Be careful what you wish for

 

be careful

Sit down, relax, grab a glass of wine or a beer, this is going to be a long one. It’s been a busy week and I have a lot to say!

We are fast approaching Christmas Day, I can’t believe another year is drawing to a close. This is my 3rd Christmas on the rock, the first one I was alone and Bill and I will celebrate # 2 this year. Let me say this, it’s different. There are some decorations in the stores, some homes have lots of lights, friends have big decorated trees but it’s not like in the states. I don’t know if it’s the lack of commercialism or the lack of money but Christmas on this rock is just not the same, and that’s not a bad thing. Here on the island it’s more about the reason for the season. That being said I miss my boys and my parents and all of our family back in the states. I can’t even think about the boys and not get weepy, so many memories, I wish we could be together! Love you Chance and Trace.

Scarlett is STILL in the shop. Our mechanic is unable to get the part from the mainland so we ordered it on Amazon and Trace will bring it down. Until then I will drive the damn car with a leaking wheel cylinder, all it does is make my rear wheel lock up, no biggie. Once the part is put in and the window is fixed we are done with her. She will be sold to the highest bidder. (like there will be more than one)  We already have her replacement in mind and our mechanic will look it over for us tomorrow. Keep body parts crossed, I need reliable wheels.

Sunday was a nice sunny day and we spent it quite leisurely with Nancy and Chuck at Parrot Tree. We met at the Palapa at noon and ate lunch.

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View of lagoon from the restaurant

Afterwards we walked up to the pool. Nancy and I sat on the edge and talked and Bill and Chuck laid on a bed chatting.

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Bill and Chuck chillin’

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The pool is 320′ long

Bill has been hard at work on some storage and a window seat for our bedroom. I do not want my clothes in drawers, normally I would want them hidden due to the visual you get with the clothes out, but not here. It’s insane to have drawers because everything smells old and musty and damp ALL THE FREAKING TIME. AND, the drawers swell up and stick. I reek of Febreeze and/or DEET constantly. Air circulates nicely around this unit. He is making some cool ventilated doors for the bottom and then I will store some containers under there. Ventilation is the name of the game on the rock. That and polyurethane. I plan to poly everything in my house. Everything may be a slight exaggeration but not much. If it stands still, poly. It wards off MOLD.

This is not the final arrangement of the clothes. I need baskets that match.

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The pad is temporary (for outdoor furniture), I plan to buy a pad and cover it with some Batik from Umbul Umbul.

We just got the wood for the shelves in the kitchen and it is really wet. It will take a while to get dry enough to use. Nice dried lumber is only a dream here.

Thursday was the kids Christmas party at Fiddler’s Bight. The gifts that were wrapped last Friday at BJ’s were for these kids. We met friends at the bar at 12:30 and were picked up by Franklin in his boat and taken to the Bight.

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Michael and Natasha, our friends from Toronto’s kids. This is their second year doing this. The little girl and her family were hitching a ride to the party.

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Tasha

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Michael, eating candy.

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Our friend Bob from BC with Tasha’s hat on, braids blowing in the breeze. He totally rocked the hat!

We hung out at the bight (bay) waiting for the festivities to begin. While waiting for Santa they told the Christmas story in Spanish while a little girl translated to English. She was so sweet. There was a big Santa pinata and the kids patiently lined up to get their whacks in. The ferocity with which some of them swung the stick was kind of scary!

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Santa before he got the shit beat out of him.

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The kids waiting for their turn with the pinata.

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Shortly after all the candy was scavenged off the ground, Santa arrived, by boat, of course.

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Santa                     Photo by Melanie Wood

Santa sat down on his chair and all the kids gathered round and took turns sitting on his lap.

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Santa with all the kids.

After that the kids lined up by age and gender and we handed out handmade bags with wrapped gifts in them. Once they got a bag we put an X on their hands to keep it fair. The kids were really cute and most were very polite. When that was all done there was food for the kids and parents so we left and headed back to BJ’s to get our car.

Friday morning we had to get up and get moving. We were helping with Roatan Because we Care or BWC and needed to arrive by 8. We couldn’t do our lazy morning starts, where we eat and read the news online,  I have tea, he has coffee, mosey around, walk the dogs, not this morning. Our friend Cleo went along with us, we were out the door by 7:20 to get to the bodega on the west side of Coxen Hole. This was started 16 years ago by an amazing woman named Nidia Webster. She is an island gal who had a vision to give the poor a Christmas. I don’t know at what point Abraham Bodor joined forces with Nidia. They are a dynamic duo. [The two of them also do TOMS shoe drives (read about TOM’s here ) all over the island, giving new shoes to kids who may have NO shoes.] Over the years BWC has grown so much that people plan their VACATION to be here so they can help out. A guy from Canada and his wife (they played Mr. and Mrs. Claus) and another couple shipped a few hundred beautiful knit dolls and balls for the kids. They were made by church ladies, simply amazing. These 4 came over Christmas to help with BWC. There was a family of 5 from Kelowna BC that were on vacation also. It’s really fantastic to see all the people who care and want to be involved. When it was time to start loading we made a chain and packed the 250 bags that were being delivered that day into the vehicles.

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Food chain

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Amy, who took most of these photos and said I could share.

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This was the first stop, Franco Flats, before the rain started.

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It was outside of town on a busy street and the sky opened up and it poured! The road turned into a muddy river.

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This was the second stop.

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This was stop 3 in Brass Hill. We thought we were going to Brazil. These were very very poor kids living very isolated on the top of the hill. I doubt they have running water or electricity, many did not have shoes.

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It got kind of crazy, almost mass pandemonium until Nidia took control. Cleo and I were in the middle of the crowd handing out the gifts.

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Bill (in the hat) passing out Washington state apples. Abraham in green and Mark.     Photo by Amy M.

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This photo was taken from FB, shot by Nellie Nelson. Mrs. Claus commented on the photo: My heart broke when I saw this little girl and her brother. They looked to be about 2 and 4 with nobody looking out for them. They were covered in mud and stood alone outside the crowd.

So so sad that so many children have to live like this.

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Look at this face.                             Photo by Amy M.

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Nidia, Mr and Mrs Claus and Abraham         Photo Amy M.

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Knit dolls                        Photo Amy M

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Lots of babies and pregnant women                                   Photo Amy M

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Nidia, (standing on the truck, yellow top) has a list of who gets a bag and they have to be present with their ID or they don’t get the food. Very organized. My friend Cleo on the R.                          Photo by Amy M

We told Abraham if they needed help on Monday we were available but we couldn’t help Saturday, we had plans. We spent Saturday afternoon in Sandy Bay with our friends Trish and Dave. Bob and Rosalie came over also. (We were with them and Trish and Dave’s kids on Thursday.) We had a nice afternoon sitting out on the deck with a stunning view of the north shore. You can see forever, really beautiful and I took no photos. Lame.

We were going to go to a gringo ex-pat beach party out at Camp Bay if we weren’t going to deliver food again, however they messaged us saying we were needed. The party sounds like a good one, they take games, chairs, BBQ’s and probably {a little} beer and spend the day on the beach. Next time we’ll make it out there for sure!

Despite the 3 hour nap I took with Emmy yesterday, I was tired and dreaded the thought that I had to move early again in the morning. This time BWC will be delivering to the east of our house, should be another fun day making kids smile. For these kids, something so little and insignificant can mean so much.

We left the house at 7:20  headed for the bodega. As soon as we got there we loaded our truck with 35 bags and made an early morning run to Corozal. They tried to deliver food to this group Saturday but the neighborhood representative didn’t have the list, so no food.

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She had a squash?? an apple, a bag of candy, and a knit doll in her hands.

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The shoes were a little big.

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The house was vacant, except for the squatters.

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There was a different Santa today, “Sully.” He has done this gig many times before. He must have been melting in the velour suit because as soon as he was done handing out the candy he was back in the AC in his truck.

Second stop was very close to Franco Flats outside of Coxen Hole.

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After that we headed to Crawfish Rock. I’ve heard of this place but never been there, and now I know why. It’s a long bumpy drive down. If I could show you the places we have been on a map you wouldn’t believe it. Part of the excitement for me was getting to see where all these places are.

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The lady in pink was funny, she was after a man. They all knew her. It’s her thing.

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Look at these children. Look at their sweet faces. So cute I can’t stand it. No shoes.

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Passing out bags, they didn’t get them unless they said Gracias or Thank you! Nidia (Superwoman) is standing in the truck.

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A house down in Crawfish Rock.

Next stop for the day was near Oak Ridge, actually it may have been Lucy Point. There were a LOT of kids and adults waiting for Santa and for their bags of food. Same rules, they must say Gracias or Thank You. Take note of all the SMALL CHILDREN AND BABIES. Do they not understand what it is they’re doing that causes them to have so many kids?

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The next visit for us was Pandy Town. I thought there were a lot of people at the last stop, but Pandy Town was craaazy!

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Guard dog

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Walking into the basketball court

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Babies babies everywhere. Babies with babies. Babies having babies.

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The apple was huge!

BWC was going out to Punta Gorda after this stop but we had to leave, someone was coming to our house so we had to get home.

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Christmas tree in “town.” I wonder if the packages are wrapped cinder blocks?

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On the way to PandyTown we noticed this pole that had been hit(?) and was leaning. The big wire must have been laying on the road.

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But no worries, they tied it to a tree. It’s just how we roll in Roatan.

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Oak Ridge

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Take the time to notice how they painted the word RESTAURANT. Afreakingmazing.

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I’m happy this looks unoccupied.

So, yeah, it’s been a busy week but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Seeing these children and their families really puts things into perspective. Most people in the US are so busy acquiring “stuff” that they don’t even realize what they have. These people have nothing but they keep on going. They keep on trying to make a life, be it what it may. They know nothing of the lives of excess that so many other people live.

We have so much and we need so little.

Merry Christmas to all our friends and families. Sending much love to everyone.

 

 

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