Archive for March, 2010

When the Power Goes Out at the Power Company

March 8, 2010

Before I get to “When the Power Goes Out at the Power Company,” I want to tell you about my first broadcast of the Roatan Vortex show, on www.roatanradio.com I had a blast trying out my hand at being a DJ (Genevieve) on a live, call-in, talk radio program. Check my previous posting, “The Roatan Vortex Show” for details on how and when to tune-in to the next show.

Now…When the Power Goes Out at the Power Company.

It is never my intention to use this blog to complain about services on Roatan. Living on a tropical island, in a third world country, has its own quirks and issues. I quickly learned, accept it for what it is and find ways to live with it…or move on. Power-outs are part of the way of life on Roatan. When we first moved here, it was not uncommon for the power to fizzle out, three days a week, for a couple of hours at a time, sometimes for the whole day or night.

Since the power company, RECO was sold to an American Company it has gotten much better. We can go a week or two without power-outs, and they are working to improve it even more. But the power did go out a couple of  Wednesdays ago. Most businesses, resorts and some private homes have back-up gas generators they fire up—we don’t. I’ve got the drill down-pat; unplug anything that isn’t on a surge protector (when the power comes back on the surges can fry the appliance), fill a bucket with water before the pipes drain (our well is on an electric pump), take my laptop (that has enough battery life, and go write on the porch (fans stop, it can be pretty warm in the house), accept that any blogging, emailing or skype calls will have to wait (need to get a 3G Tigo stick). But of course if my laptop battery is down, it won’t matter what gadgets I have. Dinner will be cooked on the barbeque (grill, for my American friends). I made a mean spaghetti—it can be done.

When the electricity stopped flowing on Wednesday, Dave had left to go to RECO, (to pay the electric bill) in French Harbour. What should have taken an hour at best took him more than three. When he returned home, I asked him what took so long…it would seem that our power company DOESN’T have a back-up generator, so…their power was out too! The line he had to wait in until the power came back on; snaked out the doors, and across the parking lot. It was the last day of the month to pay the bill…or you would have your electricity shut off!

I think there’s an oxymoron in there somewhere.

Remember the big power-out in North America, six or seven years ago? I lived in Paris, Ontario at the time. We were without power for approximately thirty-two hours. At the time it was devastating, everything came to a screeching halt. Doomsday predictions were made. Heads were going to role. How dare it fail? I remember, that night, sitting out on our front porch; I lit candles that formally had only been decoration, but blew them out, because they were…well, only for decoration. So then the stars and moon were our only light (I had never seen so many). And the silence, the calming, peaceful sound of nothing man-made; whirring, screeching, clicking or grinding. No TV’s blaring, no car engines roaring; nothing but crickets and frogs…I never knew that many lived nearby. Families stayed home—together, there was nowhere else to go, and most people quickly realized they were glad for the opportunity to spend time with their family and friends–without interruption from electricity generated sources.

 Ahhh…maybe it ain’t so bad when the power goes out at the power company.

The Roatan Vortex Show – It Pulls You in and You Never Want to Leave!

March 5, 2010

Moving to Roatan, Honduras, was never optional for me…it was a calling. I posted a story on this experience  Roatan Vortex, there, I explained what happened. I ended it by saying that I wasn’t sure what would come next—well I have something pretty exciting to share with You.

I will be hosting, the “Roatan Vortex” radio show, broadcast live; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 10am until noon (Roatan Time, also known as Central Time; but we don’t do daylight savings in Honduras. You can figure it out.), each and every week on www.roatanradio.com

I want to clarify how that works before I fill you in on the highlights of the show. Roatan Radio is the brainchild of John and Barbara Morris (I’ve posted a story about them too, Passing the Torch). Roatan Radio is an on-line radio station. Which means you go to the website, www.roatanradio.com , once there, give it a few seconds to load—and you will hear the live broadcast. You can continue to do whatever else you want on your computer; surf the net (there is a convenient Google link on the home page), finish a report for your boss, visit with friends on Facebook, etc. etc., just keep Roatan Radio open (minimized is okay) while you’re on your computer.

So that’s how to tune in. Now, here is why I think you will want to. The Roatan Vortex radio show is (sorta) an extension of this blog; Life & Writing, on Roatan.

 There will be a different theme every show, including such compelling topics as;

  • I don’t live on an episode of Survivor—do you?
  • What’s for dinner? Yes, we have peanut butter.
  • Do you ever wonder what your back looks like?

I’ll get the ball rolling by giving you my point-of-view from Roatan, Honduras, and than…wait for it…I want to hear Your point-of-view, from wherever in the world you are! That’s right, the Roatan Vortex show, is a live, call-in, say your piece kind of radio show.

You will be able to contact me via skype, (request being a contact with roatanradio first), or even easier; during each broadcast I will remind you the number to call, from a regular phone (561) 283-4090, West Palm Beach number, (as long as you have a long distance plan that includes Canada and the US) there will be no charge, otherwise your regular long-distance charges will apply. You will also be able to send me messages, and emails. Details on those methods will be updated soon.

So that’s my exciting news! Be sure to tune in Monday, March 8th, for the first official broadcast of the Roatan Vortex show, with your host (me) Genevieve! My mom will be so thrilled that I’m actually using my full name.

The first show’s theme will be: Commuting to Work through the Jungle—and I don’t mean Concrete.

PS Doesn’t the word “theme” make you think of Ralphie from A Christmas Story, having to write a “theme” on what he wants for Christmas? …”You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Olympic Hockey Night in Canada on Roatan, at Sundowners

March 2, 2010

 

Dave and me, before it got too crazy!

Sunday’s game…the ultimate game for the GOLD couldn’t be missed. And even though, I live on the tropical Island of Roatan, Honduras, I got to see, and experience it!

The place to go was Sundowners, West End. www.sundownersroatan.com The game started at 2pm…The seats were all taken by 1pm, and when the puck dropped, it was squish-in room only. Which is fine since Sundowners is an open air, no walls, fab Beach Bar.

When you get to West End, you hang a right at the triangle (t-intersection), straight ahead—the Caribbean Ocean. A short stroll, and on the ocean-side you arrive at Sundowners. You’ll know you’re there when you see the “Maple Leaf Fan Parking Only” sign on the fence.  The structure is wood and bamboo, with a palm thatched roof.

Squeeze in!

A couple of stairs lead you in from the sand road. The bar takes up most of the space, lined with stools and a convenient rail to hoist yourself onto.  A big screen TV is located were all the patrons can get a good view, and beside it (I love this) a flag, representing the Canadian Hockey Team, flaps gently in the breeze, matching the sway of the palm trees. Next to that, a couple more stairs down and you are on the beach. Off to the other side of those stairs; a deck, another TV, beach chairs, built-in picnic tables, and wooden couches with colourful cushions.

The crowd was plentiful and diverse. The most predominant group; Canadians—we all wore red and maple-leafed gear; some had flags to wave (and poke at the Americans.) Next up the Americans, they weren’t dressed as flashy as the Canadians. It was real easy to pick them out, when Canada scored a goal…oh come on my American friends, you know we love ya. Toss in people from the UK, Ireland, Italy, Holland, etc. We had our own Olympic community. I think we confused, or perhaps educated our Honduran friends in attendance; many have never experienced snow or ice first-hand—let alone hockey.

Pre-game!

Ocean Side!

The Beach Crowd!

Game On!

The game began. The crowd intently watched. The first goal, by Canada, and the roar was deafening, the second goal, and repeat reaction as to the first. America scores, it’s their turn to yell. They tie it with only seconds remaining…okay now we really know who the Americans in the crowd are. And then…minutes into overtime, Sidney Crosby scores—Canada wins!

He Scores! can you pick out the Americans...sorry Paul.

Did I say the first goals scored, caused a deafening roar? Compared to what came after the winning goal—that was a whisper in comparison. Oh my God! I had my hands over my ears, but realized I was making just as much noise as the next Canadian—and I couldn’t stop.

Then Aaron, Sundowners owner brought out the Gold Schlager for the Canadians to pass around, and Silver Tequila for the Americans…nice touch Aaron! Except, I understand you’re still not feeling so good.

Canada Wins!!!