About two weeks ago I met with some condo-owners from Oceania Residence, then last week I heard from some timeshare-owners from Costa Linda Beach Resort. They were concerned. The guys from Oceania were sincerely worried about over-development of Eagle Beach: The poor turtles running out of nesting space, and the poor locals running out of camping locations.
The guests from Costa Linda had a bigger list, they were sad about Frenchmen’s Pass, and “lots of acts against nature in Aruba, and we want to make this internationally known.”
We’re talking tourists, worried about the good and bad balance tipping over, and wanting to make it public. Their list of grievances included the dump, the quality of our drinking waters, the toxic refinery, and the drill ships parked on the horizon.
And I felt a bit guilty because now that I write, In English, about local issues, some of our dirty laundry is aired in public; in yesteryears, the language barrier protected our visitors from internal affairs — that are for us to sort, and not for them to worry about.
What to do?
To write, or not to write?
Once you put it on paper, you have no control where it’s going. And one board member at Costa Linda Beach Resort assures me my column gets read, and that visitors then ask tough questions.
If I could speak to my readers I would tell them not to worry. Worry about the USA, President Trump, and France, whose gonna win the elections, and the crazies in North Korea. You could also worry about Venezuela, and say a little prayer for the well-being of its brave protesters.
With 120.000 residents, this island is the size of a small village in the USA or the Netherlands. One mayor could take care of the whole shebang, and we have 9,000 civil servants to worry about things.
Last night we gathered for a small party at Arashi, a group of local residents, at sunset, every single person on that patch of white, sugar sand expressed immense gratitude to Aruba, marveling at how good our life is on this island. Imperfect, but pretty fantastic.
This is a true democracy, in great weather, and I will probably continue to write alarmist columns, and you will probably continue to read them, but please don’t worry … go about your vacation undisturbed, and unalarmed.
Make sure your world is in order and we’ll make sure our world is in order, and that way we’ll ALL have a great time.