When we made the "big move" we had done our homework, knew people here and pretty much were ready to accept the lifestyle of the islands. Since that time we have of course met more people, Hondurans and foreigners alike, and have added many friends and acquaintances.
It has been educational in many ways living on an island. We have been exposed to people from other cultures and learned more than we ever learned from our experiences or teachings in the States about other countries. We have learned a lot about the policitics, customs, religions and the way other people think. It has been an eye-opener and one I am glad to say that I have experienced.
We have met people of varying walks of life and incomes and, for the most part, find people are struggling just as we do with day-to-day problems within the family, problems with employers, or simply just the act of making a living. Most people have been honest and giving. There are, as in any society, that small percentage that takes advantage of all the rest of us and will not contribute, and lie, cheat, steal and basically use you up until there is nothing left. Fortunately, as I said, these make up the small percentage of people in any society.
A new way of meeting people has come about - the Internet! I started this Blog mainly to let my friends and family know what I was experiencing living on an island in the Caribbean. However, people I have never met have found my blog and read it, leaving comments regarding my efforts.
Recently, a woman contacted me after reading my Blog. She and her husband were coming to the island to visit and look it over to see if this might be the place they would like to spend part of their time each year. We corresponded and I gave her information about the island so that they would be prepared when they got here. You see, I think people look at island living like they look at photos they see of lush tropical islands - they only see a small portion of the picture and envision it as a "Paradise" where they will simply lay back, relax and enjoy the breeze, sun, ocean and the occasional "refreshment". While this may be true for some when they take a vacation to some dream island, it is far from reality if you plan on residing on one.
We love living on Guanaja. We love the slower pace of life, the fresh air, the lovely weather, the people and the ability to do what we like with our time. However, it is not for everyone.
Be that as it may, I informed Denise and her husband, Al, that I would love to see them and invited them for lunch while they were here. They arrived and we met them a couple days later at our favorite restaurant, Manati, where we chatted for a while. They came to our house 2 days later and we had a very pleasant visit over lunch. We took them down to the far end of the island to see the townhouse project being built there and to meet some other friends of ours. We enjoyed their company and I think they had a good time. Unfortunately, I did not take their photo (guess my head wasn't on straight) and so do not have one to include here on my blog. They took many photos and I can only hope that they will share them with me over the net. Denise has a Blog so I will be able to keep in touch with her comings and goings through that. They were a pleasant, fun couple and we enjoyed hearing of their various adventures.
It may just be our lot living on an isolated island; when new faces show up we naturally open our doors to them and are glad to share our lives and experiences with them and learn about why they are here, what they do, where they are going, where they are from, etc. It may be out of boredom that we are so anxious to meet other people, but I don't think so. I have learned so much from others and it is always exciting to hear about the adventures they have experienced. But what struck me is that here was that I was meeting total strangers - something I probably would not have considered doing had I been living in the U.S. There, my circle of friends were family, fellow workers and people who had like interests that I met within groups, say at a meeting. I was meeting someone from the NET! Even meeting new people on the island that come for a visit has changed my perspective completely. I am more open to people and take much more interest in their experiences and lives and throughly enjoy the experience of meeting new people. I don't think my life has ever been so changed by anything like it has been with the services of the Internet. I have seen people as varied and different as the world we live in and I have learned so much that it makes my life more interesting - and this was not anything I had expected when we moved here. It was a plus and a wonderful one at that.
So, I greet Denise and Al in this Blog and thank them for taking time to come to our little island and meeting us. I don't know if they will be returning either for a vacation or to build a home, but if they do, we will be happy to have them join our group. If not, I hope to keep in touch with them and take pleasure in watching how their lives unfold. I also thank all of the visitors that have been to Guanaja and met us. You make life more exciting for us and, I would like to think, make me a better person.