Back to blogging

Dec 2, 2018 Long time, no type. I’ve been so bored with my lack of a life that I had no words to put on a blog. To say I’ve been home all the time is not an exaggeration. I have been out to eat a few times but that’s it. I’ve been to the grocery store once in 2 months. That itself speaks volumes.

As I sit here on a Saturday afternoon, staring out at the water, some words slipped in to my head so here I am.

Quick update: my foot is still swollen, I was in a cast for 3 weeks, supposed to take it easy for a week and then be good to go. Nope, was no better. I went to an orthopedic Doc from the US (he lives here), he said Celebrex for 2 weeks, no improvement. I plan to go see a specialist on the mainland as soon as I can get in. Enough of this crap, it pisses me off big time. It will be 3 months Dec. 6th.

I have been spending a lot of time by the pool or in bed, resting the foot, so I’ve been reading. I read a book based on a true story called The Radium Girls. It’s unbelievable because it’s true. I just finished Flowers for Algernon and am starting one called Magnolia about Chip and Joanna Gaines. I’ve also been binge watching House Hunters International, Fixer Upper and Caribbean Life, along with my favorite TV show, Modern Family. Although my TV watching is always in the evening, unless it’s raining. Of course, when it rains our internet has not been working so I couldn’t watch anything. The internet company has been here 4 times in one month because we have been without internet for 24 hours each time. So ridiculous. I know, first world problems but dammit, WIFI is not too much to ask for is it? The internet provider blames it on the electric company but I can’t complain about the electric company, they’re not that bad. We’re on an island, I’m amazed we even have electricity.

We finally got the house painted. The old paint is the dull green on the left. It’s now fresh and bright green and I love it. The guys who painted it did a really nice job.

You can see the rain falling out of the sky.

A few weeks ago the power went out at 8:30 PM or so, I went to the window and looked out to see if the colonia below us was out. It was dark down there but there was a huge ball of red further east. It was a BIG fire. I posted on Roatan 911 that there were big flames coming from Politilly, several others had posted also. Bill walked into the bedroom when the power went out and we just stood there and watched the flames grow until there was a red trail floating skyward. It was awful watching it. We were told the fire may have been intentionally set by a woman mad at her daughter. Regardless of the reason, 3 houses were destroyed 2 more severely damaged. Many people are homeless. They will rebuild the homes ASAP.

The dogs are a lot of company as they follow me everywhere I go and beg for any speck of food I put in my mouth. Highway has been spending most of the time downstairs if Bill is out of the house. I get too exhausted telling him to be quiet all day long. He’s a whiner and a yapper and he is an instigator. With him downstairs it’s really quiet up here. When he gets all wound up he sounds like the 3 Stooges making their weird noises all at the same time. He does this over emergencies (a watusa or an armadillo in the yard) that do not warrant that reaction. In a nano second I have 5 hysterical dogs. Downstairs for the win.

This duo of Armadillos was moved to an area far away from us.

They allow me a small space to sleep. I’ll never own nice bedding again. They so own me.

Barrio is my Zen dog. He gets out of the pool and STOPS. He just stands still for 10-15 seconds, sometimes his eyes go closed. He totally experiences the feeling of the water running off of his body, he digs it. Lola, in the background, HATES the pool with a PASSION. To her it’s a large water bowl.

Cone head again. He seems to have grown what looks like a second butt hole. No clue what it is, not exactly like Gringo’s tail hole. Island dogs…He’s been on meds, it looks much better. Let me say, I don’t look, that’s Bill’s job. We took his cone off today, keeping an eye on Barrio. He seems to have a Highway butt fetish. Dogs are really gross.

They were looking for turkeys. I especially like their reflections in the pool.

Bill was slamming doors the morning I took this. There were dogs running and jumping on the bed. I was all, WTH is going on, it’s not time for me to get up, but I did, mainly to find out what was going on. Bill wanted to take a shower and the RATS/ mice? had once again chewed the hot water heater wires. Bastards. They have invaded my car again too and there is no food in my car at all. They are eating the rug floor mats in my car.

Click HERE for a video about the Founder of TOMS shoes, he was on Jimmy Fallon. It’s quite a powerful video considering gun violence is on the rise. Please watch the video.

I signed on to FB the other morning and there was a post from my friend Julie in Alabama. Julie and her husband and kids have been to the island, stayed here a few times and I know the kids too. Julie’s Mom had her two daughters at the mall shopping holiday sales. They were walking in the mall when a fight broke out between 2 boys. One had a gun and started shooting, a bullet struck my friends daughter Molly in the back. Thankfully, she is physically OK, no major damage, just that she will have a bullet in her back forever. I hope that she and her sister (and grandmother) can recover from this horrific accident emotionally. The fact that you can’t be in the mall, doing yoga, at a dance or a concert and be safe says a lot about the state of the US. Something needs to be done about these crazy shootings. Sign the TOMS petition, easy and free and doing something is better than doing nothing.

My friend the Duchess has owned a home on the island for a long time, she spends 3 months here, then back to the states, then here again, several times a year. She’s seen a lot of stuff happen, to her and to others that are illegal in most normal places. In the past year there have been several home robberies. They have the kid on video, everyone knows who it is but nobody does anything about it. The main criminal has kids under 18 do the dirty work because there is no prosecution whatsoever if you are under 18. These kids are getting brazen and out of control. The communities got together to discuss what could be done to stop the thieves. The Duchess was sitting at the meeting with another friend, a male, who has also been here a long time. Said male is very happily married and has been for years. As they sat awaiting things to get going a young girl who is related to one of the thieves was being very boisterous. She told our male friend that she was available. He tried his best to respond with a serious face. She then noticed his wedding ring and she said, “Oh, you married?” He shook his head and said “Yes I am.” Always a gentleman. She responded by saying, “I don’t care, I’m still available.” I would have been on the floor in hysterics. As the meeting began and people were discussing the issues at hand this girl continued to yell and talk loudly, totally disrupting the whole meeting. People had enough of her and threw her out and locked the doors of the school they were in. She continued to bang on the windows, cursing and screaming so loudly that the meeting became worthless. She then managed to find a way in and came at the group leader with a pen in her hand, held like a dagger. The woman speaking saw her coming and grabbed a desk and smashed it into her. At that point people got up and started to leave, not much was sorted out at all. You can’t make this shit up. As the island turns.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with friends at the Pineapple Grill. Yvonne, who I met Christmas eve, 2013, got a group of 20 people together. Big mistake for me was they had a huge salad bar and I adore salad bars, so when the heaping plateful of food came I could eat about 1/3 of it. It was delicious and fun getting out and seeing people. Not fun having to walk to get in there though, in all reality, Bill should have carried me.

Someone in the colonia below us is setting off firecrackers. I have no clue why as Nov. 24th signifies nothing as a holiday for the islanders. Maybe they are practicing for Christmas. Nothing goes better with baby Jesus than firecrackers?? {I see no correlation whatsoever.} Barrio has decided he does not like the sound of firecrackers so he follows me around like he’s attached to my ankles. He’s laying on my feet under my desk as I type. Bigger firecrackers going off now. And I guess I missed the fireworks at the beach below us. I also missed the wedding (which I was invited to) that was held there and that was the reason for the fireworks, totally forgot about it.

My shadow

My eye was bothering me the other morning and it looked a little red so I went to the doggie meds drawer and found an unopened bottle of Tobramycin eye drops. Nothing like diagnosing yourself. Hope the drops make whatever it is go away. THEN, I was out by the pool reading and got stung by a horsefly type creature. They are triangle shaped and they really hurt if they get you. The dogs chase them and try to eat them so I chase the dogs and don’t let them eat them. I killed several that landed on me and didn’t get stung but this one got me good. He’s dead now. I called Bill and asked him to stop and get me wine because my eye was infected and a bee stung me. Seemed like a logical reason to need wine. Two bottles. One for my eye and one for my knee.

I am the admin on a few FB pages for Roatan and it’s become a joke with my band of friends on the island (guys) to say, Just Ask Debbie. Not only did they make a Google page for me, nice isn’t it??

They also did this. Never a dull moment here, sometimes I feel like a referee.

Remember Alexi, the young boy we have helped? He was in the Bomberos (fire department) for 2 years but they were not paying him so he is working for Bulldog Security. Happy he has a good job, not many young men do. I’m sure Bill’s influence on him has a lot to do with his success. Alexi has a sister Juliana and she has a son, Osman, a sister Jessica and a brother Ephrain. Ephrain has become Bill’s sidekick. Ephrain is not allowed to go to the school 2 minutes from his home because the teachers hate his mother and claim he is white. He’s not. Therefore, he has to take a taxi to school that is 15 min away. Most of the time his family is to meet him to ride home but they never do, they depend on Bill to pick him up. Actually, Ephrain is flunking because he misses so much school, they are too lazy to get him up to go. The other day Jessica sent Bill a photo of Osman and said he was sick. The one side of his face is all swollen. Bill told her he needed to go to a Doctor and she said Juliana won’t take him, she doesn’t care. Bill went and got him and picked up half the damn family for the joy ride to the clinic. They saw him then we took him back again to see the pediatrician. They said it is not a dental issue, it’s in his cheek. We went to their home yesterday to check on him and it’s not any better. I contacted my friend Miss Peggy who runs Clinic Esperanza. They have a very good pediatrician there so Bill took him this morning. Peggy had notified the clinic that we were coming and Osman got immediate attention when they got there. We are still waiting to find out what is going on with him. I just don’t get it. I take better care of my dogs than some people do of their children. Juliana is afraid she may have to spend $$ on Osman and she will not do that, probably because she knows that we will take care of him.

UPDATE on Osman. Bill went to get him this morning and his Mother wanted to go because she wanted to do something fun, she didn’t care about Osman. Bill told her NO. She said he was mean. It’s a good thing I wasn’t there, I would have defined mean for her, a mother who cares nothing for her children is mean. Anyhow, Osman had blood work done and something is going on. The doctor said it is a mass in his cheek so tomorrow back to Vessels of Mercy to get an ultrasound. Poor kid.

This is Osman, notice his left cheek.

Ephrain, Alexi’s younger brother

Bill and his buddy.

Jefferson, he and his family just moved in with Ephrain’s family.

A new construction on the way down to Miguel’s.

Doggie working on a sun tan.

This is the property that Bill is overseeing the development of, our friend Miguel is the watchie and head of the construction crew.

Two big docks

This is so gorgeous.

These guys are making charcoal. They build a metal shed and set the wood on fire, any kind works. Then they cover it with wet leaves and let it smolder until it’s charcoal. Back breaking work for sure.

I have a cleaning girl here. She started in the bathroom at 8:15, she was still in there at 10:30 and she brought me a handful of expired medicines. OMG. I want her to move in and never leave. I’ll be afraid to even walk in there it’s so clean. She’s going to be a regular here, I might even see if she’ll move in. She came back the second day and worked another 8 hours in the living room and downstairs. This girl has a permanent job!

It’s Sunday, I have a trip to Tegus early tomorrow to see a doc about my foot. Second time to the land of plenty murders and to land on one of the 10 most dangerous runways in the world. I do have more things to share but I will save them because it’s taken me about 2 weeks to get this together. I promise, it won’t be another month until I blog again. Stay tuned.

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I can’t get rid of the alien

Oct 1, 2019 I think the 3 blogs about La Mosquitia drained my brain, I have had absolutely no desire to write anything. Instead I binge watch TV shows I have seen before, like Weeds and Friends. Next will probably be Seinfeld. Mindless TV for mindless me. Bill is usually watching something on the big TV (yes we have one but no cable) so I am watching on my Samsung Galaxy Tab e tablet, which for the record let me say, I HATE IT. It’s the most poorly functioning despicably designed tablet I have ever owned. Several times a night I say, I hate this damn tablet. And I researched it and read reviews, it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision.

Speaking of electronics, I used to have a Moto G 4 phone, I loved it, except the camera on the phone is awful. Photos look like a drunk 93 year old person took them. I love Instagram and like to be able to take a pic and post it immediately. I finally broke down and bought a Moto G5 which one step up from my phone and the same phone Bill has. The photos are so much better, still struggling with the thickness of the phone, my Moto G4 case was boxy, this is slim and trim. Changes are hard when you are old.

So, what have I been doing since I got back from La Mosquitia? Not much. We did some TOMS shoes to several schools on the east end. Still have 1 school and a kinder to do. I’ve been staying home with my dogs, hanging out by the pool or afternoon napping, which has become a very decadent past time of mine. Me, a fan, a few dogs, I’m good to go. A champagne chocolate truffle from the UK helps too. OMG. Pure and absolute decadence.

These things are oh so damn good, thank you Mandy and Darren!

As if truffles weren’t enough, Mandy and Darren brought flowers. Brightened up the kitchen for a week.

The dogs and I still have tea every morning by the pool. They bark and chase each other, the boys swim, they pretend it’s the biggest water bowl in the ‘hood. It’s a morning ritual.

Brotherly love, or tolerance. These two have some issues with each other, I can tell by their body posturing..scares me.

Luckily we keep the chlorine level VERY low. Just enough to keep it from getting green.

I took the covers off the dog beds to wash them. This was on top of one of the kennels. I KNOW for a fact that Gringo did this. He has had a foam fetish since birth. I keep forgetting to take the cover of this destroyed piece to Waldina to have her cut me the 18th piece of foam for a dog bed. My dogs should be called the Destroyers.

My morning tea spot.

When we came back from La Mosquitia we took a week off and then started fitting TOMS shoes again. We did the Froylan Turcios kinder, Juticalpa kinder, Politilly kinder, Barrio Lempira kinder and the older kids, Marcos Aurelis school in Oak Ridge. We still have a few to do. All the shoes are in my guest condo downstairs. Along with soccer balls, school supplies, clothes, 4 bags of dog food because it’s been hard to get so we are stockpiling and paint for the house. We are repainting the exterior of the house, same color. The verde (green) fits in with our surroundings. Lots of prep work before painting. Plan to do the outside, then the inside during rainy season.

I am not going to caption all of these photos because I would be saying the same thing, cute kids.. just enjoy these faces, the best part of doing TOMS is taking photos of the kids.

Our fitters, Chase, Diane, Leila and Mac.

 

Handsome, AKA Nidia’s son Franklin.

I love how she is leaning on Franklin’s back,

This is the extent of the playground.

This pair made it one year. Old TOMS for new TOMS

How do they sleep? It must be like the “old” days when we went to bed with curlers in our hair.

S H O E S TOMS S H O E S

Chase, Gail, Leila and Diane sweating like crazy while fitting shoes.

The kinder class

Pastor Bill and his daughter. He helped us for the whole day, great guy.

I think he needed new TOMS shoes.

Many times it’s absolute insanity.

Clarence and the kids.

Chris and Franklin

The red hat gang. These guys work so hard and are always happy, really a joy to be around.

Clarence fitting a lone blonde boy.

We also went to Punta Gorda and fit the kids there. Some of the students wear the traditional blue and white and others wear the Garifuna clothes.

The children in the royal blue are Garifuna.

We had some of the older students help us to fit.

Because We Care strives to give new shoes to as many school kids as possible. TOMS shoes rock!!

Childrens Day was Sept 10th, Independence day was the 15th.  All of the schools get dressed up and march. The school we help a lot was marching from below our house, past the driveway and up to their school. We went out to watch.

This is Osman, Ephrain’s nephew. He goes to a different school in Politilly. You can see our driveway behind him.

The stilt walkers. We watched these guys practicing at Jonesville last year. They actually tie themselves on to the stilts. I guess if you fall, it’s going to hurt.

Little girls all dressed up.

Ephrain, in the hat with the white X on it. He was the only one not wearing sunglasses so he asked Bill for his. Of course, Bill gave him them but I doubt Ephrain could see a thing as they are prescription. Bill told Ephrains lousy excuse for a mother that he needed the glasses back. Now she says she lost them. She sold them, I bet you $$. I can’t even speak to her I dislike her so much.

Little girls and boys so dressed up!

I saw this praying mantis on my porch, it was less than 3/4 of an inch long, just a baby.

I was paying bills and running errands on Sept 6th, wearing a pair of comfy Dr Scholl’s sandals. When I got home later that day my right foot was bothering me. By Friday morning it was full on limping. Oh well, figured I had strained something and it would get better. On Saturday morning I went to my friend Linda’s house and picked limes, so many limes it’s not even funny. It was killing my foot to walk around on the uneven ground but I wanted limes!!

I came home and started juicing. I have 2 plastic ice cube trays and filled them each 4 times over the next few days. I now have bags of lime ice cubes in the freezer, ready for a recipe or some ice water.

I could sit here all day and juice.

The rinds got thrown into the jungle for the animals to feast on.

If I am at the pool, so are the dogs.

Getting ready for company, Barrio checking things out.

Barrio taking a swim, happens many times a day.

Max and Gringo getting out, Max shakes before he gets out of the water.

All I need is an IV tube and needle, I would be all set to go.

I was trying to lay in bed, Barrio had other plans for me.

Max and Barrio do not get along, sibling rivalry over me.

More Hot Tamales from Oregon, thanks Steve! This makes 23# of Hot Tamales people have brought to me.

Bill had food, despite the fact they already ate, they put on their starving faces.

Gringo has no shame.

So, flash forward three weeks from Sept. 6th, my foot is still killing me. Bill thought I had plantar faciitis, so did I. I googled it and couldn’t find symptoms similar to mine so I joined a PF group on FB. Once I was admitted I posted my symptoms and several people said it’s not PF. Great.

On Friday I messaged my friend Andrea, the nurse at Coco View. She said I needed to have it looked at and she texted Dr Izaguirre, the orthopedic surgeon. She made an appointment for me for Saturday morning.

Bill took me down to the hospital. The Doctor wanted me to get an X-ray, but there was nobody there to run the X-ray machine. He examined me and said I have a fracture of the 5th metatarsal and I am not allowed any weight on it for 3 weeks. In reality, I should not have been walking on it the last 3 weeks, must be why the pain was so bad and I was too stupid to realize that. I’ve also had issues with a screw in my left ankle since I had surgery March 31, 2013. My ankle gets a hard calcified thing that comes out of it, I’ve called it my alien for years. Doc said he could remove the screw for me and Bill said, you’re already going to be laid up, why not. I’m pretty convinced he hates me. So the Doc got me in a surgery room and did a local on my ankle. Once he cut me open he realized the screw was right below the skin and he also realized it was a special screw and he didn’t have a screwdriver to remove it.

This is the alien trying to come out of my ankle. It’s actually hard calcified skin. If my ankle gets bumped by the vacuum or a dog, it’s instant pain. Sometimes I can dig the calcified skin out and then there is a little hole in my ankle but the callus always regrows.

The doctor trying every single tool he could find. I could feel him trying to turn the screw but it wouldn’t budge using the tools he had available. No wonder the insurance and medical stuff in the US is such a mess when doctors have to use screws that require a (ridiculously priced) special screwdriver to remove it and that hospitals in other countries don’t have access to.

So, after digging for an hour and the local wearing off, when I told the doc I could really feel what he was doing he decided to quit, stitched me up and said he’ll remove the stitches in 2 weeks when he checks my broken right foot.

Did you know you can not use crutches if you can’t put weight on either of your damn feet? I am a crutch spaz anyhow, I detest them so I have been using my desk chair to scoot around on, using my left foot that’s not broken and a crutch. That was working well until the chair tipped over this morning and I fell out. Believe me, I am grouchy as hell and not having fun with this at all.

Friends donated 2 trumpets to me and I knew which school would want them. Froylan Turcios is the school we help the most and Marlon the principal has been wanting to acquire instruments.

One of my high school friends has been donating money every few months for me to use as needed. I decided to use some of it to help families who are raising their grandchildren. Marlon from Froylan Turcios found the needy families for me and Bill delivered the food to Marlon, SINCE I CAN’T WALK. This lady was a recipient.

Bill with bags of food.

Another man that received food for the family.

This is Don Lorenzo, he said, “thank you, thank you for your help. Blessings!”

A little bit of food goes a long way for these sweet people. Having someone hand them a bag filled with $25.00 worth of non perishable foods (they don’t have refrigerators) is a big deal.

We have had a lot of company recently. Just last weekend John and Lizeth came from Kentucky. We first met (when I was volunteering at the airport) in the immigration room. She recognized my name on my name tag from reading my blog. We’ve been friends ever since and we can’t wait until they finally move down here. They offered to bring stuff for us so they “muled” down my new phone, repaired jewelry, eye glasses and 8 jars of hot peppers that I ordered from Tony’s Deli in my hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They also brought a lot of donations for the kids and a box of these;

MMMM, good stuff.

Gringo, Max and Barrio laying on me

Max and Barrio’s face.

My boy Gringo..

I’m going to have dinner, pour a glass of wine and go back to bed to watch TV. I’m sure I’ll have some dogs with me. I’m hoping to be back in action soon.

Three years of destruction and mayhem

04/14/2018 My boys are 3 today. Barrio, Gringo, Max, and their siblings, Tank, Duke, Bandit and sweet Sable (the only girl) have been blessing us humans for 3 years. Tax day puppies! Thank you Frito for the best gifts ever! Three years of three boys, teething, destroying beds, toys, chairs, shedding 497 kazillion pounds of dog hair (including Lola and Highway) eating 3 bags of Kirkland a month, pooping all over the yard multiple times a day. Killing everything that crosses their path, luckily no iguanas have been harmed, I can’t say the same about Anoles or geckos. In their (the dogs) defense, I don’t think they mean to kill them. They catch them and in the process hurt them then spit them out because they taste like crap. No matter what these boys do, even through the bad times like when they fight, they are loved. My favorite dogs ever and I have had dogs since I could walk. That’s a long freaking time ago. I don’t remember a time in my life without a pet.

Three years ago today, 2 were born at the vets, one was born in my car on the way home. Another as soon as I got the crate out of the car. Then she had 2 more and acted hungry. I fed her and she proceeded to have # 7. Healthy beautiful pups. At that point I had 11 dogs.

We have been busy, boring and busy some more. It’s all good. In the past few weeks we have met some wonderful people and look forward to growing our friendships with them. Meeting people is my thing anyhow, I love it. Always have. I used to be shy but I doubt anyone would use that word when talking about me now. The times they have changed.

Nidia and I are hoping the TOM’s shoes come in soon, we want to get them passed out. I just spoke with the principal at Froylan Turcios school, the one Bill’s been working on the toilets and sinks. They are all now functioning. We are trying to find a source of water to run a pressure washer to clean the roof of the bathroom, then Bill and the guys will paint the roof with something to stop the leaks, we already have it, just waiting to get it clean. One of my fabulous friends from high school is sending me $25.00 a month to help feed a needy family. Marlon, the principal and I are going to talk about this next week. I don’t want to do the same family every month, I would like to switch it up a bit. More to come with photos soon.

Before of the school bathrooms

After the new paint, looks so much nicer.

We were having Kevin and Claire over for dinner one night before they left the island. I made the “Natasha” special rum cake and had just injected the rum into it. I pushed it away from the edge of the counter, then realized it was dripping syrup all over. After I wiped the plate clean I failed to shove it to the back of the counter and Barrio took full advantage of that. Little sneak, he was gobbling like he hadn’t eaten in years when Bill caught him in the act.

The worst part is, we cut the dog eaten parts off the cake so guests would not have to eat it.  We ended up eating the chewed gnawed on cake ourselves, what’s a little dog slobber in your life?

With Kevin and Claire leaving the island they had to find homes for their 4 dogs. Since Tank was one of Frito’s pups I said I would find a home for him. I wanted him so badly but knew that 4 brothers in the house was not a good idea.

Bill and I took Tank down to the beach where Miguel lives to see if he may be a good fit with Bonnie and Bella. After seeing how many ticks Miguel’s dogs had on them, I decided against that as an option for Tank.

He’s such a handsome boy. He looks like Barrio but has no white on him at all. He remembers Bill and I and is so excited to see us. I find it amazing that I was able to imprint on these dogs when they were puppies and they all remember me. Island dogs rock, well, all dogs rock.

I finally found a home for him on the beach in an amazing location with my friends G and Robert. They had tied him out one day and they went golfing. He had never been tied so he chewed through the rope and ran away. When I found out he was gone I said, “we’re on our way.” I was frantic, wondering where Tank was, if he was hurt, caught in barbed wire, I was a nervous wreck. Bill and I drove around for 90 minutes looking for him, no sign of him at all. We came home depressed and just sick to our stomachs. Twenty minutes after we got home G messaged me that he was back. Relief filled my heart. Now he has figured out that he needs to stay home. They went golfing and left him home. He was on the porch sleeping when they returned. I think he will really bond with G because she runs 3 miles every morning and she takes him with her, he loves it. I’m so happy he has a good home.

My sister Missy had Easter at her house. Mom and Dad, my brother PJ and his daughter and my handsome nephew Eric and his wife Sofie were there. I wish we could have been there too! The main downfall of living on an island is missing family.

Missy and my 97 year old dad coloring eggs. Missy is so good to them, it makes me feel really bad that I’m not there to help more.

Eric, Sofie, Mom, Dad, Missy, PJ and Devon. Love them all!

Bill went out to the outside bodega to get something and saw a head peeking out from under the door. When he opened the door, he was greeted by Miss Boa. As soon as he saw her he called me and told me. I was inside the house and had not one speck of desire to go look at the snake. I said, “take pics.”

She was big and strong, he tried to grab her with the snake tongs but she was too strong for them so he shooed her out the door.

She made her way back to the jungle. She could come back and live here if she started eating the dog poop. It could be a win win for both of us, except snakes don’t eat dog poop.

My friend Ryan has been coming to Roatan for years with the Live Again Ministry. They do so much for the island, painting schools, feeding the hungry, they bring clothes and shoes and toys, school supplies, things for the teachers, supply water filters for the areas that have no safe drinking water and provide the funds for the always highly anticipated East End Senior Luncheon. They are really an amazing group of people, led by Pastor Ronny. I love them all and appreciate their love for the island. Talk about giving from the heart. Ryan had never been snorkeling so it was my mission to take him this trip. I called my friends at the Sloth farm and they said come on down. Dustin took us out on the barge in the marine park protected area to snorkel. It was a really windy day and the waves were high and the current was strong. We decided to go for it, despite the less than ideal conditions for a first time snorkeler

As soon as I stuck my head underwater I saw this sea biscuit.

Intermediate French Angelfish

Anemone

Southern sting ray

Another shot of it. We saw so many that day.

Another sea biscuit

I was trying to get a photo of Ryan snorkeling but there was so much sargassum floating in the water that every time I took a shot, it had floated in front of my camera. Then my battery died. It was still a great day in the water and I’m hoping to take Ryan and his sister Susan snorkeling on their next trip here.

We were driving past the grocery store the other day and saw this dude crashed on the sidewalk of the bank.

A little too much party?

A few hours later we drove by again and he was laying flat out.

He was gone the next day.

Cal’s Cantina was our dinner spot two nights this week, once with Denise and Michael and again with Julie and Brian. I really could eat there nightly.

We met some new friends from the UK. They live in Politilly. Like us, they are dog lovers and have 2 rescues at their home here and dogs at their permanent home in England. They came over to our house the other day to meet our pack. Highway fell in love with Mandy and kissed her to death. She said they had cut flowers for me but forgot them. We hung out by the pool and watched the dogs swim, had some snacks and chatted. After they left, they went home, got the flowers and brought them back to me. They are beautiful!

Bouganvillea, Lobster claw, red ginger and shell ginger.

This is the view from another friends home on the south shore, beautiful place right on the iron shore. Great pool to sit in with cocktails and watch the sun set and the stars twinkle.

This is Far Tortuga and it is for rent, if you’re interested, let me know.

My laptop died in the middle of this post. I was sure I lost my blog post but was actually amazed when I finally got my laptop up and running again, I hadn’t lost anything. Save draft needs to be imbedded into my brain, you would think by now I would have that figured out.

Tonight is the last Brion James beach concert before he goes on tour for 9 months. Planning to feed the dogs and head down there around 5. Hopefully I’ll get my life together soon and be able to get a few more blogs out. Thanks for following!

 

 

Bonacca and Guanaja, we have arrived!

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04/25/2016 Two weeks ago on Monday morning I was trying to get in to see my dentist because I had a miserable toothache. I could see his assistant but not him until Thursday so I said I would wait until Thursday. About a year ago he put a temporary crown on a tooth but won’t put the permanent one on until I go see an endodontist on the mainland. I was to do that last year. OOPS. What can I say, the tooth didn’t hurt until now. So, I waited.

Monday my cleaning gal came and did the upstairs. It stayed clean for a while. Well, until I let the dogs back inside. I’m a walking oxymoron it seems. Pay a cleaning lady to clean up the dog mess and when she’s done, let the dogs in. What makes sense about that? Nothing.

Our friends were coming over for a long overdue pizza dinner that night. We had a great evening, drinks on the roof, pizza on the porch, back on the roof for after dinner drinks. They don’t mind the dogs, they have one of ours so they were cool. Even the dogs got treats.

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Peanut butter and yogurt whipped, put in Kongs and frozen.

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Siamese twins

It was a fabulous evening with good friends and great conversation.

I started to help deliver shoes again on Tuesday at the Juan Brooks school in downtown Coxen Hole. It was hot and humid, sweat was the word for the day. When I got there they had just started fitting shoes. We had a family from CA. and a group of young women from The World RaceTake the time to click on the link and see what these ladies do. They travel 11 months a year to very remote places and do mission work, strong, amazing young women. They spent their second week here on the island at my friends home.

When I got to the school, the fitting was in full swing.

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The 3 girls seated on the left and the girl on the left standing were all part of The World Race.

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This is a big school in the center of town.

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Nidia, checking her list.

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It was just the boys in the photo but the girls photobombed.

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So many kids

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Doing school work in the cool breezeway.

Once we finished Juan Brooks we went to a small school by the airport.

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The school

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The fitters and the fetchers..our helpers, The World Race ladies had to leave part way through the day so we got teachers to help fit, and my friend Jan, in blue scrubs. She is a volunteer nurse at Clinic Esperanza and is from Park City, Utah.

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Old for new

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There was a never ending stream of kids.

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Waiting

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The sink at the store by the school. I got to see it close up because I LOCKED MY ONLY KEY IN MY CAR. Bill had to drive 40 min to where I was, get a mechanic on the way, so he could break into my car. UGH!! Need to get a new key made, soon.

I made it to the dentist on Thursday and he was shocked I hadn’t had my tooth taken care of. He doesn’t know me very well. It didn’t hurt, why bother, except he reminded me, I still have a temporary crown. He once again said I need to go to the mainland so I need to fit that in to my schedule soon. After that I took my car to get the part fixed where the guy broke it jaibreaking my car and also got the oil and filters changed. Good to go, again!

On Friday Nidia came to my house and we headed east to BJ’s. We hung out there for awhile visiting and then we left to go do a soccer equipment delivery at a field near Pandy Town, could be considered Fiddlers Bight. Pastor Ronny Russell and the Live Again Ministries and Theresa Renee Arriaga helped with the money for this donation. The coach took the stuff to the field but the kids didn’t know what was in the box.

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The coach had the box on the back of his motorcycle. The kids were beyond anxious with anticipation.

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Nidia talking to the kids

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Silly boys

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Huge field in the middle of nowhere. I think this land separates Pandy town and Fiddlers Bight.

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Nidia asking the boys if they know what is in the box..

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Who wants new soccer stuff?

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What an assortment of stuff, shoes, balls and uniforms.

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Could he have a bigger smile?

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Nice shoes

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Happy kids with new uniforms

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This little guy was adorable

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Exciting, soccer shoes.

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WOW! Soccer shoes are rarely worn here, nobody can afford them.

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New soccer balls!

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A goalie uniform

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Sent from Diunsa on the mainland.

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Perfect timing!

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The coach and 3 boys standing near their community water supply.

After there we scouted out another potential place for the senior dinner and we think it’s a great spot. More on that later.

I did my airport gig on Saturday, fast and furious as usual. The next morning was my usual foray at Mega Paca and let me say, I got the PERFECT Pirate Party dress. Can’t wait!!

We were going to go to Bonacca and Guanaja to deliver shoes on Monday but that fell through so we were shooting for Tuesday. I met Nidia in Oak Ridge Tuesday morning. Let the adventure begin. OMG, it’s a good thing I’m pretty much game for anything.

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We were going in the big boat. The OLD slow boat. The boat with few seats.

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Nidia found a perfect seat..

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It was rough on the way over, took 4 hours, I was sitting on my butt on the boat floor and I was soaked. FOUR HOURS!!

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Some people slept, or tried to.

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You can tell which way the wind blows

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Getting off the boat in Bonacca.

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The Venice of the Caribbean

Bonacca is a small town made of home on stilts connected by waterways and walkways. There are no cars or motorcycles on Bonacca. To read more about Bonacca and it’s history, click here. It was really amazing. Clean, very narrow streets, everyone smiled or spoke to you, education is at about 97%, which is amazing. We got to meet the mayor, a very young guy, progressive thinker, he seems to be doing quite well. We also met the director of all the schools on Bonacca and Guanaja.

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View from the restaurant.

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Bonacca springs water.

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Not sure why the clothes were out on the roof, my guess was to dry them?

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Kids on the street

After we had lunch we gathered the shoes from the Municipal office where they were stored and went to the first school on Bonacca. It was a medium sized school and it was spotlessly clean. There was no trash laying in the schoolyard, outside, in the rooms, NONE. How impressive that the Mayor has set these standards and the teachers and students are held accountable.

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Schoolyard. These boys were playing soccer with a ball of paper wadded up into a ball shape.

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New shoes, thanks TOMS shoes!

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D, Jan, Tony and Erik waiting for the next class to fit at the school.

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These boys had big feet!

 

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Bonacca is so cool!

After the 4 hour boat ride, fitting the kids with shoes, most of the people wanted to shower and chill for awhile. Nidia, Cookie (her daughter) and Nidia’s sister Rose Mary and I wanted to go on a boat tour so we found a guy to take us out. It was so beautiful. He took us east, around The Villa on Dunbar Rock and through the little stilt homes built off the shore of Guanaja.

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I have wanted to see this place for years. It is magnificent!

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The Villa must have cost a fortune to build, all the steel and concrete beams sunk down into the rock, what an incredible place. You can rent all or part of the house. There are 10 bedrooms!!

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There was a small village of stilt houses off the shore. In the background of this home you can see Bonacca.

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These two homes have a bridge between them. Of course, we went under it.

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Bonacca

We were asking the boat driver where to eat and all of a sudden he manuevered his boat into this small space, tied it up and we got out.

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We followed him down this narrow hallway, up some stairs and there was this cool little restaurant! We decided to eat there.

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Many evacuation signs posted all over.

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We meandered back through the maze of streets to our “hotel” to find the rest of the gang. They were scattered all over.

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Internet cafe??

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This sign is classic.

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These boxes were stacked in every nook and cranny in Nidia’s room.

Some of the guys were down on the dock so I walked down to get them with a wine bottle and a plastic cup in my hand. I really wanted some wine but couldn’t get the cork out. (it was uncorked but I stuck the cork back in it). Erik to the rescue (all the while Tony is saying he has pliers) but who needs pliers when Erik’s teeth work just fine. POP came the cork. I had VINO!!

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We gathered the group, 12 of us, and went to the restaurant. It was a really nice place, cool breeze and they were very busy. It was aptly named Sea View.

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I happened to take some cars with me and gave a few to the owners son. Thanks again John and Lizeth, I’m still passing them out.

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This sweet little guy was there with his family, the littlest one and the only boy. I gave him 2 cars and he was immediately busy running them up the chairs, on the table. I think he was occupied for the evening.

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On the way to the restaurant we grabbed another bottle of wine. It’s a good thing because Nidia, Rose Mary and I drank 2 for dinner. This is Nidia leaving the restaurant.

After that we meandered through the streets and back to our hotel where we all crashed. We were meeting at 7 for breakfast and 8 to do shoes.

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Jan put this back on but the shower still sucked and it was cod water.

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Maybe the rubber band was to hold the shower head on.

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Expert air/co installation

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Good thing we didn’t need drawers!

I slept very poorly that night, even w/ the air conditioning I was still hot and the pillow felt like it belonged to Wilma Flintstone.  I was happy to see morning!

Some of the people went to breakfast, I had packed a week long supply of food. (I know, odd for the girl who doesn’t like to eat) so I had a bagel. We started carrying the boxes downstairs and loading them in the wheelbarrow or carrying them to the school. This school was right next to the one we were at the previous day. It seems like the schools on Guanaja are much better equipped, the library was full of books, world globes, pencils, crayons, impressive.

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Well stocked library

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Fitting shoes

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Yes, they all want new shoes!!

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Nice classroom

When we were done with this school we loaded the boxes onto the same tired old boat and set off for Savanna Bight on Guanaja.

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We even fit kids on the boat!

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The locals call this the egg house. It has 3 bedrooms, a bath, full kitchen , living space and a deck all around it. It is for sale and it’s built well enough that it withstood Guanaja getting hit by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

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Leaving Bonacca for Savannah Bight, Guanaja

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Another view of Dunbar Rock

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Karl, Nidia’s son, King of the World. He just left for Germany, by way of Miami, to go to college.

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This is what drew me to the Bay Islands!

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Getting ready to dock at Savannah Bight

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Carrying shoes from the boat to the school.

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Beauties

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The girls were sweeping but as soon as they saw the camera, they were posing.

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So cute

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I love their responses when they see their photos!

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They spoke English also, at least the majority did.

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Nothing better than smiling kids

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View from the school

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Cleaning the classroom before we set up

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All handsome, the boy on the left had beautiful eyes!!

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Not camera shy and silly as anything.

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Waiting their turn

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These kids were so darn adorable!

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A school desk

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Cookie (Nidia’s daughter) Tony, a volunteer with the Roatan Marine Park and Rose Mary, Nidia’s sister on the left fitting shoes. I was sitting next to Cookie.

When we were done there a truck came and we loaded the boxes and ourselves onto the truck bed and set off for another school.

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Rose Mary on the top of the truck, she had to watch for low hanging branches.

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There are very few cars but a fabulous concrete road. This is the service station.

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School # 4

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Another nice school. There were kids from 4 schools here to get shoes. I spotted the dog right away and called it to come over to me. It looked sickly. I noticed a few ticks on the dogs eye so I pulled them off and squished them with my finger nail. I was petting the dog when my friend said blood was dripping off of my hand. I looked at the poor dog’s ear and it was lacerated and infected. I immediately went to the director of schools and requested that he have the principal take this dog to the vet. (There is a vet on the island.) I told him if the dog didn’t get help it would die. If Guanaja wasn’t so far away I would go back and take care of the poor thing. I reminded the director 3 times. He more than likely thinks I’m crazy but I don’t care.

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Kids from 1 school in pants, another school (dressed like the girl in the plaid skirt) was there too.

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Yellow shirts are another school and kids in white and blue are a 4th school.

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My friend Erik, the pharmacist from Michigan. He is here volunteering at Clinic Esperanza.

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What adorable kids they were!!

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Leaving the school heading back to the boat dock. The man on the right is the school director.

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The director of the schools, Dennis, D and Rose Mary, on our way back to Bonacca.

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It was a smooth ride, we were inside the reef so some people sat on the roof of the boat.

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This is Graham’s Place.

Grahams Place has quite a following. I’ve not been but it’s on my list. It is a tiny tiny island surrounded by gorgeous calm waters and beautiful deserted beaches. Sound inviting? Click on the link and check it out. Truly a one of a kind place.

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Our boat was old..

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Handsome Karl, what a great guy. He and Cookie will do well in Germany and make their mother even prouder than she is now! Fabulous kids!

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It was fun watching this guy off of a little cay.

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Back to Bonacca. The building on the right is where we had dinner the previous evening.

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Nidia was exhausted.

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When we returned to Bonacca we planned to get our stuff from the room and head back to Roatan; however we were greeted by kids wanting shoes. We had them go back to the hotel (sic) lobby and we fit them there. Then more kids came and more and more. We were there for quite a while. Since there were only 4 seats in the lobby it was mostly stand up fitting.

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Jan and Tony fitting. Jan is from Park City, Utah and Tony is a journalist from British Columbia. Jan and I shared a room.

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Rose Mary doing some stand up, sit on the floor fitting.

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The line stretched down to the corner and then some.

Once we were done here, we consolidated shoes so we had fewer boxes to take back with us. We were hoping to get a faster boat and after about 45 min of waiting, we did. It was a much smaller boat though, no top on it and it barely held all of us. Several times when we were out in the open ocean, all you could see were the swells of the water on either side. We were all pretty soaked when we finally returned to Oak Ridge. It only took about 2 hours to get home and we took a really cool cut through mangroves on the island of Guanaja. It was an interesting ride home to say the least.

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The neat and tidy streets of Bonacca

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Taken from the second floor of the visitor center

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Boats..everyone has a boat!

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Lots of kids with their new TOMS shoes on.

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Black spiny sea urchins in the water by the docks.

A lot of our view on the way home was big waves and salt spray. The sea calmed once we got along side of Barbareta Island and was pretty calm the rest of the way. When we were out in the open sea in that small boat though, it was super rough. We would drop down in between the huge swells. Very exciting.

We got home around 6 PM. I was whooped and just wanted a hot shower and couldn’t wait to wash the layer of salt off of my skin. I got free exfoliation on the way there and back, a perk for sure.

I never quite know what to expect when I go on these escapades with Nidia but I do know that all of the kids (except for less than 6 who didn’t show up that day) on Bonacca and Guanaja have new shoes. ‘

TOMS shoes really does rock and I’m so blessed to be able to be a part of it. It’s tiring leaning over all day, carrying boxes, fitting and sizing but when you see the smiles or get the hugs you forget about any discomfort you may have and revel in the joy on the kids faces.

That’s what it’s all about.

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..

 

 

Two years down

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10/26/2015  Two years ago today we arrived in Roatan with 2 dogs, a cat, 5 suitcases and 3 carry-ons, making one of the biggest life changes ever for us. It was a big move, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’ve learned a lot living here for 2 full years and I can honestly say I love Roatan. I love the people I have met, the Ex-pats and the Islanders. Now that the house is completely livable and the pups are rather self sufficient I’ve been able to really get involved with many different groups and doing that has given me the access to meet some fabulously wonderful people.

Earlier in the week we had another delivery truck stuck in the driveway. I “think” this is # 10. I could smell the clutch burning up before I even knew there was a truck down there. They were bringing building supplies to people living down in the valley and had too much weight and poor brakes {a very common problem on the island, we don’t need no stinking brakes}. They reach a point where their load is too much and the no brakes/poorly maintained vehicle issues rears it’s ugly head. They tried and tried to make it but in the end they chose slamming into the bank instead of dropping off into the ravine. Bill had been out running errands and came along while they were figuring out what the hell to do. They actually pulled the truck out with a chain hoist, which is usually used to move engines. Not trucks. (Bill had previously told me they used a come-a-long, that’s why I posted that on FB). It worked and they somehow managed to get backed down the driveway. It amazes me the condition of the vehicles on the island, bald tires, no brakes, bad clutch, insanely crazy alignment where the trucks actually look like they are going down the road sideways.

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The bank eats another truck

Friday afternoon we again went to BJ’s to see our friends. It’s a great way to begin the weekend and make plans for the upcoming week. After we left BJ’s we came home, grabbed my car and headed to the grocery store. Grocery shopping after a few drinks is never a good thing.

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This is the only one of three I could post. In the other 2 photos I clearly was, whatever. Thank you lovely Marilyn. I forgot that you took these but when I saw them on my phone I remembered you asking how to do the camera. So I did remember. I am with a friend, Kelly.

I worked at the airport again on Saturday, 5 weeks in a row. On the way in I saw my friends Rob and Lisa. They have 2 of our puppies, Bandit and Sable. Sable was the only girl in the litter. Sable had been having some eye problems and one of the numb nuts in the pharmacy gave them some eye drops which they said would be fine. Not knowing, they used them in Sables eyes. They were steroid drops and sort of ulcerated her corneas. Rob was flying her to La Ceiba to Dr. Bueno’s animal hospital. When I saw that sweet little girl, she knew who I was right away and gave me so much loving while I stood there crying. Her eyes hurt her so badly she kept them closed. Lisa said she is still at the hospital, waiting on some more tests but they said her eyes were open and she seemed to be doing better. I am very anxious for her to heal and come home. Please keep Sable in your prayers. I cried the whole way home from the airport just thinking about her.

The airport, I do love being at the airport. I have so much fun meeting people.  This week as I meandered  through the lines chatting to people a man said to me, “Good thing you don’t have a problem with shyness.” Nope. Not me. Several of my friends arrived this weekend, either coming back home or coming for a few months or for a vacation, it was so fun to welcome them with a big hug. I even met some people who remembered me from when they were here a few months ago. The flights were all screwed up with arrival times, from what we were told, all 3 would land within 15 minutes of each other. Delta surprised us and landed 35 minutes early, then American and United landed within 15 min of each other. Craziness. We kept it under control and got everyone through immigration and in a good mood to start their vacation. Carolyn and I seriously think we should be serving cocktails in Immigration.

Sunday we (I) made a huge mistake and decided to take 5 of the dogs swimming to Paya Bay. Highway whined the whole 25 minute drive there, he’s ADHD and can’t control himself. You could cut his lips off with a chainsaw and he would still whine. Physically, he can not stop. The boys were in the front and in the back, changing seats every time we hit a bump, which was every 5 seconds. Lola was terrified, she does not like cars. Or water. Or food. Or us. When we got there the first thing we saw were 2 stray dogs on the beach. SHIT. There weren’t supposed to be dogs, just sand and garbage. Lots of trash on this beach. . They did run off when we parked so we let the herd loose with leashes still attached so we could grab them easier. They weren’t interested in the water, they wanted to run. Then the other dogs came back and my fear was the boys would chase those dogs and we would never find Barrio, Gringo or Maxillicious again, so we left. It was a piss poor trip.

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5 dogs in the backseat

After we came home, it was still early so I crawled back in bed with Emmy {after I bathed the 3 pups}. I slept until 11:40, it was a nice sleep, kind of light and dreamy.  We got ready to go to our friends home for a late lunch. They live on Calabash Bight (Bay). When I say on, I mean ON. Alex picked us up by boat from BJ’s and we were at their place in 5 short minutes. I always love riding through Pandy town on a boat and waving to the people along the way. We hung out for a while on their superb deck talking, having some wine and enjoying the view. Marilyn made a delicious Caesar salad with home made croutons and home made dressing. I could have made a meal out of that. She also had chicken for the 2 of us (I don’t eat red meat) and steak for Bill and Alex and a great potato casserole. Yummy 5 ***** meal in a beautiful location with great friends, doesn’t get much better.

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Yes, I know, their view is kind of sucky. Especially when the sun is setting and the moon is out. The colors are very defined. The huge blue house in the background on the hill is my friend Kathy’s home.

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Ummm, yeah, their deck. Water on 3 sides.

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South west edge of the mouth of Calabash Bight.

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A better view of Kathy’s. She just painted her roof, it was darker before. I like it.

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Skipper. What a love. Skipper and Scruffy and the neighbor dog that thinks it lives there.

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The mouth of the bight.

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What a glorious moon.

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How do I caption this? Perfection??

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1 full moon, coming right up.

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Water splashing, love sticking my camera off the side of the boat and snapping away. Good lord, I love digital photography.

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Pulling in to BJ’s to begin our drive home.

The dogs were all wild and crazy when we got home. Frito was doing her damn seal thing. I can’t believe Bill doesn’t think she sounds like a damn seal. It drives me up the wall. A few glasses of wine in the afternoon and I fade F A S T. I was in bed early.

This morning I had to meet our friend Sam to give him money to get the fiber glass to start doing our roof. It’s flat and we thought it would be a good idea for water damage prevention. The roof will be like the deck of a boat, non slippery and it won’t mold or mildew. I pulled into the Iguana Farm and parked my car. As soon as I began walking down the ramp, I looked at all the iguanas and said to myself, ” Do I have a cool life or what? Walking through the iguanas to meet my friend Sam.”  Yes, blessed indeed, especially to have Sam as a friend. Sam showed me his new boat and his fiancee’s house that he is building for her, all the while there are iguanas wandering everywhere. So darn awesome! After that I ran to ACE  and grabbed a few glow sticks for tomorrow night, knowing full well with the full moon at the Daughters of the Island Moon party, that I probably won’t need them. The party is on the beach at a very secluded place, so looking forward to a night with some crazy island sisters.

So yeah, 2 years here on the rock. Did we make a mistake moving here? I don’t think so. Our life is so different from what it was 2 years ago. When we first moved here we knew some people and got to do some fun things but the longer you are here, the more people you meet. Whether it’s in the process of finding homes for our puppies, meeting people on FB and then becoming friends once they get here, handing out TOM’s shoes, delivering desks, helping at Cattleya, volunteering for Because We Care or at the airport, the people I have met are fascinating. They are all different, come from different ways of life, live differently at home and here, had different former lives, have different points of view. However, the one thing they all have in common is: THEY CHOSE THIS ISLAND TO CALL HOME. It’s an unspoken bond. Island Insanity. We all have it.

I have loved my last two years on this rock and am pretty much ready for whatever comes next. No hurry. It’s called Island Time.

 

 

I milked my dog….

 

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06/06/2015 I am a puppy mother, Lola is the babysitter from hell. SHEER HELL. Holy sheepshit, these pups are getting big and W I L D. And OMG, we love them so darn much it’s scary. Never before have I had this many puppies. Highway was this small but there was only 1, and Lola was small too and thank all the stars in the sky, there is only 1 of her. She is showing them how to dig holes, eat rocks, pee on the porch and chew on anything and everything. The digging holes is the worst, well, that and the fact she is peeing on the porch again. Death becomes her.

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Highway 6 weeks old Jan. 2013, Roatan

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Lola, 7 weeks old, Dec 2014, Roatan

We still have 4 almost 8 week old puppies to care for and let me tell you, this is a game changer. Four is easier than 7, much easier, but. UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS 3,978,645 TIMES A DAY. omgomgomg. Sometimes coming up the steps I actually think I am going to pass out and face plant on the ground, puppies in hands (pretty sure my boobs would envelope them and protect their heads from traumas.) But still. They are heavy. They eat a lot. And they shit a lot too. Add to that 4 BIG dogs. That’s a shitload of dog shit. And we try to clean it up immediately. I usually stand, shovel in hand behind a squatted puppy butt. I actually thought today that I should just train them to shit on the shovel and I wouldn’t even have to scoop. Oh the places my mind goes. I won’t take you there, I promise.

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Passed out in the living room in their “area”

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Max

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Brindle

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Max again, love his chest colors

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Tank, this guy is a TANK.

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L to R Max, Barrio and Brindle

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Tank launches himself into this chair. Sometimes he makes it, other times not.

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They love this chair because they can tilt it back

The pups are weaned. Frito still has milk. I read conflicting info and was told conflicting info re the milk still in Fritos’ boobs. I know that with nursing, supply=demand; no pups nursing, no milk being made. However, she was HUGE. Bill made the comment he was afraid they (boobs) were going to self destruct. I assured him it wouldn’t happen but went down to check. Umm, Dolly Parton X’s 8. I milked her. Yes, I damn did. What else could I do? Watch them explode?? Milk was even squirting out of boobs I wasn’t touching. Frito is still in her food obsessed mind set and was bound and determined to lap up all that milk. I tried like hell to stop her but you try and milk a dog AND keep her from drinking the milk. Go ahead. Try it. Hence, there are no photos of this. I didn’t want her to get the milk because it has lots of protein in it and that encourages more milk. I have stopped giving her yogurt during this drying up stage for that very reason. So we are 12 days into it and she still has some milk. I made the HUMONGO mistake of taking her with me for a few quick errands the other day. Well, now my car smells like sour freaking spoiled rotten dog boob milk. The back trunk area where she was now looks like this:

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No, it’s not cocaine, it’s baking soda..to absorb the gross milk smell.

So, TERMITES. Yes, we recently had an abnormally insane infestation. This is what a termite nest looks like. Photo courtesy of the Australian Museum.

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A termite nest

I have seen termite nests while walking the dogs, I thought they were, well, I don’t know what I thought they were. We have had termite hatches before, a few hundred wings, call it good, go to bed. This time they started early and got progressively worse. Worse to the point I was ready to lock myself in my car to get away from them. Obviously our windows are not sealed well or we would not have had 11 zillion of these things. INSIDE.

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In the beginning

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It progressed

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Scary

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A swarm

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INSIDE our bedroom

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the air was thick with them

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The rain and possibly the full moon made it this bad

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So gross, thousands of wet termite wings

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My windows were clean before the storm. The tracks were nice and tidy but the screens hold the dust, when it rains it turns the inside tracks of your windows to mud.

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The back porch

So they hatch, swarm, drop their wings, (each have 4) find a mate and nest. Hopefully not in our furniture!

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This is one night of rain, the spoon rest was clean, this is from the rain coming in the window.

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Clear top on my stove, right in front of a window and this is how dirty one rain made it.

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The pups woke us early, this was our gift.

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Gorgeous morning sky

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beautiful

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My fav

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Necessity is the mother of invention.  Bill washing  the second floor windows.

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Squeegee attached to a piece of bamboo

I took the crib/playpen to Miguel last Sunday, he and Estefany were thrilled with it.

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Love the colors

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Valerie Gisselle

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Our first bananas and they are delicious. So nice being able to cut them when you need them!

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We also have papayas growing,  just from Bill tossing the rind and seeds over the bank for the lizards.

Last post I mentioned Eddy and his brothers, they are really sweet boys who have such a grim future. They live with their grandparents who are quite poor, their mother works in Coxen Hole and is gone during the week. They don’t know who their father(s) are. Eddy, the oldest said most mornings they go to school hungry because there is no food until their grandfather gets paid again. The boys didn’t get TOMS shoes when they were distributed at their school because Eddy was ill and since he’s the oldest, if he doesn’t go to school the younger ones don’t either. They have to hitch a ride in the mornings and if they don’t get a ride in time, they go home. Sad state of affairs in the school system here. I talked to Nidia about them and she said we could give them shoes. I measured them and she and I went and got shoes. When I got home today from my volunteer airport greeter gig (beats WalMart greeter hands down) they were here at the house. Bill got them to try on their shoes but he was afraid David’s were too small. David is the one who comes up through the jungle in his bare feet to get wood for his grandmother to cook with, he is 8. Eddy says his grandparents don’t like David. When I got out of my car Eddy came over and hugged me and said thank you for everything. He is the boy we bought a soccer ball for with the money Walt and Judy Kaiser sent to me. I checked David’s shoes and they are fine, tight but room for his toes and they stretch. Each of the boys came over and hugged me and said thank you.

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L to R Eddy is 14, Milton is 7, Marcus is 12 and David is 8, although he is smaller than his brother who is younger. Eddy got shoes too, he had already taken his home when he went to get his brothers.

Eddy fell at school and scraped his face on the concrete, looked nasty so we gave him Vitamin E. Today Marcus took a chunk out of his finger cutting a papaya, they had wrapped a piece of cloth around it. Bill put antibacterial creme and a band aid on it and I taped the band aid on.  Poor kids. The new TOMS shoes made them extremely happy boys!!

We have both been exhausted, me so tired that food is meaningless. Food is never meaningless to Bill though. He lives to eat, I eat to live. Friday night we had home made potato chips, last night Bill made corn bread, That was dinner. I’m thinking we need to get our act together since next week at this time we will have guests, Bill’s sister Kathy and her granddaughter Jen. We are really looking forward to them visiting so we can show them our island and help them to understand the variety of reasons that we love it here.

We can see the mainland quite clearly today, this doesn’t happen very often.

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Mainland Honduras, 35 +/- miles away

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Tank and Max

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Lola cleaning Barrio’s ear

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The babysitter from hell and her kids

Boob update: They all seem to be milk free finally. We’re still going to keep her separated from the pups for a few more days in case they try to nurse, give them time to really dry up. YAY for no more milk.

I’m off to puppy sit downstairs, hope your Sunday is half as exciting as mine.

P.S.S. It wasn’t boob milk in my car that smelled, it was urine. She PEED in my car. Damn Damn Damn. Think I got the smell out using Nature’s Miracle Pet Odor Remover. Last ride for the 3 legged dog..