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.

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