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Roatan Marine Park Bash aka Don’t Step on Puppies

15 Apr

Last Saturday (April 9) was the Marine Park Bash at Bananarama on West Bay Beach; an annual fundraiser to assist the Roatan Marine Park with promoting awareness, preservation, and protection of the aquatic wonders of Roatan. A great time was had by all, and in-turn we were able to contribute in some fashion to their efforts.

Last year I wrote and posted a story about the Marine Park on Roatan Vortex. My theme (you know how much I love the word theme) was Please Don’t Walk on the Coral. At the time I was looking to do my part to help visitors who, like me, had limited understanding of the importance of not stepping on coral. I mean—really—come on—it’s just a bunch of pretty rocks under the water… right?

I had a lot to learn!

Through the Roatan Vortex, on Facebook, Roatan Radio, and best of all—in person I get to meet a lot of visitors to Roatan. Many know they shouldn’t step on coral, but, many really don’t know. There are a few signs posted at the beaches that simply say, Please don’t step on the Coral but without knowing why it matters, these signs quite often go un-noticed.

Now I could attach a bunch of links explaining the reasons to not step on the coral, I could copy and paste pages of documentation outlining the importance of not stepping on the coral… but let’s face it Roatan is about enjoying a get away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life, getting away from the cold and snow, and basking in the glories of an Island surrounded by the second largest coral reef in the world (okay so just one link) nestled in the Caribbean Sea.

So instead, I offer you this:

Fine Print: Mona (my dog) was not harmed in the making of this poster; she quite enjoyed the belly rub. Oh, and Pat didn’t get hurt either, he got a couple of dog biscuits as a reward for a job well done after the photo shoot!
______________________________________________________

One more thing: In case you missed last Saturday’s live show on 101.1 FM Roatanradio.com, listen in to Smile–It Confuses People right here!

 
icon for podpress  Smile--It Confuses People: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 16) the Roatan Vortex Radio Show theme will be – An Insider’s Guide for Moving to Roatan

Monster Lizard Ravages Roatan

7 Apr

Monster Lizard Ravages Roatan

Just like Les Nessman broadcasted from WKRP, as DJ Genevieve, I will keep you updated on the (accurate, fact based, nothing but the absolute truth) inside information of day to day life on Roatan, on the Roatan Vortex Show, at 101.1 FM The Islands Buzz, and live streaming around the world at Roatan Radio, every Saturday morning starting at 10 AM, Roatan Time. We don’t do daylight savings on Roatan, so half of the year we are on Mountain Standard Time, the other half we are on Central Standard Time—kind of confusing I know!

Every show has a theme (I love the word theme, reminds me of Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” when he had to write a theme about what he wanted for Christmas) covering such compelling topics as:
• Ten Tips to Not Get Treated Like a Tourist
• There are Bugs in My Pasta—so what!
• An Insider’s Guide for Moving to a Caribbean Island—What to bring with you, and what to leave behind!

I also talk about upcoming events, fund raisers, and interview amazing guests; most recently a Zoological Specialist who is on the Island, studying the Black Spiny Tailed Iguana—which can only be found on Roatan, by the way, how cool is that!

In turn, I encourage listeners from around the world to share their stories and insight with me! I wanna know; what’s your favourite (weirdest) snack food choice—mine is grapefruit & red licorice; what makes you smile—I smile when there is a good selection of Grape Jelly at the grocery store; and those thought provoking questions such as:

  • Do you know why cockroaches like to live in my Scotch-tape dispenser?
  • Have you ever wonder what your back looks like?

Be sure to listen in every Saturday morning to The Roatan Vortex Show with your host Genevieve. And if by chance you miss a live show, full episodes can be found right here. Every week I will post the previous Saturday’s show for your listening pleasure—unless I didn’t like the way I sounded on a particular show, then I’ll just say the recorder didn’t work that week!

Saturday, March 26, 2011
Theme: Snacks!
I asked you to share with me what your preferred snack foods were. Wow, some weird stuff!

Saturday, April 2, 2011
Theme: Only on Roatan—the Black Spiny Tailed Iguana Project
Did you know that this Iguana can only be found on Roatan? This fun and informative interview with Stesha Pasachnik, tells you all about them.

 
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icon for podpress  Only on Roatan: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Coming Up Saturday, April 9, 2011
Theme: Some Things that Make Me Smile

And I wanna know: What makes you smile? So far you’ve shared lots of smile makers… but, I want more! Be sure to let me know in time for the show Saturday (April 9), I might share them on-air!

After doing my research for this posting, here’s one more thing I just have to add to my list of things that make me smile!

Bananarama Sundays on West Bay Beach, Roatan

30 Mar

A good friend shared with me a fable of—“A laughing Child of God hides in a Tiki Torch, while the Sun Family should be getting ready to go to bed.”

On Roatan there are many hidden children who you can join in on helping support; every Sunday, at Banarama, West Bay Beach! And you’ll have a heck of a lot of fun too!

Proceeds and donations support the efforts of Familias Saludables; a non-profit, non-denominational organization devoting to fighting AIDS on Roatan. Their major focus is on reducing the incidence of mother-to-child transmission of the virus both at birth and via breast milk. To help achieve this goal, Baby Formula is provided to the new mothers, thereby reducing the odds of transmission.

Every day of the week is fun on West Bay Beach, just be sure on Sunday to stroll across the warm sugar soft white sand to Bananarama for 4 PM when Kristofer and the Kultura Band perform an eclectic selection of songs that celebrate the Island of Roatan, and classic tunes that will have you on your feet dancing (or at the very least tapping toes and singing along.) Later in the evening, George Adams will start playing and singing for your listening pleasure.

Watch a sand-sculpture masterpiece being created, or perhaps create your own!


Enjoy some ice-cream, grab a burger and beverage!

And when someone comes by your table with a bucket of Hermit Crabs be sure to buy a few… don’t worry you don’t have to keep them as a pet; giving them a cute name… like HERMY, or anything like that!

Just choose the ones you think will be the best racers, and you could win some great prizes!



Once the crabs are done racing; the garland of roses has been placed around the winning crabs necks (kidding, they just hide in their shells when anybody tries to put it on them), the photos have been taken, the prizes have been handed out; it is time for more spectacular entertainment when…

the Fire Dancers take to the beach!

What a fantastic way to spend a Sunday on Roatan. Not only do you get to join in on the fun, and (maybe) win some great prizes… you get to help Familias Saludables help the hidden children of Roatan! Additional donations of Baby Formula, newborn diapers & infant clothing is always appreciated and distributed to those who need it most.

More pictures of Sunday at Bananarama, West Bay Beach, can be seen: here!

This story can also be read at Honduras Weekly!

Viewing Roatan through Rose Coloured Glasses

23 Mar

Yes I do! When it was suggested that I did, at first, I was upset. I mean, after all a “Rose Coloured Glasses” point of view is bad… right?

I needed to know, so did a little research. My indignant attitude was quickly transformed to one of pride. Yes, I dwell on everything positive about Roatan: I choose to not write stories, talk on the Roatan Vortex radio show, or post pictures that regard negative aspects of Roatan.

There is a bonus to my “Rose Coloured Glasses” outlook. A study by the University of Toronto posted results of their findings in the Science Daily that showed that people who wear “Rose Coloured Glasses” see more!

“Upside—Good moods enhance the literal size of the window through which we see the world. We see things from a more global or integrative (honest/true) perspective.”

The study went on to say;

“Downside—this can lead to distractions…” (Oh-oh) “…on critical tasks that require narrow focus, such as operating dangerous machinery, or airport screening of passenger baggage.” – Science Daily 2009

Whew, had me worried for a moment there! But since I avoid “operating heaving machinery”—mostly because I’m left handed and none of the controls are set up correct for me to use, and as for “airport luggage screener”–I’m way too happy to do that! I don’t need to worry about changing my Rosie… (OMG, that’s what I named my daughter) outlook!

Besides, even if there is something negative… I can always find a positive component…

The negative: Tarantula landing on my head! That’s right, I was sitting on my bed (in the loft), laptop on my lap, watching TV too—multi-tasking, when I felt something land with a plop, on my head, it scurried down my back, then disappeared behind a pillow! Yes, I did the heebee-jeebee dance! Yes, I took pictures of it when it exited from behind the pillow and hung out on the headboard for a while. Yes, I captured it with an empty ice-cream container and sent it on its way—outside!

The Positive: The footprint of my cabana ceiling is approximately 20 ft x 16 ft, the footprint of the top of my head is approximately 4 in x 6 in. Isn’t that like the odds for winning a lottery! Of all the places that tarantula could have dropped—it landed smack in the middle of the top of my head!

I got to experience something unique, aaand; I wasn’t sleeping when it dropped in… To feel it crawling across my face, or have it snuggle up next to me under the sheets. If that had happened it might have been a little tougher to find something positive in the whole event!

This story can also be read at Honduras Weekly

Hockey Night in Canada on Roatan

17 Mar

Hockey Night in Canada on Roatan

Yup, you read the title correctly—today’s insider view of day to day life on the Island of Roatan, nestled in the Caribbean Sea, is about NHL ice hockey!

When I was growing up in Ontario, Canada, hockey was the sport of choice. From a young age most EVERYONE watched and/or played hockey. Backyards would be flooded, and then left to freeze over, in anticipation of lacing up the skates to get out there and play. Arenas: with one and sometimes two, ice rinks could be found in every community. Even when a suitable surface to wear skates wasn’t available, it was typical to see two hockey nets (goals) set up on the road in neighbourhoods—game on! Mind you, it would get regularly interrupted when someone yelled; “CAR!” and the nets had to be moved aside so a vehicle could pass.

I never played hockey, couldn’t skate worth a darn—but I was always an eager spectator. I got to see my first NHL (pre-season game) at the Kitchener Auditorium when I was only 8 or 9 and my first NHL (regular-season game) at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto when I was 12. I was hooked on hockey! And yes—a Toronto Maple Leafs fan—stop snickering please!

For many years, I rarely missed a game. I didn’t get to see live ones too often, but still enjoyed watching them from home.

There was a period of time when I didn’t watch hockey very much anymore (kids at home, career, etc.) and I did lose track. Then I moved to Roatan, and well, I didn’t give hockey much of a thought; tropical island: white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and all that—if my yard gets flooded it sure as heck isn’t going to freeze over! And yet, I’m glad to let you know—NHL hockey is here! So was the Canada Wins Gold Olympic Hockey Game!

Just head over to Sundowner’s, West End, Roatan, Honduras to watch a game. Order a beverage (and perhaps a burger or wrap) at the bar, then make your way to the semi-big screen TV under the palm tree, kick off your flip-flops and settle in to watch a game with fellow hockey fans. It can be a tad distracting at times though… when from behind the TV—a cruise ship can be seen sailing by on its way to its next port of call! Oh, and if you’re not a Leafs fan, best to keep that to yourself—the Box Seat holder’s might “Hab” you, and you’ll be delegated to move the “standing room only” area!

In Canada, when hockey season is over it’s time for golf. The only difference on Roatan… you can go golfing the same day you watch a NHL hockey game! No waiting for the ice to melt!

FYI: Some of the Box Seat holders here on Roatan are organizing a Road Hockey Tournament to raise funds for kid in need, to teach those who are unfamiliar with the fine art of hockey, and to just plain have some fun!

Boards will be set up outlining the rink—can’t have balls rolling across the beach and into the Caribbean Sea don’t you know. Advertizing space on these boards is available! Donations and sponsors (corporate: Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, Scotia Bank, TD, Royal, Sunwing Charters, Home Hardware—wink wink—nudge nudge, and individual hockey fans like you) of hockey related prizes and helping get stuff to the Island (can’t buy hockey sticks here) are also welcomed and appreciated. All sponsors will be recognized in a future story that will be posted on Roatan Vortex and on the Roatan Vortex Show on 101.1 FM Roatan Radio. For more information contact me here: Contact Me!

What I’ve learned on Roatan

11 Mar

I learned a bunch of stuff this week, and want to share! Some of it directly relates to first time visitors to Roatan, some came from friends on the Island that I’ve known for a long time. There is a tidbit or two from new friends who have contacted me here. And then there is the profound insight I got from watching a classic movie the other night (that I haven’t seen in many years) called, The Stepford Wives.

First Time Visitors
More specifically—first time Canadian visitors. Every Monday until mid May, the Sunwing charter out of Toronto arrives (Montreal just finished for this season); I hang out at the airport, not because I have a job with Sunwing or anything like that, but just because I love meeting new arrivals to Roatan, especially my fellow Canadians! Now before you starting fearing being accosted by the crazy lady, smiling at you as you come through the (one and only) arrival gate at the Roatan Airport, don’t worry… just think of me as your Walmart Greeter on Roatan!

On occasion I’m meeting people I know. Most recently it was a family member and friend, who were staying at my place for a week. Prior to the visit they were hesitant to travel to Roatan. After all, it must be dangerous to go to Honduras! I’m happy to report that they found out that not only are they as safe here, they also discovered that Roatan is a pretty cool place to hang out!

Thanks to their keen observations, I have to up-date 10 Tips to Not Get Treated Like a Tourist. #11 Don’t wear sunglasses! I know, I never noticed this before, but the vast majority of people wearing sunglasses on Roatan are tourists.

I also learned something about the Sunwing charter. This weekend Daylight Savings starts. We don’t do Daylight Savings on Roatan, there will be no moving our clocks ahead one hour, but Toronto does! That means everyone who is leaving this Monday (March 14) has to be at the Roatan Airport one hour earlier than they originally thought!… I’ll give you a few seconds to figure that one out… Still unsure what I’m talking about? Try this… when you arrived this past Monday (March 7) there was a one hour time difference between Roatan and Toronto, but when you leave Monday, March 14, there will be a two hour time difference.

Should keep that info handy for the cruiseship schedules too! Ship time is not Roatan time!

Island Friends
I recently started Roatan Vortex on Facebook. I share lots of pictures of day to day life on Roatan, articles about Roatan that I find around the web Hecktic Travel, and updates of the Roatan Vortex show on Roatan Radio.

Me

I was at Infinity Bay, West Bay Beach on Sunday, and met up with a friend who I had requested to be a Roatan Vortex friend on Facebook. I asked why he hadn’t accepted me as a friend.

What I learned? He didn’t realize it was me! Here is a list of my aliases to help out: Roatan Vortex, DJ Genevieve, Genevieve Ross, (formerly) Genny Ross-Barons and Gennyca.

Me

New Friends
Some I have met through Trip Advisor, Frommer, Fodor, Lonely Planet, and more often than not through Roatan Vortex. Got a question about visiting Roatan? I’ll do my best to answer… or make a suggestion of where you can find out what you want to know. One of the questions I was recently asked requested I give some inside info by comparing two Roatan resorts. It was suggested however, that since I “did business” with both resorts—it was okay if I preferred to not reply.

What I learned? I need to let you all know that I am not affiliated with any businesses on Roatan (or anywhere else for that matter.) Any and all inside information I share is based solely on my personal experience and/or knowledge of the location or service. I just love to share Roatan from an inside point of view—ain’t nobody paying me to do this!

Profound Insight
I watched The Stepford Wives, the 1975 movie on TV the other night, adapted from the novel by Ira Levine (not to be confused with the 1994 remake with the same name—that one was just plain dumb.) I hadn’t seen the movie in quite a few years, and thoroughly enjoyed watching it again. The suspense, the drama… would Joanna escape before it was too late!?

In the manner I’ve become accustom to since moving to Roatan I couldn’t help but glean out the veiled message, the profound insight, the truisms about life on Roatan… oh-oh… I’ve surpassed the word count I like to stay within for the stories I post here on Roatan Vortex! I think I’ll save this one for the next one I write…

To ensure you don’t miss out!

Enter your email address:

When a new story is posted at Roatan Vortex, you’ll be one of the first to know about it. Don’t worry I won’t pass your email address on to anyone, I just love to share Roatan… and I’d hate for you to miss out!

Just one more thing I want to share today! The Roatan Daycare Center website now includes a BLOG! That’s right we be blogging! The first story is now posted, be sure to check back often for more!

Only on Roatan

25 Feb

The things I share about Roatan, some, might say, “Oh you can find that on ANY Caribbean Island!” I dedicate this posting to you, because what I have to share today… can ONLY be found on Roatan!

I had the great pleasure of being invited to spend a day at Gumbalimba Park shooting pictures and taking notes (I felt like a National Geographic’s Field Reporter) accompanying Stesha A Pasachnik from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, while she conducted her research on the Ctenosaura Oedirhina.

Okay, that’s it for big words from me… I spent the day hanging out with Stesha (who is a super-duper expert,) taking pictures and asking questions about what the heck she was doing to those… Black “Spiny Tailed” Iguanas!

I’ve seen the Black Iguanas around Roatan, but certainly not as many as the green ones, apparently Black Iguana females lay up to 18 eggs at a time, while Green Iguanas lay up to 60 eggs at a time. I never gave the Iguanas much thought, Iguanas were like squirrels back in Ontario—wild critters that hung out in trees, doing their thing, but Iguanas don’t raid my birdfeeders like the squirrels always did.

Turns out I had a lot to learn! These Black Iguanas can ONLY be found on Roatan. That’s right, unlike the Green Iguana which has a territory stretching into North, Central, and South America, the Black Iguana has only one place it can be found and that is right here on the Island of Roatan! How cool is that!

But alas, they are in trouble, and on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classified as ENDANGERED due to hunting and loss of habitat. Stesha tried to describe to me how a classification is determined, honestly, I didn’t quite grasp the information, but suffice to say there is less of them than there needs to be to keep the Black Iguanas going on Roatan. At the rate they are declining, the day will soon come when we on Roatan will have to tell visitors that there USED to be Black Iguanas (that were unique to Roatan)… but are now extinct!

It is not uncommon to see adults and children at the side of the road, looking up into the trees hoping to bag an Iguana that may be resting there. Iguanas (in general) are a food source here. I want to stress that Stesha’s intent is not to try to enforce a “no catch Black Iguanas” rule, she is on Roatan to track and record information about the Black Iguanas, and to educate us on their value as a unique to Roatan Treasure!

An interesting note on the Black Iguanas loss of habitat impacting their numbers is that Stesha is having more success finding them in developed areas where they are more protected from winding up in a stew pot, than in undeveloped areas where they are easy prey. Gumbalimba Park, Paya Bay Resort, Cocoview Resort, Mahogany Bay, and the village of Punta Gorda, all allow Stesha access to their properties to conduct her research and are becoming active partners in promoting eco educational programs for their visitors.

Meet #186
Upon arrival at Gumbalimba Park we were escorted via golf cart (also, my idea of something pretty cool) to a choice area for finding Black Iguanas hanging around in the grass and trees. Within minutes Stesha’s assistant, Mikel Belcires, caught one! Stesha was in place to bag the creature and immediately got busy preparing a syringe to take a blood sample. She had to work quickly to draw the blood before the stress of being captured effected the test results. #186 definitely wasn’t impressed and spent the whole time biting down on the sack he had been removed from. Blood tests complete, he was returned to the bag while she prepared the “pit tag” for insertion under his skin (this tag is similar to the ones inserted by vets to ID pet dogs and cats.) While the Black Iguana was still in the bag, Stesha weighed him, she removed him again and measured him, (the tail was measured separately due to the Black Iguana’s ability to loss and grow a new tail.) Inserted the “pit tag”, and then determined whether it was a male or female. Interesting tool to test that one… I won’t go into details.

Next up… body piercing and painting! #186 was assigned a unique combination of beads that made for a quite attractive piece of jewellery on the back of his neck, and “white-out” was applied for easiest identification at a later date. A few pictures were taken and #186 was free to go! The entire process took no more than 7 minutes, including Stesha recording all pertinent information as she worked.

I watched and took photos of a second Black Iguana being caught and data was also recorded for this one. The only difference was that #187 was much smaller and younger so some tests were not possible. Photos of the entire day’s activities can be seen here: The Black “spiny Tailed” Iguana Project

At noon it was time for us to part company and I headed for my vehicle parked in the lot at the entrance to Gumbalimba, I was pleased to see many Black Iguanas hanging around the area, sunning themselves on the rocks outlining the lot. I’ve got a whole new appreciation for the Black Iguana now!

A group of visitors were walking by as got in my car, and I heard one of them comment to his friends, “Hey look, an Iguana!” The rest of the group didn’t seem overly impressed. Then I leaned out the window and said, “These Black Iguanas can ONLY be found on the Island of Roatan.”

… The entire group returned, and started taking pictures of it, in awe of witnessing—Roatan’s Unique Treasure—the Black “Spiny Tailed” Iguana!

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Stormy Weather on Roatan

18 Feb

The weather has been a little out of whack around the world recently; record cold and snow across the US and Europe, and more snow accumulating than my home province Ontario, Canada is used to handling. Even Roatan, Honduras felt the brunt this past week… No, it didn’t snow here!

It RAINED! RAINED and RAINED some more!

Word had gotten out that a system was moving in, when exactly it would arrive and duration could not be pin-pointed, but we knew something was coming. I was hoping it would change its mind, or fizzle out to a (much needed) spring shower. I had assured visitors coming on the Sunwing Charter out of Toronto (the following Monday) the weather would be great! Even if it did rain, it wouldn’t be much, or last very long. I had consulted my crystal ball don’t you know! I think I need to trade that puppy in for a new model… sheesh!

The mayhem started Saturday morning just after 10 AM. I’m not great at keeping track of time on Roatan (three months ago) but this day I remember well. As is typical when the first mists of rain begin to coat the road, someone will lose control—and bounce off a hydro pole! Power went out! I was on-the-air, at 101.1 FM Roatan Radio, broadcasting live to just myself! Power and internet were restored shortly after 11 AM in time to catch the next show on Roatan Radio.

The rain continued to fall throughout the day and into the evening… but no big deal. If anything I was glad that it had started already, perhaps it would be long gone before the Canadians arrived on Monday. It rained all day Sunday, sometimes heavy, other times I was sure I saw the blue skies peeking through… trying to convince myself it would pass over soon. Ah, NO!

(Not so) bright, but definitely early Monday morning, I was being picked up by friends to attend a “Life Celebration” for another friend’s much beloved mother who had passed away in the UK. I waited on my porch for them to arrive, it was raining pretty heavy, and it was only 5:30 in the morning! When the call came that they were waiting in my driveway, I flipped up the hood on my raincoat and made a dash for the vehicle. Silly me… why run to get out of the rain… the vehicle we were taking (down Mud Hole Road, no less) was a Jeep… without a roof! We were off, the rain had downgraded to a mist, and at times nothing at all. Not too bad, except for the mud splatters on my side (no mud guard on the left back tire.) Oh well, we arrived, we were given towels, the Celebration began.

Then it was time to return home…The gentle mist had resumed being a torrential downpour!

I climbed aboard the Jeep, and couldn’t help but laugh the whole way home as floods of water and mud drenched me. I felt like a little kid jumping in puddles… and nobody was giving me heck!

It was now close to the time to meet people at the Roatan Airport, and the rain continued to pour! I heard what sounded like the plane arriving 20 minutes early, and a few minutes later, what sounded like a second one coming in. This didn’t make sense, there should only be the flight from Toronto at this time of day. Rushing to the airport (in the still pouring rain) it was discovered that the flight had tried to land not once, but twice. Due to the weather conditions the pilot had aborted the landings and had flown to Belize with the visitors to wait it out!

(With great sadness (that same morning) at the Roatan Airport, we heard that a small regional flight on the Mainland had succumbed to the weather conditions when attempting to land in Tegusigalpa, all lives were lost—my sincerest condolences to all family and friends. I have also heard (but not confirmed) there was a young soul lost, on the Island of Roatan, as a direct result from the storm.)

A few hours later the visitors from Toronto arrived from Belize, and the rain had slowed down again, yeah, maybe it was done now. Ah, NO! Late Monday evening it started to rain again, and through the night… it rained and rained and rained! A steady hum, as sheets of rain, pounded down, it didn’t stop for even a moment.

As I hovered between sleep and wake—I wondered how much this little Island could absorb, I considered those living in less than adequate shelter and how well were they fairing, I pondered how much of the hillside would lose its grip and slid down to the road below, in-turn, how much of the road—would slip into the Caribbean Sea?

Like the cows in the above photo, I stayed under cover until the storm had long passed. Only venturing out to take photos of my own, once the repairs had begun! Thank you everyone (who was braver than I) for sharing what you captured on your phone cameras. There was also extensive damage to other areas of the Island that I don’t have photos of, all repairs are in progress and/or completed.

Late Wednesday afternoon, I sat on the balcony in front of the Cigar Bar, West End, watching the bulldozer push the truckloads of sand to fill the gaping holes where the road had once been.

The sand and soil that had been there before the rains came… is now a sandbar, just off shore!

While I’d wait for another load of dirt to be dropped off… I took a few shot of the sunset!

Yeah, the storm has passed!

More pictures of the storm aftermath and repair can be seen here: Roatan Rain

Bugs in my Pasta

12 Feb

When the Roatan Vortex pulled me in… Without hesitation I made the move to paradise!

That was more than 3 years ago, and yup, I’m glad I did! But like all good-for-me-choices, even Paradise has a few less than “paradise like qualities.”

Some, I’ve had to accept; no movie or live production theatres. I love a good movie, sitting in a comfy seat, surround sound engulfing me, munching on popcorn, chewing Red Twizzlers, and gulping a large Coca-Cola. As for going to a LIVE production… you can’t beat them, I’m partial to plays; drama, comedy, musical—they all work for me. But alas, those aren’t available on Roatan.

Then there are those things that are a part of living on Roatan, I’d rather weren’t, but I’ve gotten use to them… more often than not… they involve… BUGS!

WARNING: The following information is not for the squeamish or faint of heart! Graphic descriptions of bugs (and other critters) wreaking havoc is described in great detail. The information within this commentary is based on fact and may cause nightmares, or worse yet… scare you off from visiting and/or moving to Roatan.

Kidding! It’s not that bad… actually pretty funny stuff… a few encounters did require doing the “heebee jeebee” dance before I laughed though.

Lizards (including Geckos)
They are everywhere! Once I got used to them, I realized it was a good thing that they like to hang out in my cabana! They are faster than any flyswatter I can buy. It is quite entertaining to watch them stalk their prey… then lunge… the flies don’t stand a chance, as the lizard chomps on their tiny wings and body.

As for my personal encounters with lizards: When I opened a kitchen cupboard, and unbeknownst to me there was a gecko on the back side of the door, I definitely did the “heebee jeebee” dance when the gecko flew through the air (I had no idea I opened cupboard doors with such force) and wound up… going down my shirt!

The only other issue I have with lizards is that they poop everywhere! Now, their fecal matter is not that big, and it doesn’t smell. But, sheesh… why does one always come by (after I’ve made the bed) and poop on my freshly laundered sheets!

Ants
Did you know that 9 out 10 ants prefer FreshMint Pepsodent over WinterFresh Pepsodent? I do, when I have to rinse them off my toothbrush, and from around the edge of the cap. What does that tell you about how much sugar’s in toothpaste!

Army ants are my favourite; I never know when they will arrive, but when they do… what a show! They march (of course they do, they’re army ants) up the stairs by the thousands, then break off into numerous lines, the scouts in the lead, as they enter the cabana. Please don’t try to stop them with bug spray, leave the chemical warfare to eradicate the odd scorpion that may wander in. We’re too big for army ants to bother with anyhow. Just stay out of their way and they will (within an hour or so) hunt down, and cart away EVERY bug in your home! Then, as orderly as they came in… they leave!

Bats
I’ve got enough material and photos to do an entire story on bats, but for the purposes of this one, I’ll keep it brief.

Bats are good! They do a mighty fine job of keeping the mosquito population down. But, the bats, that we have many of on Roatan, are also partial to fruit. So when they’re not winging around at night, swooping in and catching mosquitoes, they are snatching fruit from trees and bringing it to my front porch, where they hang upside down in the rafters to dine. Bits and pieces of peel and pulp are carelessly dropped. The big finally is when they have nibbled away as much as they can… the bat drops the pit, which lands with a loud “clank” then rolls around for a while. Sweeping up after them in the morning wouldn’t be so bad, except they also (frequently) use their dining room as a bathroom too!

I have done battle with the bats for a long time, trying all kinds of contraptions to encourage them to roost elsewhere… nothing worked, until about ten months ago when I devised a plan, assembled the necessary tools and products, and now I can say the rafters above my cabana porch are BAT FREE! Okay, except for that one little guy, that I still have to do something about. Stay tuned for the complete story on how to get rid of the bat in your rafters.

Bugs in my Pasta
It’s warm on Roatan pretty much all the time (of course it is, being in the tropics), an ideal climate for bugs to do their thing—and they like to hang out in sealed packages of dry pasta! The pasta I purchase at the grocery store I inspect for signs of the beasts, more often than not I won’t see any. A dead-giveaway that they will appear soon is if the edges of the noodles are whitish grey, with a chalky dust settled in the bottom of the bag—I’ll put that package back on the shelf and hunt for a fresher one. But, even when I choose one that appears to be bug free, by the time I dump the pasta into a pot of boiling water… there they are, hundreds of them… floating to the surface.

It has been suggested that I should skim them off at this point… I don’t know about that! Once I’ve seen them cooking along with my pasta… I kinda lose my appetite. Instead, I’ve gotten into the habit of dumping the dry pasta into the strainer (that I’ve got ready in the sink) and shake out the bugs before I cook it, watching them scurrying around, as I turn on the tap, and flush them down the drain. Works for me!

Bees
Roatan is not swarming with bees, if anything efforts are in progress to encourage more. Bees are definitely good, and have a very important role when it comes to pollinating plants. I’ve not had any trouble with them nesting in my cabana, but I did witness what was done when a large nest was discovered behind an outside wall at the Municipal Office in Coxen Hole.

I was there bright and early Monday morning to pay my property taxes (that too warrants a story of its own.) While I stood at the counter… waiting, and… waiting, and… waiting, I glanced toward the (glass doors) entrance. The people outside preparing to enter the Municipal Office were frantically waving their arm, swatting and shaking off BEES, that I caught glimpses of through a cloud of smoke that was wafting by.

Oh my God! Is this it… Have African Killer Bees made their way to Roatan? Are we under attack?! Or perhaps there is a film crew outside, and the bees are just prop-bees, the people trying to enter the building are actors in a movie being shot about what would happen if African Killer Bees DID make it to Roatan!

And then I saw him—an empty onion sack pulled over his head, a bucket of smoking coals clutched in his hand. He climbed the ladder, propped against the outside wall, fighting his way past the tangle of electrical lines strung between the hydro poles. In preparation for his attack, a 4×8 section of wall had been removed, exposing a massive bee’s nest! “Onion Sack Head Man” did manage to retrieve chunks of honeycomb (using the smoke to calm the bees) before he switched to a can of RAID!

Getting out of the Municipal Building to return to my vehicle proved to be quite the challenge—dodging angry bees, and other frantic pedestrians anxious to get where they had to go without getting stung!

I made it to the Municipal Parking Lot, and before I drove away, I took a moment to wander to the far end of the lot to gaze at why I choose Roatan.

So what if I have to put up with bugs in my pasta!

Super Bowl Sunday at Infinity Bay

10 Feb

This is one of those postings that instead of me babbling on and on trying to find the best words to describe another spectacular day on Roatan… I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves… sorta. You know, “a picture’s worth a 1000 words” and all that!

The one thing I will preface the pictures with is a little intro into Infinity Bay Spa & Beach Resort located on West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras. When I first moved to Roatan in 2007 I really didn’t need a calendar to keep track of day to day happenings… as they came up they got included. But if I did have a calendar I would have noted every Sunday as “Infinity Bay Beach Day!” This past Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday… check out the place to be to watch the game!

Perfect Weather... of course!

2CANDU plays!

Pregame bench warming

Tommy chatting with a guest!

The Buffet is Served

Steve warming up the crowd with a shadow puppet show!

Perfect Sunset!

Standing room only at the Bar

Bar or Pool Side?

Sun's Down!

Game's On!

Click on this last picture to see full-screen size!

That's what I'm talking about!

To see more pictures of this fun day at Infinity Bay, on West Bay Beach, Roatan click here

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