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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Science Project you say?

Filed under: Educational,Roatan — she_travels at 6:06 pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Let us see…this is Tuesday morning, yesterday was Monday. Ahh yes,  yesterday I played taxi driver for Bob Marley’s house guest from Canada.  She had been to the island before but was not comfy driving a standard transmission about these wacky roads. Bob Marley’s mom was on a deadline for a web page account so I was asked to be the chauffeur. Yes, even on a tropical island ya gotta run errands.

Wait, ya didn’t hear about the scorpion extravaganza…holy Hannah!

So… I checked on the scorpion the following morning, before going out for a walk with the dogs, it was still there. Being light again, I looked a bit closer to find the reason it looked so much different that the last one I had seen,  it was covered in babies, tiny, oogie, squirming (like maggots), babies. YUCK!!!  I high tailed it out of the house hoping when I got back the teachers would be up and we could attempt to deal with the little bugger.

Walking with Bob Marley is a hoot. They scream about dodging trees and splashing in the water. Marley loves to lay in wait, flat as she can get, for Bob to come by so she can spring into attack mode. Bob pretty much puts up with her.

I was thinking, while I was out that morning, the sand was different, more shell and less of the wonderful white fluffy stuff. The other thing I noticed was less water. Yeah I know, it sounds silly but it sure feels like less water to me. Maybe I am just loosing my mind. I mean if the glaciers are melting there should be more water…right? Maybe less sand means less water. Anywho, the dogs and I had a grand time.

Sadly the teachers were not up when I got back….dang it!! I decided if I could find a vessel deep enough I might could trap that critter myself.

I located two glasses one tall wide one and the other shorter. I figured if I could get the beast in the tall one I could trap her with the shorter one inside. My idea was going according to plan until I touched her tail. At the same time the shower curtain moved, she did too and let me tell you people that thing can haul hinnie. I jumped back with a small squeak understanding this was NOT a one person job.

Fine, I will sort my stuff and unpack til the teachers get up. I took a picture of the nasty thing too.

When the ladies got up I took the picture on the camera in to the kitchen asking as I got their attention, “How do ya feel about scorpions.” One of the ladies gave me a nasty look and walked outside, seems she likes them less than I do. The other one (Caroline) said while looking at the pic, “I grew up in Texes so I know…what does that have babies on it?” I said, “Yes,  it’s in the shower.”

Somewhere along the line neither one of them heard me. Mom says I talk to fast or maybe it was cause they were out until 230 am…either way when I did get them to understand the beast was not only in the house, but in the shower they had used the previous day, Caroline was on a mission to see and trap it. Whoo-hoo.

She followed me in to the bathroom, took a look at the situation then went back to the kitchen scouting for the perfect new home for momma nasty. She returned with a deeper larger mouthed container than I had. I mentioned at this point I had tried to trap her but the shower curtain had moved so… Caroline agreed it was going to take two people, one holding the curtain as tight as possible and the other to wrangle the beast in to its new home.

We both knew our roles in the operation and played them out perfectly…thank goodness momma scorp understood her part as well. Easy peasy…Ms. Scorp and children contained! While Caroline took her out to the light to get a better look I said, “I am going to make sure that are no others.”

Of course the odds of a second seemed fairly small to all of us. Then I found him. Much later while telling the story to Bob Marley’s mom she said, “They travel in pairs, when you see one there will be another around soon after.” This was the point I remembered last year, the house keeper killed one and the following day I killed a second one. There were the only two I saw in the three weeks I was in that house. By the by ~ that house is next to this one.

Alright, I found a second nasty beastie… Caroline came to access the situation. She decided he was prolly dead, left and came back with (I don’t remember what) to prod him with. He moved I squeak and she went to get the scorpion house.

When she got back I asked if she thought they would kill each other. She didn’t know but didn’t care either they were both going in the same house.

The second one was easier cause he was closer to the edge of the shower curtain. Caroline suggested we just slide him off the edge. I raised it high enough for her to get the container under it and she scooped at him from behind with a bowl. It looked to be going fine until he didn’t drop to the bottom. Caroline wiggled the bowl/lid about some until he went plop.

There is another mini story about broken glass, loose scorpions and me running out of the house for help. I may or may not tell ya that one.

In the end the teachers took a jar full of the nasty beasties as a project for the science dept and the school.

Power… Where? When?

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 4:24 pm on Monday, February 25, 2008

Dang it! I thought I loaded the pic sizing soft ware I had been working with last year but somewhere along the line I musta forgotten. I will have a bit of a learning curve with the software on the computer.

That and the power is out again.. I think all told since I arrived in Palmatto Bay 23 hours ago the power has been on for four. Makes cooking and eating tough. I bought some grouper yesterday I thought I would bake a bit with lemon..see what happens.

Yesterday was my last day at with Miss Gato and her home. She is a cool little kitty who knows how her day should go and expects the people person in her house to help her with the the getting fed and opening the door part..

While I was waiting at the airport for Miss Gato’s parents (I was picking  them up) I noticed a lady with five cats in carriers. I watched her pass when it occurred to me she may be in need of someone such as myself one day. While attempting to think of some thing clever I walked around the corner, reaching in my pack for a card.

Deciding the direct approach is best I walked up to her, caught her eye and said. “This may seem silly…I am an international house sitter and sooner or later you are going to want off this island.”

She giggled and smiled a bit then started to tell me just how tough it was to get five cats and a husband to the third world country island. Upon hearing about ice storms and a car service that was not willing to go down her lane at 3am because of the ice, I agreed with her, travel is tough enough without five cats and a husband. She told me they were moving down and going to start building a house soon. At this point I think she noticed her husband cause she was off. I went back to my post waiting for Miss Gato’s parents.

I got to Palmatto Bay Saturday at about 5 after finding Miss Gato’s parents at the airport. I wanted to get the dogs (Bob and Marley) out for a walk along the beach before dark. We had a grand ole time getting back just before sun down. Ya know I think I missed those dogs. They sure are a ton of fun.

The dog’s parents were s’pose to be at some shin-dig at 6 so I popped over to the house I was staying in with a couple of English teachers from French Harbor. They come up some weeks end to hang about at the beach. Yes, its an island and there is beach all over the place but think of this as a week end holiday for them.

Nice gals..I remember one of them saying she was from Texas but she sure didn’t sound the part. I don’t remember the other one saying one way or the other.

When they decided to go down to the restaurant I got up to make a blueberry pie I promised Bob Marley’s parents for their social gathering the following day. I kid you not,  the very moment I had my ingredients sorted out the power went off. Shezz!

I gotta tell ya…they don’t make dark where I come from like they do here.  It is pitch black so ya rummage about trying to find the flash light ya saw when ya walked in or ya go looking for one of the two you have learned to travel with. Either way you are wandering about a house you don’t know in the black of night. Once ya have the flash light found,  you go looking for the matches and candles you KNOW are here ya just gotta look in the right spot. Dang, by the time I was sorted out with illumination I was sweating,  cause after all the fans are no longer spinning.

I decide at this point,  having the candles aflame and the flash light off,  I will take a shower to get the sand, bug spray and sweat off my person but when I get to the bathroom there is a scorpion on the shower curtain… it looked a bit different than the last one I had seen but I just figured it was a different variety.

Alrighty, no power NO shower….never mind I will take a dip in the pool. Not exactly clean but at least I am less sweaty than I was. By now it was 8pm… I had not slept well the two nights before so I figure why not crawl into bed instead of fighting the power situation.

I didn’t sleep but I also was not tossing and turning so I guess that’s good. I thought about making the pie I promised Bob Marley’s parents when the power came back on at 11pm but I didn’t. I also didn’t sleep all that well. I finally got out of bed at 630 just in time to see the power go off… again.

More about scorpion wrangling next time…I have been asked to play taxi driver today.

Roatan

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 11:02 am on Friday, February 22, 2008

Goodness me it has been some time. I found an email in my box this morning from someone I had no idea was following the blog. He was asking for an update. I am so sorry to those of you that only know me through the blog.

Quickly, Christmas this year was by far easier than last year if only cause I was not digging my car out from under piles of snow every third day. There were some cold days to be out feeding horses, cleaning barns and walking dogs but for the most part it was delightful weather.

Most of January was spend with Jackson, one of the fastest (fetch is his game!) dogs I know. His parents have a wine distribution business. They asked me to answer the phone and do a bit of invoicing. What fun it is to get a quick over view of the happenings then be tossed into the fire. I learned about Bio-Dynamanic wines and that Frey’s Organics are all the rage in Boulder, Colorado. Jackson’s Dad said later “You are a very organized person so finding the things I need to check was simple.”

I already have plans to spend more time with Jackson and the wine business.

The flight down here (Roatan) was as easy as it gets. The plane left Denver on time and landed in Houston on time. I had all of walking across the hall to my connecting flight. Easy!

I landed on Roatan at least 10 minutes early. Whew! I could tell you some fairly interesting stories about getting to this place but is seems since the cruise ships found it all the interesting flight wackiness is gone.

This trip it was a good thing..the vast amount of stuff I had to understand, in a very short amount of time, from the house sitting client who picked me up would have been much harder with less time or energy.

We zipped up to the house to meet the dogs, cats and birds. Got the low down on the house, internet, phone (cell and packet eight) and generator (power fails often here).

We then cruised down to the jewelery store to get the program there. I had agreed to care for the house and run the store for the week they would be away. It was fast and I was all kinds of surprised I remember it all, two kinds of money (US and Honduran) in addition to credits cards. My ability to lock all the doors in the house and the shop were tested, yes some of them are tricky.

We went back to the house for a test drive in both cars, had a delightful dinner, was shown the “instant on hot water” and whew was I glad to be in bed after two hours of sleep the night before. (yeah, I don’t sleep or eat before flights).

We took the dogs out for their walk the next morning, the clients were ready to roll to the airport by 730a. I dropped them off and zipped down to the store.

I can tell you that first day was a bit unnerving. As with all new things once ya find your groove it’s kinda fun meeting people, chatting with them and touching all the pretty shining things in the cases.

My days became wake up at 6am to the sound of a cat howling for breakfast, walking the dogs, feeding the birds, having a shower, spending 9am to 6pm at the store chatting with people then back to the house to feed the dogs, cats and birds again.

It was all great fun but I am not sure how much longer I could have kept it up…with that amount of stuff to be done getting to the store and back was a challenge to say the least.

The day after the owners came back they were planning to leave again. They must have had many a report from people that had dropped by the store while they were away.
So the week of the 1st to the 8th of March I will be back at the house with the huge fluffy dogs, the jewelry store and the talking birds. I promise to get pics then.

I am currently house sitting with another of my Roatan clients. This house is several miles east of the other one. I am company for a single kitty that lazes about the house all day then goes out at sundown. I have attempted on several occasions to convince Miss Gato to tell me what she does with her evenings but being a cat she plays it close to the chest.

The people I house sat for last year offered me their rental house with a pool from this Sat to March 1st when I go back to West Bay. The very best news is I get to walk the dogs Bob and Marley..whoohoo!

I was offered a spare room in a home over Holy Week so no worried there.At this point it looks like I am going back to Bob Marley’s house for most of April, much like last year.

My apologies for the lack of pictures…I am working on it.