Tuesday, December 31, 2013

They just keep coming!

This morning I received an email from the shipping service in Florida. There are now 30 lbs of shoe donations waiting to be shipped!!! Can you believe it?? THIRTY POUNDS OF SHOES!

I'm looking forward to the shipment to arrive (they hold them until there is at least 20 lbs, to consolidate on cost) just after the new year. I'm excited for what is in store for our athletes of Roatan, both young and old.

Thanks for everyone who has contributed, shared the message and taken the time to give back to the community I call home. In a way, I feel a benefit as well, strengthening the distance between us, and giving me a sense of connection with all of you, even though we're thousands of miles apart.

 Keep it up, ever shoe counts!

Shipping address:
1335 NW 98TH COURT UNIT# 9
DORAL, FL 33172

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Expats Blog Shout Out!

2 of my favorite fellow Roatanian blogrrrls are fiercely competing for our 'home' country of Roatan, in the Expatsblog.com Awards 2013 Expat Blog Awards 2013 Contest Entry.

Ironically, they're the only 2 entered to represent THE WHOLE COUNTRY!

Check out their entries; 

The Top 7 Excuses for Getting Sucked into 'The Vortex' aka: Roatan

Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Expat in Honduras

Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Expat in Honduras - See more at: http://www.expatsblog.com/contests/775/top-10-things-i-wish-i-knew-before-becoming-an-expat-in-honduras#sthash.D0vDoAE9.dpuf
I wasn't on my game, this year. But look forward to participating next year! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How many shoes do YOU have?

A few months ago, I was walking home from a local restaurant and pool up behind my house, after a lovely Sunday Funday/Day Off.  There were tons of locals gathered at the small soccer field back behind the property where I live.

I had seen the team once before, a couple of months prior, playing at a different field.  I remember them distinctly, as the team was all girls between the ages of 13-18 I would have to guess, all wearing nothing close to 'soccer attire'.  Most were wearing 'Keds' style shoes, some wore 'Croc' style shoes while others wore just socks and at least one of them wore only her bare feet.  Obviously they weren't wearing jerseys, pennys or shin guards either.

So when the guys around the netted dirt spot recruited me to play, pleading that one team was short a player, I looked down at my feet, which were sporting a cushy new pair of flip flops I'd ordered online and had someone bring to me in their luggage, looked back up at Cesar, the only one of the bunch I knew, and hesitated because I knew I could NOT say no!!!  If these girls can play in socks and bare feet, I'll manage in flip flops and soaking wet pool hair/clothes!

It was a blast, I immediately had a cheering section amongst the rest of the ladies playing the pickup game.  There didn't seem to be a lot of logic or strategy, which brought back memories of my Freshman Year of high school, where our team sucked so bad we took rocked the rep like we owned it.  Party girls with attitudes, smoking before practice, getting rides home from our graduated boyfriends,  and skipping school despite the fact our coach threatened to bench us every week.

The important part, for any of us, high school or Honduran, is that we had fun and it felt good.  The lessons that high school sports and team sports instilled in me is priceless.  It taught me how to work together, how to work hard and how to stick with it and not give up.

I didn't realize that it would affect me many years later, but in such a different way.  Hearing of kids and adults playing on uneven fields in the slums is something most of us only hear about, or see in the movies.  Though when you are faced with the conditions in real life, everything changes.  At that moment, I decided to change too.  I live in a country where many, many people face challenges each and every day that we (First World Citizens) take for granted.  Shoes is certainly one of them!!

I'm asking for help.  Not money.  Simply you taking the time to check your own closet, your kids' closets, your garage or mud room.  Perhaps that 'Goodwill' pile in the corner.  Mention it to a friend, neighbor or family member too.  All you have to do is put them in the mail.  Flat rate shipping can cost as low as $5.  I'll take care of the rest.

So please, take 10 minutes to gather adults and kid's sport shoes (tennis shoes, cleats, etc) and send them my way.  Your goodwill and generosity will surely put a smile on someone's face, and teach a lesson to last a lifetime.

Mail your gently used or new shoes of all sizes, colors and styles to:

SARAH H. DB# 462
1335 NW 98TH COURT UNIT# 9
DORAL, FL 33172 

Monday, Dec 16th, 2013 I received the first donation of shoes from an amazing group in Houston, Texas.  It's so exciting seeing the idea of giving in action!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Comments Comments Comments!

It was recently brought to my attention that the comments section of my blog was preventing <most> everyone from commenting on individual posts.

I've attempted to remedy it, but there's only 1 way to find out!

If you're a reader, and a fan please show your support by attempting a comment below. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Black Nativity?

It wasn't until we sat in the front row of the Church of God in Coxen Hole, and I read over the program, did I understand that 'Black Nativity' was not an island self-deprecating illustration, but a performance based on the original Broadway show, in the early 60's.

I grew up in a large church, with thousands of attendees, and each year the church put on a monstrous Christmas program for weeks leading up to the holiday.  It was called 'The Singing Christmas Tree', and it 'twas, a life size singing Christmas tree which towered over 100 feet in the air, with rows and rows... and rows of singers.  I searched for archives, and didn't find much, but here is an image of what we're dealing with.

The production was huge, and amazing.  In addition to the singing, it featured 2 hours of skits, sing-alongs, real live livestock, actors, lights, cameras, angels, live baby Jesus and prayer.  Even as kids, we arrived hours before the performance to meet an appointment in the makeup studio and the costume dept.  What a production!

I have many, many fond memories of this impressive collaboration, and find myself wishing I could watch it now, as I'm not certain the participants ever saw a complete performance.

Anyway, my childhood memories peaked my curiosity of the Black Nativity play here on the island.  Alex kindly obliged, and agreed he too, was looking  forward to see what was in store.

Fabulous Choir

One of the highlights of the show!  Cutest sheep ever!!

Shepards bantering

Entire Cast, sans sheep

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rite of Passage

In Ethiopia, it's cow jumping.
In Nigeria, it's fattening up with rich foods.
In Australia, Aborigones must survive in the wilderness alone.
In West Africa, it's facial tattoos.
In Roatan, it's swimming with a Whale Shark.

They're a rare species in the world, though the warm tropical blue waters of the Bay Islands, Honduras is known for hosting these gentle giants from time to time.  Since I've lived here, I would guess there has been at least 10 Whale Shark sightings, which averages almost 1 per month.

When there is a sighting, the town goes nuts, Facebook blows up and the local boat captain network erupts.  After being here for awhile, I know how to sight a Whale Shark sighting.  Boats headed straight out past the reef, with little hesitation.  If I see a group of boats congregating somewhat close together beyond the reef, that's another sign.

As for sighting the actual shark, the 2 biggest signs are a) A Tuna boil.  If you think about it, it explains itself.  The Tuna are feeding off the smaller fish that the shark is eating or attracting.  The Tuna go bizerk jumping all over the place, causing the sea to appear as though it's boiling.  That in itself is actually pretty cool.  b) Multiple birds circling.  Typically you see one, and then the other.  If there's loads of birds, look for the Tuna boil.  If there's a Tuna boil, look for the birds.  And Mr. Whale Shark is in the middle of this giant food chain having desert.

Our boat's first mate spotted the boil, and it was GAME ON!  Typically, the captain has more experience than the rest of the passengers on the boat, because the boat captains are islanders, and have been boating and sighting long before you or I had ever even heard of Roatan.  The captain is also responsible for the safety of everyone on his boat, so he makes the call if and when passengers may enter the water.

Captain Ray, Bay Islands Adventures, Roatan

We circled a few times, before Captain Ray decided we were close enough to see this fella and we all jumped in with masks and snorkels.  I adjusted my mask and put my face in the water just in time to sight this massive creature swim just feet from my face.  I was so excited I went along with him, right under the boat, and then quickly realized I was NOT scuba diving and that breath of air I was looking for was up top at the surface.  Luckily, he didn't mind we were there, and gave us the opportunity to hop in the water with him 4 or 5 more times.  The 2nd time he swam directly at me; his mouth must have been 6 feet wide!  I opted to move out of his way...  2 additional times, I got to swim along next to him and he slowly wagged his massive tail from side to side and sauntered away.  His tail was almost 7 feet tall at the tip.  WOW!!!

Pics from one of the guests

This particular day, I opted not to bring fins.  I don't use fins when I snorkel mostly because I hate lugging them around.  I'm a very strong swimmer, so it's never been an issue, until this day.  I also had 2 cameras on the boat, neither of which had waterproof housing.  I've come to the realization that there are times when a camera will only distract me from the real genuine experience, and that sometimes it's better to have the experience, not the perfect shot.

This was the 3rd time I've been on a Whale Shark sighting pursuit.  2nd time I've bailed off the boat at the command of the captain.  1st time I've had the opportunity to be with the actual creature, swimming alongside him in his (or her) own natural habitat.  It was a day I'll never forget.  The day I earned my Bay Islands Rite of Passage. And caught lots of Tuna fish too ;)

Monday, November 18, 2013

She's In Tears...

As you know, Sundays are my favorite day on the island.  A day of rest we take for ourselves, to do only what we want.  Spoil ourselves with simple guilty pleasures, like hammock lounging till noon, lazy afternoon dives with friends, mimosas on the beach, special cooking or catching up with friends and family back home.  The energy in the air is epic.  I wish I could capture a picture of it to share, but it's a feeling not a sight.

After a perfect boat trip for lunch in a little fishing village with friends yesterday, a late evening meal full of Thai coconut, lemongrass and spice, topped off by a night of friends, fun, buckets of beer and late night disco lights... I woke up feeling well rested with an incredibly overwhelming feeling of pure happiness and joy spilling out of my heart.  It brought me to tears.

Chit chatting with my parents simultaneously over Facebook, while day dreaming about the fun I'd been having with my guest over the past week, thinking about the beauty of my Scuba diving addiction & all of the people who are addicts with me, feeling the love and warmth from the people I have befriended over the last year who bring me lots of smiles, laughter and comfort, the simplicity of the life here and the beauty that surrounds it and it's people, endless amounts of generosity and goodwill, lush landscapes exploding with vibrant color every day of the year, fun filled adventures... and the list goes on and on.

I may not have much in the way of possessions anymore, but if you asked me to give it all away again, for this feeling of pure & honest happiness, I wouldn't so much as blink an eye...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bella Gypsy Goodies

Yesterday, my lovely friend and island comrade, Rika, posted a link on my Facebook page to this little gem:
 Women who live on rocks

A third of the way in to the post she had shared, titled 'The 5 Tourists you will meet in the Caribbean', I was hooked and spent the next several hours into the wee hours of (this) morning, filling my mind full of island woman dwelling story goodness. I felt like I was addicted to a 'Sex and the City' marathon, or as of late, that would be 'Orange is the New Black' marathon.

Reading stories of fellow women, living on rocks, offers such a sense of relief, as well as something I can relate to. Consistent power outages, fruitless treks to town, boob sweat, mosquito insanity and resident house guests, most of them not invited, but gladly welcomed lizards and geckos.

And of course, other cool things like memorable scuba diving adventures, and DIY How To's. I have to admit, I was a bit jealous reading about making window shades when she mentioned the part about dropping by Home Depot!

Take a peak for yourself, you'll be glad you did.  And hopefully... you will find me contributing one day as well!

One more little gem I'd like to share with you;
Worldette Playlist.  It's downright fabulous.

They've done a brilliant job putting these together. I just love the variety, culture and mood for each playlist. I'm listening to one now, and have enjoyed having them around to make my kitchen workspace a bit more upbeat now and again.

Now, back to work.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Funday

It didn't take long to catch on to the fact that Sunday is a day of rest on this island.  Well, of course you are thinking, it's an island!  Of course you're resting!  But in fact, this island bustles with some of the hardest working people I've ever seen.

A typical work week here is 6 days a week, and well over 40 hours.  It doesn't matter who we're talking about; a cook in a restaurant, a bartender, dive instructor, mechanic, bakery, grocery store, hair dresser, repairman, taxi driver, everyone works their asses off.  So when Sunday rolls around, the streets wake up later, and many businesses don't wake up at all.  Granted, this is still a tourist destination, so there's always going to be your bar, mini mart, hotel, dive shop, etc.  Families and friends come from ALL OVER the island to spend time together at the beach, or some relaxing spot where they kick back and enjoy the day they've worked so hard to earn.

I love seeing the kids run together on the beach squealing and laughing, playing crazy games only they understand.  Mothers sitting back in the shade taking it all in, while the men are congregated off it the distance slurping cold Salva Vidas in a can, or up the beach playing a game of soccer.

For awhile, after I moved to Roatan, my work was mostly part time, and very flexible, so I had more than one 'Sunday' if I chose to do so.  It wasn't until recently, when I came back from my visit to the states, that my responsibilities increased, and I've found myself working 6 days a week, just like everyone else.  Sundays are now a cherished day for me as well, and I love every minute of them!

This morning I woke up early and decided to pay my living room hammock a visit.  I love the room in the mornings when the sunlight is peering in through the trees, and the birds are chirping along with the roosters.  This morning even had a sweet floral smell sweeping through the air from time to time.  There are SO many fruits and flowers blooming here, it's not uncommon to smell sweet scents  drifting in the warm air.

Next I headed to the dive shop for a special dive I've been looking forward to.  I even had a dream about it last night!  (I dreamt I forgot my gear, and when the boat arrived at the site, I realized I couldn't go!)  We got to watch this magical swarm of little silver fish, called Silver Sides, dance around in the sunlight.  There were millions of them, darting to and fro by the thousands.  I swam through them over and over, taking pictures and and videos, and swimming straight through them, just to watch them dance from place to place like and orchestra.  The Silver Sides aren't here year round, only for a few weeks of the year, and then they move on, or get eaten, I'm not sure which.

After the dive, my friend Krystal and I decided it was time for a burger and headed down the street to Sundowners Beach Bar's Sunday BBQ.  We sat and chatted with acquaintances and each other, watching the people, kids, scooters and dogs go by.

Next stop, a dip in the Infinity pool.  I met a couple more girlfriends at the resort's pool for a dip and some sun.  We chatted about how our weeks had been, discussed plans for the upcoming days &  months and planned a going away party for one of them. <insert sad face HERE!!>

Afterwards, we headed home on our scooters, cruising along slow enough to take in the beautiful view from the hill tops, warm air blowing in our faces.  At some points on the drive from West Bay to West End, you can see the ocean on both sides of the island.  When the sun starts to head west, it lights up the ocean and makes it looks so smooth and glossy and calm.  The leaves in the trees reflected the golden light and it actually felt like Fall.  Something I've been ready to welcome, with OPEN arms, for the last month.  Rainy Season is nearing, and it can't come soon enough for this Oregonian girl!

Now back in my hammock, right where I started my day, the sun set hours ago and there's lightning lighting up the sky and a little thunder rumbling off in the distance.  Rain isn't far away.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Toss It Up

One thing I have constantly struggled with here on the island is establishing any sort of routine. Not that I've ever been a major routine person, which in this case is sort of good, but we're talkin like ANY routine practically.

Grocery store trips are never consistent for silly reasons like something came up, a dive extended due to whale shark sighting which automatically without question means we're chasing it, a meeting went too long, it got dark at 6pm AGAIN today (errr, 365 days a year). Morning runs are almost never consistent mainly for the fact that I am NOT a morning person, and some days I just can't fathom peeling my eyes open in order to run before the temperature rises and threatens heat stroke if you were to run in it. Plus, the tide is all wrong to get around the rocks after about 7:20. It seems as though no matter how hard I try and pay my rent on time, the ATM knows it's due, and goes out for 3-4 days. Meeting friends at a specific time is always an 'ish', partly due to island time, and partly due to running into 33.5 people you know between point A and point B. I could go on, but you get the point.

My life is a never ending toss up. The sooner I accepted this, the easier it was to adjust.

So when my friend Wendy told me we had to use the airport ATM before going to my 'surprise birthday adventure, I didn't really question her. But the next thing that happened I did not expect... My MOTHER standing on the curb with a suitcase and balloons! Wooo hoooo!!! SURPRISE!!!!! She came to visit me for my 32nd birthday! Her timing couldn't have been more stellar, as I've been a little off kilter lately. Missing new and old friends, Oregon Fall and my puppy too. I still can't believe how many people knew about her planned visit and ALL kept it a secret. Impressive!

After we returned to my side of the island, there was another surprise. My friends had arranged to let Alex in my house, and he proceeded to clean the kitchen and cook an awesome birthday dinner for us. It was GREAT!

We had a fabulous week, juggling fun and work and getting in the sun when we could squeeze it in. She even timed it right to get in on a girls night, and day trip to Cayos Cochinos AND the Ceviche Competition in West Bay. (Uh-mazing Ceviche!!) We made yummy breakfasts and stayed up too late watching movies in bed. It was hard to say goodbye at the airport, and an even harder coupler of days afterwards, but it was worth it. Her surprise visit was the BEST birthday present EVER!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In typical island fashion

I've been trying to write a blog post for this special day for awhile.  It's always a long story, but the short version is, after a series of roadblocks, in typical island fashion; it's late.

Stay tuned for a super fun recap on the last 365 days, and an update on my


Yep, it's crazy, an entire year has passed since I stood before the TSA Security agent at PDX asking me why I had 6 bottles of Citronella bug spray in my carry on.  Can you believe it??

When I arrived on the island, the annual International Fishing Tournament was taking place.  Which, coupled with Honduras' Independence Day, is the biggest festival in town.  So I'm headed out to hopefully see a fireworks show in the bay, before starting another work week.

See you very soon!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Creepies and Crawlies and Sugar and Spice

When I very first moved to the island, and learned that I am not the only person on the island that attracts bugs like Bees on Chicken, I was relieved to learn I was not alone.  (When I visited on vacation, I got mauled by sand flies because I was clueless to the fact they could bite you without you even feeling it.  I looked like a freak for weeks after, and EVERYONE was kind enough to point it out to me, as if I didn't realize my body itched like I had rolled in Poison Ivy and blackberry bushes at the same time.  ARGH!)

One of my new girlfriends reminded me 'just remember, you are living in their world, they are not living in yours'.  And she's right.  When you make your home in the jungle, there is no exterminating all god's creatures.  It's just not possible.  If they could, they would probably exterminate humans, but (hopefully) that's not possible either.  So we learn to co-habitate. 

For the first couple of weeks, it took awhile to get used to the Geckos that live inside the house.  It's simply not a natural thing to most of us, to walk into a room, and see a gecko scampering across the wall.  Or lie in bed at night and hear them 'chirp' back and forth to one another.  Over time, you get used to the little guys scampering about, and you appreciate them for eating other bugs and things they find. (but not so much the little droppings they leave wherever they please!) They're curious little buggers too.  For months after I moved into the house I live in now, I would sit at the kitchen table and work, and every single day the same little Gecko would creep into the window sill, or up the screen and peer in at me.  Her name is Lily.  When people come over to the house, one of the first things they do is walk over to the window and call for her to come say hi.  I love it.

This is the smallest Gecko I've ever seen.  He is standing next to my sunglasses, and the cross he is next to is less than a 1/4" long.

From time to time, you can expect to cross paths with a Cockroach or two.  In one case, I walked into a dark room and flipped on the light just as a cockroach was crossing MY path... right over the top of my foot.  YUCK!  I hate them.  They are pointless and disgusting little crunchy creatures.  I will admit, I feel sorry for them, because I'm fairly confident that they are not liked by ANYTHING or ANYONE.

The other day my friend Avi told me a story about millions of Ants that invaded his front porch, to the point he feared they were going to carry away his porch furniture!  Now, Avi certainly is a storyteller, a very good one, but one thing he is not is a liar.  Since then, I've listened to him explain this ant invasion to others, and they know exactly what it is, and how mind blowing it is to see this many ants in one place.  Every one's response is the same... 'They're cleaner ants.  Just let them do their thing, and they will leave after a few days'.  They come through in a serious Army, and 'clean' and then they leave.  All I can picture is Avi crawling out the bathroom window every morning to go to work while he had 'guests'.  Ha ha ha!

About a week ago, I was walking down my path to the road one evening after dark, when I felt the distinct feeling of something slimy wrap one arm/leg around my ankle, and then another as I began shaking my leg vigorously in the air while balancing on the other.  I saw the little bugger fly and land on the walk, but as I took a few steps back and rummaged for my cell phone to shine a light and see what it was, it disappeared.  Eeeeewww!  When I arrived to meet my friend Krystal, my heart was still pounding, and I was checking my ankle in the low light, to see if there were any skin reactions slime left on my leg.  The men laughed, telling me it was a wet leaf that probably flipped up from my shoe or something.  But I could not forget the distinct feeling of the slimy body applying itself to my skin, one leg at a time.  The next night, on my walk home, this little guy lept into the lit area of the path, so I took his picture to prove to those guys I know what I felt!   Bleh!
The 'wet leaf' perpetrator

I could go on, and in fact the most recent encounter, with a spider the size of a tarantula, was probably one of the worst yet.  That guy escaped before I could return with the Raid can, and had me jumping from my own shadow the entire rest of the day!  Or this playful little guy that was playing hide and seek with me while I waited for the bus this afternoon.  He was just as curious as I was, and peered at me as I peered back and snapped a quick pic. 

So far, the best of all, has been the MILLIONS of Swallowtail Moths passing through the island as they migrate south, in search of a new food source.  They are called Green Urania Swallowtail moths and they have mass migrations once every 5 years or so. They range from Mexico through Central America & northern South America.  I found myself looking for excuses to take a walk or head to the beach, just to watch these rather large butterflies sway about in the morning and afternoon breeze.  The swarms have passed now, although there are certainly 100's of stragglers, who must have been enjoying the night life a bit too much!  

The moral of the story... Well, I suppose if you can't beat em, enjoy em!  (errr, most of them anyway)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


First I must apologize for the lack of posting since I returned from the States.  Let me explain why.


I feel as though I've bored you all to sleep with pictures of beautiful beaches, palm trees, scuba dives and sea life.  So, I'm going to tell you about someone else's life for a change.  Or at least what I know about them.  Meet my friends!

Lucy, in the glasses, is a fun young gal, who is doing her Divemaster internship at my dive shop.  That's about all I know about her.  I think she's British?

Jonathon, in the plaid, came to Roatan from Scotland, to get his Scuba Instructor certification.  And then he met Amanda...

Amanda initially intended to travel Honduras and Guatemala for 6 weeks, after leaving her high profile job in an immigration law office in Boston.  She started in Roatan. Met Jonathon. And never left. 

They're disgustingly adorable, and I adore them both tons.  Such a great story!  They're embarking on a 6 week journey to see both families on both sides of 'the pond' in a day or so.  Safe Travels guys!

 This is Cara from Buffalo, NY.  I met her just 2 weeks ago, after my room mate met her on a weekend trip on the mainland, where she was running an ecoresort.  He offered his room to her while he's in the states, and we've since discovered we were separated at birth.  We talk the same, think the same, dress the same, and on and on.  I just wish we wore the same size clothes!  She's off to Costa Rica in a couple of days to teach for a year, before returning to the states to finish pursuing her goal to become and a Director of International Studies with a University in the US.

 Bryan comes from Comayagua, a small town on the mainland of Honduras.  He's a Scuba diving instructor and before that was a teacher at the Bi Lingual School here on the island.  He's the nicest, calmest guy I know, and gets along with just about anyone.

Alex was one of the very first people I met when I moved to the island.  Alex, though British, grew up with her family in Hong Kong.  She's the calmest most easy going woman I have ever met.  She is responsible for managing the operations at my dive shop, West End Divers, and she does a stellar job!  Sadly, after 2 or so years, she's headed on another adventure to Thailand.  You will be missed Alex!!

 This is Duane and Kelvin.  This was the first time I'd met Duane, but Kelvin was actually my dive instructor when I visited the island on vacation.  Born and raised on Roatan, Kelvin is always teaching me tricks of the trade and rules of the land.  He also dates one of my favorite girlfriends, Laura.  Scroll down...

Laura moved to the island to teach elementary school age kids, after many months living in Thailand.   She and Kelvin met almost immediately, and have dated ever since. Originally from just outside Toronto, Laura is so much fun, SUPER easy going and is always up for anything - Beach days, Kayaking, Cooking, Exploring, etc.  I love her!

Krystal and I met thru a mutual friend whom we both met here on the island.  When I told Stef I was moving here, she insisted that Krystal and I connect, and I'm so glad we did!  Krystal worked in Real Estate in the Denver area and also coached gymnastics.  After visiting the island to scuba dive, she too was hooked, and left the traditional US daily grind for something a little slower pace.  Well, she doesn't sit still that well, but you know what I mean!  After a few months off the island, she is scheduled to arrive this afternoon, and she and her furry pup will be temporary roomies with me, until she moves to her new home, to manage the resort.  We have grand plans of yoga on that deck overlooking to ocean soon!

Dewi the Dutchie! (pronounced Davey)  This lovely little lady came to Roatan after planning a year long travel with her boyfriend, who opted out of the trip just 2 weeks in.  Though it was his choice to add Roatan to the itinerary, she decided to come anyway.  What a great place he picked!  Dewi fell in love with the island and its people, and quickly made a home and loads of friends here, and has worked as a dive instructor.  She loves to cook, and is infamous for her fun dishes, with a European twist.  The picture of her here was a few weeks ago when she turned my kitchen into a pizza factory.  We had a great time, I think she made about 8 pizzas while I kept her company and we chatted and sipped wine.  She's one of my favorite friends to sit and talk with, she has a lot of good advice and is a very grounded woman.  Dewi is leaving me too...  She met someone, and she's heading to spend the winter with him in Fernie, Canada.  Brrrr!!!!

This is Erika.  I can't even remember how we met.  I think it was through a mutual friend, and what got us really talking was her advice on my blog.  Rika keeps a great blog all about her adventures on Roatan, as well as a lot of helpful information about how to's of the island.  She is also a dive instructor, so there's lots of good info about her daily diving life as well.  It's a fun read, as long as profanity doesn't offend you ;)  Since then, we were neighbors for a short while, and now that she's moved to another part of the island, we've become Saturday lunch buddies instead.  I've introduced Erika on my blog before; she and I have very similar stories related to our decision to leave our high pressure jobs for a polar opposite lifestyle of fun in the sun.  She's back home in Vancouver, Canada visiting, and we are patiently awaiting her return!

This is Avi, my long lost brother, and his friend Maria.  A mutual friend introduced Avi and I my first day on the island, and we've been friends ever since.  He's the tallest Indian I've ever met, and also possibly the wittiest person I have ever encountered in my life.  An extreme entrepreneur, Avi comes up with 2-5 inventions a day, on average.  They're always fun to hear, and generally will make you laugh your ass off!  After leaving Toronto, Avi worked on cruise ships for a few years, before landing in Roatan permanently.  He's been here the longest of most of my friends; 3 years.

Marc & Ashley.  They are equally as disgustingly quite as Amanda and Jonathon (above).  I may have written about them once before in a post featuring blogs I love.

These 2 met in their scuba diving class in Austin, Tx.  Long story short; Marc challenged Ashley to a game of Corn Hole.  If Marc won, Ashley had to do the limbo in front of the entire bar crowd.  If Ashley won, Marc had to go on a dive trip with her.  And here they are... Scuba Diving instructors traveling the world.

They're headed off on another journey as well in just a few short days.  I'm SO bummed to see them go, and in fact, the ONLY reason I'm allowing them to go is so I have someone to visit in Thailand!  ha ha.  I really cherish  these 2, and hope we stay in touch for years to come.  Safe travels guys!  see you on the 'other side'!

Dewey Dewey Dewey.  What can I say about Dewey...
We met at West End Divers, where we were both diving.  He came from San Fransisco for a week or so, and stayed a month.  That evening, I invited him and his friend, Buck, to come sit on the rail with me at Buena Vida, where we proceeded to chain smoke cigarettes and drink entirely too many Salva Vidas, while Dewey revealed his incredible sense of story telling, and adventure.  The one about peeing his pants intentionally, on a long bus trip in Siberia comes to mind...
Dewey holds West End records for Fish Taco consumption and Monkey La La tabs.
Since then, Dewey and I kept in touch, and he recently returned for a 2nd visit, where we had even more fun then the prior visit.  Telling stories, drinking shots, staying out too late, taking crazy pictures, celebrating his birthday with Bioluminescence during a night dive, and more.  I absolutely adore this guy, and his ability to make any stranger happy and comfortable.  He has a zest for life like I've never seen before.  Can't wait till you make it back to the rock D!

You probably know this guy by now!  Alex has been such a blessing to have here in Honduras.  He's so patient with my learning curve of island styles and the way things work.  Or don't work.  He's taught me about taxi navigation, scuba diving, Honduran cooking, generosity, I wish I could say dancing, because he's a fantastic dancer.  When I asked him if he would teach me Salsa, he looked at me and tilted his head and said 'Have you ever seen the movie 'White Men Can't Jump?' '  Sad.  But true my friend.  He and I have had a great time together getting to know the island, and each other.  I'm so lucky he was here to make this big move a little less scary.  Thank you Alex!!

Joe & Wendy moved here literally the same time I did.  Juneau was born here on the island, and is a tad bigger now, than when I took this picture.  We've had a ton of great times together, mostly in the restaurant they own near my house, The Buena Vida.  When it's slow, we sometimes hang out and trade little gossips & tell stories, and come up with brilliant ideas, that usually I fail on executing, but Joe and Wendy bring to life.  We've been through some of the ups and downs of relocating to an island in Honduras together, although I have to hand it to these 2, they jumped right into the business world at the same time.  These 2 are tough!  I'm lucky to have them as my friends and neighbors.

This is Tom.  I had to steal this picture from his Facebook, because he avoids cameras like he's a CIA agent.  In fact, now that I'm thinking about it...
Tom has become a fabulous friend over the last year, and an even better room mate!  Ha ha, we joke that since he splits his time between US and Honduras, he's the best room mate ever.  But no, actually, he maybe the best room mate ever!  He also kindly extends his US PO Box to those of us who need things from the states, and he makes a decent delivery around town every time he arrives.  It's such a blessing!!  On the island, Tom is a Scuba Diving Instructor at, yep, you guessed it!  West End Divers!  We have tons of fun together, and when he is here, we often end up at the kitchen table talking about life and diving and the island.  He's always a joy to have around, always upbeat and positive.  He's great fun to dive with, always hunting lionfish at 100 feet this guy! Love ya T!

James is a Dive Instructor at _____________ (fill in the blank!) and another kind, generous, easy to be around, calm soul.  If Avi takes the wittiest award, then James definitely comes in second.  And it's always a stellar delivery, with his sly British accent.  He comes from the UK, or Switzerland, I'm not sure which, but I think in that order!  Where he worked in finance, before he got the same brilliant idea as the exhibits above, to GET THE HELL OUT AND LIVE LIFE!  I believe he is going on this 3rd year here on the island, and he and his lovely lady Sigita don't seem to be headed off any time soon, thankfully!  I love having them around!

Well folks, that about sums it up.  Up until now, you've seen half the reason I've stayed here so long.  Now you know the other half too!

I'm not looking forward to seeing some of these people go.  It's something that comes with the lifestyle of living here.  They call it a 'Transient Place'.  We've all become such a great group, and had so many adventures and fun times together.  I just keep reminding myself, there's more people to visit in my travels later on down the road.  Cheers guys!