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Coconut Telefax June 3, 2019

Minister Ruiz-Maduro Celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Fundacion Lanta Papiamento

We speak Papiamento in Aruba. It is our native language, and yes, it is a language, not a dialect.

The origin of the language is somewhat shrouded in mystery, as it evolved over the last millennium from Arawak, Dutch, and Spanish, adopting Portuguese and African words in the process. The language as it sounds today bears witness to historical processes in this part of the world, reflecting the migration of people, the chance encounters between cultures, and the many brief shifts in political power. And while we don’t know exactly where it came from, we know where it is going, as there is a strong movement on the island to not just bring Papiamento into schools, but also use it as much as possible and give it an upgrade, from the casual street language we use at home, to the language of books and thoughts.

The debate over Papiamento always fuels nationalistic feelings and pride, as Arubans have a special place in their hearts for their language, just as they do for their flag, currency, and other official emblems of sovereignty.

In appreciation of the unique native tongue, especially as it became endangered by Spanish and somewhat tainted by the influx of thousands of new immigrants over the past decades, Papiamento was made the official language here 16 years ago.

Ten years ago, Foundation Lanta Papiamento was established to encourage the widespread use of the language.

Our Minister of Culture recently visited a cultural fair hosted by the foundation under the slogan “Papiamento nos idioma, nos derecho,” which means “Papiamento our language, our right,” reminding everyone to use the language, speak it, write it, and protect it forever.


Bits & Cheeses

Brian Larmonie is a self-professed cheeseboard aficionado. He explains it’s always been his dream to own a deli—not just any deli, but a high-end delicatessen store.

So yes, it all started with a dream, and one day it became a reality when after much research, Brian formulated the right approach.

Ambiance is of great importance to him, he says, especially when serving crème de la crème cheese brands, charcuterie, and vino—a feast for the taste buds.

In his quest for quality, he was guided by European connoisseurs, and by means of research, broadened his own knowledge. Finally, he was happy to report, he identified a number of excellent Italian brands to start his small, family-owned business.

Bits & Cheeses sells brands such as Beppino Occelli, known for its superior line of butters and cheeses, and Salcis, with a selection of exquisite charcuterie and sheep cheeses. Both brands are exclusively available at Bits & Cheeses.

The restaurant is open for retail, eat-in, and events, and also offers its brands for wholesale.

We had a generous slice of Testun al Barolo Intero and some slices of Herbed Pecorino, both amazing. Two generous pours of Crooked Path Cabernet Sauvignon—a road worth taking—made it into our glasses. We loved the delectable Prosciutto Disossato Parma, beautifully laid out on a wooden board with two kinds of marmalade, dried apricots, berries, nuts, grapes, and chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Brian is on to something—please support!

ANTRACO PLAZA, L.G. Smith Boulevard 126, Oranjestad, Aruba

Tel: +297-280-5005

Opens at 4:00 pm

Facebook: Bits&Cheeses by Deli297


CSJF 2019 Canceled

Aruba’s beloved Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival was canceled for 2019. It was never a money-maker, and in terms of ROI, return on investment, it didn’t add up, but it was a source of incredible artistry and memorable moments. It consistently delivered a much-needed cultural experience.

GOOD NEWS: Erik Jan Eman and the organization of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival are consummate music lovers and did an excellent job at consistently upgrading the experience over the past 13 years. They are working on a smaller Jazzy Festival format, to be held at the Casibari Music Café September 20 & 21.

So save the date—it will be worth waiting for!


SABA Fashion Show

The ailing elderly residing at St. Michael Pavilion, a government institution for the disabled elderly and dementia patients, enjoyed a stylish event just recently—a fashion show organized by the home’s social coordinator, Ivy Gooloe Peterson.

Ivy recruited the help of fashion stores such as Entre Nous, Eva Boutique, Palais Hindu, Giselle, Geekee, Trash by Ronchi, and Lucky Store, as well as the services of Rafael Hair & Makeup, to treat the home’s residents to a makeover.

The event was very well attended by family members, who enjoyed snacks and refreshments courtesy of Romar Free Zone and Noord’s Do It Center, on chairs borrowed from La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino.
Volunteers from Rotaract helped push wheelchairs around and hold the models’ hands on the runway.

St. Michael Pavilion is run by a foundation called SABA. It is sponsored by the government on a shoestring budget and is blessed by a caring, dedicated staff, which was on hand to emcee, applaud, and support Ivy on the occasion. The show was GREATLY APPRECIATED by participants and the audience. Thank you, sponsors, for making it possible.


Ale de Cuba Celebrating 38 Years in Hospitality

The RIU Palace Aruba is marking the 38th anniversary of Ale de Cuba, a very familiar face from the resort’s main dining room. Ale has been taking care of guests for almost four decades, and what sets him apart from other long-timers is the fact that he has been working for the same property in its various incarnations, starting at the Aruba Sheraton, transitioning into the Aruba Palm Beach, the Aruba Grand, and in the last decade plus, the Riu Palace Aruba.

The resort’s timeline indicates it opened its doors in 1968, as The Aruba Sheraton Hotel, one of Aruba’s earliest luxury resorts. That’s when Ale came on board. In 1982 it was reflagged as the Aruba Palm Beach Hotel, adding a timeshare component to the mix, and in 1998, it became the Aruba Grand. In 2007, as the Riu Palace Aruba, the property was expanded and renovated.

His guests say Ale treats them like family, he works hard to make them happy, remembers every request, and best of all, he is always there keeping the Aruban spirit of hospitality alive!

Ale 38 years ago, left.
Ale today at the RIU Palace.