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)