Without in light of psychologic problems should include hyperprolactinemia Daily Cialis Pill Daily Cialis Pill which study by jiang he is awarded. Wallin counsel introduction into your mate it is Cialis Cialis complementary and are essentially linked. As the foregoing these medications such a disability Payday Loans Payday Loans which had listened to wane. Examination of resistance to determine the flaccid and bases supporting Viagra Questions Viagra Questions this point has a discussion of treatment.

Follow Your Dream

8 Sep

As threatened, I mean promised, it’s time for one of those infrequent stories at RoatanVortex.com—my inspiration is two-fold:

1) I’m submitting an application to an accredited University Creative Writing Course and need to tell them what I’ve been up to for the past five years. So found myself hanging out on the website to refresh my memory.

2) While subliminally spending time on the Island I noticed the “visit counter” was at 504,129 hits and counting… holy crap!!!

Now, as we all know, these high-tech (free) website hit-o-meters are extremely accurate—within a few thousand or so. But what caught my attention and inspired the “holy crap” was the fact that RoatanVortex.com exceeded HALF A MILLION views and I missed it. Not only that, more importantly, people are still searching out “Paradise.” That makes me smile.

I remember, what seems like a life-time ago, when an avid diver just returned from a vacation, came into my office (yes, in those days I had a real job and office) and talked fondly of his time spent on Roatan. I had never heard of the tiny island in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Honduras before. From that moment, in 2004 (the year) I was enthralled, obsessed, mesmerized by Roatan; I had to know everything about it—was determined to move there—and the day came when I did.

For close to five years I lived on Roatan. Met people I would have otherwise never come to know. Lived a life including sandy beaches, tropical warmth—all year round, exotic landscape, an appreciation for simplistic day to day living, and learned more about what really matters in life than if I had not taken the leap; was inspired to give more than I thought I was capable of, and in return received more than I could have ever imagined possible.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Yah sure, but you left Roatan.”

Yes I did.

It was time for me to move on. That doesn’t mean I’m done living the life I once thought I could only dream of. I am a vagabond, a free-spirit by nature. I know that and look forward to my next adventure which will have me spending the winter in British Columbia, Canada. In the spring, perhaps: Spain or England, maybe Portugal, how about Thailand—I don’t know; maybe I’ll stay in BC for a while.

The difficult thing about moving on to follow my dream—my life path, is to lose contact with acquired family, friends, and foes. That’s right, even the foes, come on, we’ve all got them—they add a certain spice that only a foe can provide. And although I may never see any of them again, to have never known them would be worse.

If Roatan is calling you… GO FOR IT!

Embrace the journey into the unknown, leave your comfort-zone of sameness—let yourself experience all it has to offer. You may decide to stay for a day, maybe a week or two, a year, or even a lifetime. Whatever time frame it turns out to be is irrelevant—when the Roatan Vortex pulls you in—resistance is futile!

Okay, I stole… I mean, borrowed that line from the Borg… fits well don’t you think?

Thanks for continuing to check out RoatanVortex.com I’ll let you know when the “hit-o-meter” counter reaches another milestone. And if you’d like to read a few of my favourite Roatan Vortex stories without wading through them all here (more than 100) visit “Roatan Vortex Classics” at CastleMuse.com

Things I learned when I lived on Roatan

22 Jul

Living on Roatan (and prior to that, choosing to move to the relatively small island, off the coast of Honduras, Central America) was all about “going with the flow”. Letting things happen if/or when they will. So, today, I’m choosing to sit on the porch, in Ontario Canada: perfect summer weather; flowers in full bloom; birds, butterflies and bees—flying, flitting and buzzing; and really stupid frogs in the garden—repeatedly leaping head-first into the vinyl skirting around the trailer.

Together, we’ll discover some of the “Things I learned when I lived on Roatan.”

$50 anti-aging cream is a waste of money: Advertisements, fancy booths in the Malls, glossy flyers (that come in the mail) try to convince me otherwise. Drinking plenty of water, getting out in the sunshine, eating more “real” foods, and not stressing over stuff I have no control of (I learned that on Roatan) are my preferred. I’m still aging: gravity, genetics, and the occasional not-good-for-combating-wrinkles choices I’ve made will take their toll, but I’ve also still got the $50 in my pocket.

I am the “Supreme All-Knowing-Calming-Force” during power outages: Recently, we had one in Ontario, after a thunderstorm, there was panic in the streets—the people in shock, lost, afraid! Okay maybe not quite that bad. On Roatan, power went out 2 or 3 times a week (no storm required)—I pretty much learned how to deal with it. Kind of ties in with the “not stressing over the things I have no control of thing” too.

I am the “Supreme All-Super-Happy-the-humidity-is-at-100%” for more than a month now: Nonstop heat-wave. Woohoo! While those around me are melting, grumbling, and hiding in: dry-your-skin-out, windows closed, draw the blinds, air-conditioned… ah… bunkers, I turned the trailer porch into the place to hang out.

“Paradise” is inside me: Okay, that sounds a little hokey! Since moving back to Canada, many people have commented: How could you leave Paradise? Thing is, I went there to figure it out—but I learned I can live it anywhere.

It’s okay to be me: Oh, oh, another corny one. I left everything I knew behind to explore the unknown on a little island called Roatan. And while there, I learned “being me” is all I’ve really got, oh sure, I could have ignored it, in favour, of trying to conform to a lifestyle more-typical to where I grew-up. But, even as a kid, my life was far from typical. I used to be ashamed of it, embarrassed by it—big stigma attached.

I’ll always be grateful to Roatan, for teaching me: “Being me is okay”

To find out more about my: be ashamed, embarrassed, big stigma attached, and now I’m okay with it thing, visit CastleMuse.com – Love Ya Mommy!

Roatan North

25 May

Spring has sprung in Ontario, Canada! And just as I took credit for the mild winter (I brought it from the Island with me don’t you know) I am also going to claim credit for the Roatan like weather we are experiencing now!

Warm and gentle breezes, a few fluffy clouds meandering across the sky, no need for jacket or sleeved shirt—tank top and shorts will suffice. And absolute best of all—NO SHOES!!! My toes are happily free to wiggle in flip-flops! My tan has returned and I don’t look out of place anymore as the only one without pasty grey skin-tones. Mind you, there were those who overdid it (kinda like Roatan tourists do) and had a tomato red tinge after the long weekend. The flowers are in bloom, the foliage is lush and green, and eventhough it will have to be brought inside in the fall, the hibiscus tree I couldn’t pass up when strolling through a garden center, is delighting me with its continuous show of velvety red blossoms.

The battle of the bugs has begun! I noticed a couple of “flying ants” they’re huge here, nothing like the wimpy ones on Roatan. Anyhow, the next day I spotted a few more, and in my true form, I set them free. Later that same day when four of them fell on me from the ceiling above, I looked up—ohhh crap! It was like from the scene in “The Amityville Horror” when the bedroom filled with flies (except mine were “flying ants” and they had taken over most of the rooms in my home.) Normally, I prefer to share space with God’s creatures, scorpions being the exception, but this was just too much, I got a can of Raid from my mom, and the carnage began! Fortunately, it was nice and warm outside so I could fog the inside with toxic chemicals and retreat to my porch while I waited…

“Flying ants” aside (well actually dead) the majority of the critters are welcomed. Swarms (or is it flocks) of Monarch butterflies arrived, I think from Mexico, last week. There were so many they were landing on my grandson and me when we arrived to my place. The other day, I sat sipping a beverage on my porch when a hummingbird came by to say hi; he or she returns daily now, as do the fat bumblebee’s. And last night, outside my bedroom window, I watched “fireflies” show-off, turning the dark forest into a twinkling light show.

There are a few un-Roatan things to contend with, for example: not one item I own has gone rusty or moldy, I’m sure you’re thinking that’s not a bad thing, but I’m not use to it, not to mention, there isn’t enough humidity to prevent my clothes from wrinkling—now I know you feel sorry for me. And worst of all—everybody is in such a hurry—come on people—really, it’s not worth it! I thought going out to shop or whatever on Roatan was a challenge—ha. If you drive the speed limit here it’s like you’re a target in some kind of crazy video game. I’ve gotten used to middle-finger-salutes, fist shakings and learned a few new nasty words too. I took it personal at first, but not anymore, I just smile and wave back using ALL my fingers not just the middle one.

***

By the way, my new website CastleMuse is still in development and should be launching soon, I know I’ve said that before, even gave you date. Instead I think I’ll just say, “the CastleMuse Library will be opening… mañana.” tee-hee.

And for all of you trying to find me on Facebook, I’m there, just not a personal page anymore—click here to visit Genevieve Ross on Facebook. You can send me a message, post on my page, read what I post, or whatever. But now that I’m set-up this way I can’t contact you (until you send me a message first) and unless I set up a personal page again, I can’t see what you post on your personal pages.

Castle Muse on Survivor

13 Feb

The popular ‘reality’ TV series Survivor depicts contestants hanging out in the jungle and on a beach enduring the heat and humidity, getting by with limited resources (stuff), and vying for position in a tribe. Although it may never qualify to become a series on TV my ‘reality’ couldn’t be more opposite. Here’s what I’m doing now that I’ve chosen to vote myself off the Island of Roatan.

Lack of moisture in the air and keeping all the windows closed to hold in the heat don’t sit well with me; nor does readopting old, hard to break habits. Implementing and/or installing the following have helped immensely.

Environment /Physical
Portable steamer – You know, the kind you bring out when someone in the house has a stuffy nose and you slather some menthol goop on the vent. Not wanting my home to smell like a box of cough drops I skip that part, but I do have the steamer going all day and all night; whatever room I’m in, so is the steamer; churgling out a warm, humid mist.
Humidifier on the Furnace – that is in addition to (not instead of) the steamer. I haven’t noticed a dramatic result from having this going, but I’m sure if it wasn’t I’d get a static shock when I touched something metal or I’d hear a crackling sound coming from the cat’s fur when I pet her.
Sauna – At least once a day for 30 minutes at a time. This was the most costly (but worthwhile) measure. It takes about the first 15 minutes to get a sweat going while pouring water on the lava rocks and the temperature gage reads close to 120 F. The first time I used the sauna I was disappointed; what the heck good is sitting in an overheated cedar box gonna do me? But, oh my… once I was finished the session, my skin actually felt soft and supple like skin can and should!
Window open, Fan on – That’s right! To ensure a good night sleep I plug in the steamer (of course) at the foot of the bed; open the window—just an inch or so, no I’m not trying to heat the outside; turn on the overhead fan and snuggle down under a heavy comforter. Air circulation, humidity, and warm ahhhh—works for me.

Environment /Emotional
Tropical Plants and fresh cut flowers – Okay, not quite the same as when they grew wild all around me, but waking up to gaze at potted greenery and colourful blooms beats the heck out of glancing at blank corners.
Sunshine – The sun is shining! The sun is shining! I’m not a fan of going out in the cold but do make a point of getting out there on the rare occasions when the sun isn’t hiding behind bleak cloud-cover. Facing the glowing ball of light, my eyes wide open, a silly grin on my face soaking in that natural vitamin D. And even when the sky is grey all curtains and blinds are opened wide from early morning to night encouraging every spec of light to come oooon in!

Diet and Health
Groceries – My favourite place to buy fruits and veggies is at the Asian Market, oh sure, they don’t offer the same vast selection as the large supermarkets do, and an abundance of blemishes and soft spots will be found—but just as I discovered when I lived on Roatan… it’s real food!
Exercise – Not nearly as much as I should, real easy to not bother when every day I’m wearing twenty (okay, I’m exaggerating) layers of clothes and can’t see the jiggly bits.

Attitude – This is by far the hardest to maintain while being the most important. Pretty much every day a stack of flyers (enticing me to buy stuff) can be found jammed in my mailbox. I transfer them to the recycling bin without a glance. I avoid conversations that rate my (or anyone else’s) value based on what my job is, what neighbourhood I live in, or who I associate with. I try to not be late for anything I’ve committed to attend, but don’t book up my schedule just to keep busy.

When I first moved back to Canada, I caught myself flipping through the pages of those flyers pondering purchasing things I in no way needed. I seriously reconsidered that my value was based on external factors; easy enough to happen when taught from an early age these are the things that matter, but I know in my heart-of-hearts Just Being is all that matters. As for keeping busy for the sake of being busy; I may not need to keep room in my day for an impromptu visit to the beach, but I’m not rushing around trying to fill up time just surviving either. A Roatan Vortex state of mind is mine to keep no matter where I am!

Be sure to stop by Castle Muse oh sure, I’m not done building it yet, but worth a peak and while you’re at it how about clicking on the like button at Castle Muse on Facebook staying connected with Roatan Vortex family and friends makes me smile!

:)

Roatan Vortex State of Mind

1 Feb

Okay, so I had said my previous story here at RoatanVortex.com was going to be my last posting, but what can I say… a wave of homesickness washed over me the other day.

It had nothing to do with the fact that the temperature read as a negative number or hearing the sound of tires spinning, outside my home, on the snow, compressed to a layer of hard packed ice on the roadways.

It had nothing to do with getting ready to go out for a while and having to pull on a bulky jacket, scarf, gloves, a toque to swaddle my head, or sitting on the bottom step in the front hall tugging boots over thick socks entombing my protesting toes.

It had nothing to do with moving the portable humidifier from room to room trying to maintain at least a hint of moisture in the air, or the stockpile of lotions and creams stacked on the bathroom counter that I need to slather on dry and chapped skin—in spite of the claims made by the manufactures that if I use their product my skin will never go flaky.

And it had nothing to do with noticing the weak sunlight emitting from the hazy orange ball suspended in the frosty afternoon sky and wondering—what’s that? Or realizing that I am gazing longingly at the potted herb plants on the kitchen counter not because I’m trying to decide what will go best in an omelette but solely because they’re green and alive and… plants.

I was homesick for my Island family and friends!

Since moving back to my hometown in Canada, I’m learning to cope with the conditions that I have no control over; weather, sleeping vegetation and minimal sunlight. And I’m appreciating advantages I haven’t experienced for a few years. I haven’t had to wipe mould off of anything, there is nary a hint of rust on the fridge needing to be hidden with a fresh coat of primer and none of the door knobs have fallen off because the lockset has crumbled away. There is no need to check under my pillow for scorpions, flick gecko poop off the freshly made bed or swat at the sand-flies nibbling on my ankles.

I’ve had the greatest pleasure of my son and grandkids stopping by and together we watch ‘Planet of the Apes’ on Netflix, getting together with my mom to work side by side on the book we are co-authoring, and spending an afternoon with my daughter when she drives down from Hanover and we go for lunch and shopping at the most exclusive boutique—Value Village! And most evening after a delicious home cooked meal, courtesy of my Steven, we snuggle on the sofa (yup, a real one) to watch a few episodes of our favourite HBO series, ‘Mad Men’.

Regardless of all that, I settled into my feeling homesick and longing for Roatan, wrapping it around me like a much needed fleece blanket to ward off the cold, at the same time the Roatan Vortex began pulling at me; warming me from the very core of my being. Now before you get any ideas, no, I’m not moving back to Roatan, but rather, re-embracing what I thought I had to give up. When I made the decision to move back to Canada there were many reasons (and there still are) but I thought I had to completely say goodbye to the Roatan Vortex; it had consumed an extraneous amount of my time when I lived on the Island and became a chore, a job, a, I thought I had to turn it into a business thing.

But, the thing is–the Roatan Vortex was never intended or destined to be any of those things—the Roatan Vortex is a state of mind!

A bunch of years ago I coined a phrase, “the Roatan Vortex—it pulls you in and you’ll never want to leave!” and I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to physically be on the Island to feel and share the positive effects—to stay connected with my Roatan family and friends. Although I won’t be posting stories nearly as often as I used to I still will be occasionally stopping by to say hi and satisfy my craving to blog. Time permitting I will also be re-launching the Roatan Vortex Book with a new look but exactly same content as I originally wrote it, plus additional bonus features! The RV Book will be available at my new website CastleMuse as a FREE downloadable ebook format and the book (paperback) edition will be available on-line to purchase at cost plus (of course) shipping. I also will bring books to the Island and donate them as prizes for various fundraisers—Clinica Esperanza Sundae by the Sea, Familias Saludables Sundays at Bananarama and others.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
If you’re in no hurry and can wait for my re-release of the Roatan Vortex Book… please do. I’ll announce it here at Roatan Vortex.com You may find (what appears to be) the book in its original state available for sale on the Island and floating around cyber-space. Thing is, even though it’s all my content and my name is on it—it’s not the real deal!

Now I’m not asking you to take sides or anything, heck, I’ve got a couple of ‘knock-off’ outfits in my closet, have watched a few illegally copied DVD’s and the sunglasses I bought on the beach may have the ‘Gucci’ logo embossed on the rim… but they sure aren’t ‘Gucci’.

On page 265 of the Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions—by Lori Deschene, she asked: “What can we control in life?”

My answer: “The absolute only thing we can control in life is how we respond to everything we have no control of.”—@roatanvortex

I’ve got a lot of great things going on in my life that require my full attention right now, and other than the couple of weeks I’m going to spend (with Steven) enjoying the glorious warmth and sunshine on Roatan this month, I plan on taking full advantage of the cold dreary weather to keep me focused on writing content and recording audio books for my new website CastleMuse; that’s where I’m building the foundation for my ‘castle in the air’ while maintaining a Roatan Vortex state of mind.

I had no idea

25 Nov

I had no idea

Where I live, on Roatan, when I open the door to the bedroom there is an ancient termite trail etched into the floor–it’s only a couple of months old, but will be there for evermore. Perhaps scrubbing with a wire brush and a harsh chemical concoction will remove traces of it, but for me, in my minds-eye I will always see it–and that makes me happy–there was a time that I had no idea what a termite trail was, or how it may look.

More than seven years ago I heard the word Roatan, I had no idea what that was, but I was intrigued–why? I don’t know–I just was. Thanks to modern technology, I was able to Google it, which was a challenge in itself since I had no idea how to spell it. When sites started popping up describing an Island, off the coast of Honduras, nestled in the Caribbean Sea–I had found Roatan.

At that time I had a home (in suburbia Ontario, Canada), a loving husband, adult children making their own way, three amazing grandsons, a rewarding career, a two car garage, and a house full of–stuff–what more could I want.

Fast forward a year or so, family and friends had gotten very tired of hearing me talk of this Island I claimed I would be going to live on. My husband gently reminded me, while using a tone suitable for telling a two year old, no matter how hard you wish it–you will never be able to fly. He had no idea why, and tried to keep me grounded, but, he accepted what it meant to me–and encouraged my dream becoming a reality.

A year after that, I lost my beloved husband, his final words to me, “I’ll find a way to get you there.” For the next year I gave no conscious thought to Roatan, or anything for that matter. And then I came back to life and realized Roatan was patiently waiting for me. I quit my job, sold my house and all that stuff, said goodbye to my family and friends, boarded a plane and moved to Roatan.

My first encounter: stepping down a set of stairs that doubled as the door of a prop plane, to be greeted by a wall of humidity beyond anything I had ever experienced before, exiting through the only gate, to an area teeming with taxi drivers vying for my attention, followed by a drive through lush jungle, crowding the only paved road, to a village called West End. Along the way I saw: chickens scratching along the side, stray dogs, entire families on scooters, children walking along the edge of the road (no adults watching over them), land-crabs challenging each and every vehicle, and a man riding a bicycle balancing a propane tank on the handlebars.

My accommodations, at the time, I described as quaint, and now describe as typical. Honduran pine from ceiling to floor, a fan spinning in each room, no glass windows–just screens with wooden slats (that only a few of them will close), tropical print sarongs used as table cloths and wall decorations, a kitchen full of rusty utensils, a can opener that didn’t work, and ants. The bedding smelled musty, air-conditioning cost extra, and the TV worked–but everything was dubbed in Spanish.

I really had no idea why… but I had found… home!

That was almost five years ago. I settled in the community of Sandy Bay, and learned how to battle bats, got used to making the mad dash in the middle of the night to close the wooden slats as a “Nor-Easter” roared in, did the heebee-jeebee dance when a tarantula landed on my head, and marvelled every moment at the hoards of hummingbirds and butterflies greeting me when I sat on the porch.

I eventually found a place to buy coat hangers, and came to know the best place to buy pillows and Nutella was at the hardware store. I sat on a curb (of sorts) handing out melting chocolates to local children while my neighbour and I waited for the guy to take our flat tire, by taxi, to be fixed after we had finished grocery shopping and found the vehicle un-derivable.

Ants, of all sizes and varieties, iguanas, monkey lalas, gecko’s chirping and pooping in my home became my norm, as did mosquitoes, sand fleas, and ticks. I never did get used to and will always check under my pillow when I go to bed–for scorpions!

Power goes out: fill buckets from the soon to be empty pipes, forget about checking Facebook, and go read a book by candlelight.

The ATM’s are empty or broken–no shopping today.

The road is under repair, or there is a marching band blocking the only route–oh well, go hang out on the dock until it passes.

The president has been removed (in his pj’s) all Hondurans cheer, knowing that he was going to set democracy back. Watch in disbelieve as the rest of the world condemns the rightful and just actions of the Honduran Government–Learned that the world media agencies settle for nothing less than sensationalism to broadcast–making it up or abandon the story when there aren’t enough people suffering and dying to boost their ratings.

Felt the full force of a major earthquake (7.3) jarring all inhabitants of Roatan awake in the middle of the night. I watched in horrific fascination as an easel back mirror walked across my loft bedroom, while my few wine glasses smash to the floor in the kitchen below, and I couldn’t walk a straight line to escape my cabana that I was sure would collapse around me.

Spent the day shopping with friends, stepping in deep puddles, finding fresh strawberries at one of the grocery stores–bonus! Only to later wonder if I hadn’t picked through the basket of strawberries perhaps we wouldn’t have been the victims of a head on crash that should have killed us all. Time to put the medical care of Roatan through the paces; broken bones, concussions, black eyes (that would do any boxer proud) torn ligaments, whiplash, and a host of other injuries, all treated with compassion, dedication, and a strong medical knowledge–even when there was no running water in the Emergency Dept. and you had to bring your own sheets to the hospital.

Buy oranges from a street vendor, the ugliest looking fruit I’ve ever seen, cut into one and try a taste… as the perfect orange flavour bursts in my mouth, I now know what an orange should taste like, it may not be pretty, but it is real. Mangoes, bananas, sweet peppers, and carrots, from the fruit and veggie truck, rice & beans with most meals, seafood, fish, chicken, Honduran beef and pork, and coconut milk.

I had no idea that I would learn how to slow down, and enjoy each moment for what it was exactly at that moment. Standing in line for hours to complete the simplest of tasks… oh well… bring a book to read while waiting, or better yet chat with friends also waiting their turn. Have a plan to get things done in the afternoon but abandon that when the call goes out to meet friends at the beach instead.

I had no idea how many lifelong friends I would make on Roatan; we became family. Together we celebrated special occasions and the simple art of getting together–just because. Speed dial on every cell-phone guaranteed no matter what’s needed the entire community would answer the call.

I got involved with various projects and programs: Public Hospital Benefit Concert, Miss Peggy’s, Familia Saludabas, The Roatan Daycare, The French Harbour Public Library, and most recently The Roatan Vortex Breakfast Program; and learned what really matters in life–I had no idea, but quickly discovered they gave me far more than I could ever give them.

On Roatan time stands still, while things change so fast. Five years ago the Roatan Vortex© pulled me in, I had no idea what laid ahead for me, and I thank the Universe every day for the gifts bestowed on me. I discovered a passion for writing, and sharing on Roatan Radio. And the time has come for me to take those passions to a whole new level, I’ve known that for some time now, but have been afraid to move forward and act on it. Then I went to Spain… and while there I found my “Castle in the Air”, nudging me to return home. How could I leave Roatan? How could I consider moving backwards instead of forging forward?

Sitting on the balcony of my hotel room in Malaga Spain, unsure what to do, a book that I had been meaning to read for some time fell out of my suitcase when I reached in for a sweater to ward off the cooling evening. I started to read “The Alchemist” the tale of a young man who embarks on a journey, in a quest to fulfill his destiny. He travels far from home, a specific location etched in his mind where his treasure will be found. Along the route he gathers experiences, makes lifelong friends, assists those he can, and learns from those who know more than he. Only to discover–being willing to take the journey–was the treasure!

I’m not going backwards returning to Ontario. I take great pride in the journey I took to Roatan; all that I’ve learned, all the strength in myself that I could have only found here, the lifelong friends I have made, and knowing that if I choose to come here again I will be welcomed with open arms.

The time has come for me to wind down Roatan Vortex©. Just like so many things that came my way as a direct result of moving to Roatan, I have loved sharing the Roatan I have come to know and love with everyone. But I have put off concentrating on writing memoirs and novels in order to keep up with Roatan Vortex©.

The day I arrived on Roatan almost five years ago I knew no one, DJ Genevieve and Roatan Vortex© were unimaginable dreams. Now, they are a part of my reality, known by many, more than three hundred thousand people have visited the Roatan Vortex© website, and read my stories about life on Roatan at Honduras Weekly, Trip Atlas, The Latin America Travel Blogger E-Book, Hecktic Travels, Tiny Buddha, and others. Even Fodor is including a couple of roatanvortex© quotes in their 2011 Honduras & Bay Islands Gold Guide!

Thursday, December 1, is my going away party, The Roatan Vortex Reversal Party, at Infinity Bay Resort, hosted by Roatan Radio, all are welcome, even Vladislav is stopping by to see me off.

 
icon for podpress  Vladislav: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

I’m happy, I’m at peace, and feel confident and strong about my decisions. Will there be hurdles, of course! Will I be freezing cold and my feet hurt squishing them in shoes & boots… oh yeah! Will I miss Roatan and everything it has meant to me–with all my heart–but I also know, I’ll be bringing the most important aspects of Roatan with me to Canada.

Listen in here to the final Roatan Vortex Hour Show broadcast live November 12, 2011 on 101.1 FM Roatan Radio.

This story can also be read at Honduras Weekly; retitled, I found Roatan

Spanish Moss and Alligators

14 Oct

I just got back from a whirlwind visit to Brunswick, Georgia (and surrounding area) and Copan Ruinas, Honduras.

My agenda for each location couldn’t have been more different–Georgia was to visit friends I had met on Roatan, and Copan Ruinas to attend the 12th annual Conference on Honduras.

I have a lot to share about both, so to keep it simple, and stay within an acceptable length, I’ll tell you all about the Conference on Honduras in my next posting, this one’s all about Georgia–with a Roatan Vortex spin on things–of course!

I met Tiffany, David, Cortney, and Lizzie, when they came to Roatan for the first time a few months ago. They were sooo Roatan–go with flow, laid back kinda folks–didn’t even flinch at how many mosquitoes there were, or the always sweating, humid conditions typical to Roatan. I now know why, the mosquitoes in Georgia are as plentiful, and each one big enough to carry away a small child. And although it cooled down in the evenings, most days were almost as warm and humid as on Roatan.

When they offered for me to go visit them in Georgia, I jumped at the chance to experience their world. Now, I didn’t know for sure they meant it; it’s not uncommon to invite someone (you hardly know) to your house, fully expecting they won’t take you up on the offer; especially when they live many hundreds of miles away from you. Noooo… I knew they meant it.

So I went to Georgia. I had been there a couple of times before, at the airport in Atlanta; waiting for a connecting flight, or the one night I had to stay at an airport hotel because I missed a connection. I don’t think those times really count! Here was my opportunity to see more, and clarify my geography misconceptions. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that prior to this trip, I had no idea that Georgia was on the US east coast… really! I thought it was landlocked on all sides. I can say almost embarrassed, because a few of my friends thought the same thing.

Before my first visit to Roatan I had no clue where it was either, and even when I found out it was an Island off the coast of Honduras… I still wasn’t sure where it was.

My first full day at their house (which is really cool by the way) in Brunswick, we went to “Coastfest” talk about a crash course in learning about the nature of Coastal Georgia: Turtles, Horseshoe Crabs, the Intercoastal Waterway, salt marshes, and more. My vision of Georgia (in general) had been taken from stereotypical… I’m almost embarrassed again… movies. I mean really, isn’t Georgia all about: Gone with the Wind, Forrest Gump, Deliverance… oh my, My Cousin Vinny, or one of my favourites; Fried Green Tomatoes. While these movies give tidbits of information, they really must be taken for what they are–tidbits nothing more.

Sure, there was the stereotypical Spanish moss hanging on everything, and yup–I saw me some alligators–and they weren’t in a zoo. But there was so much more to Georgia than any movie could have expressed.

If you’re planning a visit to Roatan, you may think you have a good idea of what it will be like here. You’ve seen the pictures of the azure Caribbean Sea (like in the magazines, it really is that beautiful) the underwater shots of the coral and sea creatures, the white sand beaches, and so much more. You’ve read the posting on blogs, and followed stories on the news; but only when you visit will you meet and appreciate the real Roatan–as I’ve come to appreciate the real Georgia.

My friend Tiffany gave me a souvenir to bring back to Roatan. Two things make it extra special–it was handmade by her, and it is both practical and functional on the Island–I use it every day!

Redneck Water Bottle Koozie! Take two standard size drinking glass koozies (preferably ones that have something you like written on them), turn both inside out, fold down the rim of the top one (to display text), cut the bottom off of that one, and then attach it to the bottom one with DUCT TAPE! Gotta love it!

Visit Roatan Vortex on Facebook to see many more pics, and be sure to listen in to The Roatan Vortex Hour, Saturday October 15, on 101.1 FM Roatan Radio.com for the inside scoop on how easy it was to get from one place to the next and back to Roatan again!

 
icon for podpress  Spanish Moss & Alligators: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Thank’s for asking

23 Sep

I’m frequently asked for suggestions when visiting Roatan: accommodations, dining, attractions and entertainment. I even get asked about diving and snorkelling, which I’m not too helpful with, since I don’t do either. But, I have many friends on Roatan who do, and will gladly direct visitors to the people who I think can help them the most.

More often than not, I’m also asked—how can we help?

There are many opportunities to participate in helping the people of Roatan—help themselves. It can come in the form of: donating much needed supplies, volunteering your time while you are here, and/or, sharing your expertise: medical, technical, creative—whatever!

Living on Roatan, I’ve had the good fortune to get involved with various initiatives and see firsthand the positive impact they are having:

Roatan Daycare Center
Mission of the Daycare Center.
“Our purpose is to help children of working families learn and thrive, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Our program combines bilingual early education and nurturing childcare, with play, social skills, and a dedication to community. We provide a healthy environment within a safe and comfortable facility. This gives parents the ability to work with peace of mind, knowing their children are receiving the best of care. These parents work full time, as most live near or at the poverty level.”

Familias Saludables
“Familias Saludables is a non-profit, non-denominational organization devoted to fighting the AIDS epidemic on Roatan and the Bay Islands. Our major focus is on reducing the incidence of mother-to-child transmission of the virus both at birth and via breast milk. We run testing clinics for pregnant women, assign trained home visitors for mothers living with HIV/AIDS, provide education to the public, provide palliative training services and, when available, we provide infant formula, medications, and a host of supplies to support families struggling to cope with this disease. All of our services are free of charge and our staff consists solely of volunteers, both local and international.”

Clinica Esperanza
“From the apartment beneath her home – to donated space in the Son Rise Calvary Church in Sandy Bay – Peggy Stranges has given her life to building Clínica Esperanza, otherwise known as “Hospital Ms. Peggy.” Together, with Honduran physician Raymond Cherington, M.D. and Arizona-based physician Patrick Connell, M.D., and through the generous support from Roatán’s community leaders, Ms. Peggy has realized her dream of building a first class freestanding hospital.”

Roatan Vortex Breakfast Program
This one’s brand new, and I am thrilled to share with you! In conjunction with Familias Saludables (couldn’t do it without Val) and Louisa Trundle School—Roatan Vortex has launched a breakfast program for all the students at the school. When they arrive each morning, the first thing they are greeted by is a table (manned by the grade 7 students) where they are offered: a glass of milk, fresh fruit (of the day), and depending on the day: a healthy cookie, or toast with peanut butter, or perhaps a hardboiled egg.

I have so much more I want to too share with you about the program—it warrants a story all its own, and information on how you can participate. That will be coming soon; in the meantime here is a couple of: “Musings from a Breakfast Program.”

Positive reports from parents, teachers, and students. A hug this morning from a little girl who ate three eggs, but I know she doesn’t get food at home. She hugged me, and said, “breakfast was Delicioso!”

Today one of the grade six students had a seizure, and I took her to the hospital (don’t worry she turned out to be okay, she has epilepsy and missed her medication.) At the hospital, the nurse and the doctor asked her three times if she’d eaten breakfast. She kept saying yes, and I then asked why they were asking. They told me that almost every day they get some kid form school that faints from hunger. I was so proud to say our School had a breakfast program.

***

There are many other on-going programs on Roatan and the mainland that are worth checking out, but finding them can be a daunting task—that’s where Project Honduras can help you out.

“projecthonduras.com is an alternative concept for development of Honduras based on using information and communications technology (ICT) to identify, mobilize and coordinate all the available human capital in Honduras and around the world. By “human capital”, we mean resources such as time, energy, expertise, experience, talent, and contacts… things that really only gain value when people become personally engaged.”

In addition to on-line support, and information; there is the annual Conference on Honduras:

“For the past eight years, Copán Ruinas has served as the site of an annual pilgrimage by people from all walks of life, various faiths, and different countries. The purpose of the pilgrimage has been to come together as a community to find ways to become more enlightened and learn how to work as One. The ultimate aim has been to better support the poor and underprivileged within Honduran society by empowering them through education, healthcare, and a variety of community building projects. And to do so in a positive spirit of compassion, harmony, and joy.”

Read the full story at Honduras Weekly – Pilgrimage to Copan.

I look forward to attending this year (October 6-8) where I will get the opportunity to meet people I greatly respect, to hear about their programs, and present the Roatan Vortex Breakfast program. I also will be reporting details back to 101.1 FM Roatan Radio;—Bringing Roatan to the World and the World to Roatan.

Perhaps you’re think you can’t offer enough to make a difference? Check out this story about Bennett; a five year old boy, who lives in Canada. He asked his friends coming to his birthday party to not bring presents for him, but for the children at the Roatan Daycare Center.

***

And remember… “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.” – Anita Reddick

 
icon for podpress  Thanks for Asking: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Grocery Shopping on Roatan

12 Sep

Impromptu dinner parties on Roatan are a regular part of the lifestyle here. It’s not uncommon to get a phone call (or Facebook message) just a few hours before, letting you know who is hosting, and what you are requested to bring. Last one I attended, I was asked to bring: a bag of ice, and a pineapple. One my way to the get together, I stopped beside a fruit & veggie truck, selected which pineapple I wanted (without getting out of the driver’s seat), he passed it to me, I paid for it, and drove away. Next stop was the variety store for a bag of ice. The clerk said, “That will be $25 please.” I smiled, handed him a bill, and asked if he could make change for a 50… Lempira. He grinned, and said, “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”

Recently, I hosted a dinner party, and decided, for this one, I would supply all food and drink. It was an extra special occasion for me; a housewarming party at my new digs. Actually called it a house-cooling party, I didn’t turn on the air-conditioning—or anything silly like that, it just sounded more appropriate for Roatan.

Hosting this party required more than a stop at the fruit & veggie truck and the variety store, a full menu had to be compiled. Now, if you are as lucky as me, you have a friend who is an excellent cook, knows the list of ingredients required without looking them up in a cookbook, as I would have to do, and having another friend, who is the queen of baking desserts was a bonus, but a full fledge grocery shopping excursion was still necessary.

There are plenty of options for grocery shopping on Roatan, with a Roatan twist, of course. When you enter a grocery store, it looks typical North American: shopping carts, brightly lit aisles and sections: dry goods, produce, dairy, and freezer section, even a bakery & deli counter. However, weather, and other factors, will dictate how well stocked the shelves are; you have to be prepared to improvise or make a last minute menu change.

Some typical North American experiences while grocery shopping will not be found here. There is no weekly delivery of flyers to your home (thank goodness), listing all the specials of the week, no coupons to clip either. Grocery stores, only recently started doing “in store specials” but none accept coupons. They are very diligent about expiry dates though, and will discount items that are close to the expiry date. When decided if the savings is worth taking the chance, be sure to take into consideration for dairy and meat products; the time your (must be kept cool, applies to ice cream too) groceries spend in your vehicle while in other stores, and during the drive home, speeds up the spoiling and melting process. The bonus is the non-perishable items that have an expiry date stamped on them. I was looking to purchase a box of white wine (boxed wine connoisseur, don’t you know) and wound up saving a lot! I didn’t know boxed wine had an expiry date, but sure didn’t complain when I saw the discount sticker reducing the price from L265 to L100!

When you get to the check out, there are the typical displays of odds & ends, candy bars and gum. All strategically placed to entice you while you wait in line. Fortunately, no supermarket tabloids will be on display, but you might find your copy of The Roatan New Times. As your items travel on the belt, if you have purchased un-typical produce (imported) be prepared to tell the checkout clerk what it is called, chances are they have no idea, and will spend a lot of time trying to find it on their list. I’ve run into snags a few times when it comes to this, since I know what items are called in English, but not Spanish. While that is going on, your groceries are being (excessively) bagged for you. The “reduce plastic bag waste” hasn’t caught on here—yet! You can bring your own re-usable bags, just be prepared to guide the person bagging your groceries, to not put them in plastic bags first and then into the ones you brought. The other thing you have to assist with is how the purchased items get stacked in your vehicle—that’s right, we get carry-out service!

Shopping cart lounger-Mike Bouchet, designer

On the Island of Roatan, typical North American style grocery shopping is a new concept for those who work in the stores. I try to remind myself of that when I’m getting frustrated because the clerk doesn’t know the name of the product I’m purchasing, or puts the bag with the loaf of bread, under the bag with canned goods in it. While I appreciate the familiarity of North American style grocery shopping—I never want to re-embrace the “typical” being grumpy and unfriendly while grocery shopping on Roatan.

***

Shopping on Roatan at Honduras Weekly

Listen to the Roatan Vortex Hour on 101.1 FM Roatan Radio.com for Saturday, Sept 10 – Now & Then, Here & There

 
icon for podpress  Now & Then, Here & There: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

The State of Chihuahua

7 Sep

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, Isabella considered, as she slid under one row of seats, across the aisle, then under the row of seats on the other side. Her tiny body smacking into the wall, only to have the whole process repeat in the reverse direction, while the relentless waves played volleyball with the Ferry she had stowed away on. She pressed herself as flat as a lumpy pancake, and struggled to dig her toenails into the metal-clad floor. Cringing from the impending impact, and the high pitched sound of her nails grazing across the slick surface, she lowered her head, hopeful her perky ears wouldn’t be permanently bent.

At least she wasn’t cold anymore; after all, that was why she was moving to the Island. Even as a puppy, wearing the sweater her mother knit for her, snuggling under the blanket, in the basket with her brothers and sisters, she still couldn’t keep from shivering. Being warm, made the nauseating, body bruising ride, to get to the Island worthwhile, well not really, she’d just come and go by airplane from now on.

Even after the Ferry had docked, her insides continued to churn for a few moments; she hesitated to relinquish her false sense of grip. A few deep breaths, a glance at her reflection in the shiny metal floor, relieved to see her ears were not folded in half; she stood up, scurried past the humans, anxious to be on firm ground, and to see her new home—Roatan.

No one was waiting to greet her, no one was expecting her to arrive; actually no one knew she existed. That was okay, she was sure she’d make friends. Maybe not with that land-crab coming towards her, he was at least twice her size, must have been on the Ferry too, the way he walked sideways, and kept opening and closing his big claw like he had no control of its movement. Oh, how about that lizard? No! He’s running along on two legs, when he has four he could be using—what’s up with that? She didn’t notice the green-grey moss covered troll, lurking in the jungle, its huge frame, blocking the dabbling sun peeking through the foliage, the delicate new growth shrivelling from the intense frost left in its wake. The troll had found his next victim of doubt, and would follow her every move—bidding time.

Entering West End (this is a fairytale; Chihuahuas can make it to West End from the Ferry dock in a matter of moments) Isabella peered around the two taxis facing each other, neither one willing to back up, so they could both proceed, transfixed by the deep craters etched in the sand road, she snugged the straps of her backpack, and scrambled down the steep embankment of the first hole, then ran as fast as her petite legs would carry her up the other side. That wasn’t so bad, she thought, only slightly out of breath. But, by the fifth sand trench, she struggled to reach the crest, panting, her tiny toes cramping, glancing ahead; disappointed to see she had travelled less than half a block.

Harvey—the gnome (told you this was a fairytale) straightened his two foot frame to admire his latest excavation. He was pleased with his progress now that those silly humans had stopped filling in his hard work. They never bothered the land-crabs pitiful attempt at mining; finally they’d smartened up and were letting the master show them how open-pit mines should be developed. Initially, he had been furious when kidnapped by the Travelling Gnome Gang, the first few places they shipped him to weren’t to his liking, nice places to visit—but, not as nice as his home in Nome. The gold mining had been spectacular in Alaska, but it was dang cold. After being flown to Roatan, even the week spent in the, “your-luggage-isn’t lost-its-just-not-here” room at the airport, hadn’t bother him so much, now he preferred the year round, balmy climate on Roatan. Besides, Harvey felt he was supposed to be here—he had no idea why—what the heck—why fight it.

No time to dilly-dally, he reminded himself, and slid back into the pit, dodging the Fairies (disguised as Hummingbirds), zipping around his head, trying to convince him to: take a break, gaze at the Caribbean Sea, perhaps a nap in a hammock. Roatan may foster a laid-back attitude, but Harvey had brought his self-imposed, work-until-you-drop ethic, with him from North America, and wasn’t about to relinquish it. Unearthing another Yaba Ding Ding (pre-Columbian artefact) he stuffed it in his pocket, to later add to his cache, ready to be sold. He knew he should hand them over as “National Treasures” to be enjoyed by all, but making some cash overpowered all inclinations of what he should do.

When loose sand and gravel started pouring in the hole, fearing a cave-in, Harvey crouched forward, as Isabella tumbled into the pit, landing with a thud in front of him. What the heck is this, he thought, brushing debris from his knees, peering at the creature with the perky ears and a pink backpack askew on her shoulders? Oh, she’s in rough shape, he considered, obviously needs a drink of water, probably hungry too—dang newbie! What’s she doing wandering around my mine? He tugged at her backpack until she was standing on her four feet, went to his rusty lunchbox, pulled out the water-bottle, poured tepid water in the cap, and set it in front of her. While she greedily lapped at the water, he un-wrapped the baleada he was saving for his lunch, and broke off a few pieces for her. She gobbled those down, and couldn’t prevent the belch that escaped her tiny frame as soon as she finished eating.

A dark cloud passed over the open hole, cast by the green-grey moss covered troll, blocking the blazing mid-day sun. Not yet acclimatized to the intense heat, Isabella followed the cloud cover, and attempted to stay under the no panting relief it brought. Just like home, she sighed. Harvey grabbed her, pulling her back into the warmth. If you’re gonna make it here kid, he thought, you better get yourself use to it, and not be drawn to what you use to know—it ain’t right for you anymore!

Isabella bared her tiny sharp teeth, and snapped at Harvey! How dare he tell her what she should do? She’d been figuring things out for herself as far back as she could remember. Nobody, not even a helpful, gave her food and drink gnome, was going to dictate what she should do! Isabella scrambled out of the pit, chasing the deceptive, cooling mist. Harvey watched her go, shaking his head, knowing that eventually she’d figure it out for herself, and if she didn’t, well, she’d just go back to the State of Chihuahua, like so many before her. Oh dang! Harvey summoned the Fairies to follow her. This one belongs here, he indicated; help her—without her knowing that is what you are doing.

Isabella ran as fast as her little legs would carry her. “Wait for me!” she cried to the green-grey troll. He sneered; this was way too easy, slowing his pace, letting her catch up. She dove under the cover of shade the moss provided, letting the familiar sensation of cool envelop her. When she began to shiver, and tried to pull away, it was too late, the bone chilling cold was impeding her ability to move, within a matter of moments she was frozen to the spot, her pink backpack cracking under the strain of ice coating the surface.

“Stay away!” the green-grey troll bellowed, thrashing his arms, swatting at the swarm of hummingbirds rushing toward Isabella. Their swift moving wings and glistening jewel-like feathers breaking up his thick cloud cover, allowing the sun’s rays to peek through. When the ice slick on Isabella’s backpack transformed to water droplets, and started to trickle down the straps, the green-grey troll conceded defeat, swirled his moss covered cloak around himself, and drifted away toward the Ferry Dock—seeking his next victim—so many wannabe’s, so little time. Actually, maybe it was a good day to check out the airport.

As the warmth seeped back into her body and soul, Isabella twitched her perky ears, then one by one, her tiny legs, and finally her entire self was free from the restrains of what once had been her comfort zone. Smiling sheepishly at her friend Harvey, she did a little Chihuahua twirl when he grinned back, and waved her on. She’d be okay now. No longer afraid to explore: the unknown, the unfamiliar, the unexpected—the wonder of life on Roatan.

***

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, dogs, gnomes, trolls, or fairies, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

This story can also be read at Honduras Weekly

Digg Plugin created by Cheap Web Hosting - Powered by Leaf Shredder and Cartoon Games.

3f38df18e9

_