Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

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!!!

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I Promised Them Seahorses.

February 26, 2010

Since moving to Roatan, Honduras, it’s become a regular occurrence to get an email or skype call that goes something like this;

“Hi Genny, Some friends of mine are coming to Roatan for the first time. I told them I KNOW someone who lives there. Would you mind giving them some inside info on the Island, and maybe meet with them while they are there?”

The most recent time this happened, it involved a group of people coming from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. With great enthusiasm I fired off emails answering questions and making suggestions of what to do and see when they got here.

High on their list was good snorkelling sites. In particular they wanted to see seahorses. Well, I’m not a snorkeler, but I’ve witness people rave about seeing seahorses below our dock at Sundancer, Sandy Bay. I excitedly invited them to come to our place.

It was a few months later when they arrived to Roatan, and in the meantime I had completely forgot what I had promised. When the van showed up, everyone climbed out, (sunburnt, but content) with looks of anticipation on their faces, and snorkel gear in hand. As we walked to the dock, one of the visitors was adjusting his underwater camera, “can’t wait to take a picture of a seahorse,” he said.

Uh-oh, what had I promised. Ever since I got pulled in by the ‘Roatan Vortex’ I can’t seem to help it. I blurt out more than I should. What if there are no seahorses today? When was the last time one was spotted below our dock? I silently fretted while they prepared to enter the water. They might be disappointed and it would be my fault.

I watched them descend the ladder…I waited…and waited.

“I got it!” The visitor with the camera excitedly exclaimed, scrambling back on to the dock. He set his camera to playback mode, and turned the screen to my direction.

There it was—while snorkelling under our dock—he had snapped a photo of a beautiful, healthy seahorse!

 

Thank You, Roatan. You never let me down!

This story can also be found at Honduras Weekly, www.hondurasweekly.com Category, Cultural.

                       

Passing the Torch

February 22, 2010

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