Bati Bleki February 12

VIVA CARNIVAL. We watched the 59th edition of Aruba’s Grand Carnival Parade from the shaded sidewalk just across the governor’s mansion. By the time Royal Carnival Group got to us, their Proud Peacock was wilted and dragging. Carnival looked surprisingly sad and lifeless, though our beautiful Carnival Queen and her dancers did their best to cheer the crowd up! But then Tsunami blew into the neighborhood and fixed all that with ear-pleasing sound, real music, beautiful people in great costumes and an intense ambiente caliente which made up for the lethargic performance of their predecessors. Ofo Escudero and his crew are good to the last drop! I think you should have a commitment to the spectators to put up a good show, even if you’re tired and your feet are killing you. You signed up for Carnival, so stay with the program, don’t fall apart mid-parade. For example, the L’Oreal girls. They were piled in the back of a van, lost in their own bubble, busy feeling what’s under the shirt of a hunk, facing them and lifting up his top! If that’s what the sun protection product does, totally knocks you off your heels, I will never use it again! On the other end of the spectrum, Alberto Groeneveldt, what a performer, living and breathing Carnival. I would come out to see you or Gerard Halley anytime. I also noticed some evergreen girlfriends looking amazing, Saskia and Cheryl grooving along, and the ever-gracious Cherryldine Muller stopping for photographs. TOB certainly demonstrated showmanship with their dancers performing a series of fun moves and even the Minister of Tourism hammed it for the cameras, as much as Biggy Boy, interacting with the crowd accepting love and appreciation.   While the Bohemian Gypsies were truly gorgeous, Dushi Nation did not deliver any musical breakthroughs. Repeatedly asking what time it was, got old; it was very last year! A family to my right, had a tiny 8 week old puppy with them, white and fluffy, dressed in a suffocating blue polyester coat. They had no water for the animal, of course no bowl. It all worked out at the end but I was stressing over the puppy’s well-being, he should have been left home. As for Carnival, I can’t wait to see next year’s 60th celebration. It will be a good one.


HANDSOME POLICE OFFICERS. Aruba’s Police force is looking pretty buff these days, and had an impressive presence on the street during Carnival. The K-9 unit also marched past us, all looking cut and ripped, muscles bulging everywhere. And they’re tall too. Which brings me to the next subject: On Monday and Tuesday of last week, a group of lowlife dirtbags went through the Malmok area in Noord stripping cars of their tires, in a number of places. The Police took forever to respond, because they were multi-tasking, writing down complaints from several sources. They were sweet about it. While no tire-thieves were caught, at least you got to talk to a polite law enforcement agent. Handsome? Check. Polite & Pleasant? Check. Effective? I hope they’re working on it.


NEW DOG LAW.  I recently received an official bulletin of Aruba announcing a National Ordinance passed on December 27th, 2012 which laid down rules of dog ownership. The Dog Regulations as set by the Minister of Justice and Education, A. L. Dowers, in the name of the Queen states the obvious, that you have to care for your dog, as much as you care for your kids, by providing food, water, shelter, protection and medical care. All that commonsensical stuff, is now established as a rule, governing dog ownership, also dictating the licensing and registration of dogs considered dangerous, putting special measures in place for Ubber-Macho breeds, also empowering the authorities, including police officers and special agents, to act on violations.  OK, so now we actually have a law that requires people to care for their animals – I am quoting – with enough food of sufficient quality, sufficient drinking water of sufficient quality AND shelter from sun, rain and wind. The law establishes the right of the animal for medical care from a veterinarian, not  a witch-doctor, and even if the animal is leashed, it must have enough room to walk around freely. Best of all, the Minister responsible for matters of public health, has the power to implement the law. And the law says that dogs cannot have free access to public highways or other people’s property, listen Buchi, your yard must be fenced, your mangy, malnourished dogs cannot roam the street, they have to be kept in, so they do not become a nuisance to people like me and most of my friends who picked 6 or 7 dogs from the street nursed them to good health and now enjoy their gift of love, having earned it.  It means you can no longer have owned-strays. A dog is either owned and taken good care of as an equal member of the family, or he is a stray, and available for adoption. Basically, before taking in a dog, think about the economic implication of food and vaccinations, see if you can afford it, then make the decision based on head and heart, not just on the notion that is would be cute to have fluffy around for a while. It’s forever. Think about it. Would you adopt a 2 year old baby without thinking?!  Consider your dog, a two-year old. More about that subject, next week!

ROY DUXSTAD REPORTS. My wife and I love spending time in Aruba, having first visited on our honeymoon, 33 years ago. Now semiretired, we’ve purchased a property, allowing us to spend 4 months a year on this idyllic isle. The local friends we’ve made, make this place our second home and a recent event further enhanced that feeling. After renewing my car plates at the tax-office, I noticed my cell-phone missing. Retracing my steps at the ontvanger produced no results, so I assumed I had failed to bring it with me. After a few more errands and grocery shopping I headed back to our condo, and much to my surprise my lost phone had been delivered to our door. Calixto Baez found it at the tax office, and after scrolling through the contacts he notice the name,  Carlos, our property manager whom he knew. Carlos confirmed that it was my phone and Baez graciously drove to Eagle Beach and delivered the phone to Carlos who returned it to my wife. Baez refused any reward saying my thank-you was enough of a reward, and I plan on passing on this act of kindness through actions of my own as Baez’s thoughtfulness confirms our commitment to Aruba and its wonderful people.