Brave Faces confronting the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Last week, we were invited, with a great number of e-mail reminders, to a virtual-session hosted by the Aruba Tourism Authority highlighting the strategic direction for 2021, as part of the tourism recovery marketing plan.

The session would showcase inspiring stories, they promised, of local companies that quickly adjusted their business strategy model in order to successfully adapt to the current crisis situation.

On the program, a welcome address by the Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport, and a presentation regarding Aruba’s Tourism Recovery, The Road Forward, by Ronella Tjin Asjoe Croes and Sanju Luidens Daryanani.

The Inspiring Stories for the day included:  Grapes and Beans, Need to Meet, by Alberto Afanador Parra; Maggie‘s Revolution, by Sheelah Van Der Poel and Rachel Hughs and Pokey Ono at Home, by Urvin Croes.

Then there was a surprise breathing session with Shanti, that should have come at the end, as an option, not as an interruption to the already-interrupted flow, just a suggestion.

An economical video of testimonials, with our guests having a good time, and adjusting easily to the new normal, concluded the show.

You can see the video here:

A few things came to my mind as I was watching the zoom presentation, off and on: Our internet service provider delivers deplorable communication.

The minister and other speakers faded in and out.

Also, there were gaps between speakers interrupting the flow, resulting in a choppy production. Who was the show’s director?

I imagine it is more difficult to produce low-budget events, because I have attended similar past ATA in-person functions, and they were great.

Without salting all snails, a fun Dutch expression I just learned, zout leggen op alle slakken, which means finding fault in everything, the presentation had no heart.

The minister used July statistics, we thought were outdated.

The officials of ATA, were under pressure to perform, and left us cold.

(Congratulation though, for the numerous publications you managed to place Aruba’s press-releases internationally, that number is impressive.)

I could see people’s tears welling in their eyes, through their inspiring stories, brave against up-to-the-ears debt, struggling to keep their employees on life support, waiting breathlessly for labor laws to be reformed. Their inspiring stories were a testimony to their courage and their suicidal determination to survive.

The art of putting on a brave face, in public.

My best friend, Shakespeare, put their dilemma best in a famous soliloquy, Hamlet, 1599, the conflict between the options to roll over and die, or to fight to the end, in spite insurmountable obstacles: To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer, The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.


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September 26, 2020
Rona Coster