Saturday, June 07, 2014

Bonaire Photos, Apropos of Nothing


Two days ago, I came across the backup disc of photos from the trip that my friend Beth and I took to Bonaire in 2011. Beth invited me to go with her and two friends from New York for a week. Hotel rooms were already reserved. All I had to do was buy an airline ticket and sleep on the other side of the kind sized bed.
Early morning sunlight and a flapping palm tree.
I'd not been back to the Caribbean since 1989 when our entire family leased two houses in Seroe Colorado. What was wonderful about this trip to Bonaire is that everything about the place felt so familiar. It was like coming home.
Bonaire is like Aruba used to be before the entire island was transformed into total tourist resort. Both islands have the same warm steady Trade Winds, both are situated so there are windward and leeward sides of the island - meaning one side of the island has beaches with gentle water and  the other side of water pounds to the shore to crash against high cliffs of ancient coral.
Caribbean water is a multitude of brilliant colors from pale aquamarine to turquoise and cobalt blue. What is now to love about this water? The beaches in Bonaire are not perfect like the beaches in Aruba. Most of the time, there is a 'barrier' of coral to cross before reaching the water. The sand is there, but one doesn't just drift into the water.  Tevas on your feet are the smart thing.
Beth and her friend being very protective of their skin. No chnce of tropical sunburn or sunstroke.

We spent the week in the water or walking along the island's coastline. And eating West Indian food - Dutch croquettes, curries and plantains, mangoes, fried rice and pastechis (meat pies). Eating the food was also like homecoming. I cannot recreate those tastes here in Houston.
I'd packed a very large silk parachute that I purchased decades ago at a flea market and we took along to a windward beach.
Never got what I considered a good photo of the parachute billowing in the wind, but it did get wet and then Beth did wrap herself up in it. I love this photo. Looks very Ivory Merchant to me. When I showed my eldest daughter Caroline, she said in so many words, "All I see is a woman wrapped in a wet sheet." Whatever.
We collected pieces of coral as we walked and one day we dyed 100% fine cotton fabric with tea and hibiscus juice and made coral chains and necklaces. An entire day devoted to craft. And then the obligatory photographing of neck chains in the water at sunset - as if they'd been washed ashore.
Couldn't stop myself from imagining this scenario.
I would return to Bonaire absolutely any time. And now, on this Saturday morning,  I've gone and written another blog post apropos of nothing when I planned to write on china plates for Second Seating Rehash for Diverse Works. And I must buy a baby shower gift on-line at Target. Shower is tomorrow.
Poli and his crew are out in the garden, pruning and clicking.Soon they will tackle digging up the ginger in the back garden. We'll shuffle some of it around and save a blank space for variegated pittosporum, a plant that grows wide and tall and does not freeze.
All will look quite bare for awhile - and just in time for a women's dinner next Wednesday evening. Guests will have to envision what the garden will look like a year from now. So the day goes.

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