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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Smells like dead lizard

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02/17/2016 Today I went to my local bank to withdraw $$ from the ATM but it was down, AGAIN. So I used the blank check in my wallet to get money out of the account. I made the check out to myself and signed the back of it. It was for Tres Mil, 3000LPS or about $150.00. I handed the teller my Honduran resident card and my debit card for this account. He started filling out paperwork and on the back of my check he wrote my account number. Then he flipped the check over, looked at it, at the back of the check, then at me again and said DEPOSIT? OMG, NO. Why would I deposit a check drawn on my only account into the account it is written on?? This was after waiting 35 minutes..seriously??

I haven’t been in a blogging mood lately, sorry about that. I’m depressed. My house in the US was always clean, windows, floors, curtains, clean. I am physically unable to keep this house on the hill clean no matter what I do. I dust and the next day it looks like I invited the Sahara desert over for a freaking windstorm. I shit you not. You can write your name on any and every piece of my furniture. My window tracks are disgustingly gross, filled with dead critters and mud. I just cleaned them again yesterday and as soon as it rains they will be muddy again. Does it rain dirt on this island? Cleaning my window tracks is an all day job, I have 16 windows on the second floor that open. They are filthy all the time. Add to that a husband who is not Mr. Clean and 5 dogs and a cat and it’s a lose lose situation.

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Before

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I use a screwdriver and small wire brushes and pine sol.

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After, clean until it rains again.

Last week a few nights in a row when I crawled into bed I smelled dead animal. I was convinced there was a dead lizard somewhere under the bed. Bill looked all over for it but didn’t see anything. We pulled the mattress up and looked under it, nada. I opened my nightstand drawer and found a pile of stuff that smelled like dead something. Whatever it was it was disintegrated into a mound of pulp in the drawer. I took the drawer in the bathroom, emptied the contents, scrubbed it out and put it back. Then I went back in the bathroom to clean up the mess and was assaulted by the SAME DAMN SMELL. I finally realized it was the bag of cat treats still setting on the counter that smelled like dead lizard. That’s what the mound of stuff was in the drawer that smelled.

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Seriously, I thought this was a decomposed lizard.

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It was decomposed Temptations…

Last Sunday we had no power due to the rain and winds. So, what do we do when the power is off, go to Mega Paca and shop. Marilyn, Carmen and Carmen’s parents picked me up on their way to town. First thing I scored was a Kate Spade wallet. It was $1.50.

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In love with this

We all had a blast shopping except it was hot in there with no A/C (power was out island wide). We made a few stops before they brought me home. I think power came on later in the day but it was off for a loooong time.

Monday was another beach day. I picked up Carmen and Brett and Karon and Ron (Carmen’s parents) and we drove out to Camp Bay beach. We had a pretty good turnout, we floated, played volleyball and had a few drinks.

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Kathy, Karon, Carmen and Brett

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The second round of volleyball

Then the 5 of us went to La Sirena for rum punches, well I didn’t drink any because I was driving and they are STRONG. I just devoured my onion rings, so yummy!

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Selena’s pig @ La Sirena

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Brett and Ron

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Brett and me

We had an epic Tuesday, really we did. Marilyn, Carmen and Karon picked me up and we went to Coxen Hole to get Nidia. We were on our way to see Doña Maria. I had sheets and a blanket, shampoo and conditioner and 2 bags of coffee for her. Marilyn had a new pillow, more sheets and a roll of chicken wire that a friend of hers donated. After we got Nidia and the chickens that Daine gave us we went to the grocery store where Carmen and Karon bought Doña Maria all kinds of things, cereal, milk, oil, salt, sugar and coca cola. Then we went looking for feed for the chickens (that were in a pillow case in a box in the back of the car), got that at the 2nd store. We then drove around some more looking for a corn grinder for her. Marilyn had gotten one before but turns out it was a meat grinder. After looking several places, we had one more place to look. That was the golden ticket, Nidia found a beautiful grinder there for Doña Maria.

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Nidia with the corn grinder

We headed back to the path that treks through the jungle and started walking up to her house. When we got there we were disappointed because she wasn’t home. Martha Stewart  Marilyn, in her pink Polo wellies, started building a chicken coop for the new chickens.

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Marilyn building the coop

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We named them, Marilyn, Carmen, Nidia and Deb.

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The hinges on Doña Maria’s house.

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Her oven, stove and microwave all bundled into one handy energy saving unit.

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There is water in the bucket to wash her dishes with.

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This looked like a chicken coop but we realized she was drying her bananas in here.

Rather than leave and not get to see Doña Maria we decided to hang around until she came home. We wandered around checking things out, waiting for her when all of a sudden she comes walking up the path with a cardboard box balanced on her head. In the box were scraps of wood for her fire that is always burning. She had walked all the way into Coxen Hole carrying a hand of bananas to sell. Doña Maria weighs all of 75# soaking wet and she carried the bananas down the path, walked along the highway into town, they must have weighed 30# at least. She found a buyer for her bananas, the lady took them and then said she didn’t have the $$ to pay her. All of that for nothing, she came home banana-less. Doña Maria was so excited to see us. We made her close her eyes and then Nidia walked her to the chicken coop, she was thrilled that we got her chickens. Nidia showed her the gorgeous corn grinder that Marilyn bought for her, I know it’s something she will really use a lot. We gave her all the things we bought for her, I think it may have been overwhelming. Carmen had a padlock with a key for her door and a variety of food stuff. Doña Maria showed us her sugar came press that her son made for her.

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This photo has Flat Poppy on the press. I’m doing a Flat Poppy story for my friends granddaughter.

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Doña Maria’s one room home.

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Nidia climbed up the hill where they planted corn and took this pic. There is a chicken coop behind Carmen and I, but the chickens belong to someone else.

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Carmen, me, Karon and Nidia

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Her water bucket wheel barrow. In the back of the wheelbarrow you can see a pile of dirt. The Live Again Ministries went there and dug holes so they could put in a bench for Doña Maria. They came back the following week with the wood and built it for her.

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Bags of treats for Doña Maria

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She didn’t know what to say when she was given the corn grinder. What a difference it will make in her life.

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The entrance to her one room, bed only, home. She does not own a chair.

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Doña Maria, me and Flat Poppy.

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Carmen, Doña Maria and Karon (Carmen’s mother)

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Her entryway and Flat Poppy

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This is where a little 83 year old lady lives alone. She is unable to lock the door from the inside.

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Nidia sharing a glass of coke with Doña Maria.

She wants to get her hair done again so Nidia will follow up on that. After I posted some photos on FB I had a friend here on the island who wants to pay for and build her a table and bench to use as a kitchen table. I’ll probably get her a few plastic chairs too. We are also inquiring about building her a better home. She doesn’t own the land so we have to get permission from the landowner.

After we said our good byes to Doña Maria we dropped Nidia off in Coxen Hole and headed home, sort of. We got diverted and went to Romeo’s in French Harbor for lunch and wine.

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French Harbor

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We were going to sit outside but it was pretty windy and cool so we moved indoors.

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I could eat 10 plates of this bread. I only had 1 slice, I shared.

I don’t recall what I did the next few days, one of them I tried, again, to pay my friends property tax, only to be told this time I needed copies of their RTN’s. They did not say I needed them the last time I tried to pay, each time I go there, it’s something different. You would think that they would make it easy to pay your taxes, especially since the many on the island don’t pay theirs. UGH!

Friday was BJ’s and on the way there, I paid our taxes. The last 2 times I tried to pay them I couldn’t wait any longer because of Spanish class. This time I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Then I was off to BJ’s with the crew. It was anther rainy shitty day but we still had a good group of people.

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The Banditos rocking the place.

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Some of the die-hards coming by boat in the pouring rain.

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This is BJ’s husband Carmen. He likes his rum.

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My favorite Bitchacha who will probably give me hell because I posted this pic!

And the rains continued. When I got up Saturday morning and looked out the windows, first the south shore and then the north shore, I realized I couldn’t see either. We were socked in with no visibility and a very low cloud cover. The tower at the airport is not equipped to do IFR landings so unless the pilots can see the runway (Visual landing as opposed to instrument) they can’t land.

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Seriously, I’ve never seen it like this.

I got to the airport at 11:15 and we were told it was closed. No flights coming in or leaving. Really? We had 2 AA, 2 UAL and a Delta flight coming in and an airport full of stranded delayed passengers. I got the PAX counts and ETA’s from the desks and we waited to see what was going to happen. The first flight was due in at 12:30 but it was “late.” We stood outside the back of the airport facing the runways and watched the Delta and the 1st United circle overhead. Then we heard that the United diverted to San Pedro Sula. Soon after that, out of seemingly nowhere, the Delta plane landed. The runway at RTB is right smack next to the water and we could barely see the water. As the PAX were de-planing and I was welcoming them at the immigration door I saw the American jet come in, almost land and abort at the last minute. OMG, the passengers were probably freaking out. It went to Belize instead. We were told the other American also went to San Pedro Sula. After waiting around the American from San Pedro and the United finally came over from the mainland and landed. The 2nd United flight was cancelled and we heard the American wasn’t coming. I went into the office and signed out and was getting ready to leave when the airport guys said the American that went to Belize was due in at 6 PM (only 5 hours late). I signed back in and 4 of us went to wait for the plane to come in.  The runway lights were on, waiting for the flight from BZE @ 6 but at 6:10 PM it was cancelled, still in Belize. As it turns out, there was no room in Belize for the plane so they refueled and took those poor passengers back to Miami and they were bringing them the next day.

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It’s rare that a plane lands at night in Roatan, as it turned out, one didn’t land this night either.

It was an exhausting 7 hour day at the airport, the only good thing I can say about it is, I love meeting the new people coming to the island and I love the ladies I work with.

A few shots of random stuff before I wrap this up and go read.

This is the ARK they are building in Politilly. It is going to be a nightclub??? I’ll snap some more pics on Friday when I go to BJ’s, they have done a lot of work on it. I don’t remember who took this photo but I did not.12671619_1697270283861936_4166679552789434544_o

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This is my niece Devon, my brother PJ’s daughter. She is at the Night to Shine event at a church in Montoursville, PA. This is an event sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation and it is worldwide..Devon had a blast at the party, I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

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We had a visit from an Amazon Parrot yesterday. It sat up in the trees calling. I looked around for more but didn’t see any. I know, it just looks like a bird but believe me, through the binoculars I could tell it was a parrot.

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Max and Barrio snoozing on Highways bed.

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Gringo and Barrio. I finally took the chairs off the couch, the boys seem to know it’s off limits.

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Dog origami, on the roof.

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Trace took this pic of his sweet girlfriend Maureen. I love it! We are anxiously awaiting for them to come visit us soon. (Hint hint Maureen)

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My friends Jill and Rick Jackson own Las Cabanas de Loreto ( a fabulous vacation spot) in Baja, Mexico. Rick, as you can see, is a professional photographer. He snapped this photo while they were camping in Baja on Valentines Day. To see more of Rick’s work go to http://www.soulcatchingimages.com

Yes, we have bananas, lots of apple bananas. The dogs are still enjoying them every morning with peanut butter, I’m eating them and Bill makes a smoothie every night. Sure hope we have some when our guests arrive in March.
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And that my friends is a wrap. I’m off to the couch. If any of you have any hints or tips for my house cleaning woes, I’m ready..
Signed:
Disgusted with the dirt in Paradise