Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Poker in Aruba
Ivan the Hurricane Looms Large
The license plates here read: Aruba, One Happy Island. But not everyone is happy now with Ivan, a category 4 hurricane, moving westward to this tropical paradise.
I was forced to give pints of blood but I have located an Internet connection down here in
sunny stormy Aruba. Despite the fact that we are 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela and typically hurricane-resistant, this island is now in the process of shutting down as Ivan looms not far off to the west.
The government and schools have been shut down. The airport is shut down. All the supermarkets closed their doors at noon. Many places have even started boarding up their oceanfronts with plywood.
The casinos, however, are most certainly staying open.
I have a veritable plethora of things to write about but there is an agitated line of angry South Americans lining up behind me, waiting to use this terminal. For the record, the women here are beautiful and the bathing suits are, um, shall we say - creative.
Not sure when we'll be able to leave but expect a full report when I finally get home. Even though I am a hapless Guinness-fueled goofball, I have been blessed with the opportunity to explore many Caribbean islands over the years and I can safely say this island is truly unique. It's been a wonderful experience up until this point.
At the very least, the windsurfing should be spectacular if I can talk someone into letting me go out today.
According to the latest news, Ivan should pass 80 miles north of us but having the massive storm in plain view is still a tad unsettling.
ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada - Hurricane Ivan made a direct hit on Grenada with ferocious winds, causing "incalculable damage" and killing at least nine people as it turned concrete homes into rubble and hurled hundreds of the island's landmark red zinc roofs through the air, officials said Wednesday.---
The most powerful storm to hit the Caribbean in 14 years reportedly devastated Grenada's capital, St. George's, and damaged homes in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. Thousands were without water, electricity and telephone service just days after Hurricane Frances rampaged through.
"We are terribly devastated here in Grenada," Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said in comments broadcast Wednesday by radio stations in Barbados. "It's beyond any imagination."
So I'm signing off, hoping that the bars here are well-stocked in preparation of a day and night of heavy drinking. I'm slated to leave tomorrow morning but now that looks dubious at best.
Sorry for the hasty post but this is costing me about ten dollars a minute.
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