Passing the Torch

This title seems appropriate, considering that Canada is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. On October 30, 2009 the journey of the Olympic torch began. On day 59, December 27, it was carried through my hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It traveled along familiar roads, and past landmarks I could easily recognise. I looked at photos of the participants and felt their pride.

On Roatan there is also a tradition of ‘Passing the Torch’. When someone new has chosen to call Roatan home, every effort is made to welcome them to their new community. No game plan or official rules have been written to facilitate the event. It is just one of those things you know when it is the right time to pass it on.

When Dave and I arrived to Roatan 2-1/2 years ago, numerous people (who we now call family and friends) extended invites to their homes, to attend pot-luck-dinners, parties and events. At the time it was a little overwhelming—so many names to remember, new faces and stories of where they originally came from and how they found their way to Roatan.

A few months back (I won’t even try to remember exactly when—that will be a story of its own) the time came to ‘Pass the Torch’. We were hosting a Barbeque at our home  in Sundancer, Sandy Bay (just because) when we were informed that a new couple had arrived to live on Roatan. Without hesitation I knew they were the ones. After a quick introduction I invited them to the party (gave them directions—that too qualifies as a story of its own) and suggested they bring a side-dish.

They arrived a little late…looking very nervous. I later found out from them, that they couldn’t believe that after such a short period of time without any hesitation they were being accepted as friends of our community. After an evening of socializing by the pool, enjoying good food and company, I announced that the time had come for Dave and me to ‘Pass the Torch’ to Roatan newbie’s, John and Barbara Morris…I handed them the salad tongs.

Very rarely will I specifically name people in my stories (to protect the innocent and all that stuff) but I have included their names with their permission. John and Barbara have quickly assimilated the Roatan way of life. John is a regular contributor to the Bay Island Voice and Barbara does the photography for the articles. They have launched www.roatanradio.com  and diligently work on bringing the best Roatan has to offer to the world.

John has graciously accepted my request to do a guest post in response to this one—enjoy!

John’s post “Accepting the Torch” will be posted tomorrow. In the meantime be sure to check out www.roatanradio.com

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3 Responses to “Passing the Torch”

  1. Pam Says:

    I too experienced the graciousness of the islanders when Genny and Dave invited me to the homes of their friends for potlucks and cards and I was just visiting Roatan.

    It was extremely heart warming to be included and meet such lively and interesting people. I still feel very privileged to have been invited to their gatherings.

    Congrats John and Barbara. I can still see Barbara cutting up the roast chickens with kitchen scissors. I wonder what she will do with the salad tongs?

  2. Linda Ladouceur Says:

    My husband, Robert and I recently spent 4 weeks on Roatan. This was our second trip. Dave and Genny shared their home and their friends with us so that by the time we left, we felt like we had become part of the community. Everyone was so welcoming and included us in everthing – pot lucks, card nights, sailing adventures. Even when Robert and I were on our own for a couple of weeks, we kept running into our new friends and we felt like we really belonged.
    I don’t think we will ever live in Roatan (you never know!) but I am sure we will go back for many visits.

  3. Patricia Lemelin Says:

    What a very cute Ideal, passing the torch to welcome the new arrivers to that beautiful island, Salad Thongs, You are so original. I can actually see the cerimony as you do the big speil of passing on the priviledge to the next new-comers. You make life so fantasy like on your precious Island.

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