Bati Bleki June 10, 2013

MOVING ON. Hotelier Jan van Nes is moving on in November, after almost fourteen years. He will become the General Manager of Blue Residence, an upscale condominium project on Eagle Beach, now under construction by the Pering Group, developers of Oceania. They have a good track record here, and they have attracted an excellent candidate to run their show. Playa Linda Beach Resort will be looking for a new General Manager. Not an easy job in view of the fact that he/she will have to answer to a Board of Directors made of accomplished professionals in their field, all timeshare owners, with limited knowledge in hospitality. In his years at Playa Linda Beach Resort Jan positioned the resort as a full service, hopping and happening property, with a great variety of food & beverage outlets, spectacular shopping and important other services. It wasn’t always like that. I remember less glamorous days, in which the stores stood empty and the level of energy was low; members were disenchanted, drafting referendums and talking about hostile board take-overs. Jan managed to turn all that restlessness into a positive vibe, and while his employees will be sad to see him relocate, he should be happy, he is getting a brand new property, with many less owners, and perhaps even more time to spend with his lovely family!

WE LOVE STUDENTS IS SURPRISING. Saturday afternoon featured hundreds of young, sweaty and cheerful runners trotting down my street dressed in a variety of cool styles, as the We Love Students event unfolded. They came by clean and returned covered with mud, after crawling in the trenches in the salina. I was impressed with mega-sponsors ATCO, Ecotech, ALBO & in the Salina the Dutch Marines, how they mobilized and completely blocked the Malmok road with obstacles, promoting their products in an extraordinary out of the box manner. The motor behind the movement is Joseandro Chiquito, 28, who collaborated with the autism foundation, to create the first annual Funstacle Masters. He acquired a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, and has just returned to Aruba fresh out of school in February. I would hire him tomorrow; he is a powerhouse, if he is capable of organizing the 5k race without a church, a brewery, an insurance company or the government behind him. Apparently, Joseandro got the sponsors to go all out for this private initiative fundraiser, on the wings of his charisma. We tip our hat to you, you will go far, since you clearly demonstrated your ability to move mountains. Go to the We Love Students website, check out the WLS team, all good-looking, educated kids!

ON THE RUN. With the Fustacles Masters on Saturday, and the Healthy Aging Expo at Jaburibari, then the FATUM 6K walk on Sunday, and the upcoming Aruba Bank 4 day Walk & Run — which by the way is sold out — this island is indeed off and running, more active than ever before, and Dr Richard Visser is everywhere, starting every race in constant motion with IBISA, which is now celebrating its first anniversary, having replaced IDEFRE as the island’s sport authority, in June of last year.

A GIFT FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING. Raymond Kok of Pepia Est recommended Licor 48 when I was looking for a gift for the man who has everything.  Licor 43 is a sweet, Vanilla-flavored liqueur made in Spain, according to an ancient recipe, from 43 different ingredients, including vanilla, citrus, and other fruits, as well as aromas and spices. Raymond says the cool cats at Gusto drink it by the case, on ice as an after-dinner drink, or poured over coffee! Manzanas Asadas con Licor 43 is a popular Spanish dessert, just stick some apples in the oven for 45 minutes, having filled their core with sugar and liqueur, then call me and ask me to come over!

WATCH OUT FOR THE CUTROLOCOS. Cuatrolocos is an event organization company, started a few months ago, by four best friends, Alex Lovera, Franz Sydow, Ibian Hodgson and Jonathan Harms, hold it, I am talking about the junior versions, not the venerated seniors! Their goal, and what makes them different from other event promoters, is their music niche, as they specialize in Deep House and Techno Music which I understand is a different slow-burning and euphoric genre of intrusive House and Techno. Franz explains this madness is sweeping the underground scene of all major cities, from Berlin to Rio, and that is what he wants to bring to Aruba.  The foursome’s recent Mr. Saturday party at Fisherman Huts enjoyed a warm reception, and they are building a crowd and a following designed to sustain a series of summer events leading to the main hoopla on July 26th, with international DJs such as NTFO, a young duo from Romanic, collaborating with DIYNAMIC, a Hamburg-based label with a signature deep house sound.  Having played the best underground clubs and festivals in the world – they just filled a large Amsterdam venue in May –  they are coming here, to support local deep house DJs such as Mista Tee a.k.a Theo Sanders & Kristian do Nascimento. Expect a completely different setting, environment and experience!! For those of you who have no clue what Deep House means, it’s the slowest and most melodic stream of electronic music, sexy-loungy, not necessarily dance-floor-filling, but definitely movin’ and groovin’.

MORINGA IS THE MAGIC SEED. I visited my friends at Tropic Cas, Mary & Esther, and found them in great shape, eyes twinkling, mood uplifted, all smiles. Tropic Cas is stocked with gorgeous furniture and accessories, and it’s always a pleasure to visit. Mary Perez her sister Esther Erasmus Perez, are generally cheerful, but this week they shared they are especially charged thanks to the Moringa seeds they have added to their usual diets. I tried one. Mamma Mia. The thing tastes like snake bile. But I read a lot of positive reports about Meringue bush tea that is available at Herbal, Mrs. Boekhoudt on Ponton, and at the Santa Rosa Sunday Market, I noticed some farmers carrying the miracle seed and the tea, which reportedly cures more than 300 diseases and chronic conditions, as it is loaded with 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants with no known side effects but nausea, from the snake bile taste. To conclude, it’s awful but it is good for you, both medicinal and nutritious. RC@visitaruba.com