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Published: November 21st 2008
... like the old book says ...
Ok, I admit it, I am a little bit in a gloomy mood, I guess is not the best time to write my BLOG: God knows what I might end up writing!*(**)
There is a time to look for something
and a time to stop looking for it
I guess. Sometimes it is right in front of us, but we are so in the look-for-something/ (more)
mode, that we do not realise that the time to stop searching has arrived. But well, let me talk about less dramatic things.
I went to the island of Bonaire! For who does not know, it is a diving paradise by excellence, and one of the A(ruba)-B-C(Curacao) Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean sea J
Initially I planned to go to the island of Saint Maarten ( + Sint Martin). Half of the island is Dutch, the other half is French, so two different worlds in a small island: the peaceful paradise on one side, and in the other half the frenetic paradise of all the other gods ...
But I checked, and October is still hurricane season, and Saint Maarten is right in the middle of the hurricane zone, so to be safer I went searching for an island closer to mainland, and as my eyes looked upon Bonaire in the map, I thought that’s it, time to stop searching ;-)
Happily I am packing for my trip to the official no-Hurricane-zone, when I hear that a Tropical Storm was hitting Bonaire! My dear friends start calling me
hey, just checking if you are still here, you are supposed to go to Bonaire soon, right? Have you heard what happened ...?
Yes, I had heard. No of course I wasn’t worried, or should I? Well, I did phone the travel agency after seeing giant waves entering the restaurant of the hotel I had booked (!) in a video on the Internet.
No, we haven’t been informed of any inconveniences at the hotel, and we would be the first ones to know
Would they? Was she telling the truth? In faith, I convinced myself that when I would arrive in Bonaire, the storm would be over, and all would be fine ... and so it was, when I arrived at Bonaire, the storm was now a far-away Hurricane (gosh!) over Saint Maarten!
When I arrive, the hotel is still there (missing a restaurant and a boat, but there!), and so is my room (no sea-front rooms anymore ... they had been flooded). I go to the 1 restaurant left to get something to eat, I’m starving; I need to eat something before falling asleep. I go to the pink Chibi Chibi
restaurant but the restaurant is undergoing storm-related maintenance ... no food in the hotel ... Totally jetlagged I express my disappointment to the waiter, who looks to me with no guilty feelings, after all they have more important things to care about (than us the guests, I guess). Don’t I know the island was hit by a devastating Tropical Storm?
I feel devastated … I have to walk to the capital village Kralendijk in search of food ... 10 minutes which feel like 100 with the then unbearable sun over my hungry and tired head. On my way there I watch in dismay the absence of beaches … the private beach of the hotel is gone! Gone with the wind of the storm, gone with the gigantic waves … while witnessing the mess at the shore, I almost fall because of missing bits of sidewalk (a few days later the authorities will have signs alerting for the dangerous spots, but right now they hadn’t time to do that much yet).
As the days pass and I observe the hard work of getting the beaches back, as I visit the National Park, as I admire the thousand flamingos, as I visit the slave houses, the salty mountains, as I go snorkelling … I realise that the beauty of the island has been always there … right in front of me.
The last day arrives, and I want to contemplate for the last time the fantastic sunset over the calm seawaters. And there I am in the Chibi Chibi
terrace, with my loved one, two cocktails on the table, smiles on our faces, love is in the air, the environment is lovely, what a moment … TILL Mr. Waiter arrives, in unrecognisable caring manners, offering to take a picture of us …
yes-yes let me do it
ah but you have to stand up, and sit over there
(with our backs to the sunset!) so he could capture the moment … after 2 failed attempts he finally grasps how the camera works, and flash! We turned back and the sun is gone, we missed it … our last sunset in Bonaire!
The result is a very happy picture, no sunset in the background, and unforgettable holidays! Did I mention I saw turtles?
Hugs and kisses
*) Talking about God and writing, I went to a very interesting lecture at the Boymans museum
in Rotterdam, which has currently a quite recommendable exhibition about Desiderius Erasmus. The lecture was on “Faith and Philology.” Prof. Von Friedeburg made well the point that faith in a divine inspiration of a set of manuscripts is not enough: you ought to have a very strong faith on the tradition of manuscript copying, even more when translators were set to “purify” and bring “precision” to the message of God, such as Erasmus. Crristian faith cannot after all stand without faith in philology ...
**) Faith is embedded in so many things ... it is not the first time Boymans Museum holds an exhibition about Erasmus. In 1969 Boymans celebrated the 500 years after his birth, with an exhibition about Erasmus life. It appears now, that he was actually not born in 1469 but in 1466 ...
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