The following is the response from guest blogger, John Morris aka Calico Jack, Roatan Radio. www.roatanradio.com
Our first days on Roatan were hectic to say the least. Though we had visited the island many times, now it was different-we actually lived here! In a few days, we had to first find a car, unpack, find the best grocery stores and last but not least, get to our favorite bar, Sundowners, www.sundownersroatan.com . It was there where despite a few familiar faces we remembered on previous visits, we were faced with a whole new crowd. Being at the end of the summer with rainy season looming, we quickly understood we had found the local hangout. My first goal was to discover the musicians on the island in hopes of finding the opportunity of jamming with the local talent. It was our dear late friend Sean who told me about the Canadian contingency from Ontario, where I was sure to find willing participants such as Dave, Genny’s husband and Ron and Bonnie. Sure enough they arrived together and Barbara and I immediately introduced ourselves. Having lived in “friendly” Florida for ten months with a grand total of four people we called “sort of” friends, we were overwhelmed at the friendliness and willingness to help that was offered to us. By the end of the night we had already been invited to our first pool party at Genny’s and Dave’s (Sundancer, Sandy Bay) three days later. We were overwhelmed in a very good way.
In the next few days, we found a car, if you can call it that, stocked the fridge and Barbara began to panic as we were told that the way this type of party worked was that Dave would BBQ and the rest would bring side dishes. Finally deciding (after talking with her Mom in Italy) on pasta with peppers, the big day of our first party arrived. We had only one thing to do that day and that was to have the cable installed in the morning and then we would be free. We quickly learned a very important rule about living in Roatan. When dealing with the service industry here, such as the cable guy, they never show up when they are supposed to, if at all. When they arrived at 3pm, we were already late. When they finally left (cable still not working) we set out for Sandy Bay. It was already getting dark and we were still not overly comfortable with getting around the island despite the fact there are only about three roads here. This combined with the fact that the headlights of our Kia Sportage were about as powerful two small candles, we must have passed the turnoff five times before finding it!
Yes, Genny, we were very nervous when we arrived but it did not last long. Apologies were quickly told to be forgotten, we relaxed and spent a most memorable night under the stars eating, drinking and chatting, learning about our new island and more importantly our new friends.
Six months later, we had made many more friends but our closest are still the ones we met that night. Thus, when we were passed the salad tongs, we gladly accepted especially since we had no tongs of our own! And now, we are faced with a great responsibility to find the next set of newbies though we understand it may take years. No problem for us, we are not going anywhere.