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A Dangerous Conclusion (1)

by Torsten Daerr

During the night, the ship has sailed on to Oranjestad, Aruba. Because it is Palm Sunday in a predominately Catholic country, almost all businesses are shut down. But the women have reserved a ride on a jet boat that will be available. They get on the boat and are soon “treated” to fast spins with lots of water drenching them. Everyone is laughing at the fun. Soon the pilot announces they will be coming close to a ship that was sunk off shore. It is named the California. He informs everyone that it is not the USS California that received a distress call from the Titanic. This boat was a fruit boat that sank.

Donita:     That ride was so much fun, but I am      
            soaked! Let’s go back to the ship to change     
Sandra:     Maybe by the time we get there, the sun 	
            will have dried our clothes.
Donita:     That’s true. Let’s find out if one of the 
            museums is open. I really like visiting one in  
            every country. (They continue walking down the  
Sandra:     It is fun and we can learn so much about 
            the people and their history. Look! Isn’t that a 
            museum? (Pointing to a small brick building.)   
            Let’s go inside. My clothes are dry enough.     
            (They go inside.)
Donita:     (Reading a sign.) “Archaeological digs   
            seem to indicate humans reached Aruba about 4,  
            500 years ago. Only a a few shards of pottery   
            and fossilized implements are relics that have  
            been found in the Arikok National Park.” (They  
            walk through the museum while looking in the	
            glass cases.)
Sandra:     “The name, Aruba, could have come from   
            the Spanish phrase Alonso de Ojeda spoke to     
            Queen Isabella. In 1499 after claiming the area 
            for her, he stated, “oro hubo.” (Gold was       
Donita:     There is some disagreement as to the     
            origin of the island name. This sign states,    
            “The island name is thought to have derived from 
            the Arawak word oibubai (guide) instead. When   
            the people greeted Ojeda, he thought they were  
            talking about gold deposits.”
Sandra:     Look at this sign! We are in an authentic 
            18-th century Aruban house. It is built from    
            caliche, a rather crusty, but hard calcium-based 
            substance found on the south-east side of the   
Guide:      Good afternoon, ladies. May I answer any 
            questions you have?
Donita:     Thank you, this is very educational. 
Sandra:     I really enjoy learning about history.
Guide:      Then you might also enjoy seeing the     
            Mumismatic Museum It isn’t far from here. (She  
            points to the building nearby.)
Donita:     (As they walk to the museum.) I don’t    
            want to stay very long; I’m getting cold and    
Sandra:     O.K. We’ll make this a quick stop. (They 
            enter the building.)

Inside the museum, the women see a collection of coins and paper money from over 400 countries. The yotins were once used as local currency. However, metal was so scarce, coins were often cut into triangular pieces using a guillotine. The women return to the ship, change clothes and go to the dining room.

Donita:     There are Pieter and Mari; let’s go sit  
            with them.
Mari:       Hi, Did you have fun in Aruba?
Sandra:     We did; but I wish we could have been 	
            there longer. 
Pieter:     Why didn’t you?
Donita:     We got soaked and cold!
Mari:       Did you have time to see the museums?
Sandra:     Yes, but there wasn’t a lot open today   
            because of Palm Sunday.
Pieter:     But did you see the windmill?
Donita:     No, we didn’t.
Pieter:     It was built and used in Holland over 200 
            years ago. Then someone got the idea of taking  
            it apart, piece by piece. They put numbers on   
            each part so they could easily get it back      
            together. They shipped it to Aruba in 1960.

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Questions and exercises

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Where should we go on holiday?

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Sandra has decided to take a vacation. But where should she go? The question is best answered by making an appointment with a travel agent. She invites her friend, Donita to go with her. At the agency
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travel agent        a professional trip planner

tropical            a hot, humid climate

cruise ship         passenger ship for leisure

Comprehension questions

 1.    Why does Sandra want to go on a vacation?

 2.    Does she want to go to Alaska?

 3.    Why doesn’t Donita want to go to Hawaii?

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