Second Trip To Aruba
August 5th- August 12th 2012
I woke up on Thursday morning (August 9th) still feeling amped from the night before, the trip on the Kukoo Kunuku went way better than I could have expected, while I neglected to take any contact info( or trade contact info) with the people that I met that night( still working my way out of that) I was still happy with the way things went. The ladies that I had hung out with had even invited me to go with them to a Carnival Show that was slated for Thursday night, unfortuantely as my aunt had already made a booking and paid for us to attend an event out in San Nicholas I had to decline, but it was still pretty awesome of them to think of inviting me.
So that for part of Thursday we went to Moomba Beach where we had to make do with shade from a coconut tree, and once again my feet wound up with a baked look. But it was still a cool time there. There was also something that I noticed, I had been to Moomba Beach more time in the last ten years that I have to Maracas Beach in Trinidad. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Chinese Grocey just down the road from the hotel. During my previous vist we had gone there almost every day, this time around I was to make just one visit. The owners had changed the place around since the last time I was there, picked up two 20oz bottles of Coke( which in Aruba tastes the real way that a Coke should, same for Pepsi) two packs of peanut M&Ms, and a bag of powdered soap for laundry on Friday. On Aruba the majority if not all of the grocery stores on the island are Chinese owned and operated. From what I was able to pick up, the majority of them had originally come to Aruba to work in construction, and instead of returning home sent for their families to join them and started a business. Be it a grocery, restaurant, appliance store or what have you, they saw an opportunity, grabbed hold of it and ran with it.
The agenda for that evening revolved around dinner at the hotel, followed by a shuttle bus ride out to San Nicholas for the Carubbian Festival. San Nicholas is the second largest town on the island and located on the South Eastern portion of the island. The town was built up around the Oil Refinery that was run by the Lago Company, to suppliment the local workforce, and needs for the refinery outside labor was brought in, a great majority of whom were brought in from the English Speaking Caribbean. It was in San Nicholas that the local carnival was to have its origin when workers from Trinidad and Tobago who found themselves away from home during Carnival decided to organize their own. The festival takes place every Thursday night all year round come rain or shine. It's even held during lent, although I do beleive that they hold off on it for Holy Thursday observances. The main street in San Nicholas was closed off allowing for pedestrians to walk freely and for vendors and business owners to conduct additional trade.
The highlight of the evening was a concert featuring local bands, dance groups etc. Once again the contribution of Trinidad and Tobago was left out by the masters of ceremony, they even had a Dollar Wine Competition and still failed to acknowledge where it came from. Sigh!! I do give them points for involving the audience, the conga line through the audience was cool. For once I was not seleceted to join in, that honor went to my aunt. Anyhow at the end of the show everyone in the audience, mostly the tourists that had been invited to join in a small carnival parade up main street behind a brass band and costumed masqueraders. Once again Blue Boy's Ethel was the song of choice, I seriously beleive that if he were to go there and perform that the people of Aruba would welcome him with open arms; heck I wouldn't be surprised it they tried to keep him. Compared to our masqueraders their dancing was more choreographed, maybe if they need to take a lesson from our people when it comes to dancing while in costume. The festival was a worthwhile experience, I would like to experience their Carnival one of these years to compare it to T&T's Carnival.
Almost forgot to mention, during the show which featured local dances guess which dance showed up? The Ribbon Dance.
More to come.....To be continued.......