Hi, Steve. My cradle to college years of growing up in Lago Colony were '44 to '62. My mother was from a tiny town in southeast Kansas, earned her Master's in English at Columbia in NYC, '38 to '40. She was hired from grad school by Esso to teach in the oil camp on Aruba for the '40-'41 school year. My father had been on his second contract to the Netherlands Antilles with a Dutch bank from Amsterdam. When my mother disembarked from the Esso Bolivar, an Esso tanker, he was then the Head Cashier for the Lago and the one who greeted the two new teachers with and took them to their quarters in the Women's Dorm. As it happened, my mother married the Head Cashier and the other teacher, Ruth Flint, married an American engineer for Lago, Jack Watkins. And, young Jack, their son, was born the same year as me so we tease that, yes, we knew each other as babies and beyond, having been in the same class all through school. Life in the seasons of the States has always been very difficult for me and my only regret in Life is that I did not go to university in Holland instead of the States and did not learn Papiamento as a child so I could have returned to Aruba after college to work there, instead of being stuck in the States. Choices I made have changed the direction of my life and made it impossible to slip into a life in Aruba. So, although I regret living in the States for so many years, I do go home to Aruba as often as possible, usually only once a year, though.
Although I have dual citizenship, inherited at birth from each parent, I have a totally Aruban heart. I do not consider myself American nor do I think of myself as Dutch. I am, simply, Aruban. And, there is nothing else I would ever want to be. I was lucky enough to be born and raised in Aruba...I am lucky enough.