fried funchi and for dessert Pan Dushi Bread Pudding or Ponche Crèma Crème Brulee.  Reservations recommended at tel.: 527 2222 ext 2399.

NEW LUNCH SPOT. Yemanja Woodfire Grill will be opening an additional location, moving into the space vacated by Delifrance on the boulevard. Chef Joyce will be offering healthy lunch options in the Mega Mall, she says she always wanted to spread her gospel during lunch time, and she grabbed the opportunity when Delifrance folded.

The road to success was bumpy, but armed with a good lawyer and common sense, she won her case recently and will be opening, as soon as she assembles her vegetable grater, peeler, slicer and dicer! We had dinner at Yemanja recently and noticed that the kitchen now boasts the ingenious Veggetti Spiral vegetable cutter, resulting in more amazing salads on the menu!


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August 21, 2016
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