Hello to one and all!!!
First off, I would like to thank everyone on the forum who responded to my last posting. Your expressions of concern and well wishes are greatly appreciated. Sorry for the extra long delay in getting this final part posted. Between completing classes in Access, getting over a mild flu, helping out with renovations at home and stuff, its taken me more time than usual to sit down to write up this final part. Now with no further delay here is the final part of my report on Trip #4.
Before I continue there was a little that I left out due to my feeling really drowsy while I was writing( a side effect of the pills for the pain and such). While waiting for Stanley and the medic from La Cabana as well as the ambulance to arrive, the guy who called them inquired where I was from since he could not quite place my accent. When I told him that I was from Trinidad and Tobago a smile came to his face as he said, “The Mighty Sparrow man!!!! I have his records at home!! He is the greatest!! When you get back to Trinidad you need to tell him that he needs to come to Aruba to perform!!” Wow!! It’s amazing where one will find fans of one of your nation’s most well renowned performers.
I also mentioned my friend Sam stopping by with her son, step-son and step-nephew to visit. If anyone while looking up videos from Aruba on youtube ever came across the channel “One Happy Island Life” or “Daily Vlogs”, then you would know Sam de Krijger from those videos. She has not posted any new videos in the past few months due to the loss of her camera. By the time I post this, she will be back up and vlogging as she recently received a video camera from a viewer.
I have her as a friend of FB and before I flew over she had posted a request for books in English to read to her son Orlando, as the majority of book stores on Aruba only have children’s books in Dutch. I picked up two books by Dr. Seuss, one of them being “Green Eggs and Ham”; in addition to a story book for boys for her step-son. I also picked up two maps for her, one of Trinidad and the other of Tobago that she could share with her step-son and his cousins and eventually Orlando as they learn more about the neighbouring islands that make up the Caribbean. Along with our common history, culture and links.
I had mentioned the Dr. Seuss books to her a few months ago and Sam told me that she had never heard of or read any of his books. When I gave her the copy of “Green Eggs and Ham” I opened it up to the first page where the main character of “Sam I Am” is introduced. She found it hilarious!! The book also came with an audio CD that she can play for Orlando if she is unable to read it to him. As for her step-son, well I knew from her vlogs that he is a huge fan of Batman. So I asked him who is more powerful between Batman and Superman? When I told him that Batman was more powerful he asked me to explain. I laid it out like this, “Batman’s greatest strength is his intelligence. He does a lot of research into his foes as well as his friends. In the event that any of his friends should ever go rogue or over the edge, he has ways and means to deal with them should the need arise. In the case of Superman, he has a lot of kryptonite stored up should that ever happen.” He also seemed to really like the book that I brought for him as he was flipping through the pages as they made their way to the car for their drive home.
Okay, onto the remainder of the trip. With the pain and soreness it was going to be impossible to do a lot of the things that I wanted to do, i.e. take the bus into the city, visit the flea market, go up to the Palm Beach area, go on a day or evening cruise etc. So I opted for the other main thing that I always do whenever I visit Aruba. Kick back and relax; poolside at La Cabana was most conducive to that. I would try to get down there around 9:45am, make myself comfortable, have a choice of two books to read and a bottle of water nearby. Stay there till around 12 noon before going over to The Island Grill to grab some lunch, then back up to the room to eat and cool down, before going back down in the late afternoon before returning to my room in early evening with dinner.
On Monday I made inquiries with the head of security at La Cabana about how to go about getting a copy of the Police report from my accident, along with how to go about getting copies of my x-rays from the hospital. He was more than helpful, the information that I got saved me from doing a lot of running up and down. For starters he got me the contact info for the rep from the rental car company of the vehicle that hit me and their insurance company rep. Having the insurance rep’s contact info made it possible to get my request put through towards getting the x-rays. I went into the hospital on Tuesday and they asked me to come back on Wednesday to pick up the cd containing the x-rays.
Tuesday afternoon Sam and her boys came by to visit again, this time she brought along another of her step-nephews who had a lot of questions for me about Super Heroes and cartoons. They took me to one of the nearby beaches before returning to the hotel where the boy were most eager to go back into the pool.
On Wednesday morning I was directed to go to the Police Traffic Station near the airport to collect a copy of the police report, before heading back to the hospital to pick up the CD with my x-rays. I have to say this about the taxi service on Aruba, when you place a call for a taxi they are there really quick. Every time I placed a call for a taxi they were there in under five minutes.
Later that afternoon I met up with my friend Daria when she was able to get a break from her shift at the Casino. While I was waiting for her one of the shift managers came over to inquire how I was doing. Turns out a friend of hers’ told her about my accident and asked her to check on me. Once again, another amazing example of the never ending wealth of concern shown to me in the aftermath of my accident.
Back to Daria, she normally works the late shift, however as she was looking to have the weekend off for her youngest daughter’s birthday; which was going to involve a three day stay( Friday to Sunday) at La Cabana she had to work the extra hours in order to get the time off. I used the time to give her some of the stuff that I brought for both Daria and her girls. Three manga books and a young adult novel for the oldest girl, two Dr. Seuss books and a book of stories for girls, and for Daria I got her a Celtic Cross pendant. The original present that I intended to carry for her (and actually ordered) but due to a slip up in the delivery time with amazon( so much for next day delivery). It too was of Celtic origin, however it would have to be sent on my return to Trinidad.
For the remainder of the evening I took care of my laundry before having one last dinner of ribs with a side order of fries and veging on Dish network cable. Like all my final days on Aruba it was a day that I wished would never end, that I could get to do the day over and have an extra day.
Unlike my last two departure days from Aruba( which fell on a Sunday) I did not have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get to the airport to check in for an early flight to Curacao. My flight to Curacao was scheduled to depart at around 2:10pm, and I had the room till check out time at 12:00 noon. After getting up, getting dressed and having a quick bite to eat; I had one last walk around before heading back to my room to do a final check and relax till it was time to check out. Wound up watching The Veronica Mars movie to pass the time.
Not wanting to prolong the agony any longer I left the room at 11:45am and headed down to the lobby to check out. Was a bit surprised to find a line, should have realized that there was going to be a lot of people checking out on Thursday. After saying my good byes to many of the people who made my stay at La Cabana a great one, with heavy heart I climbed into a taxi and began the long sad drive to a place that I both love see when I arrive and hate to see when I leave, the airport.
Check in for my flight with Insel went smoothly. Before heading for Gate A I stopped in at the newsstand where I picked up a copy of “Under A Blue Flag” by Daniel Putowski( a really great book that I’ve read before on kindle). While waiting I really dug into reading “Under A Blue Flag” to avoid watching all the recent arrivals who just deplaned going up the escalator on their way to the Immigration Hall. It took everything in my power to not feel too depressed about leaving an island that is beginning to feel more and more like the home that I never want to leave. Sigh!!
M y time on Curacao felt extra long as my flight had been delayed from 7:30pm to 8:00pm, then to 8:45pm. During the wait I could not help but wonder why there are no direct flights between Aruba and Trinidad and Tobago? For a while Caribbean Airlines (formerly BWIA) used to have direct flights to and from Aruba, which they unfortunately removed. Also Insel Air used to have flights to Trinidad and Tobago by way of Curacao. They ceased operations in Trinidad and Tobago back in 2011. Which leaves Surinam Airways as my only choice to get to Curacao, followed by a connecting flight to with Insel Air to Aruba. There was a time back in 2012 when DAE (Dutch Antilles Express) was supposed to begin operations in T&T. Unfortunately they went bankrupt before that could ever happen.
Having a direct flight to Aruba from T&T would mean more time spent on Aruba with no time spent connecting. Or even if connecting through Curacao still needs to happen, then depending on the airline, once boarding passed for both flights are issued upon check-in, it means that on arrival in Curacao instead of having to go through Immigration and check-in for the connecting flight. Passengers like myself would get to proceed through Transit and go directly to the boarding gates; and making it onto an earlier flight to Aruba instead of having to wait five plus hours for a connecting flight.
As I write this it recently became official that Insel Air will be resuming flight operations between Curacao and Trinidad and Tobago commencing from the December 18th of this year. Needless to say I am really happy about this and really look forward to flying with Insel on my future visits. Flights will be conducted on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Having Insel back on T&T means not only a faster connection time in Curacao, it means we now have another choice/option in how we get to and from Aruba. Fingers crossed that there will be one day in the week when there will be a direct flight between Aruba and T&T.