The Roatan East End Senior’s Luncheon

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07/30/2015 Sorry I didn’t post this last week, I’ve been super busy with the vet clinic that is in town and trying to get ready for a visit from our son and well, you know, 7 dogs and a cat take up some time too.

Last Wednesday was the big day for our Senior’s luncheon (7/22/2015). It’s the first time it has EVER been held on the East end of the island so it was extra meaningful for these fabulous people. On the eastern end of the island people live much more remotely than on the west end. Communities are located further apart, so seeing their friends or relatives doesn’t happen very often.

I would like to say I played a huge part in the event but I really didn’t. It was Nidia, she is pretty amazing. This event took 6 months to organize, and remember, everything done here is done on island time. Many meetings and many many many hundreds of phone calls went into this event. She organized the patronado’s from each community to research and make lists of the oldest people in their area and called them constantly to make sure they were following through and that all the respective people were notified. There were chairs, tables, tablecloths, silverware, pots, pans, stoves, coolers, all this had to be brought in. They had to figure out how much they needed of everything to serve everyone. There was a gas stove that didn’t work that had to be fixed, and ice and water to be gotten. This is Roatan, there aren’t lots of catering companies.. Nidia did it all. I’ve never met anyone with the ambition and fortitude and determination that this woman has, she is a power house; she gets things done. Funny thing is, everyone who crosses her path knows she means business, yet they adore her. She honestly is one of a kind and I’m so blessed to say she is my friend.

The luncheon was PDS, Pretty Darn Spectacular. Instead of words, enjoy the photos and a few videos. Please watch the videos, they too, are PDS. {click on the italicized words}

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The cooks are cleaning chicken, lots of freaking chicken. I rarely touch it.

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Jimmy and Mac unloading chairs. Mac is a recent volunteer with BWC and an all around great guy!

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Tables and more chairs

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The Live Again Ministry realizing they have to bag all that candy into 450 individual bags.

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450 done

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wrapping the utensils

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Our master chefs

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P O T A T O E S

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B A N A N A S

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B E A N S She was really cute, before I took the photo she had to adjust her skirt..

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Sugar high

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The other dynamo on this island, Miss Daine Wood Etches, an amazing and knowledgeable lady. She was born into one of the oldest families on the island.

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Separating the food items for the baskets

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Downstairs hallway. Must have been a grand place, reminds me of Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing.

This resort was previously called Spy Glass Hill and it sits on some amazing land. The new owner of the resort, now called Henry’s Cove, graciously allowed us to use this place. Another Nidia accomplishment.

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Wonder woman Nidia and Pastor Ronny from Live Again Ministries. Everyone kept going in to the kitchen because it smelled SO good!

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Food for baskets

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Sun Water donated bottled water

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Counting chairs

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Here she is, Miss Amazing…

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A filled basket

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These ladies can cook. There were no laptops opened to Pinterest and no cookbooks in sight.

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Enough food for 450 people

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The front porch before tablecloths

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Cleaning carrots. There was music playing in the background, these ladies were having fun!

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My friend Lisa, one of the cooks. This woman gets it done.

I caught the cooks mid song (video) the morning of the event.

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baskets filled pre-cellophane wrap

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Some of the ladies, all dressed up. In case you are wondering why she has a wash cloth on her shoulder: it is a common sight to see people with a cloth on their shoulder or in their back pocket or purse. IT’S HOT HERE!! And if I smartened up, I would be carrying one too, preferable frozen.

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The wonderful Mayor of Santos Guardiola (east end of the island), Carson Dilbert. He is such a great man, we are lucky to have him.

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This lady was gorgeous..She is Garifuna from Punta Gorda

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Nidia making name tags

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The lady in the wheelchair on the left is Miss Daine’s mother, Mrs Catherine Wood. She is a gorgeous woman and she grows great veggies, whenever I’m in town I check to see what she has for sale.

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How could I not capture this face? I had just taken the balloons off the wall and handed them to him.

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Getting the dining room ready

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Some of the early arrivals. Many of them were unsure of me taking pictures so I always offered to show them their photos.

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The guests waiting to eat while visiting with friends

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Plates of food being served, traditional island food

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Mac with some of the Live Again Ministry in blue shirts. Live Again Minsitry brought boxes full of donated sandals, bibles, beads and fans, these guests got the royal treatment. The Ministry Group was a great help in making this happen. Thank You!!

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Miss Catherine on the left with a friend.

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The oldest person in Politilly Bight, Ms Carolina Pinnace, age 90

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This is Mr. Bodden @ 92, the oldest person on the remote island of Saint Helena, or St. Helene. He is the father of my friend Woudsin. His grandson Jordan, in the striped shirt, brought him to the event. It was nice to catch up with Jordan!

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Ms Juliana Ruiz at the age of 92, oldest and sweetest lady from Milton Bight..

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Ms Etty McLaughlin, eldest member in the Diamond Rock community…

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The oldest resident of Juticalpa, Doña Elisa Matute age 88. She was a little taken back by the cameras and all the people. Most of these people live a semi solitary life, except for family.

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Ms Ermones Calderon, 89 years old, eldest member from the community of Punta Gorda…

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The eldest from Lucy Point.

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And from my favorite spot, Camp Bay, Ms Jane Pandy, second eldest in the community of Camp Bay. (the eldest did not come)

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Daine, Mac and Nidia, getting ready to present Auntie Jane with her basket.

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Mac, Auntie Jane and Nidia

Auntie Jane, (video) almost 99, rocking out with Mac. What a riot she is, so full of life, she gets around fine and is pretty hilarious and witty.

This amazing lady is the oldest (that we know of) resident of Roatan. She is Auntie Clara and she is 99 years old. She is blind and can not walk but that doesn’t stop this lady from living her life.

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Auntie Clara, 99 years old, she turns 100 in October.

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This little doll was actually trying to eat the watermelon, without using her hands, while it sat on her grandma’s lap.

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THIS is what it’s all about.

After dessert was served, they did a Plat Pole up by the pool. I know this as a Maypole that we did in school on May 1st. BUT IT WAS NEVER THIS MUCH FUN!! They were rocking out to music (video) and dancing and weaving in between each other, it was so much entertainment. I loved it when Miss Linda, who had a pitcher in one hand, pulled me out to dance with her..

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Ms Linda is from Camp Bay, I met her when we worked on the school up there. She is the lady dressed in all blue and she has a plastic pitcher in her left hand!

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My friend Darla. She is a teacher at the school on St. Helene.

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The plat pole begins

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Starting to plat

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My friend Darla and her daughter in matching dresses

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Adorable, just waiting until they are old enough

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Plating or braiding the ribbon

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Original position

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Wrap and unwrap

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Intertwining makes for fun dancing

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So awesome!

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This is my friend Darla’s daughter. She was also in some of the Helene photos when we delivered desks. She is the cutest, silliest most well behaved little doll, I could kiss her all day. And sometimes I do..She had my name tag on..

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The clean up/break down and sort

You know how when you are looking forward to doing something for someone because it will make them so happy?? That’s how we all felt about the senior luncheon; and yes, it did make many people happy. However, what it did for me is so much more than that. I cried many times, moved by the people I found myself surrounded by. Profoundly touched by the moment when 99 year old Auntie Clara sang What would I do without Jesus  (video) I stood there with tears running down my cheeks as this woman, whom I’ve never before seen, sang to us. (I’ve been invited to her 100th birthday party in October and oh heck yes, I’m going!!)

I feel like I left the event a better person, it awakened something in me, it stirred my soul.

Thank you Nidia Webster, for allowing me to become part of Because We Care. You, my friend, are an inspiration to many.

There will be another Roatan East End seniors luncheon next year!

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8 thoughts on “The Roatan East End Senior’s Luncheon

  1. what a great event, the people are blessed to have someone like you who cares. Yes, Nidia may be the driving force, BUT without people like you to make it possible, it could not have happened. I was amazed at the number of people over 95 there. The one lady, 99 I think it was, looked to be in her 70″s. Well done Deb, God bless.

  2. Thank you Walt, because of people like you who donate to our cause we are able to continue to do these things. You bought LOTS of the candy that we passed out to the seniors who were thrilled to take it home to their grandbabies.

  3. cgstbs100 says:

    Dear dear Deb, What stories these women could tell–I bet I could listen to them for days! What a special time for you–I cried when I read this blog today—the difference you are making–with the elderly, the children, the animals–your heart is soooooo caring!! I think you went to Four Mile, but I think at Becht school beautiful Susan Masley was on the May Day Court!
    While we were touring Washington on the BIG BUS the tour guide started talking to us. Here he lived on Linclon St. in Loyalsock Township–went to Becht till he was 12–then they moved to Maryland. His name was Matthew Steven Goldberg–he was one year ahead of us–but he talked about so many of the same teachers I had. Such a small world!! xoxo

  4. Janet Thorkelson says:

    This is a GREAT post. Loved seeing all those people having such a good time. How did you get the funds to feed & entertain everyone? We really enjoy your blog, you do an amazing service for the island. Thank you.

    Jan

    • Hi Jan, Nidia raised money here on the island for the gift baskets but most of it came from Pastor Ronny Russell and his group, Live Again Ministries. They raised a LOT of $$ for this and came and worked at it also. They said there will be one next year too. I worked with them previously and they are a wonderful group. I feel blessed to be involved with Nidia and all that she does for the island.
      Thank you!

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