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Monday, June 30, 2014

Bonaire’s Jerry Ligon to be Next Guest Speaker at CIEE

Jerry Ligon is well known on Bonaire; he’s a naturalist/biologist who has been studying both terrestrial and marine flora and fauna of Bonaire for many years now.  He will give a presentation at the next CIEE talk on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM at the CIEE Research Station in Kralendijk.

This presentation will focus upon birds, with the title of the talk being, “Why we love birds.” Bonaire has nearly 220 species that have been positively documented, and as the eBird reviewer for Bonaire, Jerry is constantly on the alert for new species that he can find, or that get reported on bird checklists via eBird. Birds are teachers that make us pay attention when in the field and they constantly bring mystery, beauty, complex behavior, and beautiful song to our attention. And, very importantly, they are indicators of the health of our environment, so spending a lifetime in studying birds provides many rewards.

As always, entrance is free, so all are welcome.  (Source: CIEE)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 30, 2014 at 3:33pm AST
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bonaire’s Kiri Thode King of the Caribbean Once Again

After five days of howling winds and intense competition, Bonaire’s Kiri Thode has successfully defended his title as King of the Caribbean in the just-ended, five-day Bonaire Event on the PWA World Cup 2014 tour.

After grueling days of heats, Kiri Thode (NB-61) placed first in the category of Mens Freestyle.  Second place went to Steven van Broeckhoven (B-72) from Belgium, and it was a big surprise that Bonaire’s Amado Vrieswijk (NB-20) came up the ranks to grab the number three position.  Amado will surely be a force to watch in the coming events.

In the Women’s Freestyle category, first place went to Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU-91) from Aruba, with second place going to Maaike Huvermann (NED-108) of Holland, and third place to Arrienne Aukes (H-131), also of Holland.

Congratulations to all the winners, but especially to the Bonaire contingent.  You make us proud!

But wind events do not end here, as the Tenth Edition of the ProKids Bonaire IFCA Championshipo begins today.  See www.prokidsfreestyle.com to follow the action, and we’ll see you on the beach at Sorobon!  (PWA/ProKids)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 25, 2014 at 10:23am AST
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dr. Carola Roeters Appointed as an Official Preferred Referral Dive Physican by Divers Alert Network

Dive Medical Bonaire’s Dr. Carola Roeters has recently been appointed as a DAN (Divers Alert Network) official preferred referral physician for medical issues related to diving. 

For the past two years, Dive Medical Bonaire has been assisting with medical situations related to diving, including pre- or post-dive evaluations or a “fit-to-dive” check.  Dive Medical offers swift service, appointments via telephone, and limited waiting time.  Appointments can be made for early mornings, weekends, or holidays, with advance notice.

Dr. Carola E. Roeters, M.D. is a physician and expert in dive medicine and occupational health issues. She is also an enthusiastic SCUBA diver, and as such, is admirably suited to attend to dive-related health situations.  For additional information about the services of Dive Medical Bonaire, visit their web site by clicking here(Source:  Dive Medical Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 24, 2014 at 3:33pm AST
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Celebrate the Life of Captain Don Stewart at Taste of Bonaire on June 27th, 2014

Everyone who is on Bonaire will gather next Friday evening in Wilhelmina Park to celebrate the life of Captain Don Stewart during this month’s Taste of Bonaire event.

From 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM, experience great food, local music, and handicrafts while celebrating an evening dedicated to Captain Don Stewart, who passed away in late May.  Next Friday there will be performances by Grupo ESO, Dance Group Sensation, Royal Gang Rappers, Fire Show, and the winners of the Bonaire Youth Talents 2014 competition.  (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 21, 2014 at 1:22pm AST
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Back-to-Back Windsurf Events Start Today

Winds are great as the pros and kids gather on Bonaire for two back-to-back windsurfing events.  Tonight will be the opening ceremony for the Bonaire PWA World Cup 2014 tournament, which will run through mid-next week, after which the Pro Kids Freestyle will enjoy its tenth edition, from June 25 through 29, 2014.

All eyes will be on Bonaire’s Kiri Thode, who is the reigning PWA World Champion in freestyle, and he will enter the event as the favorite. The fact that Kiri was crowned the King of Bonaire in 2011--after winning both of the eliminations completed last time around--only further adds to his credentials as the man to beat.  Kiri is un-stoppable anywhere in the world, but here in Lac Bay, he’s on his home turf.  It will be an interesting PWA event as the island cheers for its own.

For the second week of competition for the ProKids, there will be lots of other events in addition to the freestyle and slalom competition, with live music, beach soccer, a Sorobon run, dominos, an aerobics marathon, bolas, and a paddleboard competition.  Nightly events will round out the days, ensuring everyone has a good mix of sun, sand, and windsurfing, with parties under the stars at night.

If you’re lucky enough to be on Bonaire during the next two weeks, be sure to head over to Lac Bay and enjoy these rock stars performing their moves!  (Source:  PWA and ProKids)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 20, 2014 at 1:33pm AST
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Congratulations to the STINAPA Junior Rangers on Their Graduation

Last Friday evening, the annual graduation ceremony for the STINAPA Junior Ranges took place.  The youngsters dedicated time twice a week during the school year learning about nature and also undertaking various voluntary activities.

Desiree Croes, coordinator of the Nature and Environmental Education Department of STINAPA, is responsible for the execution of this program for the 36 youngsters, between the ages 12 and 21, who took part in the program during 2013/2014.  Every Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning the youth came together full of enthusiasm and energy, not only to learn, but also to have fun together.

These young people not only learn about the nature and environment of Bonaire, but also get the chance to improve their leadership abilities and learn to respectfully listen to the opinion of another, even if not in agreement. They also learn to give presentations to a public audience, a skill they can use their entire life.  Ms. Lydia Emerencia, who has always admired this group, handed out the certificates of achievement, after which Desiree presented certificates of appreciation to volunteers and others who in one way or another have contributed to the STINAPA Junior Rangers program.  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 18, 2014 at 10:54am AST
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Catch Your Dream on Bonaire--Arkefly’s 787 Dreamliner Touches Down at Flamingo Airport

You know it’s an important flight when your escorts are two Royal Dutch Air Force F-16 pilots!  This afternoon, Arkefly initiated their new 787 Dreamliner service from Amsterdam to Bonaire, and many on the island turned out to welcome them with a festive afternoon at Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport.  View images of today’s landmark flight on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery at http://bonaire.me/Z728.

With an F-16 escort on each wing, Arkefly’s first Dreamliner entered Dutch Caribbean airspace, and then landed in Curacao’s Hato International Airport, before continuing on to Bonaire International Airport, or, as it’s more commonly called, Flamingo Airport.  Here at sea level on Bonaire, things were just marginally less exciting as in the cockpits of those F-16s, as those awaiting got messages that the plane was landing within minutes.  A huge cheer went up as the wheels touched down, and, after taxiing to the apron, Bonaire’s fire brigade gave a welcome salute.


Passengers and dignitaries exited the aircraft and crossed the red carpet, where they were met by Bonaire’s own delegation, headed up by Mr. Leslie Laplace, Director of BIA, and officials from the government and tourist board.  After some short speeches, while drinks and snacks were enjoyed, everyone then boarded the 787 Dreamliner for a tour. 

From “tip to toe” the plane is roomy and will be perfect for the long flights from Holland to Bonaire.  The aft galley is so spacious that it could probably host a dance competition.  Elie Bruyninckx, CEO TUI Netherlands, says,

“Passengers traveling on Arke’s 787 will appreciate the airplane’s spacious interior, bigger windows and will arrive at their destination feeling refreshed, making it the perfect start to any holiday.”

Arke is scheduled to receive two more 787s to add to its fleet.  Bonaire welcomes the Dreamliner!



(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 12, 2014 at 6:33pm AST
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bonaire Insider Review--Lounge Night At Sebastian’s Restaurant

After several highly successful monthly events, Sebastian’s Restaurant has announced that every Saturday night will be a “Chill Out Lounge Night” at the popular Bonaire eatery.  This is not the event for those wanting the club atmosphere, but for those who want a mellow evening at the end of the week.....well, there’s no better way to achieve that goal than to sit and enjoy Sebastian’s Lounge Night.

Those who wish to dine can still do so, and get the double pleasure of having the tapas menu to order from for appetizers and drinks, as well as the normal menu.  We arrived early--6:30 PM--in time so that we could have a drink and enjoy Bonaire’s flamingo-pink sunset from one of the best seats on the island--a deck-side table at Sebastian’s.  The popular pier table can be also set up for lounge guests to chill out, enjoy Mojitos or other drinks, munch on tapas, and listen to the music of some of Bonaire’s best DJs.  This is not heart-thumping club music, but easy-to-listen-to, popular music--music over which one can still have a conversation without shouting.

Drinks can be ordered by the glass, as always, or order pitchers of Mojitos, rum punch, or Caipirinha.  Tapas on which to snack start at only $6.00 per plate.  The tapas menu might vary from week to week, to reflect what is in season or which is just-picked fresh, but before dinner, my dining companion and I ordered from the lounge tapas menu--tuna tempura and spring rolls.  The night we visited, there was also tuna tartar on ciabatta, chicken wings, Caribbean fish bites, or nachos with cheese and guacamole.  However, since we planned on staying for dinner as well, we stopped at one tapa for each of us, and then we shared to get a taste of each.

My spring rolls could have been a meal in themselves!  Three large spring rolls arrived on my plate, but they didn’t last long!  My dining companion enjoyed his tuna tempura with fresh wasabi.  Both tapas disappeared way too quickly, as did the pitcher of Mojitos, but then our waiter kept us busy with our l’amuse before dinner, and then our entrees--beef tenderloin and garlic shrimp.

The evening passed quickly, and by nine o’clock we were on our way out, but others were just arriving for the later night set.  If you have only one night to visit Sebastian’s Restaurant, then Saturday evening it should be!  The lounge evening, atmosphere, food, and drinks just can’t be beat! 

For more information on Sebastian’s Restaurant, visit their web site by clicking here(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 11, 2014 at 4:15pm AST
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Monday, June 09, 2014

Sand Dollar Condominiums Announces New Management Team

The Sand Dollar Condominiums Homeowners Association is pleased to announce that it has agreed to contract Management Connexions to perform the duties of General Manager for Sand Dollar. This company is owned by Debby Rauwers. She and her husband, Marco Vermeulen, have been running it in The Netherlands where it has operated in the corporate event and travel industry. 

Debby, who will perform the duties of General Manager at Sand Dollar, grew up on Bonaire, and she was active in hotel management at an early age.  After completing her studies at the Higher Hotel Management School in Maastricht, Holland, she returned to Bonaire to work at Buddy Dive, first “on the floor” for three years, and then as Assistant General Manager, General Manager and finally as Director of Buddy Dive, until it was sold in 2002. After the sale of Buddy Dive Resort, Debby became an independent entrepreneur with her company named Management Connexions in the corporate event industry in the Netherlands.

Sand Dollar, a winner of the 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, offers some of the most spacious and comfortable ocean view studio, one, two and three bedroom condominiums on island on an expansive stretch of coastline. All units have free Wi-Fi, air-conditioned bedrooms, full kitchens, dining and living areas, and roomy porches or balconies overlooking the Caribbean Sea. This Bonaire condominium resort complex includes a pool, bar & restaurant, sea side lounging areas, two tennis courts, deli, ice cream parlor, grocery store and bakery and dive operation. The dive facility includes a drive-up tank station with private gear storage lockers and a second tank station on the seaside for diving Bari Reef directly from shore. Tanks and lockers are available 24/7. Sand Dollar’s amenities make it an especially popular destination for couples, families, and groups seeking value and relaxation.  (Source:  Sand Dollar Condominiums)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 09, 2014 at 12:03pm AST
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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Bonaire’s Visitors Continue to be Inspired by the Island

Irwin Spector, pictured at left, a frequent visitor to Bonaire for more than thirty years, explains his Bonaire inspired woodcarvings to his surgeon Dr. Steven Falowski. Mr. Spector was asked to exhibit his artwork by Dr. Falowski at the Polka for Parkinson event at the ArtsQuest Center located at Steel Stack in Bethlehem, PA on April 27, 2014. The theme of the event was “The Art of Living with Parkinson’s Disease” and featured artists who were dealing with the disease. Mr. Spector was diagnosed with Parkinson’s more than twenty years ago. 

Mr. Spector was introduced to wood carving about six years ago. Over the past few years his tremors increased and, along with the stiffening of his hands, made it difficult to use his chisels, gouges and knives for his woodcarvings. These problems were a major factor him deciding to go through with a Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS) operation last spring. During the operation Dr. Falowski inserted a stimulator, similar to a pacemaker, that sends electronic signals to an area in the brain that controls movement. Since the operation Mr. Spector’s tremors are either very minimal or non-existent. Prior to the operation he required taking up to twenty pills a day. He is now down to one pill a day.

The operation has allowed Mr. Spector to continue depicting the underwater beauty of Bonaire in his woodcarvings without the limitations Parkinson’s was imposing. In 2012, he donated one of his lionfish carvings to the CIEE Research Station here in Bonaire. (Source: Alan Zale, image by Alan Zale)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 05, 2014 at 10:18am AST
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