|When I left you last I was setting out along the sandy road that runs along the waterfront in West End in search of gainful employment. My first stop was at Eagle Ray's Restaurant where I was told that they don't hire gringos but that The Lighthouse Restaurant was looking for someone. I had heard this while sitting in the internet cafe, where I had met Casey, a girl who works at the Lighthouse also.
I caught Johnna Ebanks, the owner of the restaurant, in her store sellig souvenirs and asked if she was doing any hiring. "What tye of hiring", she asked. "Servers", I replied. "Have you served tables before", she asked me. "Yes" I assured her. "What is your availablity?", she asked. I explained that I was totally open, days, nights, whatever she required. "Well, why don't you stop back after 4 when both girls who would like to give up a few shifts are working and we'll see what we can work out", she replied. The money was not great, she told me. I would make 200 lempiras ($10) a night for working from 4 till whenever the last customer paid, with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m. Tips would be shared between all kitchen, bar and serving staff.
So I returned at 4 and Johnna asked if I was in the mood to work, or would I prefer to start tomorrow. John had made plans to get together with friends Mike and Cheryl before Cheryl flew back to the States for 2 weeks or I would have started then and there. As it was I returned at 4 the next day and went to work. There was no application form, I wasn't even asked my last name. Ah the life in Paradise!
I considered the first night a success since I didn't spill, break or drop anything or serve anyone the wrong meal. It was a quiet night and my portion of the tips came to 180 lempiras or just under $10. So after 7 hrs work I came away with just under $20. So you wonder, did I go back?
Yes I did. Saturday night was my second shift and another quiet night. The total take this time was 530 lempiras or $26.50. Under the Canadian system I would have walked with MUCH more, as my tips were generous but of course it had to be split many ways.
Night number 3, total earnings $27.10.
My first day shift, from 7a.m till 4 pm. Total wages $10, my share of the tips $5, so $15 for 9 hours work. I am getting a good feel for what the people who live here have to live on. Even this terrible money is more than most of them earn. How sad.
Leftovers? HUH. Nothing much except fish bones and lobster shell gets as far as the garbage. It is scooped off plates as they come into the kitchen and eaten or packed away to take home to feed families. WOW!
The Captain was feeling poorly a few days ago so we took the collectiva to Anthony's Key, about a 10 minute ride to visit a medical clinic that we had heard great things about. It looks like it was a urinary tract infection and he's on the mend. The doctor's visit, a 2 week course of antibiotics and some pain pills cost about $20 US. We had heard that most gringos living in Central America develop parasites in the digestive system so I had a test and it came back negative! We're happy to be in the minority in this case. The doctor said that if one of us had them we both would so we can assume to both be parasite free.
The mooring field here in West End emptied out a couple of days ago as a cold front approached. Out of 20 boats there are only 2 left, Diamond Lil and a sailboat whose crew are waiting for an engine part before they can move. Luckily the front hasn't amount to much, at least yet. We've had plenty of rain but not much wind. We opened the top to the water tank and let Mother Nature fill er up. The question is why did it take us 3 1/2 years to figure out to do that? DUH
On a brighter note, I sold another web exclusive article to PassageMaker for mid-Feb publishing. I figured out that I would have to work for 17 shifts to make as much as I did from that one article. Time to get back to writing!
Don't forget to pick up the Jan/Feb issue of Power Boating Canada with the first of a series of 6 articles I wrote on our trip around the loop. Needless to say I haven't seen it yet.