Posts Tagged ‘Sundancer’

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.

                       

Accepting the Torch (as if we had any choice!)

February 23, 2010

The following is the response from guest blogger, John Morris aka Calico Jack, Roatan Radio. www.roatanradio.com

Our first days on Roatan were hectic to say the least. Though we had visited the island many times, now it was different-we actually lived here! In a few days, we had to first find a car, unpack, find the best grocery stores and last but not least, get to our favorite bar, Sundowners, www.sundownersroatan.com . It was there where despite a few familiar faces we remembered on previous visits, we were faced with a whole new crowd. Being at the end of the summer with rainy season looming, we quickly understood we had found the local hangout. My first goal was to discover the musicians on the island in hopes of finding the opportunity of jamming with the local talent. It was our dear late friend Sean who told me about the Canadian contingency from Ontario, where I was sure to find willing participants such as Dave, Genny’s husband and Ron and Bonnie. Sure enough they arrived together and Barbara and I immediately introduced ourselves. Having lived in “friendly” Florida for ten months with a grand total of four people we called “sort of” friends, we were overwhelmed at the friendliness and willingness to help that was offered to us. By the end of the night we had already been invited to our first pool party at Genny’s and Dave’s (Sundancer, Sandy Bay) three days later. We were overwhelmed in a very good way.

In the next few days, we found a car, if you can call it that, stocked the fridge and Barbara began to panic as we were told that the way this type of party worked was that Dave would BBQ and the rest would bring side dishes. Finally deciding (after talking with her Mom in Italy) on pasta with peppers, the big day of our first party arrived. We had only one thing to do that day and that was to have the cable installed in the morning and then we would be free. We quickly learned a very important rule about living in Roatan. When dealing with the service industry here, such as the cable guy, they never show up when they are supposed to, if at all. When they arrived at 3pm, we were already late. When they finally left (cable still not working) we set out for Sandy Bay. It was already getting dark and we were still not overly comfortable with getting around the island despite the fact there are only about three roads here. This combined with the fact that the headlights of our Kia Sportage were about as powerful two small candles, we must have passed the turnoff five times before finding it!

Yes, Genny, we were very nervous when we arrived but it did not last long. Apologies were quickly told to be forgotten, we relaxed and spent a most memorable night under the stars eating, drinking and chatting, learning about our new island and more importantly our new friends.

Six months later, we had made many more friends but our closest are still the ones we met that night. Thus, when we were passed the salad tongs, we gladly accepted especially since we had no tongs of our own! And now, we are faced with a great responsibility to find the next set of newbies though we understand it may take years. No problem for us, we are not going anywhere.

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

Hummingbird Encounters

February 2, 2010

As far back as I can remember Hummingbirds have always held a special place in my heart. They beguile me, when they zip from flower to flower; their slim beaks drawing nectar from each bloom. Emerald feathers, glisten like petite jewels—capturing the prisms of sunlight. No bigger than a ripe purple plum, it would seem that with a single breath, they could be blown over. Yet, (I have since learned) they are strong enough to withstand most of what Mother Nature challenges them with. And they are feisty creatures, ready to defend their territory, and occasionally they could even be called Bullies.

When I lived in Canada, I planted gardens to encourage Hummingbirds to grace my yard. In any given season, if even one showed up, I would have a grin plastered on my face for days—so happy for having had the encounter. Well now I live on Roatan were there are so many Hummingbirds I can’t keep count! Yup—I’m always grinning.

About a year ago during rainy season, I was out for a walk (on Sundancer property, where we live) when I heard an unusual noise coming from a puddle of water. I found a Hummingbird floundering in that puddle. The poor thing had a crippled foot and obviously had lost strength trying to make it to shelter during a storm. I scooped the Hummingbird up and cradled it in my palm. My heart was pounding from the realization that I was actually touching one of these amazing birds, but also from the fear that it may not survive. Racing home I laid the little jewel on a towel and brought the feeder to it. Again, gently holding it, I guided its beak into the feeder; all the while, stroking its tiny feathers urging it to take a drink. At first lifeless, it suddenly opened its eyes and started gulping at the sugar water offered. After a few minutes, it tried to wiggle free from my grasp. I set it back on the towel and gave it a stern talking to for scaring me like that. The Hummingbird stayed on the towel, drinking from the feeder for another 20 minutes or so (until it had regained enough strength.) And when it was ready, flew to a nearby tree. It was still a little wobbly, but determined, and a few minutes later came back to the feeder that I had re-hung on the porch. I kept an eye on it for the rest of the day, but the time came when it didn’t return anymore. I can only assume it found its way home.

I am very fortunate to have daily encounters with Hummingbirds since moving to Roatan, the following links are to my travel Pod blog were you can enjoy a couple more noteworthy stories and photos.

http://www.travelpod.com/z/gennyca/roatan-genny/1199662560

http://www.travelpod.com/z/gennyca/roatan-genny/1192635120