Roatan ramblings

05/28/2017 I haven’t been into blogging lately, actually, I haven’t been into much of anything. Seems I spend more time with the dogs that with anyone else. We communicate endlessly.

A friend I met on FB and then caught up with twice while she was here visiting came down and stayed with us for 2 weeks while she was finalizing some things with her house build. They plan to be in their new home by the end of the year, it’s going to be awesome and they have a fabulous view. The beach is at the bottom of their land and they sit up on a hill overlooking the sea. Anxious for them to move down here. Diane is a dog lover so she was perfectly comfortable with our pack, Lola took a special interest in her and seemed to gravitate to Diane’s side.

Diane and I helped Connie with the Mother’s Day event to benefit Cattleya. It was held in Loren’s studio above their restaurant, Romeo’s, in French Harbor. The kids paid to make Mother’s Day gifts and when the gifts were completed they each got a pizza and a drink. Diane and I helped at the first station. At our table the kids drew on coffee filters, that had been opened and flattened, with markers.

The coloring station

The one little girl was very pensive, it took her a long time to do 10 filters.

These two were awesome, Jazmin and Matthew. They are the grandchildren of Miss Valerie who runs the Charmont Bilingual Academy (it’s an amazing school) for children who come from families affected by AIDS.

After they each colored 10 of them, they were individually spritzed with water until the colors bled. Then they were dried with hair dryers at the next table.

The ladies helping here are all teachers at Cattleya.

Once dried they were folded, twisted at the bottom and then opened into a flower shape. After that they went to another station where they added things to the bouquet.

Annie helping to make the bouquets beautiful.

Sweet brother and sister.

This is Matthew, he gave me a big hug before he left, what a sweet boy!

The final table was glitter then wrapping the bouquets up like a real flower bouquet. After they were done we all had yummy pizza, courtesy of Romeo’s restaurant.

This is the outside area of the art showroom.

Love the painted seating

I’m not sure what type of paint they used but I really like this artwork.

This was one of my favs.

It’s great fun helping Connie with an event, she is always so appreciative!

Diane and I also helped Nidia with the Mother’s Day event at Infinity Bay. It was held the day before Mother’s Day. The manager of Infinity Bay is always willing to give back to the community and he did it in a big way. The event was in their banquet room, tables were set very nicely, the food spread was incredible, they offered free 5 minute massages and all the ladies got a gift. Nidia planned for 120 ladies but several brought friends and children. I fast counted 135, we think there were 140+ people there.

These ladies came dressed in their Sunday best.

Many of them have never been to Infinity Bay (it’s quite a posh resort right on the beach) or West Bay beach.

Gifts for all

Nidia (in red) leading a game on the porch. The ladies weren’t playing by the rules so Nidia didn’t give out the prize.

Free massages

Nidia and one of the ladies dancing. The lady in black had the music in her, she danced while she waited in line for her food. She was a total joy to watch!

Diane and I were both tired when we got home. I really have to praise Nidia, this woman hass the drive and the power to get things done. It’s nothing for her to throw together a shindig like this, bringing ladies from the far reaches of Roatan to have a fun day. She’s totally amazing.

I’ve had some problems with Jessica, (the young girl I got back in school) she hasn’t been going to school. I had her over here one afternoon so we could talk about the situation. She was unusually quiet while she was here though and I couldn’t get more than 2 words out of her at a time.

She was picking dead leaves off of a plant.

The week after she was here she missed 2 out of 4 days of school. The first time she said she had to babysit. I told her she didn’t have any children that she was responsible for and that I was paying for her to go to school, not to babysit. The second day she missed I called her and asked what was going on and she said she was sleeping. She does nothing all day (school is 8:30-10:30 AM, M-Th) , stays out late with boys at night and can’t get up for school. I give up. She doesn’t want this for herself, if she did she would be like Alexi and not miss school. I even paid extra for her to attend a class trip the following Friday which included lunch at Bojangles.

I told her I was done and not to go to school anymore. I called Sister Judy and explained the situation and told her Jessica was done and that they could use my money as a donation. I felt awful doing it, it still haunts me, but if she doesn’t want a better life, nothing I say or do will change that. No different than getting rehab for an addict. She will be pregnant soon, Alexi agrees with me. He is furious with her as is her older sister Juliana. She told me she wished she had someone like me who cared when she was young. I am still stressing over this. A good friend who lives near the family and has known them for years told me not to waste my time, that Alexi is the success story from that family and to lavish our attention on him. He needs and wants it. Sad that their mother, who lives above Jessica and Juliana, doesn’t care. It’s so frustrating. I wanted better for Jessica, I thought she did too. I was so looking forward to helping this young girl. I am crushed that this happened, I had big plans for Jessica. Maybe she will come around, I can only hope.

We started adding onto the pool deck. The girl who was cleaning for me while my other gal was on maternity leave happens to have a very skilled craftsman for a husband. Enter MoMo. Thank you Andrea!! He is here everyday early, works non-stop all day long. He has expanded the deck, built a pergola, deck railings, a table, 2 benches and 2 chairs, a large counter with shelves and doors and 4 side tables. ALREADY! He is now building a box to hide the hideous hot water heater that Bill insisted on hanging where everyone can see it on the back porch. Then he is building doors to cover the storage areas on our back porch. After that it’s a pergola and furniture for the roof. I would really like to adopt him, he’s awesome and such a nice guy. He’s so good that Bill is allowing him to use his tools, BILL NEVER ALLOWS ANYONE TO USE HIS TOOLS. MoMo is in heaven. I’m in heaven because things are getting done here.

You can see by the stained/not stained what we added.

He made the table and chairs. The 2 benches are still waiting to be sprayed with finish and I have to have cushions made for everything..

Nice storage area, the tile for the counter is in, I have to pick it up tomorrow. I asked my friend Trish to paint a mermaid on the wall behind the counter.

The tables he made are so sturdy they can be used as seats too.

I love the table. We can’t have a glass table down on this deck, the wind is wicked strong, it would either be in Parrot Tree or shattered.

Fabulous views and some afternoon sun protection.

I’m quite pleased that we are getting all of this stuff done, my honey do list was stagnant and it was pissing me off. Our whole house needs repainted, inside but especially out. The sun is a killer on paint down here, it’s only been 3 years and the paint looks like crap.

Good lord, I love these dogs. Max (l) and Barrio

Max is on the table, Highway is doing his lap dog thing.

Bill had a small bag of Cheetos, the dogs were starving to death, as you can see.

Tres hermanos

Whoa, serious blues.

They must want my wine.

5 dog protection. Nobody, 2 legs or 4, gets by these dogs. Highway is a flipping idiot. When he barks it sounds like all 3 Stooges making their weird woop woop woops all mixed together. I HATE IT! Not a man, child, watusa, dog, duck, cat or motorcycle/car/truck gets by these guys. They are freaking relentless. It’s why Highway sleeps inside at night. Much easier than getting up 10 times screaming, shut the hell up, during the night.

Look at these boys, Barrio, Max and Gringo on the steps. They do a few laps several times a day. Max runs and jumps in. Do they know they are brothers?

Mr. Gringo, he thinks it’s a big water dish.

Bill went to Diane’s to check some measurements at her home that is under construction. It is in Politilly, not far from where Alexi’s family lives. (Glad he doesn’t live there anymore). Bill stopped to see Osman and Ephrain. (Alexi said Ephrain’s name has an N, not a M on the end). I stand corrected.

Osman (l) Alexi’s nephew and Ephrain, Alexi’s brother. They adore Bill and throw themselves on him. They get no attention from anyone, no father figure at all, no male in their lives, no mother either, really.

Odd looking Hummingbird. Mr. Anole crawls right up, doesn’t matter if there are Hummers there or not.

The other night the dogs had just eaten and were outside playing when all of a sudden they went bat-shit crazy. I could tell by the sound of Highway’s bark that he was jumping up in the air with every bark. I went down to the pool deck to see what was going on and the neighbor boy, Eddy was outside the fence. Eddy lives with several family members in the colonia below us. His Mother is not one of them, she lives in Coxen Hole, 30 minutes west of here. His grandparents are poor and do not treat any of the boys well. The 6 and 8 year olds come up here barefoot with machetes chopping firewood. Eddy is the oldest, 15 years old, he works every day as an unpaid bag boy at Eldon’s, the only money he makes is from tips. Weekdays he only works until noon, then he goes to a school to learn tourism. It costs him 2000 ($85.00) lempira a month for school, plus he has to pay for his transportation to and from school and work every day. Tonight he came up here very upset, he wanted to talk to Bill. His grandparents said he has to quit school and work full time because they need the money. We are pushing for him to stay in school, his future is grim if he stops going. It’s so sad to see a young boy in this situation. He’s another soul who gets no attention from anyone. No parental figures in this young boy’s life. WTH is up with the mother, why does she not see her child? How can she do that? I’m not judging, I just have serious questions. Sometimes it’s so hard to wrap your brain around things that you see. We will try to help Eddy and keep him in school, if we can. Ultimately, it’s not our decision.

Alexi is doing well, he’s here on his days off from the Bomberos, either working / hanging out and falling in the pool on occasion.

Mr. Muscle laying in the sun after he “fell” in the pool after cleaning it. He’s using his phone for eyeshade, this was before I gave him glasses.

He has to go to the mainland for the month of August, if he does well there he will hopefully become a paid Bombero. (firefighter/rescue) Currently, we are his only income.

We are so proud that he received this.

Our friends Kevin and Pam brought 2 bags of nice t-shirts for us to pass out. We gave Alexi, Miguel and MoMo first choice, what was left I took to the station and gave to the Bomberos guys, It always makes Alexi look good to his peers when someone close to him donates to the team. Alexi on the L.

If (praying he does) he gets in he needs to buy his own uniform and boots and 20 white undershirts. WTH? 20? He said yes, that’s what they have to buy. We need to revisit that and have him talk to the boss, that seems excessive. Thursday he told me he needed a white single sheet  on Friday. I didn’t have one so I went to Mega Paca, no white sheets of any size. I wish he had told me before so I could have found one for him. The big General from the mainland is checking out the stations this weekend while he is here for the Bomberos competition on Saturday. Alexi is so funny, he was telling us he’s not even going to try to win the competition, he’ll enter but he’s just going to go slow and be chill. HAH! He plans to win that thing for sure. I was on his case all day, he loves the back and forth banter.

We had a conversation today about the amount of water he DOESN’T drink. I’m a water chugger, I drink minimum 90 oz a day. He drinks coke. Many times Alexi will come here and his legs hurt, he says they feel like he can’t stretch them out. I give him 2 ibuprofen and make him drink water. I told him one of the main reasons he’s getting these cramps is dehydration. He promised me he would drink more water. He also never wears sunglasses or a hat, except when he’s in uniform, then he must wear a hat. I had a pair of sunglasses with polarized lens that I bought but they weren’t prescription so I never wore them (not a clue why I bought them). Once I found them again (he actually told me where they were) I showed them to Alexi. He really liked them so I gave them to him. He couldn’t believe what it looked like when he put them on, he said colors were different. Umm, yeah, they are. I also bought him a dark pink (his favorite color, because some girl told him he looked good in pink, he does) t-shirt that says Fire and Rescue on it.

He LOVED it. He was showing Bill the glasses before he left and he said to Bill, “she loves me.” Bill said, “yeah she does.” I won’t get into the fact that he clogged our toilet and it overflowed all over the floor, thankful for concrete floors and for the fact he knew where everything was to clean up his mess. UGH. I wondered what the heck was taking so long.

Because We Care is proud to be associated with Live Again Ministry. These are groups of people from different churches in North Carolina who have fallen in love with Roatan and the people here. These wonderful people have chosen this island to bless with their love and kindness. This visit a few of the things they did were; donate water filtration buckets to 150 people in Esperanza and El Higuero, painted the inside of a school, painted a medical clinic, passed out toys and sandals and dresses, toy cars and trucks and lunches to children in Oak Ridge. I know they did many other things this visit but unfortunately, I’ve been housebound because we have a worker here. Bill’s busy, so that means I hang at the house.

Pastor Jim in the green, he led the group this visit. I’ve met him, his son Josh, Dave and John before. It’s so cool that they keep coming back several times a year.

These are Sawyer water filtration buckets. If maintained properly they will filter at least 250,000 gallons of water, making it potable. Maintenance is easy. If used properly, this could change lives, providing fresh drinking water to people who have been getting bottles of water from the stream.

Some of the many recipients

Milton is one of the children who lives in the same home that Eddy (who has to quit school) does. He’s one who comes here barefoot with a super sharp machete. He is so cute; a nice boy with not a snowball’s chance in hell to succeed in life.

Little girl with her new dress.

They were posing.

He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

This is the inside of the school they painted. The teacher / principal picked the color.

Passing out gifts, dresses, toys and flip flops

Many thanks to the people from LAM, your smiles and open hearts are making a huge impact on the people of Roatan.

I took one of my 5 dogs to the vet on Wednesday. Barrio’s been digging his ears a lot. The vet was doing a complicated repair surgery so I waited and chatted with other friends who were there. We sat in the same room as the vet doing the surgery, the operation was happening 3′ away. You can watch if you want, I do off and on. After about an hour of waiting I went to wipe the sweat off my face with my dress and realized I was still in my nightgown with a swimsuit top on underneath. Total island girl.

And here it is almost June. Class reunion in Penna. in September, trying to make flight arrangements has been ridiculous to say the least. There are very limited flights. In the time it takes me to get home I could have flown to Australia and back. Almost. Insanity.

Last pic is of my gorgeous granddaughter Alexah. She posted this on FB and said, Last day of middle school. Ever. 

How did she get so old?

And….I’m done. Peace out.

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Planes, boats and fins

04/30/2017 First of all, I apologize to those of you who received an email yesterday saying that a new blog was published, only to have me take it down. Somehow the post got published and wordpress wouldn’t allow me to get it back to a draft so I had to trash it and do a shabby copy and paste into a new blog. Our internet has been shit so that may account for it.
Saturday afternoon was the first I stopped and relaxed in a solid week. Remember, I’m O L D. Very old. Don’t misunderstand me, I had a blast entertaining Jillian and Justin this past week. Jillian is my great niece (well, Bill’s really, but I claim her as mine) and Justin is her boyfriend. It was Jillian’s second visit and Justin’s first. In fact he had to get a passport to come visit. We’re happy that he made it to Roatan. So are the dogs, especially Lola, she really liked Justin.
I picked them up at the airport on Saturday. I’m a weirdo who loves to go to the airport to pick up friends. I see so many people I know that it’s like a big party, this Saturday was no different.
Once Jill and Justin got through the insane immigration lines, we headed east, stopping at Eldon’s for them to get some food. After getting settled we all retreated to the pool, it has been so flipping hot that being in the water is all you can do.
Sunday we made the routine Mega Paca shopping trip then came home and got ready to go to the Reef House on Oak Ridge Key. We parked the car and went by boat for the short ride there. I was excited to see my dive friend Caroline there, haven’t seen her for months. We spent some time in the water then I got out and wandered around talking to friends. Tim Blanton, who lives on Roatan and is an exceptional photographer was there with his drone. He made a short video of the Oak Ridge area and hovered over the porch where we all were posing. Check it out HERE. Beautiful video of the area.
Monday we went to Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. I didn’t know until Justin and Jill got here that Justin’s favorite animal was the sloth. It was a no brainer that we would go there first. When we got to the farm Preston was waiting to give us one of his exceptional tours.
One of my favorite animals is the Coati. They are a part of the raccoon family. Two of them live here.

The first cage we got to go in was the monkey cage. The white faced Capuchin’s are named after the cast of The Jersey Shore, AKA, Snookie, Vinny, JWow, Pauly D etc.  These monkeys are very friendly and love to interact with people.

They were particularly fond of Justin’s curly hair.

They are like kamikaze monkeys. They vanish and then out of nowhere come flying onto your shoulders. They were so much fun.

Next we looked at the spider monkeys but they are not very friendly so guests don’t interact with them.

When we were ready to leave Justin walked over to look at the water again and the monkey grabbed his sunglasses. He finally managed to get them back, all in 1 piece.

Next stop was the parrots, the Red and Green Macaws. These birds are so stunning. There is only 1 green one, Fiona, from Shrek. Her colors are so intense that she doesn’t seem real.

I think the red macaw is named Rose from the Titanic and the other is Fiona.

Jillian with the macaws.

This girl is gorgeous.

We saved the best for last, the sloths. These are all 3 toed sloths and are all rescues.

Quite literally, just hanging out.

Jillian and Olivia the sloth. The sloth is adorable but Jillian is gorgeous! Love this young lady!

Justin’s dream come true

The sloths mostly live in the trees and venture down to the ground once a week to poop and pee. Their only defense is camouflage, they do not use their claws except to climb and grab leaves.

Just an FYI: Daniel does not buy animals, every animal he has is a rescue and they are treated very well.

After we saw all the animals and were getting ready to leave, Daniel arrived. He invited us to go on his maiden snorkel trip on his new snorkel barge later in the week. We said sure, something else fun to look forward to.

We went straight to the Iguana Farm, critters to critters. It was a hot sunny day and there were iguanas all over the place. Jillian and Justin fed them, Jill wasn’t ready to get up close with them though.

Feeding from a distance

This is a black spiny tailed iguana, indigenous to Roatan. This one is molting, shedding it’s skin. Black spiny-tailed iguanas.

This dude just chased another male out of his tree. Sam (Arch) said they are very territorial, especially during mating season.

So magnificent.

Look how long the spines are on this guy’s back!

We had a great visit at the iguana farm, especially because we got to see Sam. Sam and Daniel (sloth farm) are 2 amazing young islander men (and cousins) who work very hard and are quite successful. I am blessed to have them as good friends.When we left the iguana farm I called my friend Marcia to see if we could come kayak and snorkel and she said sure. The 3 of us went home, changed, ate and left for Carib Bight and Marcia’s house.
An extra bonus of going to Marcia and Dennis’s home is I get to see one of my puppies, Duke and their other 2 dogs, Shay and the new rottie, Luna. Puppy breath is the best.
Justin, Jillian and I went down to the water and got the kayaks down and set off for the mangroves. It was a little later in the day so there wasn’t much boat traffic. We kayaked all the way through the tunnels and back.

Justin and Jillian

We then tied the kayaks up to the broken down dock and snorkeled out to the reef. For some reason it was extremely murky and stirred up and the visibility was not very good. And, my camera battery died. bummer.
Once I got more puppy kisses we came home, all got showered and went to Cal’s for dinner. We had an excellent meal, as usual. It was a busy day and we were all tired so it was early to bed that night.

The view from Cal’s and my friend Linda’s house.

Jill and Justin

The next morning we stopped at Jessica’s school to see why she was absent Monday. The teacher said her mother’s lame assed boyfriend kept her home from school because they all overslept. I’d like to lynch him.
From there we drove through Punta Gorda to hand out some of the toys that Liza and Mike brought down for the kids. Once again, it got crazy. The kids were grabbing out of my car, the ones I gave toys to hid them and said they didn’t get any. It became bedlam so I did what I had to do; I closed the trunk and left, no more for them. We passed out a few more along the way, choosing wisely where we stopped.
Jillian wanted to go to La Sirena in Camp Bay, it’s pretty much a must see spot. We all had onion rings and rum punches. My friends Don and Janice were there so we sat near them and chatted for awhile while watching the wind surfers. {side note, I bought a new camera, a Nikon CoolPix B 500 with a 40X zoom lens on it} I am still learning to use the camera and did not have it on the correct setting so these photos aren’t the best.

It must be so amazing to be wind surfing at Camp Bay, it’s one of the more pristine spots on the whole island.

Jimmy, the owner of La Sirena

Jillian and Justin at my favorite beach on the moon.

Looking east

Alligator Nose, just seeing it makes me miss the Duchess of Camp Bay and her husband.

Almost every day when we came home from our activities we jumped in the pool to cool off, rinse off the salt water and visit with the dogs. On Wednesday I thought we could go to The Buccaneer in French Harbor for something different. If I had known they charged $5.00PP entrance fee I would have stayed home in my own pool.

It’s a nice place but it isn’t worth the entrance fee.

They have an area roped off from the sea and pretty much protected from the waves. There are huge decks, swings in and out of the water, hammocks, floats. It’s just not the beach to me.

Floating their hectic career/school lives away

Unicorns, flamingos, swans and penguin floats. I can’t imagine what it looks like with all of them floating around,

Hammock row

Very colorful and somewhat tropical. I liked the ceiling at first but then I didn’t. It’s trying too hard.

I did like the hand painting on the wood deck

I think the painting would have been enough without having fake flowers and dried up leaves on the ceiling.

I have the same chairs

Not sure where these are going but I liked them.

Jillian was interested in seeing Cattleya school so I made arrangements with Connie to go there after lunch. When we arrived the students were with Kamille learning ASL. Afterwards they split into groups and did various projects.

Cattleya is a school for physically emotionally and mentally handicapped children. It’s an amazing school.

We watched the 3 different teachers conduct their classes and learned what each one was doing. The little girls flip-flops on the floor in the photo are some of the ones I donated to Cattleya, thank you Kelly. I’m still passing them out. I also donated the 3 games that Kelly brought to Cattleya.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in our pool at home. We had big salads for dinner and drank some wine on the roof.

Beautiful evening.

Thursday morning we hung around the house, in and out of the pool, waiting to hear from Stephanie and Daniel. We were going snorkeling with them this afternoon. As soon as they called we went over to the sloth farm. I sat and chatted with Daniel’s Mother until they arrived. Stephanie’s parents were here visiting and they had been touring the mangroves, zip-lining and then going snorkeling. We were fortunate to be invited and very excited to go. Daniel just built a new snorkel barge with The Steelers (as in Pittsburgh) and Big Ben stenciled on the sides. Nice boat with an easy access ladder.

We went out in front of CocoView and snorkeled there. It was beautiful.

Daniel had my camera for a few minutes and snapped a pic of me.

My favorites, feather dusters

Another feather duster

Four eyed butterfly fish, Daniel may have taken this photo.

These are amazing Spaghetti worms  (click on the name for a fascinating video on the worms). They are alive and move along the sand getting food to take back to their hole.

Some pretty purple sponges

Justin and Jillian

Reef scene

Searods

This was the biggest Porcupine fish I had ever seen.

They can puff themselves up to 3 times their normal size by drawing water into their abdomens. Once inflated their spines stick out and they are quite long and very sharp. They do this to protect themselves from being eaten by other fish. Then we moved to a different spot to snorkel, looking for lobsters.

Coral

Pretty sure this is a Graysby.

Juvenile French Angelfish, Daniel took this

A school of grunts and Daniel took this too

Love to hate, hate to love. The Lion Fish. Beautiful but poisonous if you get stung by them and they are decimating the reef by eating all the small fish. They are the only fish you are allowed to spearfish (with a permit). Kill them all.

A conch slowly trucking along. I swam past him on the way out and on the way back he had barely progressed.

Daniel and Dustin (red shirt) wrestling underwater trying to pull each other’s mask off.

Beautiful day with our heads underwater with friends, can’t beat that.

I dropped Jillian and Justin off at Cal’s at 6 so they could have a nice dinner together, then Bill went down to get them when they were finished. They were done in less than 45 minutes, I thought something was wrong but they said it was all good, he just wasn’t busy.

The next morning we left here at 8:45. We stopped and got Ann then took Jillian and Justin to zip-line at South Shore. Ann and I sat and watched them zipping along under the canopy of trees.

Getting ready to go

The requisite upside down ride

Justin seeing the trees from a different angle

They even let them ride together!

As soon as they were done we went to West Bay Beach, grabbed some chairs at Bananarama and waited in the water for Sean (my friend from Canada) to meet us. Soon as he arrived we walked down to Infinity to snorkel.

The always popular Parrot fish

I think this is a longspine squirrelfish

A lobster hiding

I love when I see an opening out into the deeper water. Really feel like a mermaid then.

Blue Tangs

Coral

Sergeant Majors

Brain coral

Christmas Tree worms

I was swimming around in the shallows looking at little things and hoping to find this big Parrot fish. I swam around a coral chunk and there he was in all of his magnificent glory. I was lucky enough to be able to swim with him for several minutes, watching him do his thing.

Mr. giant Parrotfish, I was looking for you.

So amazing

You really can’t tell the size from this photo but this guy was almost as big as my dogs.

He had several fish following him as he gnawed on the coral so he could then poop sand. I know the best facts!

This was a beautiful anemone.

A nice chunk of brain coral

Justin and Jillian

The obligatory big chair pic

Such a beautiful beach. After snorkeling we ate at Bananarama then floated our cares away.

Ann walked up to a restaurant called Nice and Spicy to get her husband some dinner so we ran Sean over the hill to the place he is staying, then went back and got Ann and took her home. We went inside so I could meet her new kittens and I wanted Jill and Justin to see her place and her view. After that we made the long drive home. As soon as we opened the gate to come in the driveway the power went off.

Wonderfreakingful. Bill was making pizza. He got the dough rolled out and partially cooked on the grill before it got dark. Then we put the stuff on the pizza with the LED’s for the lightsource. It was so windy that Bill had to cover the pizza with another cookie sheet just to carry it out to the grill.

Nothing says romantic better than glaring LED’s. I lit candles several times, only to have them blown out by the wind.

The pizza master

Miraculously, the power came back on just as it was time to eat. We ate and cleaned up the kitchen and all ran to take showers while we had water pressure. Not long after that, the power went out again. It wasn’t only us, it was island wide. Just a 36 mile strand of darkness in the Caribbean. It really wasn’t a big deal because there was a very strong wind blowing through the house, keeping temps cool.

We hung out here the next morning, watching Flightstats to see what was going on with Jillian and Justin’s delayed flight. Once we saw it was airborn we went to the airport and got them checked in. The line for departures was long so I took them for a tour of Coxen Hole, the “downtown” center of the island. We drove all along the waterfront and stopped to take a photo of the new sign by Petro Sun. I dropped them off at the airport with time to spare before their flight. We enjoyed having Jillian and Justin and look forward to them returning.

I started talking to them about diving. I suggested they do the course work at home, then get their certs with my friends @ Blue Island Divers when they get here. I need to get Jillian’s sister to do this also, she will be here the end of June.

It’s been unusually HOT. 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Despite the insane temps the wind has been blowing hard and steady, keeping the air moving and keeping it cool inside. If there were no breeze we would either have to remain in the pool 24/7 or melt. The wonderful wild and crazy wind is blowing so much dust and dirt around that my screens are filthy and everything is covered in an inch of dust. Lola is sneezing and Barrio has goobers in his eyes, I think it’s allergies for both of them. Tomorrow is Max’s last day of meds, keeping my fingers crossed.

I have a busy few weeks coming up. A friend is coming for a few days to sign the papers on the land she is buying, another friend is coming to stay with us for 2 weeks while she sorts things out with her house building project. I am helping at a fundraiser for Cattleya for Mother’s Day and am also helping Nidia with a Mother’s Day luncheon on the 13th. TOMS shoe delivery will start in June, super late start this year due to some customs snafu.

Off to find something to watch on the computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend, it’s kind of quiet around here. Jillian and Justin, maybe you should come back.

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.

 

10,000 pairs of TOMS shoes

 

reason to help

04/13/2016 The TOMS shoes arrived and the shoe drive began. We started at the east end of the island. The first week we had volunteers here on a medical mission at Clinic Esperanza and the people from the Hogar Emanuel Orphanage in SPS.  I also rallied some ladies from the east end to help out.

We all met at Barrio Lempira in Oak Ridge and split up into groups. My group (Marilyn, Gail, Cathey, Kathy and Marcia) went to Pandy Town. Pandy Town is one of my favorite schools, I like the teachers and the kids there. It’s the school I went to the very first time I helped with TOMS shoes.

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A truck load of shoes, truck courtesy of the Municipal of Santos Guardiola. Thank you Carson and Clifford!

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He needed new shoes

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Kathy and Gail

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Sorted and sized

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Kids waiting in line

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Old TOMs for new ones

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Me fitting a little boy with new TOMS. Photo by Marilyn

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Pam and Cathey Photo by Marilyn

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Cathey, me, Kathy and Gail all fitting. Photo by Marilyn

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He thought he was getting a shot. Photo by Marilyn

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Nurse volunteers and also volunteers from the orphanage in SPS that is instrumental in us getting shows for the island kids. Photo by Marilyn

My helpers left after Pandy Town and the rest of us finished up at the other school in Barrio Lempira.

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These are students at the kinder in Barrio Lempira

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waiting to get new shoes

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Anxious faces

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such cute boys

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These are the students from the orphanage fitting shoes at the high school.

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The High School

After that we went to Punta Gorda to fit the kids there. Since the schools have 2 shifts we missed the younger students the first day at Punta Gorda.

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Students helping us unload box after box

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Soon to be replaced

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This is the school “cafeteria”

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One of the Garifuna drums

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These drums sounded really cool

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Punta Gorda school and a boy in the traditional Garifuna clothes.

The next morning I met my friend Llyn and her 2 friends and we went to Punta Gorda. From there we loaded shoes into my car and went to a small kinder that I never even knew was there in Lucy Point and fit some kids with shoes. I think that was the most hugs I’ve ever gotten at a school.

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These kids were too cute

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They all love cameras.

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Adorable

It didn’t take long to fit those kids so Llyn and her friends headed home and I went back to Punta Gorda. The power was out so they moved the shoe fitting outside. It was stifling hot in the rooms. Two people stayed inside and handed the needed sizes out the windows to the fitters.

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The swings and seesaw need fixed here too.

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There were a lot of students.

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She was a volunteer at Clinic Esperanza.

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Really? This is in the garden walkway that the kids use??

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These volunteers deserve a huge thank you. It was super hot with no breeze at all.

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Garifuna kids

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The girls look so pretty in their dresses.

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This little boy was putting this toy together, except he didn’t have enough pieces to finish it.

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He was still pretty proud of his accomplishment. What a handsome young man!

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Dusty TOMS shoes on the playset

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His eyes

After they were done there they went to Barrio Los Fuertes. That’s where I rescued Frito. Nidia said not to go because 1) Frito and 2) driving west to the school, then driving all the way back east to home. I came home.

My friend Marcia volunteered to do another day with me on Wednesday, along with Bob and Rosalie who wanted to help. We met them at the 1500+ student Modelo school in Sandy Bay. Wowsa, what a huge school bustling with activity. There is a sports court on the roof, nice and hot up there in the blazing sun, but at least there is somewhere to run and play ball. We had a lot of volunteers this day. We even had a family who helped us last year.

Once we got all the shoes in the room we had at least 15 fitters and the rest of us were runners and fitters too when needed. I know I fit a LOT of shoes that day. Christa (AKA Cookie, who is Nidia’s daughter) did the kinder class at that school, about 100 students. We had around 1500 that we did in 3 hours. We rocked it!

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The Modelo school in Sandy Bay, right where the tumulos (speed bumps) are

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Not camera shy

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Bob and Rosalie walking up to the school

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Little beauties, waiting for shoes

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Take my picture!

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So pretty

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Fitters. The girl in the red hat got dizzy from leaning over and then sitting up so many times. I took her place when she left to get some fresh air. People think it’s a simple process, hand them the shoes and go. Nope, doesn’t work that way at all.

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They are all wearing their new TOMS except for one little boy who is holding his new prized possession.

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Loved his hair

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Old TOMS for brand new ones

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The mayhem in the room. The runners were tossing the shoes to the fitters. It was kind of chaotic, but fun.

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Another old pair of TOMS being replaced with new TOMS

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What a great smile..

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The two young boys were brothers and they were super nice boys.

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Rosalie running with shoes for the fitters. The fitters use the size chart to get an idea what size, then they yell out the size. The runner grabs the size shoe they need and gives them to the fitter. If the shoes don’t fit the runners put that pair back in the right box and grabs another size to try. It’s a process..

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Marcia helping out. I’ve discovered that I need to check my camera settings while I’m doing this. I keep my camera in my pocket and in the process of pulling it in and out, the setting gets changed, therefore my pics are blurry.

After we finished that school we were taking a lunch break. Marcia, Bob, Rosalie and a lady we met who was helping named Jan all went to The Salty Mango restaurant in Sandy Bay for lunch. It was excellent.

After that Marcia and I went to a school in Flowers Bay. That wasn’t a very large school. The rooms had no lights or ventilation/fans at all so we fit the kids outside.

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The school

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I just love these kids..

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The smiles they get when you show them their photo makes me wish I had an instamatic camera so I could give them all pics of themselves.

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It was just the girls at first but the little boy photo bombed them.

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Nidia giving her speech about getting new shoes. The girl on the right in the gray t-shirt is from Maryland, she volunteers at the Orphanage in San Pedro Sula.

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Marcia being a runner for the fitters.

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Nidia’s daughter Christa aka Cookie (in the blue shirt) fitting.

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The fitters, hard at work.

After that school was finished we called it a day. We planned to meet at another large school in the same area the next morning.

I arrived just as Faber and a few other people did and we waited for the shoe truck to come. Once they came we had the students carry the shoes into the school yard.

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They actually had a fruit cart but the girls were all adding sugar syrup to the sliced mangos. There were 2 other food stands within the school grounds.

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Loved this bike

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not a clue what this is.

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Students carrying in shoe boxes

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Inside of the school yard.

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Cynthia, me and Nidia.

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Girls waiting for new shoes

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The fitters

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Old TOMS

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New TOMS

We took a lunch break and then had to wait for the next shift of students to arrive. Instead of waiting, Cookie and I took several pairs of shoes and went to Miss Valeries Charmont Academy and dropped off shoes there and then we went to Las Brisas kinder. It is out a road called Steel Pan Alley.

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This is the kinder

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Cookie with the students..

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The inside of the school. There are no windows and there are cinder blocks and bags of cement in the class room.

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Sweet young girl

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Cookie fitting

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The kinder teacher. She is expecting another baby.

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Last year we were able to drive up alongside of the building in the background. This year there is a large drainage pipe and they built a concrete bridge over it. Seems odd, only a few homes back there.

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This is an old boat but it looks like there is someone living in it to me.

After the other school was finished we called it a day. I didn’t help out on Friday because I had to volunteer at the airport for the United Flight.

Friday before the airport I stopped to get meds for a dog at a little store that we stop at. Bill sent me the photo asking if I could help the dog.

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Covered in mange.

I got some Ivermectin and also took some flea and tick drops for the dog. On my way home from the airport I stopped by Cattleya School. Cattleya is the school for mentally and physically disabled children. There are Autistic children, Down’s kids and some who can’t walk very well. They have 2 teachers and are in dire need of another Special Ed teacher. The teachers do the best they can but are for the most part, overwhelmed.

I had cleaned out my scrapbook stuff, since I no longer do it, and I decided to donate the bulk of it to my friend Connie’s school. I got a tour of the new school (they recently moved) and saw some of the students who I know, like Terren and Stephanie. Connie was very appreciative of the things I took there. She has some of the mothers of the students decorating empty wine bottles to sell to make $$ for the school. I offered to help show them some different things they can do to the bottles. I plan to stop by there next week and help out.

When I got home from there we ran over and gave the dog a shot of Ivermectin for the mange and I put some Fipronil on him for the fleas and ticks. How someone can allow their dog to get in this condition, I’ll never understand that. So sad that the dog has to live like that.

It was a busy week with a lot of smiling children and a lot of exhausted volunteers. I am so glad my friends volunteered to help out, at least they got to see what is involved and how time consuming it is. Many people are familiar with the TOMs one for one program but until you actually see it in action, you have no idea what is involved.

I am so grateful that I am able to be a part of this, it makes me feel so good knowing that the kids have a new pair of comfy TOMS shoes. Many thanks to all the volunteers, the group from Clinic Esperanza, the families, my friends, The Municipal of Santos Guardiola for donating their truck and especially to Nidia, her family and the amazing volunteers from the Hogar Emanuel Orphanage in San Pedro Sula, this wouldn’t be happening with out you!

I actually missed a Saturday at the airport (first in 3 months) and a party at a friends house on Sunday due to a damn toothache. My dentist was on vacation so I had to wait until he returned to be seen. It’s odd because it hurts, then doesn’t hurt, then hurts again. It comes in waves but what bothers it most is hot or cold, eating can be painful. I had a low key weekend and after the previous week, I really needed that. I was beyond the point of exhausted. (dental update, need to go to mainland to see an endodontist)

Sunday morning we took the boys for a swim in the lagoon. We go really early, like 7 AM, before anyone is there. They had an absolute blast running around.

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Barrio in the front

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Barrio, Gringo and Max

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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I can’t even begin to describe how much I love these dogs.

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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No clue what Barrio was doing, he just stood there and stared at me.

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Gringo and Max

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Max is lightning fast, Barrio is pretty fast too but Gringo is such a hulk of a dog, weighing in at 65#, he doesn’t move that fast but if he runs in to you, look out. It would be like having a steamroller run you down.

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They LOVE the water..

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Like little otters

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I love that they are all marked differently.

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Barrio, Gringo and Max

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3 tired boys on the way back to the truck

We brought them home, I bathed them, fed them scrambled eggs and yogurt and we all took a nice long nap.

That was my week in the tropics, hope yours was as fun filled and fulfilling as mine was. Until the next blog..

 

 

In the light of the moon

being

10/31/2015 Halloween was yesterday and we didn’t go to the big party. Bill is NOT into dressing up to begin with and I already committed to picking up our friends at the airport, even if I didn’t have plans I doubt he would go. It’s OK, I can miss a party, although from the photos I’ve seen, we missed a good one!

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My pumpkin

I wasn’t scheduled to work at the airport but figured since I was going to be there, I might as well help out. I worked until my friends got through immigration and then left so I could take them to the store and then home.

Earlier in the week I went to the Daughters of the Island Moon gathering at Calabash Bight Resort on Tuesday night. Alex and Marilyn picked me up, we went to their house by boat, then Alex “boated” us across the bight to the event. There were 10 women there. We had a lot of yummy food {chicken salad, pasta salads, crackers and cheese, chips, bacon wrapped dates, tapenade and hot cheesy bacon dip} and of course, a few drinks. One of the ladies is a Reiki practitioner and she did Reiki while another of the ladies led the spiritual cleansing.

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The woman with the ranger badge built the fire. She did a fine job.

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Shadows danced around the fire

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Well, we weren’t really dancing, just walking around.

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The view while floating

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Looking W towards Calabash Bight Cay

After the cleansing we floated in the ocean under the light of the full moon with a nice small fire going on the beach. It was a nice quiet evening with a fun bunch of ladies. Marilyn and I and a couple of others spent the night in the bungalows there. When I woke up and walked outside this was my view.

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Right outside the cabana door

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Step through the gate and onto the beach.

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If you look very very closely you can see the mainland.

The ones that spent the night sat around and talked in the morning for a little while, then Martina dropped Marilyn and I off at Marilyn’s dock and Marilyn and Alex brought me home.

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Cutting through the mangroves

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Almost back to BJ’s

They hung out here for awhile, Marilyn and Bill were chatting about some furniture, Alex and I were surfing the internet. We had brunch before they had to leave. Always enjoy spending time with them!

I was sweeping the other day and swept another lizard tail out from under MY side of the bed. That grossed me out. Earlier when I was cleaning off the bathroom counter I found a live lizard behind a wicker drawer set, then I found another green Anole on the window. Lizards everywhere. I hopped in the shower when I was done cleaning and immediately got freaked out because I thought there was a lizard head laying eyes down on the shower floor. I didn’t want to check to see what it was so I avoided it like the Bubonic plague during my shower. Just about the time I was finished showering I realized it was  the dead green bug that had been laying on the counter previously. The wind must have blown it in the shower. Phew..

On Thursday I went to Cattleya to help Cynthia with a small art project. We were helping the students make animal masks out of paper plates. I worked with a young boy I’ve not met before named Kenny. He was quite a perfectionist. We made a mask of a monkey face but he wouldn’t let me take his photo with it on.

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Students and helpers

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Kenny cutting his out.

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Stephanie’s elephant

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Terryn in his panda mask

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Kenny hanging his mask

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Part of the students

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Another shot with Kenny in it

The school is quite small right now but after the first of the year they will be relocating to a larger place. I’m looking forward to helping however we can with the move.

On Thursday we had Betty and Joe, our friends from Punta Blanca coming for pizza. They got here around 3 and we ate at 4 or so, then had after dinner drinks and dessert on the roof. They, like many other people do not like to drive at night here. The roads suck, there are no lights, the edges of the roads are ragged and the whole island is pot hole ridden. Sounds like PARADISE doesn’t it. Anyhow, they wanted to get home before dark and I think they made it.

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I kept the dogs busy while we ate with Kongs filled with peanut butter and yogurt and frozen.

On Friday I went to Nadia to make my roots go away and then came home, changed and got ready to go to BJ’s for the afternoon. When I got home from the other end of the island and checked my email there was one from Milesse asking me if I could meet at the airport at 1 for a meeting with the tourism board of Honduras and the Bay Islands Tourism board. It was 12:30 when I got home and had driven past the airport, which is 20 minutes away, on my way home. We were meeting friends at BJ’s in Oak Ridge so I said that I wasn’t able to go. Sure wish I had know about it earlier, I would have loved to have been there and given my 2 cents. Not that anyone wanted to hear it, but I still would have given it.

We had a great time as usual at BJ’s chatting with everyone. Dennis (he and Marcia have one of our pups) brought Duke so Kathy could look at him. He’s having an allergic reaction on his paws and around his nose. Kathy gave him some medicine so hopefully he will get better. So great that you can take your dog to the bar and have someone meet you there and check him out. Island life. The update on Sable is she is home, her eyes look great and her brother was very happy to see her. They have never been separated since birth so I’m sure it was hard on both of them. Lisa said her vision is pretty good and getting better every day. Such great news, she is a sweet girl!

Today was a do nothing day. I got some laundry done, laid on the roof in the sun and removed ticks from dogs. In the past 3 days we have had a tick infestation. Previously our dogs never had ticks, Friday they had a lot, all except Lola and Highway. I used Frontline Plus on the pups on October 20th, I gave Lola Nexgard and Highway wears a Preventic collar (he’s allergic to all the neck drops, he has seizures from them). Lola and Highway only had a few ticks but the pups were infested. I’m writing a letter to Frontline and complaining and I’m sending them pics of some of the ticks we got off the pups today, day # 3. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take pics Friday and Saturday and there were A LOT. If I were in the states I would mail them a good old fashioned snail mail letter and INCLUDE all the ticks. You know, like people stick that confetti shit in letters, I would put ticks.

I’ve watched a few things on Netflix lately that I really enjoyed; A Sloth Named Velcro, The Story of JK Rowling (never read Harry Potter but now I want to) and a story about Iris Apfel. She is a very eccentric older woman who has style out the ears and then some. All great shows. I also watched the Story of Big Bird starring Carroll Spinney on Amazon Prime. And of course, I am watching The Voice, but I have to watch it the day after it shows in the states..No biggie. It’s been 12 years since we have had TV Cable and you know what, I don’t miss it. Our friends that came for dinner don’t even have a TV. We do and Bill uses it for Netflix, I watch my stuff on my laptop.

Next week is a busy week. I’m starting it off tomorrow with a beach day at West Bay with my friend Lauren. (Bill made her cats the scratch post). I seriously need some sun, I look like a damn tourist. Tuesday morning we have plans, Tuesday afternoon cocktail party, Wednesday neutering the last 2 boys, Thursday going to Brass Hill for sewing machine update with Nidia and Friday to Helene with Nidia, then BJ’s, again with Nidia. Back to the airport Saturday and yay, my friend Jeanie returns that day. I can’t freaking wait. Next Monday will begin my trips to Camp Bay for Mondays Don’t Suck.

I’m off to rinse the sweat from my body and shave my left knee, which I totally and completely missed the last time. How the hell did I miss the whole knee?

 

One hundred years young

double vodka

10/18/2015 Many of you probably wonder what the hell I do all day? I mean, I can’t shop, I no longer have a scrapbook room or a garden, what do I do? Sometimes I asked my self the same damn question. Many days it will be 4 PM and I’m still in my nightgown. That’s not to say I’m in bed, I’m not. I’m just not dressed and especially DO NOT HAVE ON A BRA. YAY for any time with no bra.

Every morning the first thing I do is feed my cat her daily scoop of wet food. If I don’t feed her right away she attacks me if I walk by her.  Yes, attacks is the right word. She bolts out from under the bed and swats or bites my ankles. Depends how badly I’ve pissed her off. Once the demon is fed I go out on the porch to see the 5 dogs who are all waiting at the back door for me. This door is open all day long, we close it when we go to bed, there is a screen door, but due to the succession of 4 legged creatures in my house, it is a P.O.S. It does however keep the dogs out. Which lately, they are in WAAAY more than they are out. The pups idea, not mine. I am just putty in their hands paws. Speaking of which, yes Jeanie, I am your insane dog friend. My life now revolves around these 3 boys, I feel like I’ve given birth to triplets. To say I’m a “tad” attached would be a hugely gross mis-representation of facts. I ADORE these pups. Well, @ 40# each, they’re really not pups but 6 month old eating machines. They are eating 14 cups of dry food a day, along with yogurt at breakfast, 3 scrambled eggs at lunch and chicken rice and veggies at dinner. They get sweet potato slices, home made cookies and their frozen popsicles too. They eat better than Bill does, ask him, he will agree. He does make their chicken gruel, I just chop the veggies for it.

Once the pups are fed, I eat breakfast in front of the computer. I check a few sites daily, read what I want to read in the news, check face book and answer emails. Breakfast is the same thing every morning for 2 years now, scrambled eggs with red and green peppers and a jalapeno in them, with salsa and shredded cheese on a soft tortilla, maybe a cup of tea. Remember, I’m the weirdo that doesn’t drink coffee, ick.

Sometimes I peruse the internet sporadically during the day, other times I am gone or cleaning, baking (dog treats), cleaning up dog poop, walking dogs, watching the puppies don’t eat the couch, all of those fun things that I know make you really jealous you don’t live my life..

This past Friday I gave up my party afternoon with my tribal friends and went to a birthday party for a 100 years young woman that I met at the senior luncheon.  I went to meet my friend Nidia at her store in Coxen hole, we were joined by our friend Mac. He’s the guy who danced with Aunty Jane at the senior luncheon. He and Nidia and I were walking to the event, carrying ice cream and deviled eggs. We made a quick stop in a store so I could get Aunty Clara a gift. I had no idea what to get her but Nidia knew. I bought her a nice lightweight housedress. That is a word I have not heard or used since my grandma passed away in 1977. The lady at the “store” didn’t have any bags or wrapping paper so I bought a gift bag that said Baby on it. I mentioned that to Nidia and she reminded me that Aunty Clara is blind, she won’t know. We got to the party and before the rest of the people came we went up to see Aunty Clara. Mac had a very generous gift for her and I gave her the dress. I pulled it out of the bag and described it to her. I told her my grandma used to wear them all the time and this was just like hers with 2 pockets on it. She seemed very happy.

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The pins for Aunty Clara’s party. 100 years young!!

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Aunty Clara in the middle

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My gorgeous friend Nidia. This beautiful woman has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I adore her!!

Mac and I hung out for awhile as Nidia got things organized. I asked Nidia where Aunt Jane was and she said home and we were going to get her. She, Mac and I walked to the corner of Coxen Hole’s main drag, went through a gate and up some steps to her apartment.

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The wires outside of Aunt Jane’s home.

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Her porch and stairs to outside and her all important gadget, a tortilla maker

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The wall in her home. It was immaculate but very sparsely furnished, a bench and an old TV.

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relatives, neighbor kids?? playing in the mango tree

Her hair was all dishelved and she was in her house clothes when we arrived. Mac and I waited while Nidia got her all spiffed up. She looked fabulous when she came out. She is 99 and a little spitfire with gorgeous blue eyes.

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Look at this sweet face, 99 years old. This lady is a hoot!!

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Nidia walking her to the corner to get a cab

We put her in a cab to go the few blocks to the party and we walked. Once we got back there, the place was filling up. Aunt Jane was sitting with Miss Catherine, 2 beautiful ladies!

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Miss Catherine and Aunt Jane

They were passing out plates heaping full of food and cups of soda to everyone, there were people inside and out.

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Nidia with Aunty Clara

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Aunty Clara singing for us

We stayed for her to blow out the candles on her cake, then made our way back to Nidia’s store and our cars. Nidia had to go to Pandytown that evening for another concert to raise the rest of the money for treatment for Ursula

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Nidia with Aunty Clara

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Aunty Clara blowing out her candle. She told Nidia to save the rest of the candles for her cake next year!

Saturday found me back at the airport again. It was sheer insanity, all 3 flights landed within 15 minutes of each other. American was over an hour late, Delta and United beat them by 5 and 10 minutes. Imagine 400 people trying to fit in the tiny immigration building. It got chaotic but we handled it and people, for the most part were happy. Odd as it may seem that 3 airlines from 3 different departure cities would land in the same 15 minute time frame, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. It is what it is. I just allow my Bank of America training to kick in and as my friend Nathan W says, “I’m leading from the lobby.”  Some of you will “get” this. Chaos or not, I LOVE being there.

On Wednesday, a day before his 6 month birthday Gringo lost his family jewels. He will be fathering no island babies. 1 pup down, 2 pups to go. We got to Dr Calderon’s at 7 and were out of there by 7:30.

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My sweet boy Gringo getting neutered.

It took over an hour for Gringo to wake up and when he did, he peed all over. Another hour passed and I got him downstairs and out for a little fresh air and monitored movement. He was a peeing machine that day. Finally by dinner time he was getting back to normal but still had the “WTH did you do to me” look on his face! I felt guilty.

On Thursday Marilyn and Carmen came here and we all took off in my car to run errands, maybe do lunch and go to Cattleya to paint Christmas ornaments. We ended up going in Mega Paca (a big Value Village, Goodwill, second hand store). We were all in the skirt aisle and I saw a black tulle tutu looking skirt. When I pulled it out I noticed it was a BCBG Max Azria, then I saw the price tag was still on it. It was originally:

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OMG! It’s a little big but it’s OK, it hides things. It will be great for Halloween, Pirate Party or NY Eve!!

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Evocative of Betsy Johnson, Cyndi Lauper or Debbie Harry. I was so excited I tried it on under my skirt right in the aisle!

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115L = a little over $5.00 but because of the color tag (blue) it was 50% off, I paid about $2.50 for it. SCORE!

We all made out really well there. I even bought some wine glasses for BJ’s. {They only have a few and I prefer my wine not to be in a juice glass}. After we left we were going to have lunch but only had 45 minutes until Cattleya so we went to the grocery store grabbed some stuff and ate in my car in the parking lot of the grocery store. Cattleya  is the school that a friend started years ago to help mentally and physically disabled kids of all ages. There are autistic children, Downs children, children with motor skill deficiencies, it’s a fabulous school because otherwise these students would get no specialized help. The students made and colored lots of Christmas ornaments and the majority of them were decorated but we helped get the rest of them finished and another lady was there adding the strings. They sell the ornaments to raise money for the school.

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Marilyn, Carmen and I. Photo courtesy of Connie Silvestri

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Marilyn on the right, Carmen and I. Photo courtesy of Connie Silvestri

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Some of the finished ornaments

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Ornaments, paint and glitter..

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Carmen painted a reindeer to match her headband. If you like her headband (she’s bringing me a few when she comes back to the island) check out: http://strongholdheadbands.weebly.com/solids.html

Friday we went to BJ’s again. It is always fun to have some wine and visit with friends. It is the hang out for the east enders and every now and then people from West End make it down too. We didn’t used to go but have been in attendance much more lately. It’s a good group of people and there is always someone new to meet.

I worked at the airport again, 4 Saturdays in a row, I’m on a roll. I met a cool couple from Maine, they just moved here. Their home that they built was finished and the snow was going to start back home, so Roatan, here they come. I hope we get the opportunity to meet up with them again. Two other friends from Snohomish, WA., near where we used to live moved down today too. They have owned a house for a year or so, had to sell their business, cars and house in the states and, they’re here! We met them here, never knew them in the states. Weird how that happens. I was elated that I got to say Welcome Home to them as they walked in the building.

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Such a stunning view from our roof

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My friend Cheryl named this cloud Puff, the Magic Dragon. After all, he did frolic by the sea…

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Handsome Highway, the nut case..

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Maxillicious

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Lola and Max

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I love our roof top deck

Well, it’s late, I’m trying to get this done so I can edit and post tomorrow. I’ll leave you with this little tidbit. Don’t pass this up, it’s too unbelievable, click on tidbit and be amazed. Then try to answer one question. WHY?

 

Helping Paws Across Borders field team

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08/19/2015 Brenda Lee and I have worked together at the last 2 clinics that Helping Paws Across Borders has held on the island. This time when the vets left, they had Brenda keep their meds in the hopes she could have a few vaccine, flea and tick treatment clinics. She and her boyfriend Tony and their friend Tyron had one the previous week and it was very successful so she decided to do it again and asked me to help.

I met them at the water taxi stand in Oak Ridge Bight and we went to the entrance of the bight (bay) on the way to Pandy Town. We borrowed 2 tables and 4 chairs from the church next door and started setting up.

Brenda Lee, Tony’s butt and Tyron getting stuff set up.

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The ‘hood we were in.

Tyron went and got this poor old boy. The ass$ole owner didn’t want the dog so he didn’t bother to feed him. He had hematoma’s in both ears, his ear canals were swollen shut. We think he also had erlichia because his feet were so swollen.

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His ears had open wounds on them and were buzzed by flies constantly.

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All dogs have callouses on their joints, knees/elbows, but this guys were on his butt bones because they protruded so far from his body. It made my heart ache.

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Sweet Tony went in search of food and when fed, this dog ate and ate and ate.

Neither Brenda nor I could take the dog home, I am already overdosed with pets and Brenda and Tony are in the process of moving back to Germany in 3 weeks with their 2 dogs. I called a “local shelter” and after a 10 minute lecture, they decided they would come and get him. Which they did. He was taken to the vet for his ears and will need to remain under a watchful eye until he is able to be adopted. His name is Dash. I heard that after 3 days, a bath and regular meals, he has some perkiness to him.

That’s all Brenda and I wanted was him taken care of. We have been accused of doing this to get attention which is ridiculous. We are volunteering our time to help as many animals as we can and we are posting it on Facebook to draw attention to the PLIGHT OF THE ANIMALS on this island.

On Wednesday we saw so many children with pets in serious need of medical attention. I keep trying to be positive about it by telling myself at least the kids brought their pet in to get help. Most animals arrived with a rope around their neck, or a wire, a chain or whatever. Anything to get them to the clinic. EVERY dog left with a new collar (we ran out of leashes but at least no more ropes, etc around the animals neck). Tony was getting the meds ready, Brenda and Tyron were putting muzzles on, “cross dogs” as Tyron says, determining and dispensing, administering treatment, pulling off ticks and I was registering, cleaning thick black mites out of dog ears, pulling ticks out and squishing them with tweezers or my nail, rubbing young pups w/ flea and tick stuff, cutting way long toenails. We all did crowd control, which was our main issue. Everything is a circus around here, whether it be an accident, a dead cow on the road, a dog getting shots, they MUST SEE EVERYTHING. It is the culture and we need to work the best we can with it.

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I was in love…

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This one did me in. He was in pretty good shape too.

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I finally had to give him up, too busy.

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We muzzled the majority of the dogs. Most of these animals have never been to a vet, nor walked on a leash. They either run free or are chained 24/7. It was a very scary place for them and muzzles made it safer for everyone, dogs included.

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We were upset about this dog. The poor thing was so under fed and uncared for. They said it was a chihuahua when it was really a malnourished pup. It was full of ticks and fleas.. We gave them food for it, hoping the dog gets to eat it before the food is sold for candy.

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This dog was seen last week. It’s stomach was engorged with worms and parasites. Brenda treated it and asked the girl to bring it back so it could be checked. The dog looked great and was eating well and Brenda was thrilled!

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Most gorgeous children on this rock

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We aren’t sure but we think this is ringworm. Brenda took several pics and sent to Angie (HPAB) and the crew for an answer and their recommended treatment

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We had people come with 3 dogs at a time. One guy pulled up in a truck with 4 humongo dogs in the back.

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What’cha looking at?? Another hungry boy.

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Administering shots

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Kids and their dog

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This was a gorgeous dog, a little underfed though, as most were.

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Part of the crowd control was keeping little ones like this from taking the marker, the scissors, the bottles of flea and tick spray. We needed a screened off area..But they are so stinking cute…

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Fancy muzzle!

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Brenda and Tyron readying a dog for it’s shots.

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Dash on his way to the animal shelter.

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Cute kid and dogs but the dogs were crawling with fleas and their ears were thick black yuck filled with ear mites and fleas, it was so gross. It took a long time to get them clean.

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Take my picture please…

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See, marker in hand.. Goofy boys..

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This young boys face speaks volumes. No emotion, no facial expression, just a sad soul in a small body.

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Another of the little boys feet, no shoes. I noticed many of the children have lots of scars on their arms and legs. Maybe from walking through the jungle? I can only hope that’s why.

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Brenda and Tyron discussing treatment with a pet owner

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This was towards the end of the day, we were stinky, sweaty and more than likely flea ridden.

After working 9-5 in a dirt alley with a dusty street, I came home and immediately showered. I was so exhausted that evening I think I just sat here and stared at the computer and then crashed very early.

We made a small difference in the lives of 70 animals. Maybe some of what we told the kids and the adults will sink in. Maybe they will understand that all animals have feelings too and that they deserve to be treated well. It’s difficult in a society that have so many children in a family that it’s nearly impossible to provide for them, let alone the animals.

We’ll keep doing what we can. We hope Helping Paws Across Borders will return in November!

***Everything I post on this site, whether it is about Because We Care, Helping Paws Across Borders or Cattleya, it is not about me at all, it’s about the things I am PASSIONATE about on Roatan. I am trying to raise awareness to situations that many people choose to turn a blind eye to. If more people did just a small part, it would make a huge difference.***