About Frio, and About the Women’s Conference

LOCAL TREATS. The other day I saw FRIO frozen treats for sale at a local gas station in Tanki Leendert, in a small designated fridge with a glass door. I asked for recommendations and bought the coconut flavored frio, in accordance with the cashier instructions, also the pineapple, if you have to know the truth. Yum.  So sweet and refreshing. The frio finds its roots, in the pre-ice-cream era, when syrup mixed with water served to cool kids off mostly in the summer, because there was hardly any time for frio on a school day. Who makes it? Do you know? It’s an interesting mini local business venture.

THE WOMEN’S CONFERENCE. I went on Tuesday to the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino to the Women’s Day conference given by Michelle Hooyboer-Winklaar, the Minister of Education, Lifelong Learning and Family Affairs. The conference is organized by her office every year, and sometime it is bombastic, long and hyped, and sometimes down to earth. This time it was the later, held in the evening hours, with modest catering, and thankfully, no big sponsor participation. I have to thank Aruba Aloe for the generous gift of Desert Bloom bath gel. Speaker Sandra Brown always gives a good talk. As the woman who raised Xander Bogaerts, of the Boston Red Sox, she is always a source of inspiration especially when she talks about CEDEHM, Centro di Desaroyo di Hende Muher, dedicated to the professional, emotional and social wellbeing of women on this island. Then the minister took center stage, dressed in white – she has a great sense of style, and was very noticeable in this simple and striking outfit – she talked about shame and his crippling cousin guilt. She pointed out the terms were often confused but they were not interchangeable because Shame is about who you are and Guilt is about what you did. Then she elaborated on embarrassment and humiliation, as toxic personality forming factors, and how women struggle to free themselves from their after-effects. The audience listened with great intent, and appreciated the well put together communication.

Key note speaker Crystal Andrus Morisette, “committed to empowering women worldwide,” did not deliver what was expected of her, although she was dressed tastefully, and sported a pair of swanky shoes. She was all over the place, she lacked focus, and basically, I have no clue what she said, but it was relatively short, so I did not have to embarrass myself by walking out. The expo next door with works of art by local female artists was a nice touch.

Women on the island have a formidable presence. I heard that Subway, yes, the sandwich shop sent 10 of its female employees to the conference. They all had their hair done, and they all showed up nicely dressed. The following morning they thanked their boss for the opportunity to meet their peers, the equality ambitious and relentless women of Aruba, determined to create their greatest lives.