It is difficult not to draw comparisons between Cape Town and Aruba. First, I had only been home from Cape Town for a few days when I had to start packing for Aruba. Second, they were both settled by Holland and the Dutch influences are very evident. Third, they both have beautiful beaches -- and I really really love going to places that have beautiful beaches.
After that , the comparisons start breaking down. Of course my circumstances for visiting each country were different. I was a guest of Cape Town and since I was not getting a paycheck at the end, I think my hosts felt more obligated to make me feel welcomed. Aruba was more of a business proposition and I was very much left to my own devices. Aruba seems to attract a lot of couples, honeymooners and families which can be kind of a drag when you are a single female looking for a friend or two with whom to enjoy the scenery.
Another problem in Aruba was my inability to connect to the internet. This is the first country I have visited in my laptop-accompanied travels where I was unable to figure out a way to check my e-mail. I cannot remember the last time I went a whole week without checking my messages and it really left me feeling isolated and cut off from the world.
More tech notes: Cape Town was my first trip with the Green Machine - my new Key Lime Green iBook. Aruba was my first trip with the new JamCam - a very inexpensive digital camera acquired to make use of the Green Machine's USB port. (Since the GM has no pcmcia card slots and no serial port, the Ricoh is pretty much useless until I get home to my G3 powerbook.) Most of the photos in this trip report were shot with the JamCam. The quality is not high, but I am frankly amazed at what one can do with a $100 digital camera in the right circumstances.
|Above: the view from my balconey at the Radisson
Left: My room - lovely West Indian furniture with more pillows than any one bed ought to be asked to accommodate.
Below: Day one on the sand pile. I had some help shoveling the first day but one will notice how the pile grows as the week goes on and I did all the shoveling from here on in.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sand. I had been forewarned that it was primarily crushed shell sand and that is correct, however the sand also has a fairly high natural clay content.... much more than is found on Cape Town beaches.
lounge chair fencing
Below: Aruba in the rain
|Left: I was carving by the middle of day two. The topmost section of the sculpture featured architectural elements of the Aruba Radisson. Note the innovative fencing members of the staff came up with. Wild dogs roam the Aruban beaches at night and this was an effective means of keeping them off the pile.
You will also notice just a bit of black form peeking out. I learned a valuable lesson in Cape Town and since this is not a contest and there is no such thing as cheating I buried the bottom form instead of risking total collapse.
Below: Gilligans bar and grill was the backdrop for this piece. Every day at happy hour I was treated to a performance by "Visions" - very talented local band that I became somewhat friendly with during my stay.
Left: Day three rain break. Everyone says "It never rains in Aruba and then laughs. It actually rained quite a bit while I was working on the sculpture but the showers were brief and usually nothing you would call a downpour. I had my own tiki hut to crouch under when the rain came and for the most part was able to keep myself and my stuff nice and dry.
Above: the "back" of the sculpture - couldn't resist adding just a little bit of castle stuff.
Below: a view of the Rad and Palm beach from a nearby pier
Above& Right: Day four. One of the nice ladies camped out nearby snapped this for me. I was surrounded by really nice people, vacationers who I think were all from New York City - Queens even - who kept a eye on things and helped out when I had a problem with my sprayer. I got some photos of them on my film camera and will add when I get the pics back.
I had a lot of visitors today - the local newspaper ran my smiling mug on the cover and devoted a very extensive centerfold article to me and photos of past projects.