37th Annual Kontest di Fli (Kite-Flying Contest) is Sunday, March 29th, 2015

This Sunday marks the 37th annual edition of Bonaire’s kite-flying contest, a springtime tradition!  It’s a fun event for everyone, those flying their kites, onlookers, and those who just want to “chill.”

Kites are all home-made and this event shows the amazing creativity of some of Bonaire’s inhabitatants.  For those on Bonaire, this is a fantastic opportunity for taking pictures of Bonaire’s kids and their imaginative creations for their kites.  There are various categories and the kids will be vying to win with the largest, smallest, and most creative kites from both Bonaire and Curacao.

The competition will begin at 8:00 AM in the field behind Kooyman’s and it will run throughout the day.  It’s a fun event for the entire family with snacks, drinks, and music available for purchase.  Enjoy!  (Source:  Extra)

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Help Bonaire’s Parrots by Voting for Funding

Twice a year, The European Outdoor Conservation Association receives applications from conservation organizations with projects which can use funding assistance. Following a rigorous selection procedure, the EOCA has now published their shortlist and they are asking everyone to help in choosing three projects to receive funding.  Bonaire’s Echo Foundation is one of these, and everyone can help Bonaire’s loras (parrots) by voting online.

Your vote could make the Echo Foundation’s wishes come true.  Their plan is to have rare native trees be propagated and planted out in fenced herbivore-exclusion areas. This short-term strategy will jump start reforestation, while government-led projects start to control feral herbivores. To ensure the sustainability of habitat restoration, the perceived value of the dry forest will be increased among local people and “the outdoors” will be made easily accessible by developing a network of enjoyable trails for different abilities. Specifically the project seeks funding to restore Bonaire’s dry-forest through the planting 20,000 trees in 11 one hectare herbivore exclusion areas and private gardens, create 17km of marked trails through the remaining areas of forest and through the restoration areas, build a trail-head meeting point and picnic area, stimulate trail use and maintenance by the outdoor community, and support the training of local nature guides.

(Source:  Echo Foundation)

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Krusada Expands Shopping Hours for Fresh Vegetables

20150324-KrusadaVisitors are always looking for the freshest of ingredients in which to use in cooking in their apartments while visiting Bonaire, but normally produce arrives only once per week from either Holland or the USA.  Krusada has large greenhouses and they have expanded their capacity this year in order to provide fresh vegetables.

Krusada is Bonaire’s substance abuse facility, but they maintain their greenhouses to raise money for the foundation.  The vegetables are grown in organic conditions, as often as is allowed by Bonaire’s weather, and they normally stock red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, spinach, bok choy, cucumbers, and arugula.  Depending upon the season, long green beans, chard, mint, and basil are also available.

Prior to this year, the greenhouses were only open for purchase of vegetables for one hour, twice a week.  But with the addition of several new, large greenhouses, the organization now has the capacity to open for longer hours with a more steady supply of veggies.  Currently Krusada is now open on Mondays from 11:00 AM to 12:00 Noon, Tuesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, Thursdays from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, and Fridays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

To find Krusada, travel east on Kaminda Lagun and after you pass the Lagoen Hill community, be on the watch for the sign on the left.  Turn into the property, and drive toward the old landhouse.  Parking is nearby and follow the signs to the purchase area.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

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Enjoy Easter Brunch at Ingridients

Ingridients Restaurant, located at Buddy Dive Resort, will hold its annual Easter brunch on Sunday, April 5th, 2015 from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

In keeping with their motto, “Dine Differently,” this Easter brunch promises to be something special.  Your brunch will begin with a house cocktail and a selection of Italian cold cuts.  Then enjoy home-made scones, with whipped cream and jams, croissants, and sweet pastries.  Deluxe sandwiches in a variety of flavors, and quiche, eggs benedict, fruit salad, vegetable soup or creamy fish soup, and the restaurant’s famous “Create Your Own Salad” Bar Deluxe.

The meal, which will truly be an event, will then move to live cooking, with the catch of the day prepared to perfection, shrimp skewer, salmoriglio with creole sauce and aioli, and tagliatelle with parmesan and truffle.

At 1:00 PM, the Grand Dessert Festival will begin, but what that entails is a very well kept secret!  Finish your meal with a juice, coffee, and tea buffet.

Cost is $35.00 per person for adults, $19.50 for children aged 5 through 12.  Reservations are required and you can either call 717-1684 or email restaurantmanager@ingridientsrestaurant.com. (Source:  Ingridients Restaurant)

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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)

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Sand Dollar Guests Now Enjoy Improved Wi-Fi During Their Stays

Earlier this month, Sand Dollar completed the installation of individual modem connections for free high speed internet in all of their rental apartments. They have offered free Wi-Fi originating from their centrally located Wi-Fi system for several years now, however the signal strength was not reliable in all of the buildings.

“The configuration of the property across a vast stretch of waterfront made it difficult to provide an equally strong signal in all of our units,” said Debby Rauwers, General Manager on Sand Dollar Condominiums. “It became clear that having individual modems in the units was the best way to insure that all of our guests had Wi-Fi service they could rely on. With this latest improvement, Sand Dollar becomes the first Bonaire vacation property to have invested in separate modems for each unit.”

Sand Dollar offers some of the most spacious and comfortable ocean view studio, one, two and three bedroom condominiums on island.  Their Ride to the Reef package provides guests everything they need to enjoy the best of Bonaire’s scuba diving. From May 2 – December 18, 2015, seven night packages with Dive Friends Bonaire begin as low as $637.00 per diver based for four people sharing a two bedroom/two bathroom condominium. Packages include 6 days of unlimited tanks for shore diving, free Nitrox upgrades, truck rental and tourism tax.  Dive Friends on-property 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 Resort Condominiums)

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Getting a Bird’s Eye View of Bonaire

All visitors to Bonaire, either consciously or unconsciously, see the variety of Bonaire’s avians soaring over the land or sea.  Have you ever wondered what Bonaire looks like to them?  Now you can find out with BonAeroClub.

BonAeroClub has been in existence now for a number of years, and they offer sightseeing flights and flying lessons as well.  On a one-hour sightseeing flight, one can experience that bird’s eye view of nearly all of Bonaire.

There are some restricted areas over which they cannot fly, but generally most of Bonaire can be viewed from the sky.  It’s a great photo-safari trip, offering stunning views of Bonaire’s lighthouses, Lac Bay, the southern salt pans, and of course, Washington Slagbaai National Park.  Bonaire’s leeward coast offers great views of everyone enjoying their visits–at resorts, private homes and apartments, and of course, Bonaire’s water sports.

The plane is a four-seater, so up to three persons can make the flight.  One sits next to the pilot, and two can fit in the rear seat.  The plane is well set up to make viewing and photographing easy, but a telephoto zoom lens is recommended.

For those that really want to do the extreme, arrange for a flying lesson with one of the club’s patient instructors, who have lots of experience in teaching flying.  In your first lesson, you can even take off on your own, although the pilot does recommend he land the plane until you have a bit more experience!

For those who have extensively visited Bonaire, BonAeroClub provides a thrilling way to do something new!  It’s a fabulous gift for someone who will be visiting soon.  For more information, call +599 786-2437+599 786-2437, and ask for Wietze Koopman.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

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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.

Bonaire is a small island where everyone knows everyone else.  The gentlemen 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)

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Mindfulness Wellness Retreats in Bonaire

20150309-WellnessAnn Phelan, owner of Caribbean Wind & Sun, is pleased to offer two Mindfulness Retreats for the summer of 2015.  She has been trained in Mindfulness and is bringing her practice to her guests on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire.

The two sessions this summer are July 25 through August 1 and August 1 through 8.  The focus will be on daily guided meditations at various locations in Bonaire.  Bonaire, best known as one of the Caribbean’s most pristine island, is the perfect setting for these events.  Ann welcomes you to find your center and immerse yourself deeper into your practice. The retreats provide a nurturing and gentle experience for both beginners and more experienced participants.  There will alternating periods of seated and walking meditations as well as 1-1 supported sessions to discuss your practice and expand on your personal goals.  Yoga and nature hikes will be incorporated into the retreat.  There will be healthy community meals as well as opportunities for independent dining. The level of your engagement will be individualized towards your personal goals. Each guest will have an initial phone consult and discussion and then an individualized program will be created.

The mind and body are best supported together. To enhance your experience, there will be Ayurvedic spa services offered as well as traditional spa offerings, including Bonaire Salt Scrubs and Hot Stone Massage. Reiki and Reflexology services are also available.

Accommodations include an oceanfront property where most of the retreat will be held and several budget minded accommodations within 4 miles of the meditation site.  Group discounts will apply to all accommodations.  There will be activities for those who wish to dive, horseback ride, stand up paddle, snorkel, windsurf, kayak or kitesurf. Bonaire is a nature lover’s destination. Come immerse yourself and become one with nature.  An a la carte retreat is available for those seeking a drop-in, free-flow experience, as well as a structured week. Prices depend on your individualized goals. Singles and couples welcome.  For more information email ann@bonairecaribbean.com.

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Special Olympics Annual Walk-a-thon this Sunday, March 8th, 2015

This Sunday morning brings a popular annual event, the Special Olympics Walk-a-Thon.  This year’s event will provide funding to send Bonaire’s athletes to the World Games 2015 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The route begins at 5:00 AM at the slave huts in the south, and will end at FKPD in Rincon.  The distance for walking is 30 kilometers, and for cycling, it is 40 kilometers, although there is no obligation to complete the entire route.

Those wishing to participate should meet at the stadium at 4:15 AM, and at 4:30 AM, a bus and pickup will transport those without transportation to the south starting area.  As usual, there will be some revitalizing juice, fruit, and water stops along the route.

Entry to participate is $15.00 per person and includes an event t-shirt, and soup and lunch at the end in Rincon.  Advance registration is necessary.

Spend Sunday morning enjoying a cool walk and Bonaire’s sunrise, and also help out a good cause!  (Source:  Special Olympics Bonaire)

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