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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Power/Lights

Filed under: Ponderings,Roatan — she_travels at 3:24 pm on Monday, March 26, 2007

The weather down here changed as did the power off schedule.

They, whoever “they” are say this tropical place has a wet season and a dry season. People on the internet are always asking “when is the wet season over”. Often times the reply is end of January or  beginning of February.  Sure, it may rain less often or not as much volume but I can tell you this is the end of March and it has been raining a lot over the last seven days. Every one is saying it’s unusual for this time of year everyone, the locals, the expatriates and the tourists who come down every year. I have been drenched several times over the past week while walking, I happen to love the rain so I don’t mind

The power company had us all fooled in to believing we understood the schedule, silly us! For weeks if it turned off at 8-9 am then it would be back on between 1-2 pm, if is was still on at 9a then they would turn it off between  1-2pm,  then on again about 6-7pm. Last week they turned it off at 6pm one night and didn’t turn back on until the following day at 11pm. We all thought maybe that was a mistake, we were wrong. Now there are three shifts in the schedule. Off at 8a on at 2, off at 2p on at 6 p and off at 6p on at 11pm.

Being a very small place the rumors here migrate and multiply in more ways than there are grains of sand on the beach. I have talked with many people about the power situation. Some say it was a private thing for years, the government took over and is in the process of repairing the generators which have had no maintenance in years. Some say it is about money the power company is owned and they can’t buy enough fuel. I was talking with a guy today who may have had the real answer. He is a programmer of maintenance schedules for power plans in the states. He has been here for five years, three years ago he wrote a program for the power company here. They choose not to use it. There seems to be a bit of short-sightedness among some of the locals. They think they are saving money by turning off the power when in fact they are hurting the tourist industry. They can’t seem to think in the long term. It’s very sad and a bit annoying at times!

If one is going to enjoy this place and truly attempt to understand it, one must take it for exactly what it is, not get their shorts in a bunch cause of what they think it should be or could be. Accept it for just what it is.

There is many a lesson to be learned here.

By the by ~ the locals trade the word power for lights. “How long have the lights been off?” In response to “Is the phone working?” They will reply “The lights are off.”

Vanishing Time

Filed under: Ponderings,Roatan — she_travels at 1:33 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2007

Holy Hannah, have I only been at this office thing for five days. It seems much longer, could be cause I am here about 830a and not going home til about  930p. Helping out the morning Foster asked turned into a being here all day kind of thing.

I really enjoy the social aspect of this gig. I am slowly, very slowly learning the booking process. There is another person who does most of the bookings through the internet. It’s the “walk in” people I have to accommodate. The taxi drivers are given a commission if they bring people down who stay,  so the walk in thing happens at least once a day.

The difficult part is there are so many different rooms with various prices and I am still learning the magic code that is the booking system. When I asked Miranda, Foster’s fifteen year old daughter, about the booking system code she said,  “It’s the booking agents and no one understands it”.

We had a situation the other day where Eric, one of Foster’s sons, had to take the entry door to a room off its hinges to get in. Today a guest lost the only key to a cabana while out snorkeling. I went in through a window to open the door then Eric switched the door knob. Its wacky things like this which make things so very interesting.

The weather has been perfect the last few days. We had a bit if a storm the 1st part of last week. Crazy big wind and rain. I loved it but felt sorry for people who had come down for a week and the 1st few days were icky.

I had a delightful conversation with a lady from Germany while walking down the beach this morning. She is learning about rocks at home and was pointing out all the cool rocks and petrified wood bits. Very nice little old lady.

3.19.07

I can’t remember what date I started this note. I am sure it is days later. The internet has been down five days. I think I have been helping out in the office  two weeks, perhaps more.

I am so very surprised I like what I am doing. I would have thought guests hassling me about every little thing would bug the tar out of me but by golly instead, I am enjoying the challenge of sorting out all the little things so the big things go well. I enjoy chatting with the guests and answering all their questions. By the by ~ its pretty much the same questions with different people every week.

There is so much gray about this place. Changes are made pretty fast, the communication is not as quick as it could be and there is often some muddy water. An example or two: Three nights ago with the power out, a couple came looking for a room for two nights. I told them I had two availabilities one being a very simple hotel room and the other being second level with deck and a small kitchen. I asked if they wanted to see both rooms. When they said yes we were off for a peek. After the quick tour they were discussing what they wanted to do with the taxi driver. I was under the impression they were no longer interested. I then saw another guest that had been angry about some thing the day before. Wanting to see how they were feeling and if they had moved out of the room they didn’t like to the new one we offered, I followed them across the bridge. We chatted for several minutes, they were still pretty upset. One of those couples no matter what ya did they wanted to be mad.

When I came back to the office the 1st couple was gone, another couple was waiting for me to chat about availability. Mind you~ I am showing rooms in the pitch dark with a flash light. It could not have been 20 minutes after I showed the hotel room the 1st time to when I went back to show it to the 2nd couple. When I open the door there was a man laying on the bed. I apologized 1st then asked was he staying there this night. His English was not any better than my Spanish but the couple I was showing the room to and the taxi guy both understood  Foster had told the guy he could stay in the room. I backed out and offered the couple a different room. I had no idea there was someone in the room, I was under the impression it was empty. In the 20 minutes it took me to get one couple sorted out and get the other couple over there, Foster (who I didn’t know was around) gave the room to someone.

We nicknamed Foster “The Ghost” cause one minute he will be there and the next gone. Nice, quiet, easy going island sorta pace on him but the guy moves like lightening. Poof gone!

Another example: I was not working yesterday so today I showed up early (630a) to make sure I had a handle on what had happened the day before. There were several notes from the chick that did work yesterday.

A taxi guy showed up with five adults, they were looking for three separate hotel-ish rooms. The book says there is only one hotel room but there is a place with a kitchen, sitting area, a king bed down stairs and two double beds upstairs. I suggested this to them and they agreed to look. Now after the other day I decided I better go take a peek before showing the place to them. I got half way up the stairs to see someone in the hammock. Ok, fine that place is not empty but why is there not notation in the book and no check~in card.

Gray Space. Lots of gray space in this place.

I can tell you honestly I am not in the least bit bothered by the wackiness of the gray. It is what it is, ya either enjoy the bits you enjoy and allow the universe to take care of the rest or ya make yourself crazy trying to make it some thing it is not nor will ever be. Personally, I am happy as a lark allowing things to go as they do and dealing with the things on a moment to moment basis instead if trying to control every little thing. So, someone was in the room, no one made mention in the book, no one checked them in, perhaps the room is not paid for, I just let it all go. I can’t be responsible. And better yet no one expects me too.

By the by ~ one must remember having no agenda at all what so ever helps ones ability to cope with the gray of the world.

Foster (O wise man that he is) and I were having a conversation the other day about my finally being in a place mentally, emotionally and physically where I can learn to cope with the gray. He has decided the job is somehow medicinal.

I have always lived in a world of black and white, its either right or wrong, either a good behavior or a bad one. It is the reason I get along with animals so well, good behavior is praised and bad behavior is ignored.

Most of the world works in gray, the area where no absolutes exist. Foster is right,  this job is a crash course in the area I have been avoiding all my life, the place where most of the human race lives.

I am digging the job and I have no idea why. Wacky huh?

I heard from the people in Palmetto Bay about house sitting. I am going to the house for a visit tomorrow. The plan is to see the animal program that evening and the next morning. I miss my canine friends so much it will be nice to have dogs around again. Three weeks from March 31 to April 21, house on a beach, satellite TV, free international phone, stacks of DVDs and a private pool. Now that is a real, live honest to goodness vacation in paradise.

Taken some minutes apart

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 2:08 pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I have attempted to catch a sunset from West Bay but can’t seem to be in the right place at the right time and still help guests.

By the by ~ I am this close to having the house sitting gig I have been talking about. She changed her dates so I could stay at the house. First three weeks of April. I am so looking forward to canine friends and a pool..woohoo  

Gerrliee (one of Foster’s sons) took me back to West End in his boat yesterday.  It was the most amazing thing to be zipping along on the water with stars from horizon to horison. There is no light pollution here so the sky was absolutely full. I told Gerrilee I would be more than happy to walk around the corner and up the hill in the dark if I could take a boat ride home every night. He said I needed a cell phone so he could call to make sure I got home alright. I am telling you the love and affection in the place is amazing.

It is possible because of who I am down here I am more willing to allow others to take care of me. When I am in the states I have that can do attitude that may put off some people from offering any kind of caring. Something deep to ponder a bit more.

One of the guests brought down Oprah’s new favorite book, “The Secect”. The guest and I have been having some interesting conversations. I was surprised when she said she would bring me the book because I could have written it. The more we talked about writting the more we thought about the possibility of her helping me write. Those of you who keep saying I should write a book, looks like it may come to pass one day.

Sittin in the office

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 12:56 pm on Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I was quietly enjoying my book this morning when Foster decided it would be worth while to toss me behind the big desk in the office. Here I sit answering questions, selling internet minutes while watching it pour rain. What a life.

So..a few more pics while I hang about waiting to the next person that wants something.

 

My living space from outside and across the ditch. The rounded white wall is a set of stairs. The door to the left is mine. There is a bridge above. Its all very odd but totally affordable.

This is a ficus hedge. Farther down the road is looks like this…

Ficus tunnel.

This one is in the vine below.

More flowers

This white palm looking thing was behind a privacy gate but it was so unusual I decided to risk the anger of the owner.  

I will get to the sunset pics soon.

Weather and Morning Walk

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 5:22 pm on Monday, March 5, 2007

I woke up to pouring rain at 4am. We (people in COLO) always talk about how the weather in Colorado changes so fast. I am starting to wonder if it is the norm in many parts of the world. Yesterday was calm, he sea was a tiny lap lap. If I had had my camera I would have taken pics through the water of starfish and lobster.  Today..holy hannah,  the waves are monsters crashing on the reef with a constant low hum. I love weather. Eric (one of the brother’s I talk of often) and I have decided this is the best weather ever. Overcast with a stiff wind so eveyone has to bow to the power of the sea.

Did I mention rain…when it rains here the gods are serious. You can see the cells coming toward the island and ya know ya had better get under cover fast cause your about to get soaked. This place doesn’t know how to sprinkle, it either pours kitties, fish and dogs or its not. Did I mention I love the power of weather?

This is part of my morning walk. You can see a bit of the road in the distance to the right and the just barely see the Cell towers just to the left of the middle of the pic. I walk up and over all those hills and down past the cel towers.

Same-ish pic a bit closer

Farther down the road.

 

From the road along the walk.

This is also along the walk but looking back the direction I came, the other side of the island. There are several places along the road if you stand in the right place you can see the ocean from on both sides.

Do ya believe the blues and the greens of this place? Talk about natural beauty. I have moments I wanna cry this place is so pretty.

I am out of time with so many wanting to use the computer cause the power is off so much.

I have more pics but no time..

Silly System

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 2:12 pm on Sunday, March 4, 2007

Dang it!!

The power was on all day yesterday so when it came back on at 1pm today there was a mad dash of people who wanted to use the computers, including me. The bad news is,  the web site were the pics live online is not allowing me in.

What does this mean, you ask? It means my best planned plans to post more pics has been squished by the silly system.

Phooey! Maybe a dip in the crystal blue waters of the sea will make me feel better.

Quick update

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 10:44 am on Saturday, March 3, 2007

Goodness! the power is off here six hours a day. Getting a computer to work is kinda a challenge. I have more pics but the internet cafe is restricting how much time we are online cause of all the people needing the computers. It’s a bit of a bummer.

The visa…I checked with the people next door about what their’s said. There is a notation of 90 days on their pink bit of paper. My paper is yellow but in about the same spot I think it says 90 days so I am going to take a risk to see if mine is 90 days as well. I could go to the immigration office again but the GOV. here is so corrupt I am concerned he will charge me for nothing or I will get charged again at the airport. So, I am going with the idea mine says 90days. Pray for me some the 28th of April.

I have been walking two hours in the morning then again for an hour at night. In between I sit by the sea, in the shade reading or chatting with whoever wants to chat.

I got an email from Mom this morning. Those of you that know my horses know the Thoughorbred has a tough time holding his weight. Mom says he is fat and happy. I have not a clue as to why but am pleased as punch he is happy.

I am running out of time. I hope to get some more pics up soon.

Keep those emails coming!