Brad Swanson reports on the happenings in and around Trans World Radio's station on the island of Bonaire. TWR Bonaire broadcasts Gospel music and Bible teaching programs which can be heard in Latin America and the Caribbean: in the Spanish, English, Portuguese, Baniwa, and Macuxi languages.
You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
The heavy rains also mean that the recently repaired dirt roads in Washington Park are very bumpy and rutted again. This makes for entertaining mountain bike riding, but also creates a killer rough ride in our trusty Suzuki Samurai.
I was treated to a nice bright partial rainbow on Saturday am, as I rode my bike north of Boca Onima. I was also enjoying the fact that it wasn't raining on me as I pedaled along. The sky was black over the south end of the island.
My bike riding sunglasses have polarizing lenses, and I noticed that the rainbow colors looked more intense with the glasses on than without them. I filed that fact away for future picture taking possibilities.
Then I put the glasses back on and tilted my head 90 degrees to the right and THE RAINBOW DISAPPEARED! I bet I looked like a bobbing head doll as I rode along - rainbow... no rainbow... rainbow... no rainbow. It was great. So those clever raindrops must polarize the sunlight in
addition to splitting it into all those nice colors.
Zensens Return to Bonaire
Here we see George, Dave Olson, and Joe Barker discussing the finer points of the control panel wiring of our AM transmitter.
While George and Joan were here, their daughter Marjorie and her family joined them for a couple weeks of fun in the sun. In fact, they had so much fun out and about, I was never able to corral them all for the requisite family photo. Marjorie is also an accomplished pianist and helped out playing at the IBC while Sue Felix was away.
Blast from the Past
That's Steve, on the right, with his wife Glory. Their kids are in the middle, with son in law, Ben, on the left.
They had a great time exploring Steve's old stomping grounds. I'm amazed at how much Steve remembered about the island after all these years.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Saturday Special Bike Ride
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
North West Corner
The boulder at the right side of the above picture is the same one seen in the first picture. We are looking back south towards tire beach from the first of the old garbage truck dumping ramps. You can see my trusty bicycle resting at the edge of the cement platform.
In the above picture, we are looking south from the second of the old garbage dumping ramps. The garbage dumping areas are not that far apart, and glass beach was located right between them. A larger version of this picture can be found here.
Some day, when it is calm, I plan to snorkel from tire beach along the shore to this area. It's maybe a half mile to a mile I would guess. I've got GPS readings from all these spots but I haven't checked the distances yet. The water here doesn't look as "user friendly" as most spots.
Here is what glass beach looks like today, looking north towards the second of the garbage dump ramps. The boulders at the water level seem to have moved around some, and the glass and polished stones are completely gone, but the main ledges are more or less in the same configuration as I remember them. A somewhat larger version of this picture can be found here.
Glass Beach is gone now. Storms have changed the shoreline, and the constant supply of glass has dried up, now that Bonaire's trash is deposited in a managed landfill.
Red, blue, and yellow pieces were probably the most difficult to find, but as you can see, there were plenty of them at glass beach.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Best Barbeque Buffet
So were will you be eating Tuesday night? Any time that we can think of an excuse, we head to the sunset beach barbecue with steel drums at the Plaza.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Flapping in the Breeze
They picked a particularly low wind day the other week to begin to install the covering over the skeleton. It looks like the world's largest sail to me.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
We also saw a pelican cruising along the shoreline... which reminded me that I had recently ventured out by the salt pier early in the morning to see if I could catch some Pelicans drying themselves off after a cold dark night. Here's one still enjoying the sunshine on the shore.
EEEEEK! Is there no privacy at all around here?
I love watching the pelicans gliding along the shoreline.
They tuck their wings into attack mode as they dive downward. The closer they get to the water, the more compact they seem to get.
I still am waiting for the definitive pelican diving into the water shot. I can pan along with the pelican as it dives, but then when it hits the water, I'm still panning and overshoot. I think I'll have to anticipate the point of impact. Should be fun.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tower Painting Progress
A "Shocking" Development
So we keep lights and fans off unless they are absolutely needed. We also use such curiosities as a stove top popcorn popper and stove top waffle maker instead of the more common electric versions. LPG for our stove has risen in cost too, but I think it is still a relative bargain compared to electricity.
It also looks like our recent decision to replace our old desktop computer that (literally) burned out with a more energy efficient laptop is going to save us plenty.
At Trans World Radio, the cost of electricity to run our big 100kw transmitter is far and away our largest operating expense, so the higher utility costs are really putting the hurt to our budget.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
New Improved English Papiamentu Dictionary
Appropriately enough, the web site is available in both Papiamentu and English. Trans World Radio helped Betty publish the first edition of the dictionary, with first and second printings in 1992 and 1995. It has been out of print for quite a while now. Alan Gross and Jane Townsend, and Michael Gaynor approached the TWR Dictionary Foundation with a plan (which was accepted) to introduce a revised edition of the dictionary.
The TWR Dictionary foundation licensed Jong Bonaire to revise and reprint the dictionary, and provided seed money to help get the project off the ground. Jong Bonaire secured a bank loan for the remainder of the funds needed for the project. Jong Bonaire is handling the production, administration and accounting, and Michael will take care of the warehousing and distribution.
Profits from the sale of the dictionary will go to help fund the Jong Bonaire youth center. A percentage of the sales will also be set aside for the next printing of the dictionary and for printing inspirational Christian literature in the Papiamentu language.
In the above photo Betty is presenting a copy of the new improved dictionary to Bonaire Governor Herbert Domacasse. Below you can see the stores on the ABC islands that will be selling the dictionaries.
There is an initiative to encourage companies and organizations to purchase dictionaries for the schools on the islands. You can read all about this on the web site too.
Betty is holding a book signing at Addo's book store, here on Bonaire, this afternoon. Some eager beavers couldn't wait 'till today, so Betty held an impromptu signing session after the press conference on last night.
We are quite excited to see the dictionary back in circulation again, and want to express an especially big thank you to Alan and Jane for contributing their enthusiasm, drive, and professional skills to make a dream come true for Betty and the TWR Dictionary Foundation.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Jonathan Griffiths Wed
You might also be interested to know that Jonathan G. and Bärbel Kirchner were recently joined together in marriage on 17 May, 2008.
Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple, and a big thank you to TWR - Europe for the photo.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Bonaire Triathlon 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
June Planetary Parade
To make it even easier, the moon will be right by Mars on the evening of June 7 and right by Saturn on the evening of the 8th. So you can use the moon to locate the two planets, and then continue to watch them as they come together over the course of the next couple weeks.
Comet Boattini Again
Tower Painting Update
More people are out and about on road bikes this week, because there is a Triathalon this weekend. I think road biking here is making a mini comeback these days, after being pretty invisible for a number of years following the demise of the Bonaire Cycling Club.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Bonaire Wellness Month
The kids all had the same expression on their face as they waited for the start of the race. I know the feeling.
The kids did a great job, and I'm sure they'll be encouraging their friends to try the next race this fall.
Above is a post race picture. I love that look of satisfaction and accomplishment.