Tuesday, May 17, 2016

On the ride

While we were riding across the island in the ATVs we got to see some of the more rural places people lived. We saw homes that were simply a roof with no walls or electricity, stone fences with broken bottles and glass shards grouted to the top to keep intruders out, restaurants where they cook inside and you sit bar style along the outside of the building to eat because they don't have any air conditioning, roaming goats, and children playing together with sticks in rocky open fields. It was extremely humbling to compare our living situation to theirs, but the people we met were all really friendly, kind, and loved the island they called home.


On the bus ride up to the beach, the driver told us all about the climate. They were considered a desert and only got a few inches of rain a year. Well, half way through our ride, we got their whole year's worth of rain in one huge down pour. The ATV didn't have a windshield so the rain was pelting us in the face, stinging the faster we went. Maddi started to cry, we were soaked from head to toe, and I started thinking this was going to be a disaster when I heard a little giggle. We all looked at each other and back at the rain and then all started laughing til our stomaches hurt. I grabbed the towels we brought for the beach to shield our faces from the rain. They just got soaked like everything else, but it took the sting away and we just laughed through it. Every time we'd stop the rain from the roof would fall through the open windows into our laps and we'd just laugh harder. It is one of the absolute best memories I'll ever have. We drove all the way to the other side of the island and when we got over there where there were 10 feet tall cactuses, we discovered it hasn't rained a drop, so dust was everywhere. We put bandanas over our faces so we could breath, but the dust stuck to our wet clothes caking our clothes and skin and hair in mud. When we finally made it back to the ship, the workers were giggling at us as they checked us back into the ship. We were so gross, we had room service launder the clothes we wore because there was absolutely nothing I could do with them

Cabana beach

Our first stop was Cabana beach. It was absolutely GEORGEOUS like straight out of a magazine, but it was also very busy, and we thought we were going to ride four wheelers first and then go to the beach so we didn't have clothes to change back into. Since we were at the beach the day before, we just decided to find a nice place to sit and enjoy the scenery. Sean bravely ordered some food by pointing at a menu that he couldn't read and we sat by the beach and talked to another family from Canada while we waited for our turn to ride ATVs.

Bus ride in Curaçao

It was finally time for our excursion, so we hustled back to the port and hopped on our bus. Our bus driver was very friendly, told us a lot about the island and the people, spoke every language of the island, and just happened to be a member of our church (our church is world-wide, so we have lesson guides that allow the same lesson to be taught each week no matter where you are in the world. This gives us a sense of consistency and community world-wide) he drove us over the huge bridge we had been curious about ever since we pulled up to port. It was just as steep and intimidating as it seemed from afar but he explained that it connected the other side of the island and was tall so that the oil cargo ships could pass through. On the other side were oil refineries as far as you could see. He said the oil is drilled in Venezuela and then brought to Curaçao to be refined. That was their main business besides tourism. Once we crossed over we saw some quaint little homes most of them were brightly colored. Others were abandoned or run down. He said that the walls are made of a sand mixture that containes sea salt and the salt eats the walls from the inside out so it takes lots of time and money to maintain a home there.