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News about People on, from, and going to Bonaire

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Austin and Lorrie Headland Honored as Gold Bonaire Ambassadors

Last evening on the pier table at Sebastian’s Restaurant, Austin and Lorrie Headland were honored by Rolando Marin, of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire, for their dedicated annual visits to Bonaire.

The couple has been visiting Bonaire each year for over 21 years, and in some years, visited twice.  They hail from Alabama in the United States, and even though they habitually travel to other dive locations, they admit that Bonaire is the destination that they continue to return to year after year.

Both Austin and Lorrie are divers, and underwater photographers as well.  Although they do spend long hours underwater (many dives reach almost two hours in length), they also enjoy just kicking back and enjoying the island.  Over the years, they have made many friends on Bonaire.

Chef Sebastian himself placed their honorary gold medals, when they were dining at his restaurant.

Congratulations, Austin and Lorrie, and continue to visit for many more years!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 29, 2015 at 3:24pm AST
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Long-time Bonaire Visitor, Alan Zale, Places Again With His Bonaire Photography

Longtime Bonaire visitor, Alan Zale, just took third place in the Canvas Press Close Up Photo contest, with his photo of a Spotted Cleaner Shrimp on Bari Reef. Alan’s photo was one of a hundred images submitted for the competition.

The photo was shot with a Nikon D200 and Nikkor 105mm lens in an Aquatica underwater housing, equipped with a pair of Nikonos SB-105 strobes for light.

Alan’s underwater photography of Bonaire has also appeared in the travel section of The New York Times where he spent most of his award winning photojournalism career as freelance photographer. He started his career at The Riverdale Press and he continues to shoot for his local paper, The Scarsdale Inquirer. Alan also worked on a special photo project for The Drug Enforcement Administration, that is now on permanent display in their headquarters. Alan has been coming to Bonaire for twenty years and has made forty trips to the island.

Congratulations, Alan!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 17, 2015 at 2:42pm AST
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bonaire Says Goodbye–and Thanks–to Jerry Ligon

It is with heavy hearts that we once again report on the passing of an icon of Bonaire–Jerry C. Ligon passed away on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

With his passing, Bonaire has lost a true friend of its nature.  Jerry, living on Bonaire for decades now, was a noted biologist and ornithologist (bird specialist).  He was the owner and operator of Biological Tours of Bonaire and was well known for his outstanding birding tours.  In fact, Jerry was the eBird reviewer for the island.

Jerry received his Bachelor of Science from the University of East Central Oklahoma (USA) and also became a PADI instructor in May 1994.  He worked within the dive industry on Bonaire since that time.

A memorial service is planned for Monday, September 14, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Consuelo Memorial here on Bonaire.

As a staunch protector of all nature, above the water or beneath it, Bonaire will surely miss Jerry.  Rest in peace, Jerry.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 10, 2015 at 11:52am AST
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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Bonaire Says Goodbye to Yet Another Diving Pioneer, Ebo Domacasse

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of another Bonaire diving pioneer, Ebo Domacasse, who passed away last evening.

Ebo was a member of the elite group of locals who originally worked within the fledgling dive industry on Bonaire, and many old-timers to the island will remember him well.  Ebo was a favorite dive guide, working side-by-side with Bas Marin, and, of course, Captain Don, who was operating the first Aquaventure dive shop back in 1973.  Diving was in its infancy back then, and these gentlemen brought it the forefront of Bonaire’s tourism.

As thanks for his many efforts, two dive sites were named after Ebo, and many divers for years have enjoyed Ebo’s Reef and Ebo’s Special/Jerry’s Jam, both located on Klein Bonaire.

One of Ebo’s sons, Herbert, grew up to become one of Bonaire’s Lt. Governors, while another son, Jopie, followed in his footsteps, working within the island’s dive industry for many years.

The Bonaire Insider sends its condolences to the entire Domacasse family.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 03, 2015 at 12:31pm AST
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day Spa Face & Body by Nubia Launches New Web Site, Offers Father’s Day Special

Bonaire’s Day Spa Face & Body by Nubia has just launched a new web site, with some popular favorite services, as well as some new services to enjoy.  Nubia is a professional in massage therapy, facials, reflexology, lymph drainage, Shiatsu, deep tissue massage, hyaluronic acid treatments, and other body and facial therapies.  View the new web site at www.bonairedayspabynubia.com.

The new web site is responsive, so it can be viewed easily on any device.  Navigation through the wide menu of available services is easy, delineated by Facials, Body Treatments, Manicures, Pedicures, & Waxing, and Specials & Packages.

Six different types of massage are offered, with even a special massage just for divers. Another favorite for visitors when they are on Bonaire is to enjoy a Bonairean Salt Body Scrub, utilizing salt made by the wind and sea, and harvested here on Bonaire.

Nubia offers a variety of specials and packages, including a birthday special, a honeymoon package for couples, and wedding packages to prepare the bride or groom to look their best.  And of course, with Father’s Day nearly upon us, make sure Dad is nice and relaxed and looking great for his big day.

Nubia is well known on Bonaire, having first come to the island nearly twenty years ago, when she worked at the spa at the Harbour Village Resort.  She has been managing the Day Spa Face & Body since 2002.  On your next visit to Bonaire, enjoy a day at Nubia’s Face & Body Day Spa.  (Source:  Day Spa Face & Body by Nubia)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 11, 2015 at 3:45pm AST
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

STCB’s Mabel Nava Joins Regional Conservation Leadership Program Protecting Nature and Communities

Mabel Nava, Manager of Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, has been selected as a participant in the 2015 Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) fellows program. Funded in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), CLiC is an opportunity for conservation professionals in the wider Caribbean region to gain invaluable skills and experience working with proven conservation leaders. Graduates will have the competence necessary to lead on critical issues facing wildlife in the region.

The 2015 CLiC fellows are 20 representatives from 14 nations in the Caribbean region with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences in the conservation field.

“I am honored to be among those participating in the CLiC program,” said Mabel Nava. “Following the academic training, I’ll work on a team to design, implement and evaluate a program that links biodiversity conservation with sustainable development in the Caribbean. CLiC will allow me to increase my leadership network and build new skills that focus on the critical link between the sustainability of nature and the well-being of the human community.  All of this will allow me to better support STCB’s mission on Bonaire and in the wider region.”

The goal of the Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) fellows program is to have an established, sustainable Caribbean leadership-training program enabling effective regional networking and action to achieve sustainable conservation. (Source:  STCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 26, 2015 at 4:00pm AST
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bonaire’s King and Queen Bring Honor and Grace to Dia di Rincon

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima today brought many smiles to the faces of those on Bonaire, as they graciously toured Dia di Rincon.  The Royal Couple’s arrival opened the event for all to enjoy.  View images of the Royal Visit on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery at http://bonaire.me/Zcda.

Upon arrival, the Dutch national anthem was played as the flag was raised, and then it was the time for Bonaire’s anthem and flag along with the flag of Rincon.  Speeches by Bonaire’s Lt. Governor, the Honorable Edison Rijna, and Mr. Francisco “Bubuchi” Janga, president of the organizing committee of Dia di Rincon, welcomed the King and Queen.  It seems that being royal doesn’t preclude one from selfies--press watched with big grins on their faces, while our King took a selfie of himself and Queen Maxima.

Then, the winners of Krioyo Rincon, an annual singing competition for children and adults, performed their songs.  Each year’s songs are sung in Papiamentu, with winners in the children’s division and adult’s division, providing ample entertainment.  Folkloric dancers kept the King’s foot beating in time to the rhythm of their dances.

At the end of the opening ceremony, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were escorted on stage to receive gifts from Fundashon Deporte i Cultura, Bonaire’s Foundation for Sports and Culture.

Bonaire is well known for its local food items, and Dia di Rincon always provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy such treats.  The Royal Couple then visited several stands where they could try out some of Bonaire’s favorites--Sopi Kabritu (goat soup), Pan di Fornu (bread cooked in a clay oven), Arepa di Pampuna (pumpkin pancakes), Rincon Macaron (coconut cakes), Rincon punch, Mango Delights, and Tart Rincon (a pastry with prunes).

Afterward, the King and Queen visited the Chi Chi ‘Tan Museum, enjoying a guided tour through the museum which houses traditional musical instruments.  In the garden of the museum, they received instruction in the intricacies of tying the local Antillean traditional head-dress.

The Royal Couple also made visits during the day to the Cocari Foundation--a daycare foundation for the elderly, the Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation (BYOF), a participant in Opportunities for Youth Caribbean, and Krusada Foundation, which is a substance abuse facility supporting people on Bonaire who desire a second chance at life.  The foundation is firmly rooted in the local community and provides a path to personal and socio-economic recovery.  Krusada Foundation has won the Appeltje of Orange award in 2015. On Thursday, May 21, Queen Maxima will present this award at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 30, 2015 at 2:48pm AST
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The King and Queen Will Attend Rincon Day, April 30, 2015

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima will, on invitation of the Island Governor of Bonaire, Edison Rijna, attend Rincon Day (Dia di Rincon) on Thursday April 30th.  The Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, will be present at these events as well.  As patron couple of the Orange Fund, the King and Queen will make use of this opportunity to visit two projects on Bonaire and Aruba, which are taking part in the Orange Fund Programme Chances for Youth (Oranje Fonds Programma Kansen voor Jongeren), as well as one of the Apple of Orange winners of 2015. 

On April 30th, Rincon Day, thousands of visitors from Bonaire and the other islands come to the oldest village of the island, Rincon, to celebrate a party of culture and traditions. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will, together with the Island Governor, be welcomed to Rincon in the morning by the president of the organizing committee, Francisco Janga. After the flag ceremony, where the Wilhelmus and the national song of Bonaire will be sung and during a drum-roll, the flag of Rincon will be hoisted, several speeches and song- and dance performances will follow. Afterwards the King and Queen will visit the “Stentenstraat”, a sampling of traditional dishes of Bonaire and the museum Chichi Tan, which houses a collection of traditional music instruments. In the afternoon the Royal Couple will attend a parade of customs and folk costumes which will end with the simadan, the harvest in the form of a parade.

One of the Apples of Oranje 2015 was won by the Krusada Foundation, an organization that since 1999 supports people on Bonaire who cannot make it in society. After attending Rincon Day the King and Queen will visit Krusada Foundation. With the programme Chances for Youth-Caribbean the Orange Fund supports volunteer initiatives that are geared towards early school drop outs. The Royal Couple will speak on April 30th with coaches of the Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and youth that came into contact with the law and is being coached and trained.  (Source:  RCN)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 31, 2015 at 12:59pm AST
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Mr. E.Ch.M. (Michael) Nicolaas Joins Bonaire International Airport as CEO

The Supervisory Board (SB) of Bonaire International Airport NV (BIA) announces that the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of BIA, on the recommendation of the Supervisory Board, has decided to appoint Mr. E.Ch.M. (Michael) Nicolaas as CEO commencing 1 April.  As of the same date, Mr. L.A. (Les) Laplace has been re-appointed as Director of BIA in charge of Operations (COO). These appointments are necessary to ensure a fortified organization in facing the many future challenges and the next steps in the development of the Flamingo Airport.

Mr. Nicolaas was born in Aruba from parents born in Bonaire. Mr. Nicolaas has more than forty (40) years of experience in managing airports and has worked for more than five (5) airport operators in South America and the Caribbean.

In the opinion of the Supervisory Board, this positive development shall certainly be beneficial to Bonaire in general and to the Flamingo Airport in particular.

The Supervisory Board wishes the new CEO, Mr. Nicolaas, and the Director in charge of Operations (COO), Mr. Laplace, all wisdom and success with the further development of Bonaire International Airport.

Pictured from left to right: Jan Willem storm van ‘s Gravesande – Vice President Supervisory Board; Les Laplace – Director BIA; Etienne Ys – President Supervisory Board; Anthony Nicolaas – Secretary Supervisory Board; Michael Nicolaas – Pres. Director BIA; Alain Maca – Member Supervisory Board.

(Source:  Bonaire International Airport)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 20, 2015 at 4:49pm AST
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Visitors Reunite Years Later with their Dive Guide’s Family

It’s a common phenomenon, and a tale that is not often told, but it truly exemplifies why visitors feel such a bond with Bonaire after they visit.  But let’s first set the scene:  It’s around twenty years ago, and a young couple from the United States visits Bonaire for the first time.  They come for the diving, but end up doing so much more than diving.  They get to know their dive guides, even having dinner with them and their spouses, and getting to know them personally.  This young couple begins to return to Bonaire every year, sometimes even twice a year, and they are always in touch with their same dive guide, a local man by the name of Bas.

Over the years, this young couple and Bas and his wife, Rosa Bella, go dancing together, dining together, every time the couple returns to Bonaire.  Bas tells mesmerizing stories about Bonaire in the “old days.” Soon Bas retires from diving, and the next time the young couple visits, now with children of their own in tow, they lose touch with Bas.

Now, fast forward to November, 2014.  It’s time for the annual DEMA dive trade show, and Bonaire is well represented as usual.  This same man is attending the show, and tries once more to find out what happened to his old friend, Bas.  He approaches the booth of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire, and inquires.......not really hoping to actually hear news, but not giving up.  The gentlemen behind the booth asks this visitor if he remembers the name............but he replies he cannot remember the last name.  He only remembers Bas. 

Now, Bonaire is a small island where everyone knows everyone else.  The gentleman in the booth just happens to be Rolando Marin, from the tourist office, and he just happens to be Bas’ son.  There’s a quick reunion while the two bring each other up to date.  Sadly, Basilio Marin passed away about ten years ago, his wife, Rosa Bella, followed five years later.

And now, it’s the present day, and the Fishman Family, along with extended family members and friends, visit Bonaire once again.  And this time, the Fishman Family is back in touch with another Marin--this one Rolando, Basilio’s son.  Rolando learns about all the visits of the family over the years--one son even studied at CIEE on Bonaire for a semester--and hears they all have been here for at least ten consecutive years.  He suggests they might want to apply to become Bonaire Ambassadors, an honor bestowed on those who visit at least ten years in a row (bronze), fifteen years (silver) or twenty (gold).  On their last evening on Bonaire, Rolando was delighted to be able to honor the entire Fishman Family and inducted them into the Bonaire Ambassador program.  Congratulations!

But it won’t be the last time we see the gang, they will be here later this year............just like clockwork!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 10, 2015 at 2:16pm AST
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