Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some things about Aruba...

Originally inhabited by Dutch settlers, Aruba is an island about 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. It is 12 miles long and 6 miles wide.

Papiamento is the official language of Aruba. But most everyone here speaks four languages: Dutch, Spanish, English and Papiamento. By the time kids are in the 4th grade, they've pretty much learned all four languages. We went to church today (can't believe we found it) and they had Spanish and English hymn books. The branch president spoke Spanish, the guy who gave the first talk spoke Papiamento (but he also said the opening prayer in English -- for us I think). We had a missionary from Sacramento translate the talks for us. He did great with the Papiamento talk, but struggled a little with the Spanish (Papiamento is a mixture of Dutch, English, Spanish and French).

The local currency is Florins. But they take US Dollars everywhere. But they won't give you change in US currency. They give you change in Florins. And I swear they just give you whatever they want back because I can do the conversion in my head, but it varies depending on who's giving me change. I'm thinking I might have enough Florin coins now to buy a candy bar.

Apparently tops are optional for women at the beach. And apparently bottoms are optional for baby boys at our pool.

It's HOT here. And the sun is intense. We were told the other day the worst months to be here are August and September, because the wind stops blowing and you're just dripping all the time and you never feel clean or dry.

The crime rate is about 1%. I think we've seen maybe one cop car. And that was today. And he was leading a parade of children on bicycles.

We're having a great time. I think our favorite thing so far was the all day jeep tour we took on Friday. We saw a ton of stuff and it was just fun off-roading in the jeep. I almost flew out a couple times. I loved it.

We're renting a house about 5 minutes away from the beach. It's a great little house -- exceeded my expectations. Our address is something Noord Bona Vista. There are several dogs in our neighborhood that just hang outside on the porch. They're polite enough not to come in. But we like them. Two have really taken to us. We call them Juan and Hans. Or, sometimes, Han and Juans. Pedro will come over every now and then. And then I met another one I like to call Geertgen.

If anyone is coming to Aruba and needs a place to stay, contact Kristi and she can hook you up with the proprietor of this house. You'll save yourself a lot of money by staying here and not at the Marriott or Hyatt or something.

I don't know what we're doing tomorrow. Maybe the butterfly gardens. And then Tuesday is sailing and snorkling. And as always, trying to keep an eye on Mark who tends to wander off on his own.


Rania said...

I'm so jealous!

Tara said...

It sounds like you guys are having so much fun! And man, you all are going to come back so tan!

SRA said...

*sigh* Yup...jealous! Looking forward to seeing your tan and stuff...thanks for the mid-trip update!

Hilda said...

I'm so jealous right now...sounds like you're having a lot of fun out there. I'd love to see more of your pictures.

Cameron's Corner said...

How in the crap...?!?!

Even when I was single I couldn't afford to go all the places you're going.

Is it because I wasted all my money on girls I thought I could make out with on the first date and was usually wrong?

Annie said...

One word: JEALOUS!

Glad you are having fun.

Johnny Metropolis said...

You go to church on vacation? What are you trying to do get to heaven?

boneck family said...

the optional clothing comment was hilarious!

Ilene said...

You go to Aruba. I go to Orofino, Idaho. It was for a family reunion where my uncle and aunt run a motel. Yes, it is a motel in every sense of the word and is located in the middle of nowhere.

You totally win on vacation destinations.