She doesn’t care about me.

kids

06/29/2016  This is not a fun or lighthearted post. It’s brutally frank and honest and unbiased, sprinkled with my disgust. I feel the need to tell this story, maybe just to help me accept my life in a third world country.

We met a 13 year old boy named Omar while we were building our house in 2013. He came with the electrician, who said he could “work around here” and that he needed money for his mother. He spoke Spanish and English. His mother had 4 children, a then 16 year old girl who had a year old son, Omar, a 10 year old sister and a 3 year old brother. They had nothing. There was no father around, except for the men his mother slept with. Omar and the rest of the kids have no idea who their father is, they have never seen any of their fathers.

We got used to having Omar around and always made sure we had “work” for him. We would feed him when he was hungry, which was most of the time. One day he brought a chicken neck for lunch. We bought him school clothes, a backpack, many pairs of shoes, notebooks, underwear, all things that he needed. For his birthday Bill got a cake and had the guys sing Happy Birthday to him. It was the first birthday cake in his 13 year old life. For Christmas we bought him a Qatar soccer jersey, he really wanted one. He said he had never gotten a Christmas gift before.

We made sure he was going to school and I even spent an afternoon helping him do homework that needed to be done on a computer. This is so weird because many of the kids don’t have electricity in their homes, let alone a computer. That was the day I realized that Omar could not read Spanish. Not too long after that Omar didn’t want to go to school. We found out his mother wanted him working, not in school, she needed the money he made. Soon after that he quit school, not even finishing the year. We were disappointed, to say the least.

He was working with us more and more, weeding, cleaning up, painting, whatever we could find for him to do. By this time his mom had a new “husband” (doubt they were ever married but he was around a lot).

Omar was 16 then and his mom was pregnant with baby # 5. One day he came here with his “stepdad” to ask for $$. His mom was in the hospital, something was wrong with the baby. The stepdad was on his motorcycle but he didn’t have the $25.00 he needed for Omar’s mom. Whatever, we lent Omar the money and he said he would work it off. We knew he would.

His mother ended up losing the baby, say what you will but it was divine intervention. No child should ever be raised like Omar and his siblings are being raised. She needs to be spayed like all the dogs on the street.

Things at home were getting worse, Omar’s sister would call him during the day crying because she and the stepdad had a fight or the stepdad was drunk and they needed Omar to come home. It was awful , even worse when you realize there is a 13, a 6 and a 4 year old in the home.

Omar found out about an English school where he would learn to read and write English. He wanted to go and we encouraged him to do it. Our dream is for him to get a job on a cruise ship and get the hell away from his mother. He loved school and was eager to go every day. He told us how strict the teachers were, no messing around, no touching each other, no speaking Spanish in class, it was all good for him.

In this time frame his mom and step dad opened an illegal bar in their home. A perfect environment for a 4 and a 6 year old child to be in. Let me tell you this, their house has a few windows, most are broken, Omar shares a room with his siblings, none of them have beds. Much of the time they have no electricity or food. The kids have tattered clothing and no shoes. The younger daughter has a vacant look in her eyes, she’s not there.

I am not condemning poverty or dissing those who are poor. There is a huge difference between being poor and loving your kids and being poor and not giving a shit about them. Omar’s mother does not care. She cares about herself and her men. It’s so evident that it makes me sick.

He completed the first quarter of school and was so excited because they were having a graduation ceremony. He wanted us to come and we said we would. We got to the church early and asked where his mother was. He said she wasn’t coming, she was busy. Then he said, she doesn’t care about me. We tried to assure him that she did care but I think the words fell on deaf ears.

Omar got an award for perfect attendance, we were really proud of that. He also nailed his poem that he had to say from memory, in English. I thanked his teacher for all that she did for the kids. She knew who I was because we fit his class for TOM’s shoes.

School is on break now so Omar is here more than he’s not. He is a big help around here, he plays with the dogs, helps clean up, swims, he’s learned to clean the pool. Bill has been teaching him as many life skills as he can because the kids around here have no opportunity to learn any on their own.

Our company arrived Sat the 18th. They had been traveling overnight and were exhausted. They went to bed around 9 PM. Bill had just gotten in bed when his phone rang, it was 10:10. It was Omar’s older sister. Seems the stepdad and the younger sister got into another fight and Omar separated them and threw the stepdad out. OK, first of all, what mother allows her “husband” to physically fight with her 13 year old daughter and why does the stepdad always fight with her?? The stepdad was drunk, of course.

Omar went to bed. At some point the stepdad came back and hit Omar in the middle of the forehead with what was described as a bat. He was bleeding badly. After calling 2 uncles who refused to help, they called Bill. He got dressed right away and went to get Omar to take him to the hospital. When he got there and saw the injury he was stunned. His head was split open to the skull. That’s how hard he was hit. His mother didn’t go to the hospital but SHE SENT HER 6 YEAR OLD SON, HER 13 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, HER 19 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER AND HER DAUGHTER’S 4 YEAR OLD SON. She sent the whole damn family but she stayed home. What mother stays home after her son has his skull laid open in an act of attempted murder? I want to hurt her.

The doctor at the hospital dropped the ball completely. He should have filed a report, the police should have come. He blew it. It was not reported. The lighting in the hospital was so bad that Bill had to use his cell phone flashlight so the doc could see to stitch up Omar’s head. He was given a prescription for antibiotics and sent home. Not a word was mentioned about the physical abuse or the attack. Bill took Omar and the kids home around 1 AM. His mother DID NOT GO WITH HIM TO THE HOSPITAL. How could she stay home and not know how badly her son was injured, really, how could she do that? I’m still horrified over this whole thing. She also did not go and get the antibiotics the next day and by 5 PM he still didn’t have them so we got them and took them to his house. He looked awful, I just hugged him. He was close to tears.

Supposedly the step dad was told to leave and not come back. That was Omar’s moms peace offering. Well, less than a week later, guess who’s back? Omar’s mom called the stepdad and asked him to come back, probably begged him to. She’s a tramp, no mincing words for me. I have not a speck of respect for that woman.

The other day Omar came here totally devastated. He said his mom doesn’t care at all about him and we didn’t say, “Oh yes she does.” It’s time for him to learn the ugly truth. I asked if the stepdad apologized and the response I got was “hmmph, never”. He and his older sister are getting a place and taking the younger sister and his older sister’s son with them. The 6 year old will stay with the mom.

The police know about it, word travels fast in a small community. Because Omar did not file a Denuncia (police report) in 24 hours, nothing can be done to his step dad, except the cops know what went on and that’s a good thing.

Yes, we live in Paradise, it’s beautiful here, as are MOST of the people. There are scum everywhere and here on this island and in many other 3rd world countries, things like this happen with not a second thought and that makes me sick to my stomach. His mother makes me sick to my stomach, she’s not really a mother, she is/was a birthing vessel. Her kids have no chance at all.

We are keeping an eye on Omar and his siblings. His mother will be very upset once he and the older sister leave because she will not have his income anymore.

I know many of you know who I’m talking about and are wondering why I am using this name, it’s to protect him and his siblings, so please don’t use his real name in any posts or comments.

Please keep these kids in your prayers, they need all the help they can get.

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The “after company” let down

13179325_1264685736893509_4469429168352604729_n06/29/2016 Having company is wonderfully amazing, I really enjoy it, but it’s also a lot of work. I always go out of my way to show my guests a good time, making sure they see the highlights of the island, the must sees and must dos. Sometimes, more often than not, I am successful. I previously had company for almost 3 weeks, then they left, I had a 10 day break and then my youngest son and his friend Maureen came for 10 days. To say I was excited to see him is a bit of an understatement. I stood at the doors to the immigration building on high alert, waiting to catch a glimpse. I told Kevin, an airport employee who was at the door with me, that I was waiting for my son and he kept asking did I see him yet (at least I think that’s what he was saying, my Spanish sucks, as does his English)? I said, when you see tears (pointing to my cheeks) you’ll know it’s him. And yep, I cried when I saw him.

Trace and Maureen had traveled all night to get here, leaving Vancouver, BC, to Calgary, Alberta, spent a good part of the night in the Calgary airport, then Houston to Roatan. It was Trace’s second visit, Maureen’s first. Trace came in Jan 2015 and I think it rained almost every damn day he was here. This visit was the opposite. It was H O T. And H U M I D. Crazy humid.

Our plans were to go to West Bay Beach on Sunday to do some snorkeling and beach it for awhile. We got to the beach around 11 and started snorkeling right away. The first things of interest that I saw were some squid, I think there were 7. They are so cool, they change color if they feel threatened and they do a little “posturing.” Trace and Maureen were not very close to me, the squid were in the sandy shallows, Maureen was putting on her fins and it was just enough of a distraction to ruffle their tail feathers. Just a little bit, they didn’t move so they obviously were not threatened, which is good. I don’t make a habit out of threatening anything, in the sea or on land. Except Scorpions.

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They are Caribbean Reef Squid. They change color and camouflage quite well.

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Seriously, I could float there and watch them forEVAH!

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This was only the beginning of a great discovery day.

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A Christmas Tree Worm farm.

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Blue Tang. This is not Dory.

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Always a great find, this stunningly gorgeous French Angelfish. The yellow flecks almost glow.

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Hanging with the Tangs.

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Mr. Lips, Rainbow Parrot Fish

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Banded Butterfly Fish

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Can you find the Scorpion fish? His tail is black and white and his nose is in the middle left of the photo. Yes, poisonous if you step on him. Another damn good reason to keep your feet up and not stand on or kick the coral.

In all my years of snorkeling and the years that I dove, I never saw a Scorpion fish, they are so well camouflaged. And isn’t it odd that at my age I can find something like that WITHOUT corrective lens. The mysteries never end.

After we snorkeled we went to Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort and hung out, had lunch there too.

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Trace and Maureen

Nights were spent on the roof or the porch. We mostly hung out, ate and talked.

Monday eve there was a Full Moon, Summer Solstice party at Wendy and Andrew’s lovely home situated high on a hillside overlooking the azure North shore in Punta Blanca. There was a large crowd there, nice to visit and chat with everyone. They served Greek chicken and pork souvlaki’s. Excellent. There was a huge variety of other foods there and then Wendy made to TO DIE FOR FLAN CAKE. It was about 24″ in diameter and absolutely perfect. Perfect, not a crumb out of place. I could have laid down on the floor and had someone feed me ALL of that FLAN. You know it must have been good because I rarely speak of food. It doesn’t interest me. We had an excellent meal, hung out until we had to leave to come home and feed the dogs. Yes, I’m the one that leaves the party because my dogs are hungry. It’s their dinnertime. No, they can’t wait.

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Wendy and Andrew’s large porch, it’s beautiful. Trace and Maureen in the lower left.

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Marilyn and I, photo by Maureen, I believe.

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Roger, Jeanie’s husband, and Bill.

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Their view and pool. Pretty nice…

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Francie and Franklin sitting down by the pool. Lovebirds.

The next day we went to the Iguana Farm and checked out the lizards. There were lizards everywhere. Sam said it’s still mating season so they haven’t stopped fighting over the women. Some looked rather battle weary.

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This is a Black Spiny Tailed iguana. They are indigenous to Roatan. This one and all the ones they could find were tagged by National Geo, they are studying them. They have a blue chip in their necks. The Roatan spiny tailed lizards are endangered and protected.

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This is a female Iguana. I’m so excited, I can tell which is which. Every time I go there I learn something new about the Iguanas.

After we left there we went to Little French Key. This is somewhere I stopped going for many reasons but I did want Trace and Maureen to enjoy it. I’ll be going again with Chance and the girls. I was obviously un-enthused since I only took 1 photo while there.

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Maureen jumping off the Bottom’s Up Bar ledge.

That evening we went to Isery, the closed nightclub that was owned and financed by a big shot with the Sinaloa drug cartel. We planned on just taking pics but the guard gave us the grand tour. And I mean tour, we saw every inch of that place. A freaking mazing.

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ISERY, the club that never was.

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In the US something like this rigging would never be allowed, especially at a bar. This is an insurance nightmare.

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And it was easy to get to if you wanted to climb it. I could very quickly have accessed it. I didn’t.

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Authentic right down to the portholes

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Mural in one of the several bars

We were given tickets to opening night, which never happened, shot glasses and maybe a turtle.

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a ticket

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I blocked out the guy who gave it to me, don’t want him shot by anyone over a partially rotted turtle. Hence the name is Sinaloa.

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They obviously had a load of fireworks. Good thing they are illegal here.

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Trace

It was really interesting inside of there, I think this place will end up vandalized to the point that it collapses. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. It’s an eyesore.

One morning Trace, Maureen and I walked out on Oak Ridge Bight, the kids walked to the end and I stopped and chatted with Sandy Byrd. After that we went and found Everald for a Mangrove tour.

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen of our guide Everald.

Wednesday eve we all went to Cal’s for dinner. Haven’t been for a few weeks, although, we stopped earlier that day and I cleaned his cats ears. The view was great, a beautiful night, I am such a slacker lately with photos, I apologize. I think I get burned out.

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My only photo at Cal’s

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Thursday we rode out to La Sirena. Trace and Maureen rode in the back like rednecks on their collapsible chairs. We stopped at Roger and Jeanie’s on the way out. I wanted T & M to see their house, named Hell with a View. It’s so cool! We won’t mention the sunburned tops of their feet from riding in the truck. Their idea. .

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Barbon Beach

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La Sirena, the sign is right. Also, the BEST onion rings.

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T & M

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This beach girl needs some TLC. I planned to go out Monday but we ended up laying low and keeping T & M out of the sun. She is starving and has a sore ear and recently had puppies. She needs spayed desperately.

Friday was BJ’s and the day before my friend Marilyn left the island for 2 months. I had to go to see her before she went to the US. Trace, Maureen and I drove out to Pandytown to see if school was in session, it wasn’t, so we just headed to BJ’s. They had quite a good crowd and as usual, it’s always fun to be there.

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Trace and Maureen taking pics.

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Marilyn

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Selfie by Maureen, love this photo of the two of them.

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Marilyn, Me, Trace and Maureen. Thanks Andrew for taking the pic.

That evening Trace and Maureen had Bill drop them at Cal’s for dinner. They ended up getting their food to go because the flies were so bad and they walked home and ate here. There must have been a hatch, they’re not usually very bad.

Sunday was funday at The Reef House resort. We got to BJ’s around 1 and were waiting for a boat to take us over when John and Debbie passed by. They stopped and picked us up and we were off for a day of fun in the water. I was extremely happy because my partner in crime has returned to the island, the Duchess of Camp Bay is back!

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Franklin, Mike and Francie. Nice legs Francie!!

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If ever there were sirens, we would be them. Francie, Jeanie and me.

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All with matching rafts

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Trace, chilling

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Scotty C (who provided the music for the day) and Jeanie doing yoga with Kathy looking on.

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And we planked, of course. Karen, Barbie, Kathy, me and Jeanie

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Yep, the water is that blue.

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If only I knew what the hell Gail and Francie were doing.

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Serious trouble in the tie dyed shirt with more trouble looking over his shoulder. Kelly and Terry.

Monday was Mondays Don’t Suck but the kids had enough sun and wanted to just hang out here instead of going anywhere. Since it was their last day here, that’s just what we did.

The day guests leave is always a drag. You sit around and wait for the time to take them to the airport. Their flight was at 1 so we got to the airport around 11 and the United line was long, as was the immigration line to leave. Once they were checked in we ran into Coxen Hole to the meat market and got dog meat. Well, meat for the dogs, 3# of heart and liver. That should keep the boys and girl well fed for awhile.

We then took the kids back to the airport and through tears I said good bye. More than anything in the world I hate saying goodbye to my kids. I wish they were here or I was there, I never ever get tired of being with them and miss them so damn much.

We were in Madeyso waiting to buy screws and bolts and stuff when I heard their plane fly over on it’s way back to the USA.

In 2 weeks Chance and his family will be here, I am so excited for that. We can’t wait to see the girls. It will be their first island visit, hopefully the first of many!

I’ll leave with a few pics of the water dogs. Oh my gosh, they LOVE the pool.

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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Barrio and Max, they fight even when they are swimming.

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If you’re not going in the pool, you have to stay out. Highway loves to swim but has a hard time getting up the steps so he stays out. And whines.

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Otters

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A lucky shot (no skill involved) of Barrio

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Barrio and Gringo

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Barrio

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Fabulous mangoes, thanks Jaw!

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Some dogs sleep with stuffed toys, mine sleep with coconuts.

I’ll leave you with this post I found on VRBO about a house that is for rent here on the island. Seriously? You post this on VRBO? Obviously this homeowner has a serious issue with prostitutes. My question is: How do they determine if someone is a prostitute? Medical exam before you can rent? Police record? I died laughing a few times over this. What if their grandmother WAS a prostitute but stopped hooking, is she allowed to stay there?

Only guests disclosed to us are eligible to stay on the property. If the property is already at the maximum, the guests will be asked to leave by security no exceptions. If the property is not at its maximum, and “additional” guests arrive, the per guest fee changes from $55 to $100/per night per guest. Prostitutes are not allowed to be at the property at any time. No exceptions.

I’ll be back soon, I’ve got more to say about something very ugly.

Bolivia invades Roatan

friends06/10/2016 As I stated in my last post, Olivia (Bolivia to us) arrived on Roa on 5/29. It was not her first time here, it was visit #4. She and I came in 2010 and then she, Teri, Bill and I came in 2011 & 2012. However, it’s been awhile since she has been here. Teri has been here twice since the last time O was so she has seen much more of the island. This time I wanted to make sure Olivia got the grand tour, especially now that I am no longer an island virgin, so to speak.

The day Teri left Olivia and I ran some errands, then stopped at Mega Paca (of course we did) and got some groceries at Eldon’s. Once home we went down to John’s pool to cool off. Gee, I wish I had a POOL.

Wednesday morning we were headed to Barefoot Cay for the day. On the way we stopped at Arch’s Iguana Farm so Olivia could meet my pet dinosaurs. They aren’t actually pets but if you have a big leaf in your hand to feed them, they will follow you anywhere. Preston gave O and I each a leaf, she held it down to the iguanas but when they got close she dropped it and backed up. That was close enough for her. I finally overcame my fear and loathing of them crawling all over my bare feet and just let them have at it. At one point there were two laying on my feet, if felt weird because their bellies were so warm from laying on the concrete sidewalks. I did it though, Gail will be proud of me because she teases me that I have been there so many times, I should be used to the iguanas crawling on me. Is that something people normally get used to??

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Lizard lady in my new Mermaid on Duty top that Olivia brought me.

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They are on my feet

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Taking my pet iguana for a walk (thanks Olivia for the pics)

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Olivia kept her distance.

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Just a few of the 3000+ that live there.

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Coco has her tail wrapped around Olivia’s wrist.

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We saw these guys going at it when we came up from the water. No, it’s not iguana sex..

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It’s two males fighting, it is mating season. You can tell they are males by the large sacs on the sides of their faces. That is muscle used to control their jaws. If one of them wanted to lop off your finger it could, but they aren’t aggressive, except to each other when brawling over a female. I’ve seen them with bloody faces, missing tails, missing toes, rips on their heads. If their tail gets ripped off where it is tan, it grows back all tan, if it gets ripped off in a black area, it grows back black. Easy way to tell if they have lost their tail recently. See, I’m learning about the dinosaurs iguanas.

After the iguana farm we went to Barefoot Cay, a perfectly gorgeous boutique resort that my sweet friend owns. This resort is the ultimate in luxury, every detail has been thought out and planned for. To get to the resort you have to take a barge across a small waterway to the exclusively private and stunningly decorated cay.

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The pool

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The walkway to the palapa, great snorkeling there.

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Olivia getting her gear on

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Sunken vehicle, artificial reef

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Butterfly fish

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Gorgeous creamy white star coral.

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Under the palapa

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Zillions of tiny fishies

I was having a bad goggle day. It seems there was something on my lens, after spitting in it 50 times, I was too frustrated to keep going. I couldn’t see anything. Olivia and I hung out by the pool for awhile and had a yummy lunch at the restaurant. It was a perfect relaxing day on Roatan, surrounded by such beauty, BFC just amazes me.

The next day we headed east to Oak Ridge. I pulled into Lulu’s lot looking for Emerald, the Rasta boat tour guy but he wasn’t around. O and I met another tour guy so he picked us up at BJ’s and took us for an hour long mangrove tour. The mangroves are pretty special here on the island. Many many years ago the waterways were cut in the mangroves by the Paya Indians as a way to travel from place to place without venturing out into the open sea. It’s really beautiful in the mangrove tunnels.

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Leaving BJ’s, the boat tied up there belongs to friends.

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Twitter is everywhere.

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A parrot at a house along the water.

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Czech Village, Jonesville Point

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Through the tunnels we go

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The boat’s roof was like an old psychedelic light show..

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There are 3 different types of Mangroves, red, white and black. Honestly, they all looked the same to me.

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Natures finest swimming pool

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Close to my friend Marcia’s

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Headed back

We were dropped off at the Reef House by the tour guy. Olivia and I had drinks and hung out chatting with Davey and Keith. Then we had some lunch and floated in the water. There is a nice shallow pool there too, lots of little fish and I’ve found a few sea urchin shells there.

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Another beautiful Roatan day spent with friends.

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What a view

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The two white houses in the center of the mountain, (on the ocean) belong to 2 friends. They have spectacular locations.

We had Jimmy take us back to BJ’s around 4:30. Bill and I were going to Alexi’s 1st Q graduation that night. It started at 6 and like everything else here, it didn’t begin on time. We were standing out front with him before it began and I asked if his mom was coming. He said no, she doesn’t care. We told him that wasn’t true, she was just busy. His mom and step dad opened an illegal bar in their home and have drunks hanging around all night long. Not a great environment to have a 4 and a 6 year old kid in. UGH.. Alexi was very excited that we were there to see him recite his poem in English. He had to memorize it and was struggling pronouncing the words. . It was only 4 sentences but that’s a big deal for him. He nailed it. I wanted to jump up on the church pew and yell yeehaw, but I stopped myself from embarrassing him, and Bill.

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The church was beautiful, all white inside, nice big ceiling fans, spotlessly clean. I went up to talk to Alexi’s teacher afterwards and thanked her. I was surprised she remembered my name from passing out TOM’s shoes a few weeks ago.

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Our un-adopted son, far left. He told me on Tuesday that he would rather be here than anywhere else. I said it’s the WiFi isn’t it? He laughed and said “not really”..

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Alexi reciting his lines

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These 3 guys got perfect attendance rewards, Alexi on the R

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Showing his graduation certificate. His report card was really good too, lowest score was 94.

That lasted until 7, luckily it was close to home because we had hungry dogs and we were starving too. I noticed at the ceremony that Alexi needs black socks and a new white shirt. We will be going shopping before school begins again.

Friday is of course BJ’s. I mean where else do you go on a Friday afternoon to see your friends and listen to some music? Olivia and I went to John’s pool in the morning and swam for awhile, it was another blistering warm day on the rock. We left for BJ’s around 1:30. I was bummed that Marilyn wasn’t there, I wanted to introduce Olivia to her. During the band break I asked Alex where she was. He said he would take us over to see her when he was done, we were up for it. Then he decided to quit early so we paid for our drinks and fries and jumped in his boat, bound for the Calabash Bight Yacht Club epicenter.

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View from the Calabash Bight Yacht Club AKA Alex and Marilyn’s home.

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Boat ride to get there, no road, water access only.

Poor Marilyn was not expecting company but she was as gracious as always. We had some wine and chatted with her for awhile before Alex ran us back to BJ’s to get our car and go home.

Bill made pizza on Friday evening, so yummy. I could eat it every week, too bad it’s a pain to make the crust! Luckily we had leftovers for dinner on Saturday night.

Olivia’s time on Roatan was drawing to a close, last full day on the rock. We decided to make it a West Bay day and went to the beach early Saturday morning. There were very few people there. We snorkeled as soon as we got there. I scrubbed my mask before we left with soapy water and got whatever it was off the lens that was clouding it up, visibility was restored. We were amazed at the number of fish in the water. In my 9 years of snorkeling here I have NEVER seen so many fish. {My friend Marcia snorkeled by her house on Sunday and said the same thing, must have been a hatch or bloom of something drawing the fish out} It was like being in a huge aquarium, simply amazing. There was a lot of little stuff in the water, seemed like someone poured a giant can of fish food in the sea. Maybe Amanda’s handsome Irish Colombian knows what it was???

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Barracuda, always think of the song by Heart when I see a Barracuda.

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Christmas Tree worms

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Feather duster

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Spanish Hogfish

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One of my all time favorite fish, Parrotfish

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Sea scene

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Stoplight Parrotfish

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The sea was alive with fish, hundreds everywhere we looked. Lots and lots of tiny fish.

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Each speck is a fish

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My own aquarium

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Blue Tang

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Olivia

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Blurry but lots of fish

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You can see all the particles in the water

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A group of grunts, lower left

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Coral

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Tangs, must have seen 4 schools of them. Note the one with fish lips left center.

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More tangs

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And they are off..

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So awful to have to spend a day here. NOT.

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The crowds were annoying. NOT

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We watched several people on the fly boards. some were good, some sucked..

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O chilling and watching the Parasails and flyboards

We stopped at Rusty Fish art on our way home and Olivia bought some stuff. I thought it was for her but the wall art was for my Rusty Fish wall. Pics to follow soon, Bill still has to hang one on the concrete. Thank you Olivia.

Sunday we hung around here until it was time to take Olivia to the airport. I was sad to see her leave but I didn’t cry like I did when Teri and Frito left..

I forgot to mention that Teri tried to take Frito’s favorite rock with her on the plane. they confiscated it at security. Hysterical! Sure someone could use a rock as a weapon but they could also use a 4″ stiletto. Poor Frito had to fly to Washington state, rock less.

So ended my 3 weeks with good friends. I stopped at Mega Paca on the way home and found a S’well water bottle for $2.00. They normally sell for $40.00. Score.

Monday I cleaned off the shelves in the bedroom, reorganized and re-folded everything. Then Alex and Marilyn came over so I could give Alex some help starting a blog for his Roatan Buyers Agent information. Unfortunately, they brought wine and we somehow drank 2 bottles in no time at all. That could be the reason Alex’s blog link wasn’t working properly.

I was a blogging fool last week, publishing 3 blogs in 3 days and here I am at it again. I had lots to talk about and have been really lousy lately at keeping things up to date.

The construction around here will be done soon. The garage is almost done, patio is poured and pool is in the works. Its been a long grueling 6 months of dirt, trucks, piles of sand, cement dust, cinder blocks, noise, workers {at one point there were 25 men working here} and blocking the dogs off so they don’t terrify the workers. Maybe once it’s done and we get stone in the driveway and then it rains, the dust will be minimized and I will be less stressed because of it. Maybe.

On Thursday Marcia, Jan and I went to Cattleya to help organize books. I totally thought we were doing the books for the kids at school there but what needed done was emptying a store room of books and boxing them. It was rather overwhelming. We pulled all the kids books that we could find and boxed them. I told Connie I would come back and do the rest when she got all the boxes of books out of the room, currently it’s too crowded to even work in there.

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Marcia, me and Jan. Thanks Ladies for your help!

Here it is Friday already. I’m not going to BJ’s, too much happening here and I need to keep an eye on the dogs. I work at the airport tomorrow and again Wed and next Saturday. Trace arrives next Saturday on the last flight. Once he gets in and through immigration we will be on our way home. I’m so excited to see him. A month from today Chance, Alecia and the girls come. It’s going to be so much fun to see them and to show the girls around the island, to take them snorkeling for the first time, I think they are going to love it here!

We have been blessed with so many friends and family visiting us, the icing on the cake is seeing the boys. In August I am going to Maryland to see my folks, looking forward to that too, except for the traveling through San Pedro Sula and El Salvador..Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far, I sure am!

P.S. A shout out to Teri B for replenishing my Damiana Liqueur stock. If you’ve never tried Damiana, go to the liquor store and get it. You’re welcome.

 

A First Class Frito Bean

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06/05/2016 OK, I’ll share the secret that I was hiding from you in the last blog.

Teri’s new companion and Frito Bean’s new Mama deserve a blog post of their own. As many of you know I have been trying to re-home Frito for quite some time.

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Frito, the day I found her. She was wandering a school playground, being teased by the kids as she rummaged through cans looking for food, all on 3 legs. Her right front paw had a compound fracture that was days old, the bone sticking right out of her paw. She let me take her quite easily. I lured her to my car with Fritos.

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This was the next morning after I found her.  Doc tried to push the bone back in her paw but couldn’t do it and he said the infection had spread up her leg, he needed to amputate. We put her on the ferry that afternoon bound for Le Ceiba and his clinic.

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The poor girl. I cried rivers that day.

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This is the ferry returning the day she came home, March 15th, exactly one month before she gave birth. I was a wreck until I saw her crate being offloaded. She was standing up in her crate and was so glad to see us. I cried more.

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We were diligent about keeping her wound clean and washed it daily. Doc did such a good job that there was never an issue with her healing at all.

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She was ravenous. Was and still is. I imagine it’s second nature to a street dog.

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What a resilient soul this dog has.

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Cleaning her up was a nightly ritual for a few weeks.

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Then we just kept it covered after the stitches were out, trying to keep it clean in our dirty environment.

What I never imagined when I brought Frito home {aside from her being preggo} was that she and Lola, who I rescued from a car mechanic 4 months prior, would soon not like each other.

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Lola was six weeks old and flea and tick infested.

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Lola was living under cars at my mechanics garage with her mother.

They were best friends when Frito came home from having her amputation. Even after Frito had the babies 1 month later she and Lola were hanging like BFF’s.

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Frito and the 7 dwarfs

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Healthy little suckers, especially since we didn’t know she was pregnant until 2 weeks before their birth.

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Once their eyes opened and they were walking we started carrying them out to the grass to play and it was Lola who instantly bonded with them. She was only 6 months old then.

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They were hers and while she never went after Frito, her body posturing showed dominance.

Soon after Frito decided not to nurse the puppies, (5 -6 weeks) who had immense fangs, Lola stepped in as surrogate puppy sitter. Frito had less and less interest in the pups and Lola assumed the watchful eye duties. The pups were always wherever Lola was. By this time Frito was chilling like a villain elsewhere. She had other things to do and they did not encompass caring for her children. Unfortunately a mentality not uncommon on this island.

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Frito was on the fence about relinquishing parental duties and started going after Lola.

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Lola had already laid claim

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They were hers.

Lola was so good with the puppies that Frito began to resent her involvement and started to get aggressive with Lola. At first I assumed they would work it out but it got to be pretty intense, so much so that they were separated.

In the meantime, I had Frito and Lola spayed, hoping that may curtail the animosity between them. It didn’t phase either of them. Frito hated Lola, plain and simple.

The pups grew, 4 of them went to their new loving homes and Lola was even more bonded with the remaining 3. It got to the point that the fighting was out of control.

I went to Spanish class one Friday and afterwards Bill was to meet me at BJ’s. When I got there Roger gave me his phone to call Bill (guess I forgot mine) because there was a dog fight and Bill got bitten by Lola. She didn’t mean to bite him, he was trying to get Frito’s teeth off of Lola’s ear. Lola’s tooth went almost through his thumb. Nice puncture wound.

From that point on, they were totally separated and guarded. Frito escaped once and went chasing Lola upstairs, Lola ran into a crate to hide and I got Frito under control and back out front. We were always guarding one or the other, worrying about separating them and just plain scared that they would go at it again and one of them or the pups would get hurt. We tried to find a home for Frito two times on the island and neither worked out.

We kept Frito downstairs, she had a bed and a futon, food and water and we would have her come up and play with the boys while Lola and Highway were on the porch.

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Frito is in the pink collar (the one with 3 legs)

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Frito on the left.

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L to R Gringo, Max, Barrio and Frito

Once the front fence was done we started letting the boys and Frito out together so they could rough house and play with their Mama. That’s pretty much how it was for the last few months, strategically moving dogs to avoid fights.

Little did I know that the answer to our prayers would be coming to visit us. Teri fell in love with Frito and after a few days said she wanted to take her home.

We did some groundwork and got things rolling. Since UAL does not take dogs at all except in the cabin and Frito was too large to fit under the seat, we sent her north as a companion animal. I know, I know, abusing the system, but not really. It was our only option, UAL forced our hand and Teri had a legitimate need.

The day Teri and Frito were leaving we had the boys inside with Frito one last time. She was still rough with them, I guess they give it out and she returns it. She knows how to handle them.

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The 3 boys and their Mama

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Putting Max in his place.

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Free for all, well, Gringo was more interested in the 2 green beans left in her food bowl.

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Frito on the left, Max in front of Barrio

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Frito and Barrio

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My bean

Olivia and I took Teri to the airport and I held onto Frito while Teri checked in. Once again, Frito was a hit..

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At the airport, she was keeping an eye on me. I think she was a little nervous, as was I.

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Waiting in line to check in.

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Saying hello to some kids

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Just before they went through security and before I started crying..

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Frito flying from RTB to Houston, she was really good on the flight. Just like she’s done it many times before, no big deal.

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Flying First Class from Houston to Seattle. She was especially excited when they served food.

Teri had her car at SeaTac in Seattle and had a 2 hour drive N after the flight. She said Frito sat in the front seat looking out the window. She wished she could have read Frito’s mind, the look on her face was one of amazement and total awe. She had never seen so many cars, lights and  buildings before in her whole life. Frito was wondering where the hell she was. A new land, a new home, a new city, state and country and best of all, a new Mama who would love and care for her. It was a great new beginning!

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Frito luxuriating in her new home in the woods of Everson, WA. She has a one level house to roam, lots of property outside, a brother who is bigger than her, 2 cats and some alpacas that she has decided not to chase.

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Her vet visit on Saturday. She is going to the same vet we took our animals to in Everson. They knew Highway quite well.

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Sleeping on her Mama’s lap, snug as a bug.

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Chilling on her brother’s bed. He likes her and she likes him, they will be fine together.

Frito really is an amazing dog. I rescued her, severely injured from the school grounds in Los Fuertes, she had a painful surgery and was pregnant (we had no clue) at the time. We were concerned that she was gaining so much weight, realizing one eve that she was pregnant when we saw a tiny paw push against her belly. Then she went into labor at the vets and had 2 pups there, one on the way home in my car, another as soon as we arrived, then 2 more. She ate a huge meal and had # 7. She never was nasty or super protective of the pups, she just went with the flow. After she had them we kept her and the pups downstairs where it was quiet. She would come upstairs and wake me when she had to go potty. For a street dog to never have an inside accident, well, that’s just incredible. She never destroyed anything, never did things she wasn’t supposed to (except eat 40-50 beef flavored heart worm pills at once and the beef jerky out of KP’s suitcase), she really was an excellent dog and deserved a better life than we could offer her.

This was meant to be. Teri needed a dog and Frito needed a home that was free of conflict. She needed to be where she could be appreciated for the fabulous dog that she is. She has that now, 100+%, Teri adores her and Frito will have an excellent life in the states. We miss the bouncing Bean but know we will get photos and updates all the time.

Enjoy your new life Frito Bean, you deserve the best and Teri, thank you a million times.  XOXO

Beep Beep

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06/06/2016 Obviously my absence indicates that I’ve been busy living the island lifestyle. And, oh what a life it is. I am so happy I figured out how to live this life I have been blessed with.

My BFF from WA. arrived the 19th, it is her 5th trip here with us. I went to Nadia’s in Sandy Bay to do something about my wretched roots (I went brown with blonde highlights, we’ll see what this looks like when it grows out) and when I was done there I had a meeting at the airport and was there to meet Teri when she arrived. We made a few stops before we got home. Teri was tired so we hung out here and just chilled. She had not see the house yet so we had a few (sic) drinks and caught up on life.

Teri is a cancer survivor and a tough lady. I have not seen her since her diagnosis and surgeries. She has been through a lot in the last 2 years and I feel bad I wasn’t closer so I could have been there for her. She does have a great family and lots of friends so she didn’t go through the cancer and surgery alone. Still. She is now cancer free so this trip was a celebration for sure. Celebrating seeing her and the fact that she is cancer free. Like I said, tough lady. A survivor.

Teri was staying in our downstairs condo for guests and along with the condo you got a dog for a companion. Frito was living downstairs because she wanted to rip Lola’s face off. Frito is a survivor too, pregnant, found by me and rescued, leg amputated and 1 month later has 7 healthy puppies. Survivor to the max. They bonded instantly and Bam! Frito was sleeping with Teri. OK, back to the other story, this one will be competed in another blog. (you know you’ll have to see what happens)

On Friday morning as soon as Alexi got here we went to the soccer field at Froylan Turcios, a school in our area. We had 2 sets of soccer jerseys to pass out to the kids there. We had been in touch with the coach and he was very eager to have them. Many thanks to Dave and Trish Symons for ALWAYS bringing things to the island for the kids and the clinics. They have brought (and given to me to distribute) so many soccer uniforms, many of the island kids have been blessed with their gifts. They also gave me some soccer balls, almost new. Brand new compared to what these kids have.

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Their eyes got huge when Alexi kicked the new ball onto the field.

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Starting to pass out the uniforms.

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Teri B with the kids

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Me passing out goodies.

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These kids were so excited, I got several hugs.

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HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY

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The 2 teams, nice kids, very appreciative.

We took Alexi with us because the coach doesn’t speak English, always nice to have an interpreter. The coach was extremely grateful for the uniforms and said that he would keep them in his possession and only pass them out at games. There was even a coach’s uniform for him, I doubt he has ever had one. Thank you Trish and Dave!

I am a firm believer that if kids are involved in extra-curricular activities, such as soccer, they are less likely to go down the wrong path that seems to be the easiest path on this island to follow. We are keeping a close eye on Alexi, the 17 year old who has adopted us. He would much rather be here than home (I tell myself it’s not just because of the wi-fi) and has told us that many times. I am always buying him clothes at Mega Paca and he is very grateful for anything we give him. We spend time with him, encourage him, support him in his school endeavors and tell him all the time that he must learn to read and write English (that’s what he is going to school for.) He speaks English and Spanish but can barely read or write Spanish and has no English reading or writing skills, he is another lost soul due to the inadequate education the island kids receive. What the hell will these kids do when they finish school? Where will they ever find a job? Manual labor is their only option, we want more for Alexi. We are encouraging him to learn to read and write English in the hopes he can get a job on a cruise ship and do some traveling. It’s much better than the job situation here and the only way he will ever get off of this island.

Recently my car horn has begun randomly beeping. It happens mostly when I’m coming up our driveway. The other day there was a good sized Monkey LaLa lizard running up the drive and I stopped so I wouldn’t hit it. Every time I started to go, my horn honked. I felt like the damn road runner, beep beep beep beep. By the time Teri and I made it home we were laughing our butts off. Bill can disconnect the fuse but then I won’t have a horn and driving on Roatan requires a horn, turn signals and brake lights are optional.

Friday afternoon Teri and I made our way to BJ’s, of course. Marilyn’s daughter was there and she was singing with the band. She was very good! We hung out there for a few hours and visited and danced. Well, I danced but I didn’t take any pictures.

We got home in time for Teri to go to Cal’s Cantina with Mr. John. Bill and I stayed home because the pool was being delivered and I didn’t want to miss another grand island ingenuity episode. I was not disappointed.

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The truck arrives. I see it, I see my pool.

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The other one is for our neighbor’s, they got the same as us. They backed this big truck up to the base of our steep hill.

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How many men does it take to lift a 1000# pool?

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A lot of muscle.

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They flipped it over onto the bottom so they could drag it up the hill.

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Heave ho!

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Really, this happened. The guy in the orange shirt is Leo Arch, cousin of my friends at the Iguana Farm. He is the boss.

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And this is where it hung out for a few days which on the island equals mañana.

Yes, we are the only people on the whole damn island with a 20′ pool tied to a stump on our hillside. Really, that sets us apart from the others. No slouches here, we go for the opposite of ordinary.

Saturday Teri and I were meeting my friends Mike and Liza at their rental in West Bay and spending the day together. We snorkeled and then went to Bananarama for lunch and snorkeling. It was a gorgeous sunny day in West Bay and the beach was empty.

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When you stick your head in the water and see this. Awesome, love starfish.

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Tangs galore

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French Angelfish swimming with the Tangs

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One of the most amazing fish

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Teri B taking it all in

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well hello Mr. Fish

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fish lips

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Lloyd Bridges aka Mike Clark

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I think this is a coney fish??

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Parrot fish eating algae and coral and then they poop sand.

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French Angelfish

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Beautiful living coral

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Neon gobey on brain coral

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My favorite, a Christmas Tree worm.

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Beautiful Bananarama

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Teri B chilling

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This dude on the flyboard was amazing. He must have been a rep for the company or something because I’ve never seen anyone that good before.

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Mr. GQ. (Mike)

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Teri and Mike floating at West Bay beach

We had a great day with them and didn’t get home until dinner time.  I had planned to take Teri to Mega Paca on Sunday morning but she was sick, as was Liza and they both had the same dipping sauce with their meals at Bananarama. Not pointing fingers, just saying. Teri was pretty much down and out on Sunday. I messaged my friend who is a nurse and she said to start her on Zithromax, which I had on hand. She felt better in the morning. Liza was sick too and she was traveling. UGH…

We spent another one of our days at Parrot Tree pool and got eaten alive by the bugs there, it was as bad as being at their lagoon. It was still a good day because a day in the water is better than anything else.

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Still beautiful despite the bugs

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Teri floating

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Under the falls

I’ve been trying to help Nidia finish the TOM’s shoe deliveries. Teri and I went to Alexi’s English school in Politilly and I measured the kids there. We also got the list of sizes needed at El Higuero, a kinder near me and I measured all the kids at Miss Norma’s school in Jonesville.

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This is the kinder in El Higuero.

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We donated the blue desks a little over a year ago, thanks to Linda Edwards, who bought them.

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The kids in Jonesville at Norma’s school.

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Then we had to go to where Nidia and Live Again Ministries were fitting shoes in Barrio Los Fuertes. This is the school where I rescued Frito March 10, 2015. This is also where I got the name for Barrio.

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They had a supply of shoes there so we took what we needed but still had to go to the storage unit to get the rest.

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Luckily my friend Dave from Live Again Ministries went with us because neither Teri nor I could have opened this door.

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I brought all the shoes home and separated them so they could be distributed to the 3 schools.

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Checking my list..And when I was done, I went down to John’s pool.

Teri and I spent a lot of time in her future pool (Mr. John’s, the neighbor), it felt so good and immediately lowered our scorching body temperatures. I think we were in there almost daily because the temps have been HOT! In between dips we delivered the shoes to the kinder and to Alexi’s school. Marcia and Dennis picked up the ones for Jonesville and delivered them since they live out that way.

Teri and I got a little pre-occupied the last few days before Olivia came, in fact Wed. and Friday mornings we were taking care of business. (to be disclosed later) Once business was done we went to BJ’s again Friday and visited with the gang and ate some french fries, yums. There was a good crowd there and we danced a little bit and got a little crazy.

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Jonna on the left, then Casey, Tara and Marilyn. Casey and Tara are Marilyn’s kids.

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Marilyn and family (and Jonna)

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Gail giving her husband Mike (second from L) his birthday cake.

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Terry’s shirt

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BJ giving a little speech and thanking people.

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Kids sitting next door waiting for a boat ride home.

Sunday Olivia arrived so Teri and I headed to the airport to pick her up. We took Frito with us. She was the center of attention and she ate up every second of it. She is such a good dog and is so easy to have around. Frito was great at the airport, very well behaved, she let a few kids pet her and even some adults wanted to visit with her. She is an attention monger for sure.

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Frito getting some head pats from this cute little girl.

It was nice to have Olivia join us, it’s the third time the 3 of us have been together on Roatan. Never a dull moment.

Olivia, Teri and I headed to West Bay beach on Monday so we could have a beach day together. We parked ourselves at Bananarama again but this time, no dipping sauce for anyone.

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Our chairs at Bananarama

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Beautiful beach, beautiful day

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The water was so warm and the beach was deserted. Just the way I like it.

While at the beach we saw the crowd of people out on the boats watching the Caribbean Cup Freediving Championship. After West Bay we stopped in West End so Teri could do a little shopping before she went home the next day. We even made a stop in Shawn Jackson’s gallery, always a pleasure.

After we got home and washed the sand and salt water off of our bodies we had dinner and sat on the roof talking and thinking of fun things to have on up there. Like an ejector bar seat that would catapult you into the pool, unless we didn’t like you, then it would set you down on the main road to get a taxi. I need this in my life.

On Tuesday Olivia and I took Teri and her companion (not telling you yet) to the airport and said a tearful good-bye. After that we ran some errands, stopped at Mega Paca and then came home and floated in John’s pool. Again.

It is absurd to me that I have a pool that can’t be used. It’s like a big freaking tease.

After hammering out 2 blogs in a few days, I’m going to go chill and watch them hook up the pipes for the drains and skimmers and jets on the pool. It’s getting closer, I can’t wait to be the first one in.

 

Giving thanks to the island elders.

 

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06/05/2016 Between getting my house ready for company and helping to host the East End Senior luncheon, time has flown by. The last I blogged was before my company came, May 19th. I have been busy entertaining and having fun with Teri and Olivia, I’ll fill you in on that in another blog or two.

The senior luncheon was held at Turquoise Bay on the 18th of May. It was a glorious sunny (hot) day with a nice breeze on the beach. I couldn’t go as early as I wanted to because Bill had to run errands and I had to stay here until he returned so the dogs didn’t harass the worker guys. I got there around 10:30. The tents and tables were all set up and I was amazed, there was already a group of people there from Helene. The party didn’t start until 2 but they were there before I arrived. When you boat from Helene you want to give yourself enough time to arrive.

The seniors were being driven right out on the beach so they didn’t have far to walk in the blazing sun on the steaming sand.

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It was a beautiful venue

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Trying to keep everyone in the shade

The food was not scheduled to be served until 2 PM and the staff at Turquoise Bay was preparing all of it. They brought the cake out quite early and I was sure it was going to melt but it didn’t, it stayed nice and chocolately and yummy looking.

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It was so big they brought it on a sheet of plywood.

The Live Again Ministries provided financial support and helpers for this event, as they did last year. They brought hand fans for everyone, nice handkerchiefs for the men, a colorful assortment of wash cloths for the ladies, bracelets that said Live Again Ministries on them and small key chains. We had many pairs of reading glasses donated by Jan Walkeden and Trish Nixon and friends, thank you for those also, they were a huge hit!

Many thanks to all of my friends here on the island and in the states who donated money to buy the food baskets. We were hoping to get enough $$ for 25 baskets and ended up with enough for 32 so we raffled off the extra ones and made several people happy.

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A vast array of colored washcloths

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Nice men’s handkerchiefs and gllasses

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All the pretty baskets lined up in a row.

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Pastor Ronny Russell of Live Again Ministries helping to pass out baskets. This is the second year in a row this group has been instrumental in helping Because We Care make this luncheon happen.

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Daine’s granddaughter learning about giving to the elders. She was a great help.

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I was worried that this gentleman was sitting alone. Nidia went up and talked to him and he was enjoying the view and waiting for his buddies.

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So nice for these people to be together and have time to chat and catch up.

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Auntie Clara in the pink. She is 100. I went to her 100th birthday party last year. Across from her is Miss Catherine Wood. She turned 90 the 23rd of May. Her daughter Daine is a friend of mine. Miss Catherine is an island gem.

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The royalty table

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This sweet lady was so into the music she was clapping and moving to the beat.

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Nidia giving Auntie Clara a lightweight fleece blanket made by the industrious ladies on Brass Hill.

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Miss Catherine, isn’t she beautiful?

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After the people had eaten they did a traditional “maypole” using a tree. There were assorted fruits tied to the tree branches and everyone danced around the tree. They took turns getting in the circle and dancing.

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So much fun, music was supplied by Jimmy Connor, but he was in this circle dancing.

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Jimmy is the guy on the left with his arm up.

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Nidia and Jimmy dancing

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Then the music stopped and someone yelled Rob the Tree and everyone ran and pulled the treats off of the tree.

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One of the men with his new handkerchief.

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My sweet friend Carly helping to pass them out.

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No cake left, it was delicious.

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Miss Catherine, Daine and Daine’s granddaughter Maddie.

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This lady was leaving and even though she had a cane she was dancing to the music as she passed the band.

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Nidia getting Auntie Clara in the swing of things.

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Then there was the clean up.

Many thanks to those who donated:

Kevin and Claire Bloor, Robert McNeill, Marcy Schwartz, Franklin and Francie Christopher, Walt and Judy Kaiser, Eric and Carly White, Alex and Marilyn Poirier, Trish Nixon, Pam and Pete Peters, Wendy and Andrew Flood, Kathy Shupe and Leif Shaver, Janice Carter, Lisa Blythe and Rob Baker, Ana Svoboda, Brian Harris, Jeanie and Roger Moore, Infinity Bay Resort, Turtle Beach, Bob and Debi Cowan, Made in Roatan, R Church, Peggy Stranges, Nicole Brady, Erika Galindo McNab, Ron McNab, Theresa Renee Arriaga, Steve Hasz, Milesse Kennedy and Duane McNab. And a huge thank you to Pastor Ronny Russell and the Live Again Ministries group, you are all amazing people, we couldn’t do what we do without your help.

I really wish you all could have been there to experience these amazing people. I get so much more out of these events than the people who they are for. This is a big social event for the island elders, they only get to see the people who live in their communities every now and then. For them to get to see relatives and friends they haven’t seen for years, it’s a big deal. It makes me realize how much we all take for granted, the ability to hop in your car and go see a friend, or to have lunch with a group of friends. This is not in their realm. They don’t have transportation nor the money to go and do these things. There is no Social Security for you when you retire, you’re on your own. It’s the main reason one of these events is so important, just acknowledging that we know they are there and that we care enough to bring them together, to raise money for gifts and to have people like the Live Again Ministries be there for us at each and every step of the way.

Would any of this happen without Nidia? She has the biggest heart on this island and in the few years I’ve known her I have seen her bring smiles to so many people, just doing little things and letting them know she cares. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most..