Arubans living abroad

Aruba Today is connecting to our beloved readers abroad who have a special bond with the island. We launched columns like Aruba To Me Is … and My Favorite Hotel Staff where our fans can send pictures and words that express their love for Aruba and its workers in the hospitality industry.

In these difficult times we also think about our Aruban friends living abroad. How they are doing and what is their life experience right now, we wonder. The first story in this series was published April 17 and came from Aruban Arturo Desimone who lives in Spain. April 22 we shared the wonderful story of Jairo Loefstop who lives in Costa Rica. Today we get a glimpse of the world of Jennifer Maduro who lives in Montreal, Canada. Thank you for sharing this amazing article with us Jennifer!

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The Aruba basics & foundations of surviving the Covid-19 quarantine in Montreal spring 2020

The Quarentina Cantina

Con ta bai Aruba: My name is Jennifer P Maduro born in Oranjestad, Aruba in 1949.  In the fall of 1964 after attending Colegio Arubano  for three years, I went away to prep school and then to college  in the USA.  Both my siblings and most of my peers at the time went to school in Holland.

Other than coming home for various vacations, and a year working in Colombia after graduation, I have lived in Canada since 1973 where I went to graduate school. In Toronto, followed by living in Vancouver, Halifax, and Montreal since 1986. I have been retired for 10 years now, and live in a great neighborhood near the Atwater market, and the canal Lachine in the South West borough of Montreal.

First a little shout out to childhood friends and second cousins in Aruba who have continued to be part of my virtual family and friends on FB; one thing I have learned is that childhood friends still put up with you and are reliable allies in times of trouble or cheer, lol at your jokes and photos and somehow we still get each-other, after more than 60 years.

Well what exactly is the Aruba – Montreal connection about how to successfully self-isolate for weeks and possibly months in this very cold spring so far? How did my early years and upbringing in Aruba on Mozart Street living with my grandmother Helen R Leon, my mother Audrey Maduro, and my brother Steven (lives in Vancouver) and sister Claudia (lives in Los Angeles) prepare me for this unprecedented global, pandemic experience?

Self- Isolation @70 is a relative term as I have already learned how to sustain, entertain, complain, and remain true to me, me, and me …which is mostly the company I keep anyway, as I live on my own.

So daily life during this period is very much based on the good habits, solid structure, eating well, and playing hard , but particularly entertaining ourselves with our posse on Mozart Straat, and of course, the more adult activities relayed to cocktail time. I also do find that the more intensive spring cleaning done this year went much better with Tropical – Caribbean music in the background played very loud above the noise of the vacuum cleaner and washing machine, and do not get me started on singing Mariachi music at the top of my lungs -which I hated as a kid – when not singing great soul classics from the sixties and seventies and salsa-ing my way through my chores.

I usually head out for an hour or so every day in the early afternoon on foot or on my e-bike depending on the weather, to do some essential shopping (with my home made mask and blue medical gloves) at the supermarket, Government liquor store, and pharmacy nearby. I very quickly learned the best day and schedule to avoid long line-ups. I also always rode my bike everywhere in Oranjestad when I was a kid.

Even though I sleep in later during this time, and after a few days early on in miss matched pajamas lounging about watching Netflix, I reverted to the more structured and less self-indulgent Aruba upbringing, washed and dressed in matching outfit for the day, no later than noon (lol).

Every late afternoon I start up dinner, and find that during this quarantine have a heavy hand with the spices, curries, and Piripiri sauce than usual , not to mention a more generous free hand pour at cocktail time. How else would I survive watching the evening news on TV local, USA, and International?

I have to admit that I do swear out loud when the Trumpeter comes on, and most of the time I still swear in Papiamento or Spanish, my mother used to put tabasco on our tongue when we said dirty words, now I put a quarter in a jar, which when full I donate to one of my fave charities. If they only knew where that foul mouthed $$$ came from.

After dinner, some more couch and TV time brings me to closing time at the Cantina, and after some reading hopefully some ZZZZ time, and though mostly nightmares a rare sweet dream during this corona quarantine.

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