I make sure to be there, at 4am on the dot, for the Jouvert Morning PJ parade every year, and I will tell you exactly why.
As a concerned citizen of this Dushi Tera, we suffer disappointments and disillusions, on a daily basis. And the recently published Forbes magazine article did nothing to ease my fears: “The Future Of Aruba: How The Tiny Caribbean Island Is Bracing For Major New Hotel Development.”
The article is a sad read, with an eloquent interview with Tisa La Sorte of AHATA, who outlines the logical course of action for the island, thus pitching theory again practice.
Well-thought-out theory, VS. super-charged practice.
Then the article goes on to describe what we all know: Secrets, St Regis, Embassy Suites, Hyatt Place, Radisson Blue and the Oranjestad Port City. All fantastic opportunities, only they are all happening here at the same time.
At the end of the article the cautious journalist puts in a note: *Original story has been edited to remove additional rumored resort developments until confirmations can be made.
Because he knows, and we know, that there are more.
You can’t help but be afraid, afraid of this process called progress that was unleashed here in 1924, and while well behaved for decades, has recently made quantum leaps, and who knows where it’s going.
Back to Jouvert Morning.
We started at 4am behind Le Groove, but they left us cold. They were just warming up, then we traveled behind Mike’s Disco, a first, I have never done that before, we joined a motley crew of locals, immigrants from other Caribbean Islands.
How did I know that? Duh, they were wearing their island flags, and Mike’s disco was playing the latest Carnival hits from our neighboring islands, which they were singing,
Our newly-found family members were traveling with a giant rolling vat of oil. They gently and respectfully anointed anyone within radius with the sticky stuff.
We got speckled and daubed, but didn’t mind at all because the atmosphere behind Mike’s Disco truck was that of collaboration, mutual respect and unabashed fun, as we were shuffling down Caya Captain Roger, before entering LagoWeg and that big pressure-cooker, that narrow street becomes.
Not a push, not a shove, nothing rude: One Love!
I always marvel, later, standing on the street at Julio’s bar as the sweet sunrise light filters in, how is it possible, that we are all so well behaved, peaceful and kind, and then I say to myself, Aruba. This island has a golden core of goodness, and no matter how hard it gets, Jouvert Morning brings out the best in us.
We had a fantastic party, about 10.000 people. Sure, drinking, a bit J, but I did not see any crazy behavior.
Tsunami, In’Fusion, we rode their tails and enjoyed their music, Le Groove warmed up, and gave us what we wanted, that GROOVE they are famous for.
Then we had a Johnny Cake with Salt Fish, and went straight to heaven.