Bonaire reporter

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Bonaire reporter
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George DeSalvo
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P. O. Box 407, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean, Phone 786-6518, 786-6125, email: Since 1994 Composite cover photo by Reporter staff The Reporter Jong Bonaire cover photo last issue was taken by Jane Townsend.


Page 2 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Because of a shortage of the size of newsprint paper used to produce The Reporter the number of pages in this issue was cut. The next edition will have all pages and your favorite columns and stories will return. T he shortage of detective personnel is recognized as a bottleneck for crime fighting in the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba). To offset this a bit the Dutch Royal Marechaussees (special police) will keep assisting the islands in the coming years. Bonaire Commissioner James Kroon has assured the Island Council that the $10,000 included in the adjusted budget of the Council this year was meant not only for interpreting and translation work on behalf of Spanishspeaking independent (ex-PHU) member Rafael Santana. Part of this amount was also used to pay the person who took the minutes of the meetings. Santana is a naturalized Dutch citizen born in the Dominican Republic. The opposition is against paying an interpreter for Santana. Nolly Oleana of “Partido Demokratiko Boneriano” reminded everyone that Dutch and Papiamentu are the official languages on Bonaire. “Those wishing to become a commissioner or member of the Island Council should have a good command of these languages. If this is not the case, then he/she should go learn them. According to Bonaire Commissioner Burney El Hage, the package of new terms of employment for civil servants that was signed recently contains numerous benefits Salaries will be indexed, resulting in a 6-7% raise. The Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) or indexing tallies with what government budgeted for next year is to help compensate for the loss in purchasing power due to inflation. The Bonaire Fire Department seized 15,000 pieces of unapproved fireworks as a result of a tip. The Voodoo Platinum VD-002 brand fireworks contain dangerous flash powder and ignition fuses that are too short. The fire fighters confirmed their suspicions with a test on location. Since the use of these fireworks would be life-threatening they were destroyed immediately. THE HAGUE—Queen Beatrix used her traditional Christmas speech to urge the people of the Netherlands to take better care of the planet. “Selfishness and a tendency towards excess make one blind to the damage to our natural environment and undermine communities,” Queen Beatrix said. Despite the economic crisis, the importance of sustainability is paramount, the Queen said. “The earth which feeds life, but cannot speak for itself, needs a voice. That should be heard in all minor and major decisions,” she said. Quoting the late Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, she said: “Earth enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” The Queen, who plans to abdicate in favor of her son next year, slowed down a bit last year The Queen carried out 62 public engagements in the Netherlands in 2011, eight fewer than in 2010, it was reported last Thursday. The Queen, who is 73, also took part in three official trips, to Qatar, Germany and the Dutch Caribbean, compared with seven in 2010. Queen Beatrix also hosted 13 different heads of state at her palaces and welcomed 50 ambassadors. The pre-trial detention and serving of a prison sentence crime on Bonaire is “inhumane,” according to defense attorneys addressing the court in the rst court hearing of defendants from Saba and Statia last Friday. They say that people from those BES Islands are losing much more than just their freedom when they are incarcerated in Bonaire, due to the language barrier and culture differences. In the past, criminal cases against suspects from Saba and Statia were handled by the Court of First Instance in St. Maarten, but since 10-10-10 they have had to appear before the court in Bonaire. This may be constitutionally a logical step, but it is not humane, attorneys stated. “Deprivation of liberty should only take away your freedom. But when you don’t get visitors because your family and friends are 800 kilometers away, and you are also being treated with hate by local (Continued on page 3) Web: Email: Parts and accessories for all brands of bikes and scooters Beautiful Bike Clothes All type of house and car keys duplicated Kaya Grandi #61 “The blue building” Call 717-8545 Open: 8:30-12:30, 2:00-5:30 Owner Operated Featuring Giant, Bikkel and Golden Lion bikes € Transport of Money and Valuables € Private Investigations € Vehicle patrols € Burglar Alarms € Fire Alarm Systems In Business Over 28 years Kaya Nikiboko Nord 37A, PO Box 225 Tel: (599) 7178125 Fax (599) 7176125 E-mail This Week’s Stories Unfair Tax 3 40 Years of Marriage -Nachi Nicolaas 6 Lunch Explosion Results 6 Project Bonaire Dengue 6 Holiday Concert Recap 6 Bonaire Ambassadors (Starkweather) 6 Letters to the Editor -New Y ear Reflections Disappointed 7 Puppy Training Graduates 9 Shelter News 14 New Pet Shop Opens-Just 4 Pet Bonaire 14 Maskarada Gone? 16 Carmelita’s Birthday Gifts 16 Departments Flotsam & Jetsam 2 On the Island Since(Paul Hoetjes) 4 Sudoku 7 Body Talk –New Year, New Start 7 Bonaire On Wheels -Chevrolet Scottsdale 8 Real Estate Reflections2011 Year in Review 9 Classifieds 10 Tide Table, Sunrise & Sunset Times, Moon Phase 10 Picture Yourself (Pete’s Country Market) 11 Bonairean Voices A Budget Makeover 11 Shopping & Dining Guides 12 Bon Quiz-First Airport 12 What’s Happening? 13 Masthead 13 Cruise Ship Schedule 13 Pet of the Week (Iggy) 14 Sky Park (New Year Star) 15 The Stars Have It (Astrology) 15 How to contact us Letters to the Editor: Story tip or idea: The Publisher: The Bonaire Reporter Box 407, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean Phone 786-6125 Phone 786-6518 Available on Facebook “Bonaire Reporter”… be a friend and get automatic updates As well as on-line at: Printed Every Fortnight, On-line Every day, 24/7 Next edition printing on Jan. 16, 2012 Story and Ad deadline: Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 In a ceremony at the Governor’s house 23 persons were sworn in as Dutch citizens by interim Governor Peter Silberie (at right). Sinterklaas had some bad luck while helping with the lifting of the presents. He hurt his back! He couldn’t walk straight anymore and was not able to ride his horse! Happily he decided to visit Chanou de Roos of BonFysio. You can see how pleased he was and without pain. Chanou got an extra present this year! Sinter plans to join the gym too. Bonaire Government photo Bon Bida photo


Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Page 3 PRICELESS detainees, then you are being excessively punished,” they said. Not impressed by the arguments, the judge handed down sentences of between 12 and 24 months, part of which were suspended. Two Dutch political parties want Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Henk Kamp to introduce the family allowance ( kinderbijslag ) to the BES Islands, otherwise they will submit draft legislation to make this happen. The islands have been part of the Dutch Constellation since October 10, 2010, yet they don’t have the same social welfare system as in the Netherlands. The islands also don’t have a family allowance, a financial contribution that families receive from government to help cover Flotsam and Jetsam (Continued from page 2) (Continued on page 7) Love is for sale… Contact Henk Roozendaal for a unique portrait. Call 717-6938 Email: Website: T he increase of the ground rent (erfpacht) will yield Bonaire’s government approximately an extra 1.7 million guilders ($950,000) in 2011 according to the Finance Department. Despite many complaints on how the assessment notices were imposed, a reduction of the rates is not an option, said Fred Tiemesen, head of the Department, as this would lead to a budget deficit and invite sanctions from the Committee Financial Supervision (CFT). The land lease hike was just one of 60 or so steps the Island Council was forced to take to increase the revenues and hold down the costs to comply with the CFT requirements. After discussion the rate was fixed on August 11, 2009. When homeowners were presented last month with the bills which had to be paid by the end of the year there were numerous complaints. The delay was ostensibly due to problems adjusting the invoice system from guilders to dollars. The government will now collect 3.7 million guilders in ground rent for 2011, a substantial increase compared to the 2 million guilders of last year (The Finance Department seemed to also have a problem adjusting the press release to reflect Bonaire’s currency, the dollar). The additional funds supposedly will be used to impr ove Bonaire’s infrastructure. Jos Zuidam, a Bonaire resident and former civil servant at the Dutch Home Office, has some issues with the judicial aspects of the long lease ( Erfpacht ) increase. He plans to send an open letter to the Bonairean government (Island and Executive Councils) with a copy to the Queen’s representative, Rijksvertegewoordiger, Wilbert Stolte, as well as the leaders of the political parties in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, asking to give this matter the most proper attention. His key point is that the local government, acting in this matter as it did, violated some very important general rules of good governance (in Dutch called Algemene beginselen van behoorlijk Bestuur). That rule implies respect for the rule of law; openness, transparency and accountability to democratic institutions; fairness and equity in dealings with citizens, including mechanisms for consultation and participation; efficient, effective services; clear, transparent and applicable laws and regulations; consistency and coherence in policy formation; and high standards of ethical behavior." In his opinion the decisions lacked proper motivation because the only basis seemed to be: we have to do this under pressure of the Dutch government to better our financial position. This pressure cannot be a valid argument for making rules that will have a big impact on so many people. Taking into account that we have here on Bonaire an inflation of around 9%, it is unfair that lease prices have been raised some by many, many hundreds of percent! Besides this, the land lease holders were not involved in the process of reviewing the lease prices. This can be considered as breaking a contract between government and the long leaser. In modern regulations (i.e. in Amsterdam) both parties get fully involved in that process. In addition, the social aspect has been taken into account, like a subsidy for the needy. For tens of years the government did nothing and now the conclusion must be: improper governance while violating several items of good governance. There are two ways to handle this issue: reconsider the whole lease regulation using Amsterdam as a good example. The other is conform to Dutch law and overturn the current decision. On this point action should be taken by the Gezaghebber (Governor) or the Rijksvertegewoordiger Mr. Zuidam asks all people who support his ideas to send a letter to: and saying, “I fully agree with the standpoint taken by Mr. Zuidam in his open letter of December 30, 2011, regarding the long lease issue.” G.D./Jos Zuidam C T F The Jong Bonaire drum band and folkloric dancers performed for the rededication ceremonies to celebrate the renovations that enlarged the Jong Bonaire facility and created more space to host programs. In addition to the official ceremonies the event included sports competitions with teams from the police, fire department, Coast Guard, hospital and other groups competing against teams from Jong Bonaire. The event also featured a newly painted wall designed by Sharsi Anthony, one of the members of Jong Bonaire. There were also activity demonstrations during the afternoon. Jane Townsend photo


Page 4 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 “I was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, where I spent two months.Then my parents took me to Dutch New Guinea, which is now Indonesian New Guinea. My father worked for a small international cooperation involved in trade. I lived my first six years in New Guinea in different places. It’s a very big island, the world’s biggest, except for Greenland. What I can still remember is when we lived in the bird’s head of the island (the island has somewhat the shape of a bird) in a place called Manokwari. I would walk down to the ocean – we lived on a hill – and I spent all my free time walking on the tidal flats. Behind the house the jungle started and on the tidal flats I was catching fish and right there my love and interest in nature was born. In 1962 the Netherlands was forced by the UN to give New Guinea back to Indonesia and all the Dutch people were forced to leave. My mom and I moved to the Netherlands and my father stayed for one more year to arrange everything for the company. The year we lived in the Netherlands 19621963, it was the fiercest winter in living memory. My mom, who is from Indonesia, didn’t like it one bit, but I loved it! When my father came back, my parents immediately started planning to move to the tropics again. Then the company decided to move us to Curacao. It was completely new for me, but we lived in a house close to the harbor, at Schottegat, and I immediately began to explore the water, walking around in the mud of the mangroves and catching fish. That’s when my father decided to keep an aquarium so I could keep them alive instead of killing them in the pool. Basically it was then when I was introduced to snorkeling and as I couldn’t swim yet, I was walking around, face in the water with my snorkel. Soon I learned to swim and then it was a challenge to catch all the fish there were and I started identifying them. I was about 10, 12 years old and of course I was already convinced I was going to be a biologist. I should say, that when I was growing up in Curacao and catching fish and starting to spear fish, my parents would often ask me to catch them a lobster. Even then I knew already it wasn’t right as there were so few lobsters. And just before I moved to Amsterdam I started telling people not to spear fish. At that time people thought the sea was an endless provider. I graduated from Rodulphus College in 1971 when I was 16, then I went to the Netherlands to study biology at the University of Amsterdam. Because I was still very young, I went to live with my aunt and uncle who were really progressive people – ‘green’ thinkers, before ‘green’ existed. So, it was a good match. They were very important in how I started thinking. When I finished my bachelor’s in biology I looked for ways to spend my internship on Curacao. I was accepted at Carmabi (Caribbean Marine Biological Institute). It was a hot spot of coral reef research in the Caribbean, so it was really a good place to be when you were studying biology! This was the start of a real scientific interest in the coral reef. It was 1976 and the Cristoffel Park was established on Curacao and the Curacao underwater park and the Bonaire Marine Park were planned. All of this strategizing was done at Carmabi while I was there. All of it was being discussed so it was really exciting! After one and a half years of internship I went back to the Netherlands. I had done a major on Curacao and finished two minors – tropical botany and aquatic ecology and all of this was done with the idea of going back to the tropics. However, at the same time I knew there were no jobs for biologists. When my study was done, I didn’t get my masters, instead I went to work for the university, teaching dissection – practical biology lessons – to students. You could only do that when you were still at university which is why I didn’t get my masters. I did that for four years. Every year I would go back to Curacao to visit my parents. I had also met Mieke in Amsterdam and of course I took her with me and she encouraged me to look harder for a job on Curacao. In 1983 we were vacationing and they were building the Curacao Sea Aquarium. My father was in the hardware business and through his connections I met the owner (Continued on page 5) “….my aunt and uncle ... were really progressive people – ‘green’ thinkers, before ‘green’ existed. ” ROCARGO SERVICES, N.V. International Freight (Car) BV The ONLY company offering direct weekly consolidation services from Europe/Holland to Bonaire Jupiterweg 1A (Ecopark) 4761 RW Moerdijk, Holland Tel 31-(0) 168-40-94 94 Fax 31-(0) 168-40 94 70 Offering DAILY Express Services from and to Bonaire For shipment tracking The World On Time Kaya Industria 12, KralendijkBonaire—N.A. 717-8922 FAX 717-5791 For All Your Shipping Needs Full service door to door by air and by sea. Customs clearance, transportation, warehousing. International and local relocation. Packing material in stock. Qualified and professional personnel. Timely, accurate and reliable ISO 9001: 2000 Certified Amcar Freight, Inc. The ONLY company offering direct weekly consolidation services from Miami, USA to Bonaire Amcar Freight 12600 NW 25 Street Suite 107 Miami, Fl 33182 Tel. (305) 599-8866 Fax (305) 599-2808 Paul in his office at home


Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Page 5 and I asked him ‘Do you need a biologist?’ and he answered, ‘When can you start?’ I still had to get my masters, they were still building and in September 1984 I had my degree and I went to Curacao. Mieke wasn’t sure about the move, whether it would be good for her, but she came in December to look at the house and she stayed three months. She went back to the Netherlands to take care of everything and returned to Curacao in April and we got married the next month. My brother was running Land house Brievengat – the place to party! – so he organized the whole wedding including a limousine! I started to work for the Sea Aquarium and as they were still under construction my first job was to paint the aquariums. It was one big family. I spent 13years there and I saw four different directors come and go. My job was to catch fish, put them in the aquariums, keep them alive and explain to people about the fish… everything I had already done when I was a kid…. In 1987 when I was collecting corals in deep water I got really seriously bent. I was lucky to be alive and managed to get to the surface and the decompression chamber. I spent three months in the hospital and it took me six months before I could walk again. I’m still not very solid on my legs. But to be alive – it is the most important thing. As a result, my catching and collecting days were diminished. I was still diving but not professionally anymore. I spent more hours at the office and it gave me time to realize that the state of the reefs was getting a lot worse. At the end of the 80s it was getting worse every year and… it wasn’t something local – it was worldwide. So, coral reef scientists came together in 1992 in Samoa and they said, ‘If we don’t do anything we will lose 20-40% of the reef in the next generation (20 years).’ While talking with marine biologists on Curacao who had been to that conference we decided to do something. We set up the Reef Care Curacao Foundation, to put more attention on the coral reef and to stop harmful actions such as coastal development. The foundation was pretty successful for a number of years. We also taught kids how to snorkel (‘Kids for Coral’), lobbied with the government and we were monitoring programs for the reefs and clean-ups. On Bonaire people started to do the same things. Then the Sea Aquarium started constructing large breakwaters to expand and was destroying a lot of coral reef in the process, and at the same time I was fighting this coastal destruction… Well, to make a long story short, when in 1998 the government of the Netherlands Antilles offered me a job setting up an environmental department I accepted. It was a great opportunity and for the first time I became aware of the other islands, especially the Windward Islands. The central government worked for all five islands of course and I discovered I really liked trying to get people to cooperate and bring them together. So, we organized nature forums where we brought everybody who had anything to do with nature conservation together and we started brainstorming how we could best protect nature on the islands. A lot of basic policies were developed through those meetings such as that each island needs at least one Marine and one Land Park. To manage those areas you needed to set up something that would last forever and not be susceptible to sudden changes. We needed to come up with a system in which you were not dependent on tourism and we came up with the idea of a trust fund –basically a pot of money that you don’t touch – you only use the interest. Thanks to a large donation from the Dutch government we were able to establish such a trust fund in three years. At that time we established the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance together with the parks of the islands and, in fact, the DCNA was the parks working together. This was in 2003-2005. In 2005 there was a million euro per year donation from the Dutch government for the trust fund and it wasn’t supposed to be used but to sit in a pot and generate interest. The parks agreed to let the money and the interest sit to let the capital grow for 10 years because the target was 25 million euro. If you want to have some meaningful funds that was the amount you needed. So thanks to funding from the Dutch Post Code Lottery we were able to develop a lot of joint projects between the islands to strengthen the cooperation. Of course this wasn’t all I did. Another thing I worked on was the Saba Bank, which is a huge shallow area just south of Saba. We actually found out it is a very rich area for biodiversity and it made it clear to us that the area needed to be protected, especially from tankers that used the area to On the Island Since (continued from page 4) (Continued on page 11) Paul and Mieke in their garden in front of the orchids


Page 6 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Professional massage therapy, facials, reflexology, lymph drainage, Shiatsu, deep tissue massage and other body and facial treatments Massage Program Neuromuscular Massage and Total Reflexology (90 min.) $135 Aroma Therapy (60 Min.) $75.00 Deep Massage For Divers (60 Min.) $68.00 Deep Tissue Massage (60 Min.) $75.00 Reflexology (50 Min.) $68.00 Lymph Drainage (60 Min.) $65.00 Bonairean Salt Body Scrub (30 Min.) $46.00 And much more…. Facial Program Mini Facial (30 Min.) $46.00 Hydrating Facial (60 Min.) $98.00 Skin Fitness (60 Min. Recommended For Men) $80.00 Peeling (30 min.) $100 After-Sun Relief Mask (60 Min.) $60.00 Spa Packages too... Sand Dollar Plaza Kaya Gob. Debrot 79 Tel; 785-3398 or 717-2622 Email: Spa hours: Monday Saturday 10.00 am 6.00 pm, by appointment only Other times available D ecember 20th was the 40th wedding anniversary of Francisco “Nachi” Nicolaas and Sabina Nicolaas-Melaan It was celebrated at home, amidst their children and grandchildren at Kaya Kiowa in Nort di Salia where Nachi, a former fisherman, sells fish. Because of Nachi’s business, the couple is well-known all over the island and it’s always busy at their house, a coming and going of people – clients, fishermen, neighbors, family and friends. Nachi is a great person, always friendly and in a good mood, and he delivers the best fish and provides an excellent service. Mama Sabina knows everything about plants and her garden is lush and beautiful, but besides that she also took care of most of her grand children when they were little and the parents had to work. Still, the whole bunch comes and eats and plays and sleeps at their grandparent’s house and spends the school vacations there. Latest edition and very much appreciated ‘gift’ is youngest granddaughter, Shamira. Francisco and Sabina are the center of a close-knit family where everyone helps one another and where they are always there for each other. This precious couple created a solid and loving environment for their family. And besides that, they’re also the best neighbors one could wish for! In name of all their children and grandchildren, family, friends and neighbors we wish Francisco and Sabina, many, many more years in all togetherness and in good health with lots of blessings. Masha Pabien! Greta Kooistra M CB Bank is spearheading an effort to make Bonaire free of dengue fever by eradicating the mosquito ( Aedes aegypti ) that carries the disease. The local and national governments are also studying the situation. During part of December Professor Bart Knols and colleagues from the company, Soper Strategies, found dengue mosquito larvae in almost all residential areas and cemeteries on Bonaire. In late February they will present a joint plan with the Hygiene Department to the public, hotels and businesses They say that in three years Bonaire can become completely and permanently dengue free. Last year 668 people were confirmed to have been made very ill by dengue virus. That was four times as much as the previous year. Since not everyone goes to the doctor and not every doctor has to do laboratory research the actual number of infected people is likely much higher. A most conservative estimate is 10% of the local population have been infected Authorities advise everyone not to wait for their plan. Take immediate measures to remove standing water (where the mosquitoes breed) from tires, car wrecks, vases, buckets and other items. G.D./ Press release B ecause of the big increase in the number of restaurants open for lunch in “downtown” Kralendijk (from the Harbour Village Marina to Divi Flamingo Resort) The Reporter conducted a write-in and Internet survey of restaurants our readers liked best. The winner, far ahead of the rest of the spots, was Effie’s Deli Delicious. Despite its unobtrusive location across from the tax office it collect ed 70% of the vote. In a solid second place was Patrice Rannou’s Bistro di Paris. The top five selections were: 1. Effie's Deli Delicious 2. Bistro di Paris 3. Capriccio (tie) -City Caf (tie) 4. Porto Deli 5. Donna & Giorgio's G.D. Effie at Deli Delicious R epeat Bonaire visitors are recognized for their loyalty to the island by being named “Ambassadors” by the TCB (Tourist Bureau) Among the latest are Becky and Tom Starkweather who were awarded the bronze medal for their 10 years of visits. They were presented their medals by Paulo Allee, TCB, intern, who recently completed his term of work-study. G.D. “M usicians from Bonaire – For Bonaire” That was the theme of the Holiday Concert presented by the Classical Music Board Bonaire on December 17 at Plaza’s Cacique Hall. These were not anonymous big stars but well known and beloved musicians who performed with big hearts. It reflected the true meaning of the holiday. Adorable Bonaire youngsters – the Children’s Choir from Rincon, Grep Linkels and Devanie Pourier – performed along with ever popular singer Julius Andrew, Hans Fassen, Jasper Blokzul and the Silver Bullet Steel band led by Franklin Scherpton. Children in the audience as well as adults showed their appreciation with a standing ovation. Laura DeSalvo


Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Page 7 T o solve the puzzle, enter the numbers 1 through 9 to the partially filled in puzzle Sudoku Solution without repeating a number in any row, column or 3 x 3 region. H ere we are again, another new year! Full of hopes and dreams and goals that this year will be better than last year. After all, the number 12 does seem to have some significance in our lives. The number 12 is also believed to be the number of strength, conviction, absoluteness and finality. Whatever the predictions for later this year, what will you change in your life this year? Why not take a serious look at your health. After all, you dedicate a large portion of your day to a career, you spend valuable time cleaning your house, and cooking and socializing. Unfortunately not many people spend much or any time thinking about their health. Oh sure, they spend time thinking about their illnesses and disease and medications all right, unable, and more often unwilling to make changes. At least two out of the three meals a day is eaten “on the run!” There are far too many carbohydrates and sugars and not enough proteins in the average diet thanks to their stressful lives. These same foods are loaded with preservatives, colorings, MSG and too much salt. It is no wonder more and more people are getting sicker by the day. Has the medical profession failed us or are we failing ourselves? They certainly have not been and are still not honest with us. Daily, more and more people are diagnosed with high blood pressure, with cardiovascular disease, with cancer and with diabetes. Why are people getting sicker, not better? Yes, we can blame the weather, the environment, our parents, our doctors, our jobs etc., but blaming our diets does seem to be at the bottom of the list! Why? Because most of us eat for comfort! That glass of wine at the end of the day, or that quick “pick me up” soda or coffee between meals that we deserve. How often have you used the excuse that you are too busy to eat? Are you also too busy to shop for that new outfit, or to fill your car with fuel, or to watch television or to go to work every day? Your food, and therefore your three daily meals a day, should be your highest priority! If you think that your breakfast of a few slices of bread with cheese or ham and coffee is adequate – it is not! On average, most people do not eat enough at breakfast and will “snack” round about 10:30 in the morning. Lunch is usually hot and reasonably sufficient, but unfortunately, having consumed a fairly large lunch, so many people will only have bread and cheese for an evening meal. Their poor bodies go from lunchtime to lunch-time with very little nutritional food in-between! I will also add that these are the same people with weight and energy problems and that do not sleep well at night! Surprise, surprise! Whether you like it or not, there are no shortcuts when it comes to your health! Everything you put in your mouth will affect your health. It will either keep you healthy or make you sick! A Happy New Year to each and every one of you – may it be a healthy, wealthy and prosperous one! Stephanie Bennett, A NEW YEAR – A NEW START? Stephanie Bennett, studied herbs, minerals and nutrition in South Africa. Before moving to Bonaire she continued her studies in the UK and now researches Bonaire health issues. the cost of raising a child. Please mark your calendar for MARCH 4th, 2012. SPECIAL OLYMPICS BONAIRE 10th ANNUAL WALK-A-THON. Tickets are already available for only $15. Sponsors who already are part of this are MCB Bank Bonaire, Total Car Rental, DIGICEL and HITESS. Wondering where the SELIBON yellow dome-shaped receptacles for glass are? As a precaution they were all picked up and brought to SELIBON for safe keeping during the fireworks period. They should be back in their places (at stores, bars, restaurants, etc.) this week. Thank you to SELIBON for planning ahead! Happy New Year to all our readers and advertisers from all of us at The Reporter We appreciate all your support. We want you to stay with us in 2012. G./L.D. Flotsam and Jetsam (Continued from page 3) REFLECTION ON THE NEW YEAR Dear Editor, On 1-1-2012 the new Bonaire is one year old — How did it fare? >A new runway >A beautiful new school for secondary education >A 6% raise in salary for public servants >Indexation of the state old age pension (AOW) US$ 524 becomes US$ 555 >5-year plan for raising the level of education >Higher salaries for teachers >Raising minimum wages and welfare >Improving nurses' training >Kidney dialysis centre reaches completion >No Albert Hein, but a Van den Tweel supermarket Doesn't sound too bad, but yet many Bonaireans are none too happy with it. Is it because how it all came about? Could be. Anyway, try to be happy next year Ger Vellinga DISAPPOINTED Dear Editor, When we went Dutch, our hopes were lifted, But that expectation soon was shifted. My new dollar did not go as far, As the cost of living reached for a star. To the poor this did not appeal, So more and more began to steal. I love the new stores and shops But their goods have made my budget pop. My taxes soared for land and living But no raise my boss was giving. Government workers got some bucks But me, I’m out of luck. Tell me again why things are better And then I can write another letter. Anonymous The Bad Junk Food Monster


Page 8 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Bonaire/Santa Barbara – D ecember, Friday morning. Rain and sunshine. Mud, muddy roads and dirty cars. The time of the year. Dangerous when wet. It takes a lot of chain lube to keep the final drive of my off road single cylinder thumper well maintained. I drive my motorcycle up the hill of Santa Barbara. Surprise: a stretch of new tarmac on the road! Then I turn left and left again and I park my bike on the jiffy stand, right in front of the tropical mansion of Bud and Nance. Over the fence and through the vegetation I notice that the hood of Bud’s Chevrolet is opened. Trouble? Trouble! After servicing for several decades the throttle cable of the single barrel carburetor passed away and Bud is fiddling around looking for a hairpin or a paperclip or whatever piece of wire to secure the just installed second hand, as good as new, throttle cable. Then he sleekly jumps on the bench seat of his pride and turns the ignition key. It takes some seconds to blow out the unused gasoline vapor created by the minor repair and maintenance. Then the eight sparks take over, the engine starts and Bud engages the three speed gearbox in reverse. No metal noises, just the smooth sliding of the sprockets over the shafts. Bud parks his Chevy at a photogenic location. Then it starts raining again. The heavenly water gives the recently resprayed truck body a nice gloss. Bud: “Yes, we are very happy with our truck. It is a single cab Chevrolet Scottsdale, equipped with a V8-engine and a real manual operated gearbox. There is a low first gear and a normal first gear. This car was produced in 1976 to do the real job. Look: this badge reads: ‘Manufactured by General Motors Corporation CCL246J148438 03/76.’ Those days they knew how to produce heavy duty trucks for farmers and people living in the outback! Look at the leaf springs in the rear. Nine blades on each side to carry a lot of cargo in the long bed!” Bud and Nance are really fond of their truck. Originally it was equipped with two gasoline tanks. One on each side, behind the cabin, under the bed. The chassis is heavy and sturdy. In the rear a solid axle and leaf springs, in the front two wishbones and independent suspension. Disk brakes in the front, drum brakes on the rear. Impressive steel 16-inch rims and four new P24570R16 Good Year Wrangler tires. Every wheel has eight nuts. This vehicle can outlive generations of mankind. The interior is basic. A bench instead of two separate seats, no adjusting possible. An ashtray, some gages and an odometer reading 90,000 miles. Bud: “I always wanted to be the owner of a basic all American made truck. I loved the Nissan King Cab I owned before but compared to this Scottsdale that was just a Japanese toy. I am retired now. I started as a plumber. I did a lot of heavy work, and I stopped as a plumber. I just like metal and honest materials. That’s why I like this car. She is reliable and a good runner. I gave her a paintjob and there is a black rhino on the right and on the left door. Just because I like rhinos.” Bud and Nance seem to be a happy couple. Easy does it. The Scottsdale Chevrolet fits them well. Look for yourself at the picture. What else could you wish? We share another drink on the front porch and we chat about cars, boats, plants and some more important things in life. Then the rain stops and I grab my gear. We shake hands and I kiss Nance. In the garden Bud’s boat is waiting for attention and I have to finish my article. I start my bike and carefully drive it down the Santa Barbara hill in the direction of the strip of new high quality Bonairean tarmac! Story & photo by Jan Brouwer POrtO Deli Open 8 am-8 pm On the Waterfront in Downtown Kralendijk– Next to Wattaburger Enjoy your meal in air conditioning or al fresco. Phone 717-3997 Wine Bar with Tapas Breakfast, Lunch, Early Dinner Homemade salads, Biggest burgers -250 g, Unique sandwiches Bread baked immediately before serving Top quality ingredients Healthy menu includes meat, cheeses and fish Premium coffee and beverages “Tapas and Wine” Ana Makaai’s new restaurant The 98thof a series of Bonaire Reporter articles by J@n Brouwer, featuring some of Bonaire’s interesting vehicles that are “on wheels.” On course for 100+, 2 to go! Bud and Nance and Their Blue 1974 Chevrolet Scottsdale Pickup Truck With 4 locations and 3 retail stores a door-step away to your ultimate dive adventure Without Blue there is no Green Stop by D U S H I S H O E S to check out our new selection of REEF Dive Friends @ Divers Discount, Dive Friends @ Retail Outlet, Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine, Dive Friends @ Dive Inn, Dive Friends @ Port Bonaire, Dive Friends @ Hamlet, Dive Friends @ Dushi Shoes +599 717 29 29 C ONS E R V A T I O N T H R O U G H E D U C A T I ON


Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Page 9 B on Pasku and Bon Ano Nobo Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 2011 was a very dramatic year on Bonaire and especially for real estate on Bonaire. While 10-10-10 was the official day of change in the status of Bonaire many of the political changes and most of the financial changes did not begin until Jan. 1, 2011. 2011 began with extremely high hopes. On Bonaire 2011 was supposed to bring confidence and certainty to Bonaire’s economy and especially to Bonaire real estate. Financial markets love certainty and abhor even the hint of uncertainty. Real estate is a key part and a reflection of financial markets. Issues about currency conversion, import taxes and duties, personal taxes, employment taxes, immigration and visitation were all supposed to be resolved in a manner that would promote growth and personal and economic well being. Many had great expectations for major capital investments from the private and governmental sectors. Real estate reality did not live up to real estate expectations. The data for the year is still incomplete. My sources report that 2011 will most likely be Bonaire’s worst real estate year in many, many years. The real estate community is anticipating for 2011 the lowest number of sales, the lowest total dollar volume, the highest number of foreclosures, and the lowest average prices. Bonaire’s real estate hopes of January 2011 were dashed upon the rocks of the European Union potential political collapse, a 15% drop in the purchasing power of the Euro, the American deficit debt debacle and home grown events including a sudden unexpected change of government, tax issues, immigration and visitation policies, concern over the implications of the RO/RO pier sale and inflation. The good news on Bonaire is: € There is a definite uptick in buyer interest in the past month € In the past month many sellers have become much more realistic and priced their properties to the market. € A few sellers have made it clear they are very motivated to sell. € The American economy though fragile has reported five consecutive months of improvement in jobs, unemployment, the stock market, economic outlook and consumer confidence. € Certainty has replaced uncertainty in many crucial areas. € The opportunities for a positive economy are greater than those for a negative economy. € Compared to most Caribbean islands our economy is good. Hopes for real estate rule changes in 2012: € The real estate community hopes the rules on island visitation will be revised. Most industrialized countries encourage foreign second home investment by granting unrestricted visitation to second homeowners and their family. (The right to work is prohibited). € This policy would have a very dramatic positive impact on real estate demand and values. Growing real estate values always lead to a growing economy benefiting everyone. The government would benefit from additional transfer and land tax revenue. Wish for 2012: Our wish for all the people who love Bonaire is a 2012 filled with abundant health, happiness, peace and prosperity. Anna & Art Kleimer The Kleimers are founding partners of Bonaire Island Real Estate, B.V. Email: BONAIRE REAL ESTATE 2011 YEAR IN REVIEW W e b : m or ef or l e s s b o na i r e. c o m Bonaire/Playa – O n Saturday, December 17, a group of young dogs was tested by dog trainer Shirley van de Haar ( De Uitdaging /The Challenge). During a period of several months the group got together at the Wilhelminaplein in Kralendijk for training and learning. In the photo (left to right): Jeanette with Enya, Alexis with Prince Charming, Shirley van de Haar, Marianske with Tutti, Annemiek with Lilly and Oliver with Sam. Next training will be search training, st arting this Saturday at 9am. For more information email: or call 787– 2180. Jan Brouwer


Page 10 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Bonaire Reporter Classifieds— Are still free And they always get results! Non-Business Classified Ads (up to 4 lines/ 20 words are still FREE Commercial Ads only $0. 60 per word, for each two-week issue. Call 790-6518 or 790-8988 or email LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS For RENT: Very comfortable 2-BR apartment in secluded area of Punt Vierkant in Belnem. Fully furnished, spacious living + dining area and full kitchen. Private patio and tropical garden with designated parking. $890.00 per month incl. TV + WIFI internet. Available per January 15, 2012. Call 796-5530 ———————————————— FOR RENT. Studios for long and short term at Hato $50-70. Long term $420550. Tel. 717 2529 or Stay over a night on Bonaire. ——————————————— House for rent in Kaya Uranus Belnem, 2 bedrooms, air conditioner and hot water. $850.month includes monthly garden maintenance. Call 717 -2698 or 785-9900. ———————————————— For SALE: Large building lot in nice upscale neighborhood of Punt Vierkant at the southern end of Belnem. Perfect quiet location for a home or other investment purposes. Situated at walking distance to the ocean and just minutes from town. 960 m2 /10333.354 ft of privately owned land. This lot is attractively priced at $75.—per m2 buyers cost. Call 796-5530 ———————————————— MISCELLANEOUS ——————————————— I am a responsible woman looking for a part-time job that pays $10 an hour. I speak Papiamentu, Dutch, English and Spanish. I am not afraid for work. You can call me at: 700-1909 ———————————————For SALERecumbent bike, $475. Great exercise, easy on the knees. Tracks time, speed, distance, calories, and heart rate. Uses 110v. 7173267. ——————————————— For SALE : 20 pound gas cylinders for household + apartment use or small kitchen area at $25.00 p/tank. Call 7965530 ———————————————— 6 chairs, foldable, adjustable 5 pos. armrest, Hartman, Florion, unused – still o-packed, anthraziet, 62x62x107 price: $450 Tel. 717-2278 ———————————————Flat screen 17’’, VisionMagic, Resolution : 1280 x 1024 Price: $ 100 Tel. 717-2278 ———————————————For SALE: 20 pound gas cylinders for household + apartment use at $25.00 p/ tank. Call 796-5530 Tel (599) 791-6272 / 785-6272 For Quality House and Office Cleaning and Maintenance .. CALL JRA Serving Bonaire for more than 15 years Honest, Reliable, Efficient, Thorough, Low rates, References. One time or many Phone 785-9041 … and relax. ———————————— LUNCH TO GO Starting from $4 per meal. Call CHINA NOBO 717-8981. Web site: 16 Flights a day between Bonaire and Curaao Divi Divi Air Reservations 24 hours a day Call (5999 839-1515) Or (5999 563-1913) Bonaire-Sun Rise/Set, Moon Phase and Tides Winds and weather can further influence the local tide’s height and time Day High Low High Low High Sunrise Sunset Make Your Home More Comfortable FENG SHUI CONSULTATIONS Also interior or exterior design advice China-trained. Experienced. Inexpensive. Call Donna at 795-9332 JanuaryFri 06 02:19 0.03 ft 10:31 0.99 ft 20:11 0.08 ft 6:58 18:24 Sat 07 11:08 1.00 ft 20:58 0.11 ft 6:58 18:25 Sun 08 11:46 0.98 ft 21:36 0.13 ft 6:58 18:25 Mon 09 12:27 0.95 ft 22:05 0.14 ft Full Moon 6:59 18:26 Tue 10 13:11 0.89 ft 22:28 0.14 ft 6:59 18:27 Wed 11 13:59 0.81 ft 22:49 0.14 ft 6:59 18:27 Thu 12 05:07 0.36 ft 09:00 0.31 ft 14:51 0.72 ft 23:10 0.14 ft 6:59 18:28 Fri 13 05:23 0.50 ft 10:57 0.29 ft 15:47 0.61 ft 23:33 0.14 ft 7:00 18:28 Sat 14 05:51 0.66 ft 12:29 0.21 ft 16:46 0.49 ft 7:00 18:29 Sun 15 00:00 0.15 ft 06:26 0.81 ft 13:45 0.12 ft 17:46 0.38 ft 7:00 18:29 Mon 16 L Quarter 00:30 0.16 ft 07:04 0.95 ft 14:52 0.02 ft 18:48 0.29 ft 7:00 18:30 Tue 17 01:04 0.16 ft 07:47 1.07 ft 15:54 0.06 ft 19:49 0.21 ft 7:00 18:30 Wed 18 01:41 0.15 ft 08:32 1.14 ft 16:54 0.13 ft 20:52 0.15 ft 7:00 18:31 Thu 19 02:21 0.13 ft 09:19 1.17 ft 17:52 0.17 ft 21:59 0.11 ft 7:01 18:31 Fri 20 03:03 0.10 ft 10:07 1.16 ft 18:49 0.19 ft 23:10 0.10 ft 7:01 18:32 Give the gift of serenity A“Feng Shui” Review of Your Home Looking: Tony from Chicago, whose vocation is field research. If you read this, Tony, or if anyone who knows him and his whereabouts, can you get in touch with me at and/or pass this on to him. ——————————————— Well known Dutch artist looking for house / apartment on Bonaire for January 2012. Damsel in despair! Contact: ——————————————— Looking For Danielle Fouche, who was on the Langtang Trail in Nepal approx. April of 2010. We are looking for a young person you may have met while hiking. Please send an email to EMPLOYMENT I Need a Job Hire me if you want someone with a very strong administration and management background. Capable of managing a resort, apartment complex, or retail outlet I am a long time resident of Bonaire, no work permit required. Contact Marion Wilson, 717-8485; 785-1790. Don’t Gamble With Your Advertising Reach more readers than any other Bonaire paper– Delivered to Hotels and Shops plus Thousands More Readers On the Internet Call Laura at 786-6518 / or Marion at 785-1790 Email:


Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Page 11 A BUDGET MAKEOVER I n October Wiegert de Jong and J@n Brouwer tr aveled through the U.S. of A. to visit some of their friends, to enjoy the Indian summer and to find interesting Americanmade semi-classic cars. Weather conditions were nice and all over the country people were selling and buying pumpkins because of Halloween coming up. In the photograph J@n Brouwer shows the latest edition of hi s beloved newspaper. Loads and loads of pumpkins were for sale at Pete’s County Market. The heavy duty pick up truck is a bright yellow International, manufactured in the early 50s of the last century.. E-Mail your photos of yourself with to: WIN GREAT PRIZES! Take a copy of The Bonaire Reporter with you on your next trip or when you return to your home. The best photo of the year wins. Winners for 2011 are now being chosen. Extended holiday hours on December 23, 24, 30 and 31 anchor. Another part of my work was internal relations representing the islands at regional meetings on biodiversity and then… the transition came. At first we advised the Dutch government on what they would need to be doing once the BES islands came under the Netherlands. At that time the Dutch government asked me to come and work for the BES islands and, as the Antilles were separating, I decided I’d rather work for the three islands than just for Curacao. So we moved to Bonaire 10-10-10. Mieke said moving was doable, but if she had said ‘no’ we wouldn’t have done it. Nowadays I continue the work I was doing for the five islands, but this time I am only doing it for the three islands and the Dutch government. I feel I am some sort of a bridge between the Netherlands and the three islands, where I can provide the island point of view to the Netherlands and vice versa.” Paul and Mieke Hoetjes are very nice and interesting people, easy going, hospitable and calm. “I feel I am Antillean,” Paul says, “ and I want to work for the islands. I feel it’s very important to cooperate. We really like it here on Bonaire. We found a very nice house and we were also lucky that all our plants – mostly orchids – survived the container trip. When we sit here having coffee we hear the parrots going by and there are a lot of other birds as well. The diving is fantastic. I always used to say that the Curacao reefs were as beautiful as the Bonaire reefs, but had more variety. Now I find the Bonaire reefs are actually better… So we really enjoy the peace and quiet and the people are so friendly… we are planning on staying here.” Story & photos by Greta Kooistra (Continued from page 5) A BUDGET MAKEOVER W e have just passed the holiday season and what most of us were thinking about was buying new clothes, remodeling the house, gifts for family and friends, food, accessories for parties, just to mention a few. But some questions don’t come into our minds like how many families got through these seasons? Were they able to follow the traditions every year? The reality is just in our faces. We know there are families who are coping with hard times economically. What can they do to ease their burdens and be able to celebrate the holidays in the future? With the help of a well experienced professional social worker (now retired) who has been in the field for more than 30 years we can perhaps understand what can be done. Mrs. Elka Coffi (64 ) is still active in many organizations, giving guidance and helping people. She’s the president of the “Foundation for the Blind and Hearing.” As she says, “I worked as a professional social worker for 30 years and the improvement in family affairs is still on much too low a scale. By now we should have more stable families for a stable community, but there are so many families with all kinds of problems, especially economically, and the community has to take care of them. Instead of preparing breakfast for their children in the morning the parents buy pastiches and drinks as a quick breakfast for their children to take to school. The children like to flow with the style, and parents feel they have to compromise themselves to please their children. The worst part is that they may have everything that the world can offer but no food in the house. Some of these children go to school without eating. We need to stop looking at what others have and concentrate on our own income and expenses. First our monetary system was in guilders, but at the beginning of this year, 2011, everything changed to dollars. So how can you manage that dollar? First you must have a budget, your shopping list, a weekly menu and the consciousness of eating healthy Making a budget is very important for your monthly needs. What precisely is a budget? It’s a guide or a system to work with your money in a responsible and conscientious way. It’s a matter of making a list of all your expenses and all your income, how you pay your bills and what you have left in your pocket. You can’t spend more than what you receive. To make a budget as a family or a couple it’s very important to combine the incomes and the expenses. See what can be put aside for savings. Set goals and see what you want to achieve in that year. Some goals require a loan. It’s very important to evaluate these goals. Not all your goals can be achieved in one year, some can wait. Remember, when you choose a goal it is important to put it in your monthly budget, and to meet your goal you don’t have to buy everything you see. Set your priorities and decide what comes first. Be conscientious about your rights and responsibilities. Learn to live in an organized manner and discipline yourself. Make a budget plan for your monthly expenses and your income. Categorize, judge, formulate and execute. When you categorize you will have a better look into your financial situation. By judging you can see how far you can deviate from your normal situation. After formulating and executing you have come to a balanced budget for you and your family. Now the biggest challenge is to stick to your budget. There are a lot of attractions and we can easily fall into debt. We must remember we have to save money. At Maduro & Curiel’s Bank there is ‘Lito’ for the children. At Giro bank there is ‘Sam,’ where you can put in an amount of money each month for over a year. Plus you have ‘Oinky’ savings accounts for the children. Before you take action, stand still and consider if it’s the correct one. Remember your personal loans and keep them in balance. We as parents have an obligation to our children to raise them well and to feed them. Plan ahead as to whether you can afford to have children or how many you can have. We have our responsibility and we can’t overload or have the community pay for our deeds. Seek the counsel of well experienced persons. Remember, check your income, have some discipline with yourself. You can’t spend more than what you get, otherwise you will get yourself into financial problems.” Remember, holidays are like passes through stations: they come and they go, but the burdens left behind will stay with you. Have a happy and prosperous year 2012. Story/photo by Siomara Albertus Elka Coffi


Page 12 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 ACCOMMODATIONS Villa Makoshi is a fully furnished home with central air; 2 BR; 2 Baths; 2 private & secured decks with a beautiful view; pool. www. AIRLINES Divi Divi AirBonaire’s “on time airline” with 16 flights a day between Bonaire and Curaao. Your first choice for inter-island travel. Now flying to Aruba. ART Henk Roozendaal is one of Bonaire’s most accomplished artists. His specialty is portraits that capture not only the spirit of the individuals but also offer a glimpse of their lifestyle. APPLIANCES /TV/ ELECTRONICS/ COMPUTERS City Shop the mega store, has the island’s widest selection of large and small home appliances, furniture, TV, computers, cell phones and more. In-store financing too. BANK ORCO Bank offers one-on-one attention., personal banking works. Each client is a client, not a number. Office in the historic building at Kaya Grandi 48. COMMERCIAL ART Gaia Productions can provide all your digital printing needs, including banners, stickers, cards and other advertising items. Celebrating 10 years in business. BEAUTY PARLOR Hair Affair Expert hair cutting, styling, facials and facial waxing. CARS AND BIKES De Freewieler sells bikes and all kinds of bike accessories. They do professional repairs on almost anything on two wheels. Have your keys made here too. DENTURE REPAIR All Denture Lab —for the best denture care by an experienced professional. Repairs while you wait. Next to Botika Korona on Kaya J. G. Hernandez. DINING Pasa Bon Pizza is Bonaire’s best. Freshly prepared pizzas made with the finest ingredients. Salads, desserts. Nice bar too. Very cool jazz music! 780-1111 Call ahead to eatin or take out. ON & IN THE WATER Budget Marine has what anyone with a boat needs, and if its not in stock they can order it quickly. You can also find special hardware for general use and components for solar and wind electric systems. Carib Inn is the popular 10-room inn with dive shop and well stocked retail store. Best book trade on Bonaire. Good prices on regulator repair, dive computer H.Q. Dive Friends has four dive schools and three retail shops so you always get the best deals and can be assured of top notch training. Remodeled shop open now. UNDERWATER VIDEO ScubaVision Pro video of your Bonaire vacation, above and/or below the water with a custom DVD by Bonaire’s top videographer, Hendrik Wuyts. GARDEN SUPPLIES AND SERVICES Green Label has everything you need to start or maintain your garden. They can design, install and maintain it and offer plants, irrigation supplies and garden chemicals. Off Kaya Industria, behind TIS. HOME CARE Bonaire Second Home Care can handle all the needs of second home owners on Bonaire including inspection, management and cleaning. PHOTOGRAPHER Bonaire’s creative video and still photographer for the wedding or other importan t events in your life. ScubaVision, Kaya Grandi 6, see website or YouTube REAL ESTATE /RENTAL AGENTS Bonaire Island Real Estate, B.V. Brings personal attention, experience and integrity to property transactions. Sunbelt Realty offers full real estate, rental, and insurance services. If you want a home or to invest in Bonaire, stop in and visit. RESTAURANTS Porto Deli Much more than a deli with tapas and a wine bar. Fresh-baked bread sandwiches, delicious soups & salads, big burgers, top ingredients. RETAIL Benetton, world famous designer clothes available now in Bonaire at prices less than those in US. For men, women and children. Le Garage has lots of the quality things everybody needs which weren’t available here before at great prices: household, garden, children’s. SECURITY Special Security Services will provide that extra measure of protection when you need it. Always reliable. STORAGE The Storehouse ( Mangazina in Papiamentu ) offers Secure Storage for Vehicles, Household Items, Diving and Sporting Gear, Business Files or Inventory. Across from the northern hotel row. SHIPPING Rocargo Freight Air and sea shipments in/ out of Bonaire. Customs agents. Professional and efficient. FedEx agent. What would we do without their superb services? SPAS/GYM Bon Bida Spa & Gym World Class fitness and health facilityClasses, top notch machines, trainers. Day, monthly or annual rates. Face and Body Day Spa by Nubia. Professional massage therapy, facials, reflexology, lymph drainage, Shiatsu, deep tissue massage and other body and facial treatments SUPERMARKETS Warehouse Supermarket on Kaya Industria— Biggest air conditioned market with a friendly staff, the largest selection and lowest prices on the island. More for Less Bonaire’s ‘boutique” supermarket with a wide selection, specializing in organic fruits and vegetables, unique products and fresh flowers from Ecuador. On the Nikiboko Road North WATER TAXI Get to Klein Bonaire by Ferry. Ride the Kantika di Amor. Hotel or downtown pickup The only water taxi to Klein Bonaire with an easy on/off built-in ramp WINES Antillean Wine Company. You’ve tried the rest; now try the best: best prices, highest quality wines kept in a cooled warehouse. Free delivery. Kaya Industria 23, Mon.-Sat. 9 am-1 pm. Sunbelt Realty From Bonaire Nautico Marina BONAIRE NAUTICO MARINA At It Rains Fishes Restaurant Call Henk at 560-7254 / Bob 786-5399 www.bonairenauticomarina /VHF 68 THE ONLY WALKON / WALKOFF WATER TAXI Catamaran Kantika di Amor Up to 27 people and supported by a brand new larger sister Catamaran Kantika Too Up to 50 people TRIPS Every Day (max 1.90 meter draft), Dinghy tie up at north-inside dock at US$10 weekly up from Monday till Monday. Water and 115/220 v. Daily trips via resorts 10 am, 12 2 pm Except Sundays at 10 am only Also available for group trips BonQuiz appears regularly in The Reporter. It’s prepared by Christie Dovale of Island Tours. Take an island tour with an expert. Contact her via her website: or Phone 717-4435 or 795-3456 Email: First Airport I n 1936 the first airport opened on Bonaire. It was only 500 meters (1,640 feet) long. Because of its location and conditions for landing it was not used for long. A new airstrip was built, and opened on February 21, 1956. Hint: Present day photo of the site is above. Q) Where was the first airstrip on Bonaire located? Answer on page 14.


Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Page 13 REGULAR EVENTS € Rooi Lamoenchi Kunuku Park Tours $21 (includes tax). Di scounts for residents and local people. Tel. 717-8489, 540-9800. € We Dare to Care Park children’s playground open every day in the cooler afternoon-evening hours. €Kas di Arte—Ongoing exhibit with different artists Open Wednesday-Sunday, 9 am-noon, 1-6 pm. On the sea promenade Saturdays € Marshe di Kunukeru (Farmers’ Market ) 1st Saturday of the month at Kriabon, Kaminda Jatu Baco #55, next to Aquamarin School, 8 am to 12 noon. €Bonaire Animal Shelter’s “Garage Sale” Pakus di Pruga—every Saturday 8am-5pm. At Kaminda Liberador Simon Bolivar, across from Brandaris Caf. Lots of free parking. Tel. 717-4989 € Monthly flea market at "We Dare To Care” Playground, 1st Saturday of the month, 2– 6 pm. Rent a table for $10. Information: Marissa Jansen (Tel: 701-1103) or Kim de Raadt (Tel: 787-1475) € Wine Tasting at Antillean Wine Company’s warehouse on Kaya Industria, second Saturday of the month 7-9 pm. Snacks and tasting of six wines for $10 per person. Tel. 560-7539. € Soldachi Tours—See the real Bonaire and be transported back in time. Learn about the history, culture and nature by Bonaireans from Rincon. Call Maria Koeks for more information—796-7870. € Chess Training Children & adults. $5, 512-9660. Volunteers welcome €PetanqueJeu de Boules, Saturdays 2.30 pm Tera Cora ranch. info: 786-0150 Sundays Kunuku Arawak Music, drinks, local food, dancing, 10 am—6 pm. Tel.786-7210 Mondays € Soldachi Tours of Rincon, the heart of Bonaire, 9 am-noon. $20-Call Maria, 7176435-best island tour value € Meet the Captain Night at Captain Don’s Habitat Bar– Get up close and personal with Bonaire’s dive pioneer. The Captain will autograph your copy of his newest book Reef Windows Tuesdays Chez Nous Restaurant— Multi course dinner, $20, at the high school. Reservations mandatory 700-4628 Wednesdays Chez Nous Restaurant – Multi-course lunch, about $12, at the high school. Reservations mandatory 700-4628. Ben & Harrie Acoustic Guitar Duo at Spice Beach Club, 6-9 pm, Eden Beach Thursdays €Bonaire Chess & Draughts (checkers) players get together on from 19.00 till 21.00 at the SGB-school: Kaya Frater Odulfinuz z/n Fridays € Jong Bonaire Chess & Draughts players get together from 17.00 till 19.00 at the SGB-school. Kids can start at age six. Tourists are welcome. Contact Serapio Pop, at 701-9660 FREE SLIDE/VIDEO SHOWS Monday -Touch the Sea -Dee Scarr, honored as a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame conducts Bonaire's Touch the Sea programs of personalized dive guiding. She presents a unique perspective on critters and corals, plus an updated Bonaire lionfish report, every Monday when she's on-island at 8:30 pm in the Aquarius Conference Center at Captain Don's Habitat, Call 717-8290. Wednesday Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) presents an informative slide show: Sea Turtles of Bonaire, at 8pm, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday in the conference room at Captain Don's Habitat (717-8290) BONAIRE’S TRADITIONS Mangasina di Rei, Rincon Enjoy the view from “The King’s Storehouse.” Learn about Bonaire’s culture. Visit homes from the 17th century. Daily. Call 717-4060 / 790-2018 Bonaire Museum on Kaya J. v.d. Ree, behind the Catholic Church in town. Open weekdays from 8 am-noon, 1:30-5 pm. Tel. 717-8868 Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Museum and Visitors’ Center. Open daily 8 am-5 pm. Closed on December 25th. and January 1st. Call 788 9015 or 796 5681 CLUBS and MEETINGS AA meetings every Wednesday at 7pm. Phone: 790-7001 and 796-4931 Al-Anon meetings every Monday evening at 7 pm. Call 790-7272 Bridge Club Wednesdays 7:15 pm— All levels, cost is $1, call Renata at 7965591 to find out the evening’s location. Darts Club plays every other Sunday at City Caf. Registration at 4, games at 5. Tel. 717-2950, 560-7539. JCI First Wednesday of the MonthJunior Chamber International Bonaire (JCI Bonaire, formerly known as Bonaire Jaycees) meets at the ABVO building, Kaminda Jato Baco 36 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Everyone is welcom e. Contact: Renata Domacass 516-4252. Kiwanis Club meets at APNA Plaza, Kaya International, every other Tuesday, 7 pm Tel. 717-5595, Jeannette Rodriguez. Lions Club meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 8 pm at Kaya Sabana #1. All Lions welcome. For more information call 510-0710. Rotary lunch meetings Wednesdays 12:15-2 pm Divi Flamingo Beach Resort in Peter Hughes meeting room upstairs above the dive shop. All Rotarians welcome. Tel. 701-1100. Toastmasters Club meets every two weeks. For more information call Crusita de Palm at 786-3827 or Lucia Martinez Beck, at 786-2953. CHURCH SERVICES Protestant Congregation of Bonaire: Kralendijk, Wilhelminaplein. In Papiamentu, Dutch, Englis h, Sundays, 10am. Rincon, Kaya C.D. Crestian, in Papiamentu, Sundays, 8:30 am. Children’s club, Saturdays, 5 pm, in Kralendijk Sunday School, Sundays, 4 pm, in Rincon. Bible Study and Pray er meetings, Thursdays, at 8 pm, Kralendijk. New Apostolic Church: Centro di Bario Nord Salia, Sundays, 10 am. Services in Dutch. 700-0379 International Bible Church, Kaya Papago 104, Hato, behind Bon Fysio/Bon Bida Spa & Gym on Kaya Gob. N. Debrot.Sunday 9:00 am Worship service in English; 10:45 am Sunday school for all ages. Tuesday 7:30 pm Adult bible study class. 717-8377 for more info or ride Catholic: San Bernardus in Kralendijk – Services, Sunday at 8 am and 7 pm in Papiamentu, 717-8304. Our Lady of Coromoto in Antriol Saturday at 6 pm in English. Mass in Papiamentu on Sunday at 9 am and 6 pm. 717-4211. Assembly of God (Asemblea di Dios): Kaya Triton (Den Cheffi). In English, Dutch & Papiamentu on Sunday at 10 am. Wednesday Prayer Meeting at 7:30 pm 717-2194 Ministerio di Kristu Hesus Services Sunday mornings at 10 am at Jong Bonaire Youth Center in English, Dutch and Papiamentu. Preaching the full gospel. Contact: 786-2557. Prayer and Intercession Church, in English. A full Gospel Church l ocated temporarily at Kaya Alexandrit # 20, Santa Barbara, Republiek. Services are held on Sunday mornings from 10am until 11:30am. Bible studies in English are on Monday nights from 7 to 8 pm. Contact: 717-3322 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints : Kaya Sabana #26, Sundays: 9 am Sacrament Services (Translation to English and Papiamentu upon request) 10:20 Sunday School, 11:15 RS/YM/YW/ PH Primary held from 10:20-12 noon Visitors welcome: Ca ll 701-9522 for information. Who’s Who on The Bonaire Reporter Take The Reporter Home—1-year subscription: By mail to US $75; By mail to Europe $170. By Internet, Free (asking a $35 donation.) For information about subscriptions, stories or advertising in The Bonaire Reporter PO Box 407, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean; phone (599) 786-6518, 786-6125, E-mail: The Bonaire Reporter, George DeSalvo, Publisher. Laura DeSalvo, Editor in Chief. Address: P. O. Box 407, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Available on-line at: Published every two weeks Reporters: Siomara Albertus, James Albury, Stephanie Bennett, Jan Brouwer, Carmelita Cox, Christie Dovale, Anna & Art Kleimer, Greta Kooistra, Jane Madden Disko, Dean Regas, Michael Thiessen, Jos Zuidam, Unattributed photos are by the editor or publisher. Distribution: Michael Gaynor & Co (Playa), Yuchi Molina (Rincon), Divi-Divi Airline, Ava Rose Wuyts (mailing) Housekeeping: JRA. Printed by: DeStad Drukke rij, Curaao 2011 The Bonaire Reporter CLOSE-IN EVENTs To Jan. 15, 2012 Trudy Canwood art exhibit at Kas di Art. Wed. -Sun. 9amnoon, 1-6pm. Admission free. Saturday, Jan. 7Farmers’ Market – At Kriabon (Kaminda Jatu Bako #55– the end of Kaminda Nikiboko North) from 8 am-12 noon. Fruit, vegetables, seeds, poultry, fresh fish and more. Call 717-4587 for more information. January 13-20 — Seminars by Francis Pool ( at Bonaire Basics. Several illuminating topics. Kaya Korona 47, phone 786 3341, Contact Sunday, January 15 —Energetic Healing Class See below — Kaminda di Arte (Art Trail ). Visit 14 different artists in their homes or studios, 11 am to 5 pm. Maps at Addo’s Bookstore, on the TCB website, resorts or local newspapers. Every 3rd Sunday of the month. kaminda-di-arte-bonaire-art-tour setting. Day Date Ship Arrive/ Depart PAX Cap Line SUN 1/8/ Breamar 08001800 927 Fred Olsen WED 1/11/ Grandeur of the Seas 08001800 2446 Celebrity/ RCCL TUE 1/12/ Star Clipper 12002000 170 Star Clippers MON 1/16/ Ventura 08001800 1950 P&O Cruises TUE 1/17/ AidaLuna 10001800 2050 AIDA Cruises WED 1/18/ Noordam 08001700 1918 HAL THU 1/19/ Caribbean Princess 12001900 3100 Princess Cruises FRI 1/20/ Zuiderdam 08001700 1918 HAL Crafts Market at Wilhelmina Park on Fridays and Cruise Ship Visiting Days—usually 10 am until ship departure. Cruise Ship Calls -Information provided by the TCB Advanced Techniques Class At Bonaire Basics D a t e C h a n g e t o 1 5 J a n u a r y 2 0 1 2 Call Susan 790-8988


Page 14 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 A big thank you and much appreciation to the anonymous donor who paid for 365 dog and cat sterilizations. Sterilizations are possible only because of donations. More information on how you can help on the Shelter’s website and Facebook page. PARVO ALERT: With all the current rain the killer Parvo disease is running wild on the island. Protect your dog from the age of six weeks with a yearly Parvo “cocktail shot” at the vet’s. Puppies under six weeks can get Parvo protection from their mother’s milk, provided the mother has received her shot. MANGE ALERT: If you suspect your dog has mange, call the Shelter at 717-4989. They will come to your house to give the animal a shot and it’s free. Mange occurs when a dog becomes infested with microscopic mites. These mites live on a dog’s skin, digging in and sucking the dog’s blood. They reproduce quickly and are highly contagious. Symptoms of mange can include hair loss, itching and skin inflammation. Mange spreads quickly across a dog’s body if it’s not treated. KOUCHI DI BESTIA A BIG SUCCESS In the last year the Shelter’s drop off kennels ( Kouchi di Bestia ) outside the Shelter entrance received between 800 and 1,000 unwanted dogs and cats. People may drop off these unwanted animals at all hours of the night or day, with no questions asked. The idea is to encourage people to bring the animals here rather than dumping them in the mondi. The Shelter staff checks the two kennels several times a day during open hours. For some reason recently, according to Shelter staff, there are more cats than normal being dropped off – a cat population explosion? HAPPY ADOPTION NEWS (Continued on page 16) Q) Where was the first airstrip on Bonaire? A) At Sub Blanku, where the sports field on the road to Rincon is now. Question on page 12 Choose your size from 5’x5’ to 10’x20’. Prices from $29 to $147 per month. Call 700-1753 O u t o f S p a c e ? G ood news for pet owners. Just 4 Pet Bonaire just opened their doors at Kaya Industria #17, across from Rocargo. The store is stocked with everything for cats and dogs: foods, kennels, toys, leashes, collars, bedding and more. The owners, the Sophia family, have pet stores in Aruba and have now come to Bonaire. Prices in many cases are the same as in the US. Shown in the photo are Ilva and Frank Sophia, Gitta Nijman and Aljereau Sophia. Laura DeSalvo Villa Makoshi – Upper Level Dive in Paradise – Stay in Luxury Fully furnished home with central airconditioning; 2 bedrooms; 2 baths; 2 private & secured decks with a beautiful view; swimming pool. www. contact: S ome people claim they would love to have a cat but they find them aloof and standoffish and want a pet that is more attentive. Well, if you are one of those people the Shelter has the "purrfect" cat for you....”Iggy,” the Interactive Cat! Iggy is the most affectionate, social cat that you will find. Give him the invitation and he will leap onto your shoulders and hang around your neck all day long. He talks to you, gives kisses and purrs with a loud chirping sound as long as he is near you. The most amazing thing is that he understands the word "no".....a word that is not normally in a cat's vocabulary! When you decide that you've had enough of his attention and you don't want him around your neck anymore, simply put him down on the floor, point your finger at him and say "no." Iggy then gives you a very sad, pouty look but immediately lies down and leaves you alone until you invite him up for the next round of affection. Iggy truly is an interactive cat! And he's gorgeous...dark orange silky soft fur and beautiful facial markings and expressions. He is about one year old, sterilized, healthy and ready to interact with anyone who wants to share in some purr-fect feline love. You may meet Iggy and the other pets up for adoption at the Bonaire Animal Shelter on the Lagoen Road. Open Monday through Saturday, 9am-1pm and 3 to 5pm. Telephone 717-4989. Website: It’s always up to date. Jane Madden Disko/Laura DeSalvo “Iggy” pretending to be a parrot on Shelter staff member Regina Schouten’s shoulder Three-month-old “Andy” got adopted by Henk and Gea The couple had two dogs they’d adopted from the Shelter, but one of them was run over by a speeding car near the salt company. Their remaining dog was so unhappy that they decided to adopt another dog as a companion for him. Lucky Andy! More about Bonaire’s active animal activities on the back page


Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 Page 15 Hair Affair We do our best to make your hair and makeup wishes come true!! You can also come in for facials and facial waxing We use and sell L’Oreal products Is your plan to marry on the island? We can make you beautiful and stay beautiful for your happiest day. Personal attention by Janneke Appointment by tel: 717-5990 or just walk in. Downtown, near the waterfront next to Little Havana Tues-Fri: 9-12, 2-6 Sat: 9-2 non stop Check CARIB INN First. Great Prices –Great Stock Scuba Sales Repair Replacement New Gear Accessories Always Great Values Dive gear specials CARIB INN Since 1980 PADI 5 STAR GOLD PALM 717-8819 8 am to 5 pm daily (next to Divi Flamingo Hotel) ARIES (Mar. 21April 20) Coworkers may not be completely honest with you; try not to rely on help from others. Be careful when using m achinery or electrical equipment. You can finish projects early, which will bring you praise from superiors. Don't hold back; go with the flow and take a bit of a chance. Your luckiest events will occur on a Monday. TAURUS (Apr. 21– May 21) Don't allow personal problems to conflict with professional duties. Your self esteem will come back if you take part in organizational functions that allow you to be in the lime light. Now is the time to concentrate on building a strong financial future for your family. Don't back down but don't ignite the situation. Your luckiest events will occur on a Wednesday. GEMINI (May 22-June 21) Don't be too shy to promote your own interests. Don't make those you live with feel unloved or unworthy. Turn things around, make sure that they do their share. Be prepared to make changes to your personal documents. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday. CANCER (June 22-July 22) Travel will be exciting. Your stubborn nature will backfire if you give your mate an ultimatum. Your words will be taken out of context if you're evasiv e with coworkers or employers. You may be emotional and quick to judge others. Your luckiest events will occur on a Tuesday. LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Extend an invitation to clients you enjoy spending time with. Courses dealing with psychology or health care will be of interest. Concentrate on yourself or your work. Be sure not to burn any bridges. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday. VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23) A new image can be the result if you change your look. You may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you have overloaded your plate unintentionally. It's hard to stay mad if the object of the anger refuses to react. Changes in your residence will be favorable in the long haul. Your luckiest events will occur on a Wednesday. LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23) Red tape could be impossible to clear up this month. You may be uncertain about some of your coworkers and your boss. Make sure any presentation you have is ready. You can make adjustments in your domestic scene this month. Your luckiest events will occur on a Tuesday. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22) You can make changes to your domestic scene that will benefit all who reside there. Take some time out. You can make money if you pursue your own business. You can write beautiful love letters this month. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21) Relationships will be erratic this month. Your family may be feeling neglected and unloved. You can make reasonable bids on real estate or large items for your home. You can make financial gains if you are prepared to take a risk. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday. CAPRICORN (Dec 22.Jan. 20) You may want to take a look at your direction in life. Be professional, and you will advance much more quickly. You can gain valuable cultural knowledge through dealing with foreigners. You should be making plans to spend some time with the ones you love. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Wednesday. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19) Try to address the real issues in order to turn things around. You will get along well in social situations. Sudden trips may take you by surprise; try to include your mate, mixing business with pleasure. You can bet that you'll draw attention to yourself. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday. PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20) You could be tempted to overspend on unnecessary items. Problems with in-laws may cause friction in your personal relationship. Relatives may play an important role in your personal life. You will be able to get good advice if you listen to close friends or relatives you respect. Your luckiest events will occur on a Tuesday Michael Thiessen D id you see the New Year’s Eve Star? At midnight every New Year's Eve you see something very special which we like to call the New Year's Eve star. Did you miss it? No problem because is will stay in about the same spot all this week. And we have some really nice planets for you to see. Let's tell you about them. At around 8 pm Sky Park time this week, face due south. And first, like all good astronomers, let's draw an imaginary line from the due south horizon straight up to the zenith point overhead and then down the other side of the sky to the horizon due north. This line is called the meridian and it divides the eastern half of the sky from the western half. Exactly, and now as our Earth slowly and endlessly rotates from west to east we are treated nightly to the grandest optical illusion in nature as we watch the stars appear to rise in the east, slowly travel across the sky all night long and eventually set in the west. And if you watch the stars every single night, you'll eventually conclude that the highest point any star reaches above the horizon in its nightly journey is when it is on the meridian Our astronomer ancestors used the crossing of the meridian by the Sun, Moon and stars to tell time. This is very important to telescope users because the higher an object is above the horizon, the better it will appear in a telescope. So, when we were researching which planets would be high up off the horizon for viewing we came across something, which to us, is an amazing coincidence, something which we had never read about in any astronomy book. That coincidence is that no matter where you happen to be, Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, will slowly climb up the south-eastern sky hour after hour and at midnight will reach its highest poin t, almost on the meridian. Think of it, the brightest star visible from our planet reaches its highest point above the horizon as the year changes. And even better, if you happened to miss it on New Year's Eve because it was raining where you live, don't fret because Sirius will be in almost the same spot at midnight each night for the first week of the New Year. And think about this, as you gaze up at Sirius. While our Sun is a million mile wide, relatively cool, yellow star, Sirius is a much hotter, almost twice as wide, white star. And it's very close cosmically speaking. Sirius is only 8 1/2 light years away, which means that when we look at Sirius we will actually be seeing the light that left it 8 1/2 years ago, in June of 2003. And while you're outside, make sure you catch a glimpse of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system Jupiter will be the bright white light high in the south-west before midnight. And let's not forget our friend Mars. If you go outside an hour or so before midnight, you'll see a waxing crescent Moon high in the sky before setting in the west, and the red planet Mars, rising in the east. Dean Regas & James Albury *to find it... just look up NEW YEAR’S EVE STAR AFFORDABLE NetTech Tel:717-6773 Fax:717-7854Domain Registrations E-mail Hosting Anti-Spam & Anti-Virus Web Site Design Web Site Hosting Marketing Consulting Internet Consulting Photographic Services Graphic Design January 2012 Hubble Space Telescope photo of Sirius


Page 16 Bonaire ReporterJanuary 6-20, 2012 AGAIN A BIRTHDAY I always like to have a party to celebrate my birthday with a nice mixture of people from the island (Bonaireans, Dutch, Americans, English, German). Everybody wants to bring a small present, but it’s difficult because we don’t have so many needs. Suddenly I had the right idea. We have two kind dogs, and I said let’s ask for dog food. Then we realized we would have way too much food for our own doggies, so the idea was born to donate the dog food to the Animal Shelter. The Shelter does a really good job, and they always need money for the animals, for food and all the things an animal needs in the Shelter. We think it is good to keep the dogs off the streets, as this can be dangerous, as I found out by myself, some years ago. They also do neutering and sterilizing the animals which prevents them from continuously reproducing. Our dogs come from shelters, and it is good to give an animal a second life. With some extra attention those animals become the best pets ever and they know you probably saved their live by taking them home with you. Think of getting a pet from the Shelter, instead of bringing a pet from abroad. The birthday party was again very cozy, a lot of people visited me, and we got a huge stack of all kinds of dog food. Our own dogs were running around the dog food like crazy, but they had to stay off, this food was for the dogs in the Shelter. At the Shelter they were really happy with the donated food. I hope a lot of people will be inspired by this simple idea, and make a donation to the Shelter in this or any other way. Carmelita Cox Shelter News( Continued from page 14) Harrie and Carmelita Cox, Suyara, Marlies, Regina and Marianske with the load of pet food. O ne of the most cultural, authentic and fascinating traditions on Bonaire is Maskarada. Every New Year the group of silent, mysterious, masked people ( photo above) starts at the home of the governor, then moves on to other island homes They make another appearance after Three Kings Day (Epiphany). They arrive silently, following a group of musici ans – an accordion, a tambu, a raspa (file) and a quarto (large ukulele ) and the skits and dancing begin. Later they visit the old folks home and the hospital, then to the homes of people in the barrios. It is said that good luck will come to those who invite them into their homes. Maskarada has been going on in living memory of even the oldest person on Bonaire, it is said. It’s important because on Bonaire is the only island of the Antilles where this unique custom exists. But this year there is no Maskarada According to Hubert Vis of SKAL (Culture Department), “It is a brgwensa (shame). Except for being rained out, Maskarada has gone on every single year,” he explains. “The money is there from the government but the group, after all these years, has cancelled. I believe this is a wakeup call,” says Vis. “We need to make sure that this organization like other cultural groups, will be in good hands for the long term, for our future generations.” For those of us loving Bonaire but not having been born here, it is indeed a brgwensa Laura DeSalvo