The past few weeks have culminated in a bunch of firsts for us!
Island living, like living in most places, can become routine and mundane, although I must admit there is far more variety living in a remote spot on the planet than in a big city.
First, my husband's passion: photographing and watching humming birds, both of which he does a lot! We recently received a phone call of a young lady, Ashlyn, who was staying at a friend's house on the other side of the island from us. Ashlyn, we were informed, was writing a song about humming birds and she and her two friend, Emily and Andrew, wanted to come to our house to photograph the birds to be included in a video they were making to accompany her song. Due to the foul weather last week, which consisted of overcast skies and rough seas, the expected arrival was delayed several days.
At last they arrived with camera and lighting equipment in hand. My husband has a small red Coke bottle cap mounted on a plastic strip which he fills with sugar water . He puts the strip into his mouth, between his teeth, and the birds come to it and feed. The birds are so use to the tranquility of our home that they have no real fear of us or our dogs and flit around, even sitting on our fingers when we hold a red cup of sugar water.
The girls decided to put the cap into their mouth sans the plastic holder. They achieved several short but interesting videos of this and if I could figure how to download a video to my Blog I would put it in here. So, in lieu of that, I'm posting a couple of photos to show what was accomplished.
The girls and Andrew left our house about 5:45 p.m. They invited us to a performance they were putting on at a "Members Only Club" in Mangrove Bight. Unfortunately the performance was to take place at 9 p.m. and we told them that since we do not travel that side of the island at night and were not familiar with the area, we would be unable to attend. More later about the performance and what people reported back to us.
Next, about two years ago I spotted a lovely flowering plant at Bo's Island House. The flower bore a resemblance to an orchid and had lovely variegated leaves. With Bo's permission, I took a cutting and planted it up the hill from my house. This year, as I looked out my window I noticed a red blossom. I went to investigate and was surprised by the flower blooming. It looked nothing like the pale yellow flower that had blossomed at Bo's and was totally different from what I remembered.
The flower was bright red and had tubular projections from which the flower emerged. It was still quite beautiful but not what I expected at all.
The next "first" will surprise people and they will wonder why I'm all excited about it, but here goes!
We went grocery shopping on the Cay last Thursday I thought I had won the grand jackpot! There in the vegetable market were red, yellow and orange sweet bell peppers! I often purchase them on the Mainland but have never found them on the island! I love these peppers and since I don't really care all that much for the taste of green peppers, was I ecstatic. Evidently others were too as the peppers were snatched up rather quickly. I also came across strawberries, which were late in the season but wonderful and some radishes! I have lived here 13 years and radishes have now appeared 6 times! This was a real windfall as I was having company for lunch the next day. I went home and made a cheesecake with strawberries and star fruit on top and, if I must say so, it was delicious and the hit of the luncheon.
Several people have arrived on the island this past month and so this was a first in that we had with several different people to visit with, plus I gave two luncheons in a month with a third coming up this week!
Ronnie and his lovely wife, Marie, arrived on the island to finish their house. Ronnie has been able to come to Guanaja more often than Marie as she is still working at a "real" job while Ronnie enjoys retirement.
Ronnie arrived about Feb. 9th and Marie followed later in the month. We had a great time while they were here visiting, enjoying the food at Manati and Bo's Island House and then having them to our house for lunch. Along with Ronnie and Marie, Bonnie and Bob, a new couple to the island, attended. Bonnie and Bob are in the process of drawing up plans for a house and were full of questions regarding our combined experiences building. Bonnie and Bob have been coming to the island for years and finally decided to buy some land here and retire. We hope that the information shared at our luncheon helped them in some way and wish them all the success in the world with their new endeavor.
I could not find the photo I had of Bonnie and Bob but did come up with this one of her lovely feet on her blog.
You can read something about my previous lunch on Valentine's Day here on Bonnie's Blog: http://bonnbob.blogspot.com/2010/02/guanaja-update.html.
The Saturday before Valentine's Day I crocheted up some flowers for all the "regulars" at Manati and handed them out. They sure brought a smile to those that received them!
I decided to have some people over for Valentine's Day as the ladies of the island rarely get anything special done for them on that date. I invited 3 couples, among whom were Laurent Elaine who came here a few years ago in their sailboat and finally bought some land. They are in the process of building a home and I wanted them to meet Bonnie and Bob. Unfortunately I could not find a photo of Laurent and Elaine and will have to post it at a later date.
In order to make the day a little more special for my women guests, I made up small red baskets with 3 crocheted hearts on the front, filled them with chocolates and a red candel and stuck a heart on a stick in the middle of a roll of Life Savers that I had purchased from my recent trip to La Ceiba. The weather cooperated and everyone enjoyed the day.
The last couple I plan on entertaining for this week is Eric and Tammy. Tammy is a little pixie of a woman, all smiles and full of energy. She and Eric own a beauty salon in the Ft. Lauderdale area in Florida and Tammy was kind enough last year to cut my hair when both "beauty" shops were closed on the Cay! Eric and Tammy bought property on the other side of the island near Bo's Island House. They have been here previously and have always been too busy to be able to have much free time. We visited with Tammy and Eric at Bo's last Sunday and I invited them to see our home and check out our solar system. We certainly look forward to seeing them.
The other couple that have arrived back on the island were Martha and Bill Pullum. We ran into them at Bo's on Sunday and had a really nice chat. We hope to see more of them in the future and I have plans of visiting Martha soon to discuss the wedding quilt I am currently working on.
Now, back to firsts, the original subject of my Blog.
While at Bo's Island House on Sunday we heard from some locals who had attended the performance of Ashlyn, Emily and Andrew. The performance was met with mixed reviews. It was duly noted that these young people spent a lot of time getting ready for their show and exhibited a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The one thing that they introduced into their act I believe they should have given more thought to. During one routine they decided to remove their swimsuit tops and dance bare breasted! It must be noted that no where on the island nor on the Coast of Honduras does one find topless dancing or even strip clubs. In spite of the action of the Hondurans albeit provocative clothing, the men's proclivity to multiple sex partners and fathering babies but never supporting the children, the incest, the drugs, the suppression of women, etc., these people do not want to see their women naked in public! They have their limits and this is one of them. The young people who came to the island failed to be aware of the fact that what happens in New York City and is accepted there, may not be accepted here. This seems to be the downfall of tourists who come to third-world countries and do not bother to accustom themselves to what the people will or will not tolerate. Many of the people present at the performance in the club were shocked when these girls decided to bear their breasts and were not happy with the liberties these young ladies took. Also, since they were guests of another American who lives on the island, they failed to take into account the backlash their actions may have for the individual living here.
I am no prude but it is unfortunate that people visiting this country, and any other for that matter, seem unable to restrain themselves and need to conduct themselves with more decorum and dignity showing respect to the inhabitants of that country.
The final "first" was the landing two C-47s on the island on Sunday. When we originally came to Guanaja we flew in on a DC-3, a magnificent airplane that was fun to fly in. The C-47 is the military version of the civilian DC-3 airliner. The design was so successful that many C-47 aircraft remained in US service through the Korean and Vietnam wars. Many C-47 aircraft, were put into civilian service as airliners and cargo aircraft. C-47/DC-3 aircraft are still in regular service today not only as museum aircraft but also as cargo haulers and even as short haul airliners. Some C-47/DC-3 aircraft have been refitted with more modern turboprop engines, which is a testament to its superb design dating back to the early 1930’s. So it was with excitement that we saw two of these planes on the runway at the Guanaja Airport! It seems there is an air carrier out of Tegus that flies these planes and it just so happened that a large Baptist Church group used them to come to the island. When we passed by the airport on Sunday, we had to stop and get out and take this photo. We were also at the airport on Monday morning to see Ronnie and Marie off and these two planes went back and forth from Guanaja to La Ceiba taking the Church group back to the Mainland. They made at least two full round trips, so that was a lot of people on board!
So, from hummingbirds drinking out of the mouths of lovely young ladies, to bare breasts, to C-47 and sweet peppers, it has been quite a month!