Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rich Harrill's Aruba

Aruba isn't just a destination, it's an experience.  In this blog I will share my experiences from my two months residency at the University of Aruba.  Aruba has a little something for everyone:  nature, history, culture, adventure, nightlife, art, architecture, music, and food.  Here blog posts will show snorkeling, jeep safaris, festivals, shopping, hotels, restaurants, and casinos.  And of course, don't forget the world-famous beaches.  Don't hesitate to send me an email if you see something you like or have a question about something that interests you.  So sit back, relax, and take a virtual tour of this One Happy Island!

Monday, October 10, 2011

University of Aruba Aloha Party!

A great party with University of Aruba students and faculty.  In the Hawaiian language, ahola can mean affection, love, and peace as well as hello and goodbye.  Based on these meanings, I can't think of anyone better suited to borrow this word than the Aruban people.  You will never find more kind, warm-hearted, and welcoming folks that will make you feel immediately at home.  The ahola spirit definitely lives in Aruba.  The following posts are dedicated to the University of Aruba and the Aruban people. 

University of Aruba Students and Faculty
Dr. Harrill Having Fun With A Few Of His University Of Aruba Students!

True Blue Aruba

As a jazz collector with over 1,000 albums (remember those shiny, black circular things?), I have to say that Aruba reminds me of the best elements of jazz:  creative, collaborative, improvisational,spontaneous, with a little blues and a whole lot of soul.  Here I sometimes recall Miles Davis' tunes "Blue in Green" or "All Blues" from the landmark Kind of Blue or Tina Brooks' "True Blue" from his True Blue albumfeaturing cover art with many shades of blue.  Both of these artists explored the blues as the fundamental language of jazz and then added their own creative stamp.  In many ways Aruba is just as essential and foundational, where one is reminded daily of the beauty in life with all its feelings, moods, interpretations, and expressions.  A new color:  Aruba Blue?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Featuring Angie Stone

A fitting place to catch a jazz concert, as the roots of this internationally renowned art form originated in the words and music of Africa and the Caribbean.  The artists performing at this two-day event drew on jazz history past and present, incorporating the sounds of samba, salsa, bachata, even reggae, hip-hop, and world music.  Definitely the place to be if you want to experience live music while you enjoy the sand and sea. 

Aruba's Own Michelangelo
The Band Warming Up
The Incomparable Angie Stone
Working With Her Rhythm Section
Come Correct Or Not At All!

"Crusin'" Aruba

Cruises are a popular way to experience Aruba and other Caribbean destinations with family and friends.  In 2010, 569,424 cruise passengers arrived in Aruba from 314 ships--about 1,813 passengers per ship.  For many Caribbean destinations, cruise tourism represents a significant economic impact.  I think cruises are an excellent way to savor the region and as you will see in these blog posts, Aruba is a great stop with plenty of things to do and see nearby.  Take a cruise, check out Aruba, then fly back for another trip!
The Coral Princess

The Freewinds

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ayo Rock Formations

These rock formations are said to be one of the last places the Arawak natives hid from the Spanish invaders---hence ayo or "goodbye" in Papiamento.  This is one of the most memorable places I have ever visited--a warm, sunny Aruban afternoon, quiet, slight breeze, blue sky with shards of golden sunlight splashing off the rocks.  Definitely a sacred spot.

Traditional Cactus Fence