Bundle of energy

Seit Tiger ins Donkey Sanctuary gekommen ist, bin ich ein paar Mal als Besucher hingefahren. Das Eselchen ist einfach zu süß. Außerdem darf ich Tiger in ein größeres Gehege lassen, wenn ich ein paar Randbedingungen beachte. Das Eingangstor zum Gehege ist leider so hoch angebracht, dass Tiger darunter durchrollen könnte. Deswegen muss man sie immer davon abhalten, zu nah an das Tor zu gehen. Ansonsten kann sie mit den anderen Eseln toben, hat viel mehr Auslauf als in ihrem kleinen Stall und offensichtlich viel Freude. Ihre Mutter hat es jedenfalls nicht leicht. Ich habe ein kleines Video zusammen geschnitten. Unfassbar, wie viel Energie in dem kleinen Esel steckt.

Ansonsten freue ich mich darauf, dass Jens in einer Woche nach Aruba kommt. Es ist noch viel Arbeit zu erledigen, bis wir weitersegeln können. Ich muss Sissi noch aufräumen. So viel Arbeit.

Am Montag fange ich an. Ganz bestimmt. Nein, am Montag bin ich bei den Eseln. Ich habe den Montag gegen den Dienstag getauscht. Also fange ich am Dienstag an. Sicher. Ganz bestimmt. Ich fahre auch nicht mehr zum Spaß ins Donkey Sanctuary.

Der übliche Zirkus, wenn es Karotten gibt.

Im vergangenen Jahr haben wir auf Lanzarote das Deck gestrichen. Gleich nach dem Ende der Malerarbeiten kam es zu einem starken Regenschauer. Ein großer Teil der teuren Decksfarbe ist so im Atlantik gelandet. Jetzt sieht es nicht mehr schön aus, die neue Farbe ist schon gekauft und wartet auf Jens. Außerdem haben wir Regenzeit. Manchmal regnet es von einer Sekunde auf die andere.

Triefnasser Esel

Die Esel funktionieren übrigens prima als Windzeiger, wenn es stark regnet. Der Hintern wird immer in die Richtung gedreht, aus der der Wind kommt. Eine Art Beifallsbekundung an den Wettergott.

Der Gewinner des hiesigen Wet-T-Shirt-Contests ist selbstverständlich Kamino.


Ich fürchte im Moment wirklich am meisten, dass mir das Wetter einen Strich durch die Rechnung mit dem Anstrich macht. Eigentlich sollten zwei Wochen für die Arbeiten ausreichen, andererseits regnet es inzwischen fast täglich.

Full in the face

It was a week and a half ago Fire Ball came as a new addition to the Donkey Sanctuary. He should stay in his stall until he gets used to the other donkeys. As the only real man among the donkeys, it wouldn't be easy for him. The other male donkeys are all castrated, but the female donkeys are not. Some lady is always hot, that inspires a real man. After three days in the Donkey Sanctuary, Fire Ball broke out of his stall and was definitely having fun with the ladies. So it can be expected that one or the other baby donkey will be added in 2022. When the young donkeys do not have to be euthanized because they have serious diseases due to the poor gene pool. Or because the babies are not born alive.

Fireball on October 12th, the day he arrived. The face is completely uninjured.

The fact that the donkey gene pool in Aruba is not particularly good is due to decades of inbreeding. After the car came to the island, the Arubans released the donkeys. At that time there were around 1400 donkeys on the small island. Most were shot or killed in car accidents. So it turned out that in the 1980s there were only 20 donkeys left. Around 180 donkeys are now living on the island again, so the gene pool is correspondingly poor. New donkeys should come from Bonaire or Curacao, Covid-19 has put an end to this endeavor for the time being, Desiree told me.

Fire Ball has changed a lot from the outside since day one. My main suspect is Kamino. After just one night you could see the marks on Fire Ball's face, a hoof print adorned the area between his eyes. Unfortunately, I didn't document that, but instead his face as it looked on October 20th.

Hoof marks after a week in the Donkey Sanctuary

Peter told me that Fire Ball was standing in front of the gate to his stall the next morning and wanted to be let in. He was hungry and the other donkeys did not let him feed.

Donkeys are pretty smart. That's why Fire Ball can't kick Kamino. Kamino would never push his neck through the bars of Fire Ball's stall. Fire Ball on the other hand still can't seem to get enough of the kicks. He pushes his head diligently between the bars. That's why he's a victim for Kamino.

On October 22nd there were even more scratches.

In just two days there were more scratches. I think when the donkey returns to its “owners” they will hardly recognize it.

Tiger and Woods on the day of arrival

On the day of arrival, Tiger and Woods are exhausted. After the stress of trapping, the transport to the Donkey Sanctuary and all the new impressions, this is easy to understand. On the first day she always protected her baby from us. But that changed quickly, Woods was able to build trust. Getting to the baby and treating the wound is no problem at all.

Tiger after a week. With wound care.

The next photo shows that mother and baby can really relax. It is taken from the same perspective as the first picture. On it, mother and child carefully observe what is going on on the other side of their bars. Now I can step to the grating and the Tiger even remains completely relaxed on the floor. It cannot be taken for granted.

Tiger relaxes.

On Tuesday, Desiree worries that Woods won't eat. That's why I'm grateful for the task of making mom happy with a few carrots. I should also give her some apples.

Spectators while I feed Woods carrots.

Woods likes to take the carrots and apples. There are riots in the old people's home next door. How can this person give so many carrots to a single donkey without us getting any of them?

I do notice, however, that Woods is very reluctant to chew the carrots. She can't bite through the big carrots when I'm holding them in my hand. All donkeys that I know can do that. Every donkey tries to put as much of the carrot into its mouth as possible with its lips before cracking the carrot. Woods behaves differently. She tries to bite off just a small piece of the edge and then chews it very slowly.

We try everything. We give everything. Why don't you give us anything?

The cuteness contest next door is picking up speed. It's noisy. It's restless. Of course, I won't let the neighbors go completely empty-handed, but some of them are not allowed to eat carrots because they cannot chew. I very much regret it, I remain tough on these donkeys.

The vet receives a message to look at Woods' teeth. In any case, the job was a lot of fun.

Please, please, please, please, please give us a carrot too

Again and again I get questions from Germany about the situation here with Covid-19. In view of the numbers from Germany, it is downright heavenly here. In the last seven days, the value has fluctuated around 20 new infections a day. The high was 21 and the lowest was 12. Since the curfew came into effect at night, the numbers have continued to decline. Yesterday the government announced that the curfew had been lifted. Instead, some zones on the beaches are closed at night.

The second wave hit Aruba quite a bit, at times there were almost 200 new infections a day. In my opinion, the contact restrictions caused by the curfew and its consistent enforcement brought about the breakthrough.

Before that, there was an attempt at curfew, there were contact restrictions in everyday life and the size of celebrations was limited. According to my observation, these measures alone have not brought about any improvement. Back then the numbers were still increasing. As far as I could read it in various media, most people got infected at private parties.

A table full of relaxed cats

I try to do it like the two cats so that I can get through the situation as relaxed as possible. The lower risk of infection does not neglect my relaxation. I got a good supply of FFP2 masks on board. Who knows if we can get those on the other islands when we're back on the road.

So far, however, Jamaica has not yet reopened the island to the entry of small boats. Regrettable.


Last Friday was fridge day. Muck out, defrost, clean. Unfortunately, Sissi's refrigerator has no drain below, so that over time more and more water collects in the bilge of the refrigerator. This needs to be disposed of every few weeks, while the cooling unit is allowed to defrost at the same time. It turns into a block of ice within a few days and the refrigerator no longer works properly. The work is done in just three hours. As a reward, I take a bus to the donkeys, before I put a few cans of beer in the cooler.

We are so cute.

When a person walks towards the donkey with food in hand, the dance behind the fence begins immediately. The donkeys push each other back and forth with their bodies, trying to look as cute as possible in the face. They have learned that over the years. I find it very funny when I see a big, fat donkey standing there, making me pretty eyes and saying “feed me, I have nothing to eat”.

Cuteness contest

All I can say is that it really works. The visitors see how the donkeys turn their heads and play with the position of their ears. Usually they call out “oh how cute” and then reward the long ears with the beloved pellets.


Another level in the cuteness contest is the grin. Yes, the donkeys are actually grinning. You copied it from us. Some donkeys always grin when a camera is held in front of their face. This is a successful ploy for begging for more food.

cause and effect

In the evening I want to take a beer out of the fridge. The can is clamped on a sharp edge of the cooling unit. Really unhappy. The can bursts, the beer pours into the bilge of the refrigerator, which smells like a brewery the next day. I'll clean the fridge again. Great.

Baby animals are naturally cute. Tiger is no exception. I very much hope that the baby's presence will also translate into face value. In any case, the visitors stay a long time in front of the stable.

Tiger is the attraction. For humans and donkeys.

I cannot escape the magic either. Again and again I have to go to this stable to make friends with the mother and then with the baby. The wound looks much better now, and the mother has found a certain trust in us. She lets us look at her baby without protecting it from us. That's great. The carrots that I keep bringing her back are certainly not harmful.

We feed Woods, Woods feed tigers.

What else has happened in this soap opera? Fire Ball is returned to its owners after the castration and is also given a companion. Then he will be much better off in his new old home than on his own. On the one hand it is a nice train from Desiree, on the other hand it saves 400 US$ a year on the feed costs.

Skinny donkey

After the morning feeding, I noticed a donkey on Sunday that didn't seem to be interested in the food. That's always a bad sign. Nella and I try to read the donkey's chip, but it doesn't feel like it. So let's try to catch him. But the donkey has no desire. Instead, he stands in front of the enclosure where the old donkeys live all the time. Visually it fits perfectly into the group. Anneke only succeeds in reading the chip in the afternoon. It becomes clear that the lady is missing in the enclosure. Shortly before the second feeding, Anneke manages to run into the enclosure with the donkey. The donkey is a lady by the way, her name is Orchid.

Tomorrow is donkey day again. Today is cleaning day again. The island is very dusty again, the dust settles all over the boat.

A baby donkey !!!

The day after Fire Ball arrives, I come to my usual Tuesday afternoon shift. I'm early because I want to record some more videos of Fire Ball. I find out that Desiree is already on the way to collect an injured donkey. Meanwhile I take care of Fire Ball, who probably still has one or two outstanding accounts with Kamino. On the one hand, the two are so similar as if they were brothers. Diva is hot, Kamino can't satisfy her, and Fire Ball can't reach her. Exciting.

Over the phone we found out that it was not the injured donkey but a donkey mom with her baby who were on board. Since the donkeys in the Donkey Sanctuary are all neutered, there are only babies there if they come from San Nicolas from the donkey population living there “free”. We are waiting eagerly.

Voices at the entrance put an end to the wait. Anneke, Jutta and I open the gate to the inner stable, Desiree guides the team to their destination. It will be exciting. What can we expect inside?

The donkeys are now on target.

While Anneke, Jutta and Desiree open the trailer, I film what is happening with the camera. Vicky and Finn went along with the two donkeys.

The first look at the two newcomers

It's not like gazing is reserved for humans. Whether it's an accident on the motorway or a fire in the neighbor's house, curious eyes will always find each other. When a new donkey arrives with the red trailer, there is also a curious, gawking pack. The only difference is that donkeys don't have smartphones. Otherwise they would be filming.

Gawking pack in front of the gate

Vicky motivates her mother with great feeling to leave the trailer. The mother pushes her little daughter in front of her. Everything happens without haste. The mother wants to protect her baby and is at the same time a good deal of fear.

Vicky with the ladies

While the adult donkeys try to show the visitors as sweet a face as possible while they are being fed, the approximately two-month-old baby donkey has not yet learned that. She is naturally cute, like little kittens or cute dog pups.

My name is tiger

I have yet to find out more about the circumstances in which the two were captured. I'm guessing a reference to a golf course. The donkey from the fire station is called Fire Ball. Kamino was found on the street, Kamino means street in Spanish. The names are chosen based on the circumstances of the find. With the names Tiger and Woods for the two donkeys, I can't think of anything else.

Tiger and Woods and the gaping pack

We have cleared an escape-proof stable for small donkeys and after a short motivation with a carrot, Tiger and Woods run into their temporary home.

Tiger and Woods at their destination

It will probably take two weeks to get to know the other donkeys. That's how it was explained to me for Fire Ball, it won't be any different with Woods. Little tiger has an injury that needs treatment. But we can't get close to her, the mother understandably doesn't trust us yet. We can still have as many carrots there.

Injury to tiger that needs cleaning

In the late afternoon I was able to record a little video of Tiger being suckled by her mother. Is that how you write it? Together with the other video snippets of the arrival, I also cut it together in moving images.

After the excitement of arrival, there is another excitement. A few Arubans have come to get upset. The Fire Ball and opponent from Kamino collected yesterday is a donkey from private property. The owners want him back. Desiree has no problem with that at all. You will get it back in about four weeks. In two weeks he will be neutered, after which there is no longer any risk that his owners will use him for breeding purposes.


Today is probably the last day on which I have my donkey cart available. That's why I go to the boat accessories shop and find out about the antifouling that is available. This is the color used to paint boats from below so that there is no growth. Jens and I still have to do this next month, because the last coat of paint was two years ago. It no longer looks nice from below. I don't have to buy the paint right away, it's always in stock. I can wait and see whether a simple painting over or a complete renewal including primer will be necessary.

My time in Aruba is coming to an end. With it the time in the Donkey Sanctuary. Last weekend I was on a vacation replacement for the last time.

Morning hour

The morning hour has its own magic. Before the morning feeding it is very quiet. Only the peacocks make their strange noises. I'm a little early and I'm waiting for Paul to start feeding. Paul wants to support me in the morning because so far he has only been on duty in the afternoon. Feeding in the morning differs in nuances from that in the afternoon. In addition to hay, there are pellets that are so popular with donkeys.

The clock is ticking. The closer the magical time of 9 a.m., the more restless the donkeys get. Why doesn't this person finally start feeding?

Water house

I notice that some donkeys are standing around the water house without motivation. The Frankfurt probably associates every drink with the term except water, but here it is to be taken literally. The drinking fountain is completely dry, as if the donkeys had licked it. They probably have too. I open the tap and although the donkeys do not like the splashing water at all, the first ones start drinking.

Bottom up!

Paul is on time and we are starting the preparations. As always, the process is accompanied by sounds from the three- to four-legged protagonists. In addition to the normal bleating, there is a growl, as one might imagine with hungry dogs. We put protein cubes in buckets and soak them in water. This is the food for the toothless, old or lean donkeys that live together in the old people's home. Then there are the pellets in the morning. The moment I open the barrel with the pellets, the donkeys are most uneasy, their noise is loudest. I love to let the pellets trickle into the buckets in front of their eyes. Then the now rioting spectators get their own pellets. In a matter of seconds, calm returns, only briefly interrupted by growling noises and the dull thud of hooves into the stomach of the eating neighbor. Then we get the hay.

Afternoon rest

Only a few visitors come in the morning. The island is not busy at all. The Donkey Sanctuary has noticed that too, of course. Paul and I talk. The visitors can be sure of the undivided attention of the always hungry long-ears. I am always a little sad when the visitors leave without having fed the donkeys first. With that they missed the best.

Ninja and the farrier

Ninja gets a visit from the farrier. So I separated him from his group the night before. The blacksmith has to work on all four hooves. Ninja doesn't like that at all. He even kicks in my direction when I put the halter on him, but just brushes against me. I'm not that stupid to be right behind the donkey. Then I give him another piece of carrot, which makes the donkeys incredibly jealous outside. Donkeys are about as curious as the neighbors in a row of houses. They would certainly not want to swap with ninja, but they would never refuse the carrot.


I will miss all of that when Jens and I steer Sissi in the direction of our next destination or monitor the wind vane during this activity. The donkeys, the cats, the people and this incredibly relaxing place. Without all of this, I would have probably only survived the past few months with roof damage. With the help of donkeys, I was able to maintain my sanity. In the souvenir shop you can buy tiles with the words “My therapist eats hay” on them. My therapist eats hay.

I now know the story of the donkey in Aruba inside out. Not all visitors want to hear it. If I'm allowed to tell them in full, I can usually sell higher-priced souvenirs afterwards, such as the Delft tiles.

I can probably tell this story in 20 years. The attention span, which differs greatly between Americans and Europeans, is fascinating. For the Americans, I break the story down into smaller, more digestible bites. They always take a few minutes before I can continue. A Frenchman was visiting recently, I was horrified how rusty my French is now. But it worked, with French and German for the visitor from Strasbourg.

Specialists when it comes to relaxation and always petted

It will be a while before the smell of donkey disappears from the boat. A visitor recently told me that I smelled like donkeys. I don't think that's bad at all. I can no longer smell donkeys. To me, they smell neutral. Wait and see what Jens will say about it.

When I look at the number of posts I've written in the past few days, I can tell that I'm no longer busy. With a little luck, Desiree will think for a few more weeks that the Chinese will want to help her. Then maybe I can keep the car. Then I have to go to the Donkey Sanctuary every day and adjust software, firmware or any position of tiny potentiometers. Wonderfully hopeless.

My name is Fire Ball

Actually, I just wanted to stop by the Donkey Sanctuary because Desiree has a problem with her computer and a laser engraving machine from China. I will soon also have a few words about this machine.

We have been trying to put this device into operation for a few weeks. In vain. It is a hardware defect, but the manufacturer thinks it is the software. The machine has three stepper motors. One of them is defective, two work perfectly. If I exchange one of the working motors for the defective motor, the defect moves with it.

My guess is that Desiree is chatting with a Chinese customer consolation WhatsApp account. From there I get completely hopeless instructions every day, which I carry out, but which remain ineffective. But on the subject. We have a new donkey.

Fire Ball. Arrives at Donkey Sanctuary on October 12, 2020

Desiree received a call yesterday morning that a donkey was near a busy road. With the help of the fire brigade and the police, it was possible to catch the donkey. Suggestions for the name were therefore Sheriff and Fire Ball, a survey of three volunteers who happened to be present then revealed Fire Ball as the name. Such an opportunity is of course great.

Until the new donkey is neutered, it has to stay alone in its small stable. Therefore the contact with the other donkeys is not neglected. They're pretty curious to see who got there. A long procession of donkeys passes the stable.

You sniff yourself.

The new situation is still pretty uncomfortable for Fire Ball. After a life in freedom he is suddenly housed in a tiny stable. Even if he has a huge amount of hay available, he only nibbles a few stalks. Like it's a crime to be a donkey. It was only for his protection. He will be better off when he can romp around the whole area with the other donkeys.

After all, there are enough neighbors to get to know. And everyone pokes their noses in to sniff the newcomer.

It seems, however, that Fire Ball has already met an old friend. Perhaps the two of them used to have one or two arguments. Maybe they're siblings. The last newcomer before Fire Ball was Kamino in August 2019. At that time, the stay on the street wasn't so easy.

Anneke told me that Fireball ran to Kamino as soon as they dumped him. The two also have a lot to tell each other.

In general, it is very noisy this morning in the Donkey Sanctuary. Any donkey proud of its identity as a donkey participates in this conversation.


The last post about tiles is in Portugal written. There are many tiled house facades, often small works of art. Inside the visitor center in the Donkey Sanctuary, a wall is covered in tiles.

Tiles. Donated for the benefit of the donkey.

There are tiles out Delft in the Netherlands. In the past few years they have been sold to visitors for US$ 60 each. However, the manufacturer took so much time for the last delivery that the donors got angry. Desiree was also annoyed - twice. The second time on delivery, as it turns out that 60 tiles are missing to complete the pattern. Or rather, the manufacturer did not follow the pattern. In any case, we are now trying desperately to bring these 60 tiles to the visitors.

In the meantime I can do that quite well. In many cases, if I have a visitor on the hook, I can sell a tile. The problem is that there aren't enough visitors. Then yesterday I had an idea:

Something is still missing here ...

Dear reader, if you want a tile, that's no problem. The 60 US$ correspond to about 50 €. I'm happy to convey that, there are still 30 tiles left. Production cannot start until all tiles have been sold.

It's OK…

... when you wake up in the morning with wet feet and have to quickly close the hatch over the bed. It's dark outside and heavy rain is falling over Oranjestad. All of this is developing more and more into a thunderstorm show, lightning flashes across the harbor, the clap of thunder rattles without a noticeable delay and is still reflected by the cruise ships. My gaze falls on a data carrier that I recently released from its protective cover. Usually the hard drive is wrapped in aluminum foil in a cupboard. Unfortunately I keep forgetting to buy new aluminum foil. That's why it's on the coffee table. To be on the safe side, put it in the oven. There she is also in a Faraday cage. A few minutes later I put on my oilskins, walk to my donkey cart and drive to my shift at the Donkey Sanctuary.

Sunchi at the cash register

There I take care of the feeding and care of Sonic. Then comes a message from Desiree that she is not expecting visitors today due to the weather and that I should close again. After I have locked the last lock, the first visitors come. I'll sell them some more food. Cash only, the credit card machine is locked away. No problem, I even get a donation of 20 US$.

These donkeys are begging. and jostle extremely….

The next day brings better weather again. I also have a few carrots in my luggage again. I enjoy showing the donkeys a carrot every now and then, watching their scramble, and then at some point feed the carrot to a skinny donkey. The droughts are never the ones that precede the carrot. The big donkeys are always the ones who can make the best begging faces. Some even grin.

The clever animals have learned how to motivate visitors to hold the carrots or pellets right in front of their noses. They can look "cute" while moving their ears and turning their heads.

... because carrots are her favorite dish.

On my Monday off, I especially work up a sweat. I finally find the water pump and can replace it. I curse over the narrowness of the engine room. I swear at the location of the watermaker, which makes it impossible to go to work with two hands.

After an hour, the old pump and electronics are removed. At the same time I change the color of the power cable from blue / yellow-green to red / black. Sometimes I wonder what the previous owner ridden. He probably ran out of red and black wires. Provisionally wired, the pump starts working after three more hours of fiddling. Still with flying wiring, but surprisingly quiet.

New water pump. Wired still on the fly. Super quiet.

I am very excited about the pump I purchased in Martinique. Fortunately. Here in Aruba, the same pumping capacity costs twice as much. With the door to the engine room closed, you can hardly hear the pump in the saloon. It's so quiet that I don't even notice the dripping tap on the sink. With the old pump, you couldn't miss the start-up noise, and the vibrations were felt throughout the boat.

I still have a few buns left for dinner. But they are pretty soft. In Aruba, bread rolls are actually soft when they are sold. This is certainly due to the high humidity. So I turn on the oven to bake the rolls crispy. To do this, I hold it briefly under the tap, then put it in the preheated oven.

It's okay if you find the pointer of the thermometer just below 100 ° C when checking the oven temperature. Fortunately, I use the flashlight to read the thermometer. I notice the hard drive. I take it out of the oven, the plastic of the case has not yet started to stew.

Hard disk. Medium rare.

Four terabytes fit into this small housing, the data carrier is full to 75%. It's really okay if you find out the next day that you got away with the horror. The hard drive, which has now cooled down to room temperature, has not forgotten its contents and works as slowly as before. Today I am going to buy aluminum foil.

When it comes to Covid-19, things are always going in the right direction. The curfew, which was tightened a few weeks ago, is being relaxed again. Instead of 10 p.m., it applies again from midnight to 5 a.m. The number of new infections is declining, in the last few days it was below 20. Likewise the total number of sick people, which is again below 500. I hope the easing does not come too soon.

Accident escape

I found this note on the windshield wiper of my donkey cart. A white Mitsubishi Lancer with the number 29xx8 (which I partially blackened). touched the pickup at the bottom left and drove away. At first I can't find any damage.

The white tracks are from the accident

Desiree has decided not to pursue the matter any further. It's not worth the effort. I agree, and the next time I pull out of a parking space, I hit a concrete pillar that is hidden below the line of sight over the tailgate. There was no damage to the concrete pillar. The new scratch on the car is not noticeable among the other scratches. In any case, I can't find it. It's OK.


Peter's vacation, for the first time this year. Although he cannot leave the island this year, he is enjoying the holiday with his wife. Peter even has vacation days left from last year. Desiree has been seriously ill in the past few weeks and has only returned to the Donkey Sanctuary earlier this week. She can currently only work half a day. What does this have to do with this blog and me?

I took on the remaining shifts for two weeks. In addition to a lot of work and little free time, I was given a company car so that I didn't have to rely on the - um - not so reliable buses. I can be in the Donkey Sanctuary in 20 minutes with the company car. Sometimes I wait half an hour before I even see the first bus that can take me to the donkeys. That makes my life a lot easier. However, after seven hours of work, I am also quite exhausted. The blog suffers from this.

Donkey cart with hay in Niger (Source: Wikipedia)

No, it didn't become such a company car after all. The donkey cart has had its day in Aruba since the cars made it to the island. Of nearly 2,000 donkeys in Aruba, only about 20 survived in the 1970s. The others were mostly shot and thrown into the sea.

Company car

In addition, the possibility of private use simplifies the rest of your life a lot. I now drive to superfood in 10 minutes instead of spending an hour on buses and at the stops. And the more diesel I use, the better it is for me. That gives me the opportunity to get rid of the diesel, some of which is still traveling from Holland, in the reserve canisters. If the diesel is bad, in the worst case the car will stop. If the engine fails at sea, it's not so funny. I have to get rid of 100 liters of diesel. How am I supposed to do it on this little island?

Sunchi and shrimp in typical position. Absolutely pettable.

By the way, Sunchi means kiss in Papiamento. With regard to Covid-19, the situation is slowly but steadily developing for the better. The number of active cases has been below 1000 for a few days, and keeps going down every day. The number of new infections is still in the range of 30 to 40 per day. Two or three weeks ago it was consistently over 100, on the worst day almost 200. The curfew, which has been in effect since September 18 from 10pm, seems to be having an effect.

The curfew is very practical. I like to lend my room cards from the hotel to my Aruban friends. They take it to Flamingo Island, smuggle their meals and drinks onto the beach and don't consume anything on site. They enjoy the quiet luxury that they would otherwise never be able to afford. A visit to the island costs over US$. If you bring the cards back to me, please stay on board for a beer or two. You would stay for three or four beers, but the curfew reliably sets limits.

Sunchi and shrimp in typical position. Still pettable.

So I'm with the donkeys for six days a week - at least this applies to this week and the next. Then Peter is back and everything will be normal. I also made an appointment for a crane for Sissi. A week after Jens returned to Aruba. When Sissi is on land, Jens and I can use the apartment in the Donkey Sanctuary as a reward for our work.

Holiday tip: Stay three weeks at Donkey Sanctuary Aruba and help out for 20 hours a week. Accommodation is then free of charge and the company car is available. There is no cheaper way to vacation in Aruba.

Only cats can do that

Sometimes a donkey gets in your way like the day before yesterday and braces itself energetically with its four legs against my end of work.

The evening before last I was on my way to my donkey cart. I saw a donkey lying on the ground. His name is Sonic. The other donkeys in the group enjoyed chewing. An absolutely atypical behavior for a donkey and an alarm signal. Desiree and I took Sonic to the "infirmary". A distance of about 100 meters from the parking lot across the site. He did not want to be separated from his enclosure, from his hay and from his colleagues. Desiree encouraged him by the holster on the front, I pushed like a madman from behind. Sonic braced himself against the move with all fours. After half an hour the donkey was, probably the smallest of the donkeys in the Donkey Sanctuary at the new place of residence. I don't want to know what it means to push one of the big and fat donkeys.


Yesterday, too, he mostly spent lying on the floor. Unfortunately, the usual vet is not available again after a Covid-19 infection and for another reason. The replacement vet only sent Desiree a WhatsApp, but has not come so far. Unfortunately there is a lack of clarity about the drug.

And then there is the pressure pump for the drinking water on board. It has been annoying me for two weeks by drawing air. If I haven't tapped water for a few hours, she behaves as if the drinking water tank was empty. There is more and more air in the line between the water tank and the pump.

Pressure pump is annoying

My first suspicion was that there might be a leak in the hose between the tank and the pump. So I dismantled most of Sissi's salon so I could check the entire line. I didn't notice any leaks. The entire line is dry. Dusty and dry. So only the pump comes into question.

Fortunately, I bought a replacement pump in Martinique. But it still wants to be installed. I can only do that on one day without a donkey. She also wants to be found. It's not where Jens and I thought it would be.

Happy Island

As promised, I'm going to write a post about what I particularly like about Aruba. The island sees itself as a happy island and that's true. I met one unfriendly person here. He's a bus driver by profession. Not only friendly, the people here are helpful. If they are helpful to American tourists, they expect something in return in the form of dollar bills. I don't pay that. I've been on this planet for so long that they got used to me.

However, the long period of economic drought has driven some into poverty so much that cars are actually always running on reserve. Of course I compensate people for their driving services with fuel. This also serves my self-protection, I don't want to be left lying in the Aruban wasteland because of a lack of fuel.

So the people here are happy, friendly and helpful. They are also nice to each other in traffic. Even the four-lane “Highway” can be easily crossed on foot without the risk of being run over. On the one hand, the traffic is thin, on the other hand, they always brake immediately for pedestrians. This also applies to all other streets. This also applies to other drivers. For example, if a left turn from the opposite direction blocks traffic, the probability is high that someone in front of me will give him the right of way and let him turn.

The only downer is that the previous paragraph applies to cars with license plates starting with an A. Rental cars start with a V. Tourists have no idea of local customs. That sometimes creates sticky situations.

Beautiful installation. I am collecting these beauties now.

Last Friday we received a message in the Donkey Sanctuary that we had to clear the beer cans from the fridge. The government would have decided that the sale of alcohol would be banned from midnight due to the continued high number of new Covid-19 infections. Of course, I will pass this information on to the other sailors. Some had it from other sources, others were very grateful. I ask Edward to drive me to the grocery store for beer. He even picks me up at the Donkey Sanctuary, drives me to the supermarket and then to the marina. Now I can sit out Prohibition - if it comes.

On Sunday the beer cans are back in the fridge. False alarm. Instead of Prohibition, we now have a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Socks and Swa watch their surroundings

The Donkey Sanctuary is currently experiencing staffing problems. Sick reports and the arrangement of quarantines make it difficult to staff all services. Jutta will come back from Germany this week. I hope she'll take part again. There are enough free services at the moment. Last week I felt my bones quite well after four days in a row.

If the number of cases does not go down again, further measures will be discussed. Shelter at home, for example. That happened before in March / April. You can only go out on the street with a valid reason. How they want to organize this in connection with tourism is a mystery to me. The problem right now is that the people here are so happy. They are difficult to separate from their parties. If you can't party on the beach or in the beach bar, you just do it at home and spread the virus there.

There was already an alcohol ban in 2013. Only tourists were allowed to buy alcohol in bars or restaurants. At the time, they wanted to ensure that the elections went smoothly. Locals were not allowed to buy alcohol on the two days before the election.

Sweety on ice. The cats don't need an oven here.

The number of active infections has now stagnated at a consistently high level. Every day there are 100 new infections, 100 people are healthy and the total number is around 1300. Every now and then a patient dies. The hospital reports, however, that it has long been working at its limit. It is essential to reduce the number of cases.

I don't feel like the Arubans are any less happy now. The people here make my stay a great time.

Heavy rain

Shortly before the donkey feeding, heavy rain sets in on Sunday, which washes away our activities very quickly. Anneke and I don't feel like feeding the donkeys now. Instead we wait for the rain to stop. A good strategy in this country. I always enjoy working with Anneke, also because she has such beautiful stories. For example the one about the Aruban nurses who went to the Netherlands for a while to work in a hospital. One day they showed up at work very late. When asked why, they replied that it had rained.

In Holland, the strategy of waiting does not seem quite as promising to me. I love that kind of story.