Willemstad, Curacao

Image

Willemstad, Curacao

Estamos en Curacao!
With a few hiccups, our adventure has begun! We were supposed to be in Aruba for a few days, but had some flight complications. To be more specific, we attempted to check-in on Monday morning for our flight, and we were told the flight didn’t exist. Um, it DIDN’T EXIST! We’d had this flight booked since last March! As is turns out, the connecting airline from Aruba to Maracaibo, VZ apparently no longer exists, and nobody told us. No airline. No flight. No Aruba. (for now)
With some major scrambling (and almost no sleep,) we secured a similarly priced flight to Curacao, where one of Alex’s sisters lives. Curacao is the largest of five Caribbean Islands under the Administration of the Netherlands. The official languages are English and Papamiento, though Dutch is also taught in the schools. Alex’s cousins have grown up learning four languages; spanish is spoken throughout the island, and in their home as well. This is a photo of the port side of a major canal that runs through the capital of Curacao. There are many street vendors and restaurants in the area. Everything is built around the remnants of slave barracks from the late 1800’s. Brightly colored stucco buildings are the norm and advertisements for electronics, types of beer, and lottery litter every available space.
Our immersion into spanish speaking was immediate. When you speak spanish in this household, you also apparently need to yell. Alex’s family is unbelievably loud, but I love them already. He hadn’t even met some of these nieces and nephews, and already its how I imagine it always was. Our days here are going to be spent helping to plan the sixteenth birthday of Paula, Alex’s niece. She’s also competing in the finals for Ms. Teen Curacao. I don’t know why, or how, but I’ve been designated driver for our stay. Alex’s sister is afraid to drive here. Go figure. People drive crazy here! Add to the crazy drivers, a car full of people loudly directing me, in spanish, where to go, and sometimes expressing different opinions about the direction we’re taking.