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News Notes from Curacao April 2010

Stranded Pilot Whale from Curaçao Transported to Sea World
Months after the stranded pilot whale "Capt Sully" was found, more dead than alive, on a beach in Curaçao last July he got healthy and strong again thanks to the care of the local Sea Aquarium's dolphin trainers and hundreds of volunteers. The trainers tried to let the young male whale adapt to the wild again while a school of pilot whales passed by, but the whale came back several times. In January, Capt Sully was transported to Sea World in San Diego where he'll join the pilot whale group for the Horizons Show in which humans and sea mammals intensively interact. SeaWorld, which received international publicity in February following the drowning death of an Orca whale trainer in Orlando, has a scope of additional activities beyond entertainment, including involvement in scientific research, wildlife preservation, marine-life education, environmental stewardship and rescue and rehabilitation programs.

Swim, Walk & Ride for the Roses Raises $250,000 US for Cancer Cure in Curaçao
The start of swim for the roses, part of the sixth Ride for the Roses fundraising event in Curaçao for cancer research and a cure was supported by the Dutch guest of honor, Thomas Zijlma, who survived testicle cancer and is now a recognized cyclist. A crowd of 800 people participated in the swim, while a total of 3200 swam, rode or walked for the Roses, after the example of the famous American cyclist Lance Armstrong who also fought and survived cancer, bringing in 400,000 guilders (US $ 250,000) for the good cause.

Curaçao Students Learn Aboard Zuiderdam
Highly motivated students from Curises and UDC (University of the Dutch Caribbean), two Tourism Management Training Schools in Curaçao, got a look behind the scenes aboard Holland America Line's Zuiderdam on February 5 and 15 while the ship was in port. Two groups of ten students and their supervisors were welcomed by hotel manager Kees van Santen in the ship's "Crow's nest," the lounge on the tenth deck with a panoramic view over the harbor. The Assistant Manager for culinary operations, Ricardo Pijpers, guided the students through the ship and discussed the environmental operating aspects of the cruise company. The Dutch assistant manager, who studied at the Hotel School in Leeuwarden, explained all operations in the three main departments. This visit was the first time that one of the company's ships granted a tour for students in Curaçao.

Els Kroon is a Dutch former teacher who now lives and works as an award-winning free-lance photojournalist on Curaçao.

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