Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Booorrrriinng!

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

I'M BORING!!

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!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hot August Nights (and Days!)

It's the hottest time of year in Roatan.  In the summer months preceding rainy season, and just at the peak of hurricane season, arrives hot, HUMID temperatures.  The kind that make you sweat even at the thought of getting dressed or preparing a meal.  So we cook naked.

Ha ha, ok, not naked, but with the littlest amount of clothing possible.  Not sure about some of the others, but my house is still surrounded by screens, although I'm fairly confident there is not many direct paths to see into my place, there's still a chance.  Last week I started cleaning the house, and it wasn't long before I was in my bikini, sweeping.  Pants, and often times even shorts, are a thing of the past.  I wear shorts in public, that is it.

By early evening, it's typical to feel rather unattractive and a bit helpless about the situation.  There is little sense in showering, unless you plan to stay in for the night, and make little to no movement that would encourage your body to sweat.  Because it will.

Fashion goes right down the toilet here.  Everyone understands.  It's frickin hot.  No one cares when you wear the same shorts and tank top 2 days in a row, because it means 1 of 3 things;

1) It's hot, and this particular outfit is the ONLY thing in your closet that allows you comfort (while
 in public) so you wear it.  Again and again.  Who cares.

2) You took your laundry to the 'laundry lady' and either forgot to pick it up before she closed, or couldn't get off work in time to beat closing time.  And she has all of your clothes.

3) See #1.


Anyhow, it gets worse.  Try a workout in Roatan!

Before I moved to Roatan, I was feeling spread a little thin, between a very demanding job, and very energetic canine-child and a fairly demanding social calendar and a necessity to exercise myself too!  Even with my mom popping by once or twice a week to pick up the dog, I still couldn't juggle it all.  At first I started taking the soccer ball to the park, trying to dribble and work on chipping and keep away from the dog.  But that was short lived, I wasn't even raising my heart rate enough to negate a Coors Light.  So I sucked it up and did it.  I went jogging.  It seemed like the ONLY solution to get both of our blood pumping enough to serve a purpose.  (Trouble was I could barely walk in the front door, and she was just getting started)  I think though, that she respected my efforts, and complied like the little lady that she is, understanding and willing to please.  Aw, Love that little girl!

Eventually my good friend Mindy caught wind of this secret endeavor of mine, to try and traipse through the concrete jungle of strip malls, schools and apartment complexes in my neighborhood in search of a decent workout for the pup and I, and promptly cornered me into committing to a 5k.  HOLY SHIT.  But fun.  Portland's Shamrock Run is a legend, and everyone has done it at some point, so why not??  It's fun, everything in Portland is fun!  Who wouldn't want to run around the closed off streets of downtown in a tutu and pig tails?



Needless to say... you wouldn't find she or I in tutus and pigtails, but we did sport a few Shamrocks, Green jerseys and eye shadows, just so we didn't stand out ;)

Thanks for Mindy, Raylie and I found a great new outlet for our energy and even recruited others to join our newest adventure.  The next race Mindy and I, along with an fantastic group of co workers and friends, participated in the 8k Bridge to Brews.  Reason 999,999 why Portland, Oregon ROCKS. 
We Loooooove our bridges and we looooooooove our brews!




Looooong story short, needless to say, I fell off the wagon when I relocated closer to the equator last September, and can barely stand walking, let along running, anywhere, ever.  Thanks to a routinely dedicated (6 am door-slamming) fellow runner/room mate, my awareness for running has been, well, let's call it 'revived'.  However, unless you enjoy the feeling of being on the verge of a heat stroke, heart attack and oxygen deprivation all-at-the-same-time; you must finish your run before 8 am.  And generally you come out looking like this:  hot, tired, smelly, sweaty, but feeling accomplished.  But mostly just REALLY really sweaty.



On the brighter side; my skin is very healthy and pores and the cleanest they've ever need!  I'm beginning to find my rhythm again, which really took starting from scratch since the elements (sand) are so different (heat) and my trusty running partner (Raylie) is back in the states.  It feels great!  I even chuckle to myself from time to time, that I'm getting my morning exercise on the beach in the Caribbean.  Really????  Really.