Sunday, December 31, 2006

Before and After

Here are a couple shots showing what Bonaire firecrackers look like before being fired off, and what the street looks like after the show.

Believe it or not, Selibon usually has everything cleaned up in a jiffy.

Happy New Year

New Year on Bonaire means fireworks. The dogs don't like it but I do. I'm sure that I've more than made up for my fireworks deprived NJ childhood, so we don't blow up as much stuff as we used to....

But we still have a bag full of roman candles, flying spinner thingies, and mortar shells to shoot off tonight.

Many of the businesses on Bonaire shoot off huge chains of firecrackers at the end of their last business day of the year. Yesterday, NAPA and Tropical Flamingo fired off two crates full of eardrum pounding pyrotechnics.

Big Bang

The strings of firecrackers always have a big boom at the end. This one was particularly energetic.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


We were hanging out at home Friday evening when Rich West called and said that Playa Trading was about to fire off their huge carpet of firecrackers. I'd already been planning to be at NAPA on Saturday at 2pm for their display, but we jumped at the chance to see some night time fireworks.

I didn't time how long it took for the entire "string" of firecrackers to burn, but based on past experience, it had to be around 20 minutes. This is something one has to experience to appreciate.

I've included a couple photos of the action.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Strange Rocks

I climbed a couple more hills in Washington Park last Saturday, in an area accessed by an old dirt road sort of northwest of Yuwa Pass.

There were quite a few interesting rock formations in this area. Here are some pictures of crumbling rocks, eroded rocks and the like.

Armando Romo

Most, if not all, of the Trans World Radio staff posted to Bonaire over the years, have eventually gone on to serve at other TWR sites worldwide, or with other ministries. Some of their kids are still here however.

David Romo is a school teacher here on the island. His father, Armando Romo was able to come to Bonaire for the holidays, and is visiting with David and the boys.

Mangazina de Rei

As you begin to drive from Rincon back to Kralendijk, there is a large white building on a rise on the left side of the road. It is the Mangazina de Rei, the second oldest stone building on Bonaire.

Originally used to store crops, it has been beautifully restored, and serves as the centerpiece of a sprawling outdoor museum. The Mangazina de Rei foundation recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with an open house at the museum.

The hummingbird picture I recently posted was from this open house. Here is a look inside the main building and an outside as well. I hope to post pictures of some of the other exhibits soon.

Rincon Panorama

One of the fun features of the Manganzina di Rei is the great scenic view looking west towards Rincon. There is a breezy and shady elevated deck that is a great place to just hang out and enjoy the scenery.

When I took the pictures, I was mostly interested in the distribution of the hills in the background behind the Rincon valley.

You can find a larger version of this picture here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ticuna Indians Update

Back on March 4, 2005, I did a blog posting about investigating the possibility of broadcasting to the Ticuna Indians in the western Amazon basin. After this testing, it was decided that it would be better to use radio stations in the region instead of the Bonaire transmitter. Solar powered radios are en route to the area, radio production training is going on, and a recording studio project is in the works.

There are about 50,000 Ticuna Indians living in some 200 villages along 600 miles of the Amazon river, right were the borders of Brazil, Peru, and Columbia meet. The challenges facing the indigenous people groups on South America evoke memories of situation in North America 150 years ago: gold fever, land grabs, massacres, disease and the like. The Ticuna are one of the most significant groups, and have managed to preserve much of their culture and traditions in spite of 400 years of contact with the not so benevolent outside world, yet the large Christian segment of the tribe is also able to enjoy a liberation from the tyranny of the spirit world.

On the Trans World Radio, Brazil web site, you can see one of the Ticuna leaders, who visited the TWR (RTM) offices in Sao Paulo. There are more pages of photos here. You will need to click on the little link that says "proximo" at the bottom of each page of pix to get to the next page of pix.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bike Ride

I participated in a great group bike ride last Saturday, sponsored by the Bonaire Wellness Connection. We started and finished at the Eden Beach resort and rode on both paved and dirt roads. The countryside is a lush green color these days, the temperatures cool (for Bonaire) and the winds low, which makes for wonderful biking weather.

Most of the ride found me cruising along and enjoying the scenery and camaraderie, but part of the time was spent in a state of lactic acid saturated, oxygen deprived tunnel vision, while I was chasing DJ and Frank up the dirt road known to some of us as "barf hill." I ride the "barf loop" many afternoons after work, but rarely as fast as last Saturday. A couple of those innocent looking ladies are also strong and tenacious riders.

Frank, owner of the Freewieler bike shop, is in the orange jersey at front left. DJ, manager of Budget car rentals is at the back left in the white sleeveless jersey, temporarily without his helmet. I'm to the right of the middle in a wine colored jersey.
A big thank you goes to Miguel, director of Bonaire Wellness Connection, (to the right of me in the white jersey with the blue shoulders) for organizing the tour. and for allowing me to use this picture. You can reach Bonaire Wellness Connection at

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New online Gospel Music feed

One of the things I do when I have the time, is research and acquire new music for our TWR Bonaire on-air library. One great source of Christian music information and reviews is the Christianity Today web site. I particularly like their reviews of independent artists that one won't normally hear on the radio or see in the stores.

They've just started streaming Christian music from their site as well. Right now, they have a special program, airing a number of times a day, that features selections from their panel of music critics top rated albums of 2006.

There is a realPlayer feed and a Windows Media feed. I'm listening to the Windows Media feed right now, and it sounds great on my computer's M-Audio sound card, playing through the dynaco power amp, and KLH model 17 speakers I've got here in my office. We're talking about a 40 year spread of audio technology in this system!

TWR in Holland

Trans World Radio has an international staff serving in some 130 countries. I was just looking at TWR Netherlands' nice web site, and thought I'd let you know about it.

There is information on the 50 year history of TWR, news articles, as well as info. about the projects and programs that TWR Netherlands sponsors worldwide. It appears that one can obtain CDs of old radio messages by Corrie ten Boom, some of which I heard on the air here on the Bonaire station, back in the day. There are also Corrie ten Boom e-cards that you can send to your friends.

There is an abbreviated English language section, but most of the site is in the Dutch language, of course.


Last Sunday, while I was waiting for Sandra to get her delicious authentic Bonairian food at the Mangazina di Rei, I spotted a hummingbird zipping around. It didn't stay in one place for very long, but I was able to get one clear shot. These two pictures are the same, just cropped differently.

I looked in some of my books, but wasn't able to come up with the name of this flowering plant that was so hummingbird friendly. Maybe one of you know and can post a comment.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Washington Park Hills

Here is a wide view of many of the hills in the northern part of Washington Park. There are hills in the background that are hidden by foreground hills. That is one of the things that keeps me climbing the various hills, you can't see that far from any given hill, 'cause others get in the way.

A slightly larger version of this image can be found here.

Green Grass

We're at that time of the year, here on Bonaire, when the temperatures are a few degrees cooler and we have early morning rain showers.

The landscape is getting quite green. I just mowed the weeds in the back yard for the first time of the season. The dogs, who like to munch on the taller weeds, are wondering what happened to them all. For those who are keeping track, the "puppy" is on the right.

The dogs do take their guard duties seriously. In the second photo, the pup is making sure that no one steals our bathroom.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I'm going through some of the aerial pictures I have on the computer from a while ago. Here is a wide angle look at the Spelonk area. The racing yachts pass pretty close to the shore here as they sail around Bonaire on the Monday of Regatta week each year. It might be a pretty good stargazing spot too.

A larger version of this image can be found here.

Lagoon - Washikimba

The top picture shows the area from Washikimba, towards the bottom of the picture, to Lagoon, towards the top of the picture. Spelonk would be off the top right corner of the picture.

We go to Washikimba when it is windy to watch the waves crashing against the coast. I still have some Estes model rockets from when I was a kid. We've launched them on that big plain at Washikimba when the winds have been completely still.

The bottom picture is the lighthouse at Spelonk. It is a 100% crop of the original frame. Sort of an after the fact "digital zoom" I guess.


Here is an aerial view from above Kralendijk, looking to the north.

Don't forget that you can click on any of these pictures to see them bigger.

If you want to see the original 3000 x 2000 pixel image, go here. You'll have to set your browser to not automatically resize images. Then you can scroll around and see a fair amount of detail in the image.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Farewell Dinner for the Lusses

The International Bible Church of Bonaire had a pot-luck lunch on Sunday in honor of Udo and Berni Lusse, who are retiring to California, after more than 40 years on Bonaire with TWR.

The food was great, truly international in flavor, I think everyone had a good time, even though saying goodbye to good friends is hard.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Planetary Parade

Saturday night (Dec. 09) will find the moon near the planet Saturn. Once you use the moon to locate Saturn, you should be able to find it again and impress your friends. Saturn will be below the moon as you look to the East around 11pm on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning (Dec. 10) just before sunrise, there will be a very very close grouping of Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter, right down by the eastern horizon. The dogs tend to wake me up just before 6am, so I've been looking for these planets each morning for more than a week. But we are having our typical December early morning rain showers these days, so the eastern horizon has been too cloudy. I'm hoping for clear skies on Sunday, but not getting my hopes up too much.

Sky and Telescope has a great site that outlines what you can see in the night sky in any given week. I refer to it from time to time so that I don't miss anything special.

South Belnem

Here is a shot of the southern end of Bel Nem. We've been flying in the morning and the pictures looking west come out a lot clearer than pictures facing east like this one. Who knows, maybe some time we'll be able to do an afternoon flight and get lots of shots of the heavily populated west coast of the island.

TWR TX site

Here we are looking at the TWR transmitter site by the salt ponds. From left to right, there are the four antenna towers, the transmitter building, and the WEB power plant.

In the foreground, especially towards the lower left of the picture, you can just detect the double reef structure with the sandy area between the the two drop offs.
At the top left of the picture, you can see the airport runway.

Sorobon from the Air

Here are a couple aerial views of the Sorobon area. These show more of the land area. The picture in the following post shows more of the reef structure.

Sorobon Reef

Here is a composite of two pictures of the reef at Sorobon, as seen from the air. This is a great snorkel when there isn't much wind.

One would park at the top left corner of the picture by the buildings and wade or snorkel across the shallow bay to the reef.

Here is a link to a full size version of this image.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Lusses Leaving

Udo and Berni Lusse will be wrapping up 40 years of service with Trans World Radio on Bonaire when they retire and move to California (near their sons) next week. They've been busy downsizing and packing their stuff for quite a while now, and will start loading a container today, if all goes according to plan.

TWR had a retirement dinner for them at Richards Restaurant last night, and the International Bible Church of Bonaire will be having a farewell potluck lunch this Sunday.

I've included a couple pictures from Richards Restaurant last night.