Bon Pasco! In Aruba, this is the Papimento greeting for Merry Christmas. We really enjoyed ours, hope you did as well.
Our new adventures included spending Christmas in Aruba. This would be the very first Christmas we have spent away from home. Despite the obvious differences such as snow vs. palm trees, family is the constant. We truly missed ours. The Arubans, like most people everywhere, cherish traditions and family. The island is alive with parties, decorations and gift exchanges.
Our Christmas Day was spent snorkeling and watching the sunset on the beach sharing a bottle of champagne. Arubans celebrate big on Christmas Eve and Christmas day is for Sinterklaas to deliver presents to the kids. Sinterklaas arrives at the marina in Orangestad and the children welcome him as he comes by boat. This is another Dutch influenced tradition. Aruba has a mixture of influences that have melded into celebrations and daily life. They have elaborate decorations everywhere. At almost all of the traffic circles, there is a green area which is decorated lavishly. One even has a miniature Aruban house completely furnished. Another has a chorus of Angels. One has a perfect replica of a cruise boat. All are colorful and beautiful. We rented a car and traveled the island enjoying them. We made some friends here and celebrated with them learning their customs and traditions.
We enjoyed the children singing songs in the supermarket. One little girl truly had the voice of an angel and even though I understood little of what she was singing about, her sweet voice brought tears to my eyes.
And, of course, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without silly games. Meet my husband, the snowman. Needless to say, we didn’t win in the toilet-paper snowman building contest. Lots of laughs though.
We returned to Panama on December 30th and plan on spending a week in Panama City, then up the coast to Coronado and finally a trip to the Caribbean side in Bocas del Toro. I will be updating this blog as we go.
Here’s wishing all of my readers a very happy and healthy 2017!