Lo siento! I’m sorry. I know we have been in the news again lately due to the supposed “coup”, the marching of President Mel Zelaya out of his bedroom in his pajamas and swift exodus to Costa Rica in the dark of the night and I have been negligent in reporting the news.
“How many President’s do we have today?” was the ice breaker at the July 4th party we attended a couple of weeks ago at neighbour and long time resident Sandy Byrd’s place on our Cay. We were a mixture of gringos, most of whom are now residents of Honduras, and locals, seating ourselves on Sandy’s luxurious balcony overlooking the sea and making shy introductions. Tall, white pillars made me feel like I’m back in New Orleans, where Sandy comes from. Her place is an oasis, green and lush, dropped into the middle of the otherwise rocky and sandy cay.
Not much has changed here on the island. One morning we woke to find many white flags, bedsheets, anything white, flying from homes and boats on shore. I asked Sandy what was up when I called to discuss what we should bring to the party. “The white flags show support for the new government”, she told me. Someone, I am not sure quite who, came around and asked her to fly a white flag or put out something white to show support for Micheletti so she hauled out a big sheet and laid it on her lawn.
We have yet to meet a Honduran who wants Zelaya back. There is huge relief that he is gone. We receive little or no news but hear many rumours. One rumour was that Zelaya was planning to sneak into the country through Roatan. That got everyone excited for a while and the airport was apparently shut down.
There is a dusk to dawn curfew in effect in the country but you would never know it here. The nightlife continues unimpeded. Religious groups meet and sing and pray ALL night long. The cool evening air brings people out to socialize and the “kids” getting hopping around 11. Music fills the night air and boats whizz back and forth. Curfew? Ha!
However, we did hear that in West End, the tourism magnet of the Island, the curfew was in effect which would be a terrible blow to the tourism here. We were invited to a full moon party by our friend Larry Wood and his girlfriend Norma. We dingied down to Larry’s place and drove with them to the swanky gated community of Parrot Tree Plantation. Parrot Tree sits approx halfway between here and French Harbour on the south side of the island.
We had seen the place from the water passing by in the boat and from the winding road that runs down the island but had never been inside the complex. WOW. The property is enormous and includes a marina, condos, homes, beaches, restaurants, a gorgeous pool and short term rental units. The place was absolutely stunning, but unfortunately quite empty. One woman swam in the enormous pool but she told us, alternating between Spanish and English, that she worked and lived on the property.
Most locals are bilingual and I find it amusing the way a single conversation switches back and forth from English to Spanish and back again. I sat in the doctor’s office with a bunch of women one day, waiting for my turn with the doctora. This was after the earthquake and these women chattered away, back and forth between the two languages. “an der he was”, one woman told about her husband “ jus a snoring ana droolin tru da whole ting.” The English is just as difficult to make out sometimes as the Spanish.
Anyways back to the Full Moon party. Couples take turns hosting these parties, always held on the night of the full moon, regardless of which day of the week it falls on. There are many Americans residing here and judging by these homes, many have money. The house was gorgeous, overlooking the sea, with a pool up on the balcony. We met several new people and it was interesting but we both came away with a strange feeling that we had nothing in common with these people.
We dingied back to our cozy little boat that would have fit in their washroom and reflected on our evening and the sense that we both felt more comfortable these days socializing with the locals we have come to know than these wealthy gringos.
All is well here. John returned from his land “down island” shopping expedition reporting that Edlon’s shelves were getting pretty empty. Oh well, I’ve gained too much weight here anyways. When anchored, we would dingy to shore and walk everywhere, miles a day. Here we dingy to shore but everything is on the water so we dingy between places, rather than walk.
Last night we dingied up to The McNab Place . or Pooky’s, as everyone calls it after the owner, Pooky and after dinner we walked through Jonesville to get some exercise. It is a quaint little town, residents are mostly of English or Cayman ancestry, white and fairly well off compared to the average islander.
Lobster season opened July 1st and we learned that shrimp season may or may not open then. A few boats go out, take samples and decide whether or not the season should open. Apparently this year the opening was delayed for shrimp. There is much activity with the large fishing boats taking on crew and heading out after months of repairs and in many cases, nice new paint jobs. The processing plant in Oak Ridge has a FOR HIRE sign out, a good sign. We overhear locals discussing what will happen if the international community imposes trade sanctions. Who will buy the lobster and shrimp? Let’s hope there is a market for them after all this work and money getting the fleet ready to head out.
The Captain got in on a diesel fuel purchase at a great price and we took on some fuel. If trouble did come to the island we could cut and run and have enough fuel to get to Guatemala. Don’t worry though, Joe. We have no plans to go anywhere, it’s just nice to know we could should we have to.
No news is good news and should trouble come I will let you all know.