Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mi Casa es Su Casa

Just before Mom and Kerry left, we moved my things into the house upstairs from where I was living.  I loved sharing the downstairs community patio with Mandy and Sherry, but the little studio apt was just too small to work and live in.  I couldn’t focus on work, it was made of all wood which created an effect similar to a sauna, there was very little day light and hardly any breeze.  I had been feeling claustrophobic and quite cramped for months, and it was time to do something about it.  The upstairs neighbor and I arranged for me to move in as he moved out.  Funny thing is, I had never been in the house upstairs!  I saw 2 or 3 pictures when I was still in the states looking for places to live, but had never visited since my arrival.  So moving day would be the first day I had laid eyes on the interior of the house.  Granted, I’ve lived beneath the house level for 6 months, so I’ve come up with a fairly good idea of how it’s laid.

As it turns out, this house is FRIGGIN HUGE!  Built like a tree house, the entire common area is screened in, leaving the feeling that you’re living with the Berenstain Bears.  It’s awesome!  Both bedrooms and bathrooms have 4 walls, well except the bathroom… ok, I can’t explain it all, so here are some pics to give you an idea.

2nd Bedroom

2nd Bathroom

2nd Bathroom View

Master Bedroom (originally, this was the entire house)

Master Bedroom - SPACE!


Living Room

Hallway between Kitchen and Living Room

Settling in has been a progressive task for many reasons.

1)      I get distracted worse than Nemo’s friend Dory, this is not joke.

2)      Mandy and Sherry (my island mamas) shared lots of belongings with me as they prepared to leave the island after being here 17 years. 

3)      My friend Anna moved in at a moment’s notice with 2 cats she is watching, while she is finishing her job as a dive master and leaving to the states with our friend Torri (who owns the cats, but took an opportunity to sail a catamaran from Rio Dulce Guatemala to Florida)  Don’t laugh, this is the way things go around these parts. 

4)      I think I may actually be overwhelmed by the amount of space and storage.  It’s great!

I’m much happier here, so glad I made the decision to move sans viewing.  I no longer feel like I am going stir crazy, dying of heat or spend most of the day sitting on the bed to work.  I have a real home.  Today I washed linens in the bath tub and hung them on the line out front to dry.  Tonight I hung my painted canvases with me that I bought years ago in Panama and Athens.  I’ve been cooking real meals in my real kitchen… with 6 burners and 2 sinks!  Ahhh, life is grand!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A few people I'd like to introduce to you

I’d like to take time out to introduce some of the lovely people who host the blogs featured here on my blog.

And here you have it, in no particular order! 

Cubicle Throwdown –  Rika, a fun, energetic, talented young woman who visited Roatan a year ago, and fell in love with the island.  After she returned home to Vancouver, Canada, she decided to find a way to turn her dream of living in Roatan a reality, just like me!  Rika is a certified Scuba Instructor, and shares many amazing tales of what it took to achieve her goal, and what she’s doing now.  Let’s just say, her hard work is paying off!

Grace Studio - Grace is a creative, imaginative, thorough, dedicated graphic design and marketing firm, specializing in SEO, Branding, Web Design and Photography.  She works hard with many businesses to give them an identity, and get them going in the often times daunting, internet world!  In addition to her endless creative mind, Grace is a powerhouse when it comes to thinking outside the box and making things work smarter, instead of harder.  I highly recommend her services, but also her blog.  It’s full of useful tips and the occasional dry sarcasm humor, which I may or may not have inherited from her!

Insights from a Screw-Up – Sophie is one of those acquaintances that you did nothing to earn, but feel lucky you know the person that knows her kind of thing.  Sophie currently lives in Downtown Portland, one of the things still on my bucket list, where she hosts her therapy practice.  Sophie is a very down to earth, intelligent and admirable woman; one of the best things about her profession is she real.  Real world, Real Life, Real Woman.  Not the questionable ‘ok lie down on the couch and tell me about your childhood and why you are afraid of clowns’ kind of practice.  She gets it.  Reading is refreshing, between her humor and her reality, it’s one of those blogs you love seeing the email letting you know she’s up to something once again…

 The Art of Non-Comformity - Chris Guillebeau; I don’t know this guy from Adam, in fact he is so new to my life, I really seriously don’t know a thing about him.  My mom recently shared his blog with me, and I typed in the link, saw his tag line is ‘The Art of Non-Conformity; Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel’.  Somehow I immediately navigated myself to an archived post of his titled ‘Ever Feel Like Giving Up?’, and immediately read the whole thing, feeling comforted that I am not the only one who sometimes questions if this lifestyle is ‘too hard’.  Thanks Chris, I can’t wait to become a regular reader!

The No Deco Duo – Marc and Ashley are a very sweet couple whom I met here on the island at the beginning of my stay.  They met during a SCUBA certification class, and after challenging each other over beers and a game of cornhole on their first date, Ashley did NOT have to do the limbo, but Marc DID have to take a dive trip with Ashley.  The rest is history, they're traveling around the world together working as Scuba Instructors in popular dive destinations such as Roatan.  They neat people with great tales to tell; and their pics are amazing!  Check it out! 

Simply Kissed  – Edith is an extremely gifted artist, who recognizes that she was given a powerful talent to serve with.  I met her at my best friend’s wedding, the weekend before I moved.  She was the photographer.  She has a keen eye, great knowledge of light, settings, tricks and managing large groups of people.  After becoming friends on Facebook, seeing other photo shoots and reading Edith’s blog, she has truly inspired me.  She is such a beautiful, humble woman who takes only a sliver of the pride she should take for her work, because she knows that it does not make who she is, it’s a part of who she is.  She is also a fantastic write, wife and believer.  I highly recommend subscribing asap!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Feeling Lucky?

I am!

Just a few days after my dear Christine left Honduras, on her way to San Fran, via Pdx, my Mom and her husband arrived for their 2 week island adventure.

They arrived early, in addition to the construction crew outside my bedroom window, perhaps the only thing ahead of schedule are the airlines.  A nice, easy 2 1/2 hour flight from Houston and you're here on the island of Roatan.  No ferries, transfers or hopper planes; you're here, 20 minutes from my end of the island.

We met at their lovely little hotel on the ocean, Lands End.  Turns out ALL of their hotel mates were from Portland as well.  What a fluke!  This made for a fun and entertaining reunion.

For the next two weeks, we had a fabulous reunion, a little singing, losing music trivia, a bit of dancing, an unforgettable boat trip to Cayos Cochinos, snorkeling, scuba diving, iguana hunting and island adventure.  The only thing I regret since they've left, is not doing more.  Ha!  Can you imagine that?  Next time, we're going to zipline, talk to the submarine guy, try more local island food stands, hire a panga for fishing and of course movie night on the beach!

Mom and Kerry on the water taxi

Sunset after a phenomenal boat trip

Kerry entering swim thrus at Blue Channel

Kerry and I

Me, Mom and Kerry

Snorkel Buddies!

Visiting Vern's Island for the day

Hawksbill Turtle and Angelfish posing for me

In the midst of all the excitement, I got to move early!!  This couldn't thrill me more, as I have been living the last 6 months <Happy 6 month anniversary to Me!> in a very tiny, dark, hot den.  I struggles focusing on work, and towards the end, even sleeping.  The kitchen was that of a college student, the walls started to close in on me, everything was growing smaller and smaller by the day.

I'm in the house directly above the apt now, and there is so much room, if I didn't already know how thin the floors are, I would do cartwheels through the living room ALL DAY LONG!  I'm beside myself with a full kitchen, giant bedroom, queen size bed, storage for all my crap and a cool breeze passing through the screened in common area.  Currently, I have the space all to myself, which doesn't feel necessary, but is certainly ok by me.  I'm cooking every night!

<Pics to follow>

The house has helped a bit to curb the letdown of my mom returning home.  We are each other's best friends, and it's hard to be so far apart and not see each other 2-3 times a week.  We keep in contact of course, but it's not the same.  You don't often have random conversations about life, love, dogs and spring time over Skype.  It's not easy being away from her, but I'm eternally grateful that she sets aside her feelings of loneliness, an unselfishly supports me with all of her being.  I can only hope I am as gracious and giving someday as my mom is for me.  I'm only lucky daughter.