This week was a busy “social” week on Guanaja.
Monday, April 26th, we gave a surprise birthday party for Geri Berner at Manati. Her friends gathered to celebrate her 65th year with a barbeque. Various dishes were provided by those attending and the weather cooperated by being clear but windless. Geri was “properly” surprise but we think she had an inkling that something was up before she arrived. We sang her the Happy Birthday song and spent a leisurely day visiting and extending our wishes for many happy healthy years ahead. Happy Birthday again Geri!
A visitor arrived on Guanaja last Friday (the 23rd of April); former President Jimmy Carter and his lovely wife, Rosalynn came to the island to spend the week bone fishing. President Carter served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. While his term in office is not recognized as his shinning hour, he is, perhaps, best known for his humanitarian work after he left the oval office. Indeed, after he left office he did much to advance human rights and traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations, observe elections (which he had just accomplished shortly before coming to Guanaja by being in Sudan during their recent elections). He was the key figure for the Habitat for Humanity project and established The Carter Center in Atlanta which has done major work in the eradication of several diseases. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 and is unique in that of the 4 Presidents who have been awarded this honor, he is the only man to receive it after leaving the office of the Presidency and one of only two native Georgians to receive a Nobel award.
But to get back to our week. President Carter spent a week on the island bone fishing and enjoying the fine weather. He attended a lunch with a group from Wilmont Bay, took some more time out to enjoy a lunch on Friday at our favorite restaurant, Manati, and then attended a dinner prepared for him by Mr. and Mrs. Bill O’Driscoll.
His visit, of course, caused excitement and the visit to Manati was a thrill for Hansito, Annette and Claus. The President, his wife and guests and all the Secret Service agents assigned to him along with the Honduran Navy appeared for a noon-day German meal. The President seemed to have boundless energy and barely sat down except to eat. They made quite a sight when departing in as many as 5 boats.
The President departed from the island on Saturday, May 1st, which was 29th wedding anniversary for me and my husband. We celebrated at Manati where Claus and Annette prepared had a lovely dinner of steak filet, bake potatoes and salad.
As to other visitors in April; Ann and Jim Mather from Vermont joined our group for a 10 day visit and we had a wonderful time visiting with them. They hope to return, buy land here, build a house and settle into island life.
Martha and Bill Pullum were here in March and again in April when they brought with them family members and a newly wed couple to spend their honeymoon on Clark Cay. During their stay they met with Jeff and Cindy who had been on Clark Cay for some time taking in the sun and enjoying the waters off of Clark Cay. Jeff is a kite surfer who was teaching Bob the sport. The last of the guests departed from Clark Cay and were replaced by friends of Bob and Bonnie from Austin, Texas- Stephanie and Bracy. Stephanie and Bracy will be here until May 10th.
Mr. and Mrs. Conlee and Mr. and Mrs. Smith returned to Half Moon Cay and we look forward to visiting with them soon.
Also, during March, Cathy Springer unfortunately turned her ankle when she stepped into an unseen hole and tore some ligaments. She has been on the mend for about 4 weeks and I am happy to report that she is much improved and is walking without the aid of a special cast she used when she went to La Ceiba last week.
German guests continued to arrive to spend time with Hansito (owner of Manati) and Anke and Berndt. We had many Germany visitors on several sail boats during March/April and I think they really enjoyed the fact that we have a large German community here.
Inge, a good friend of Uli‘s, returned to spend 3 weeks at Casa Tahiti. Inge left on the 28th but we hope to see her return in July.
Hanspico’s daughter, Jasmine, who has been here since December, is scheduled to return to Germany Saturday, May 8th. Her sister, Selayna, along with her boyfriend, Markus, had also been on the island for a couple of months and had left in March to return to Germany. And speaking of traveling Germans, Renate Glanegger left Guanaja for her annual spring visit with her family in Germany. We will all miss her and anxiously await her return.
So, even though we had many new people and returning visitors, all of who have departed, we anxiously await the return of our “summer” residents to spice up our days! Because of the approaching hurricane season, our sailboat visitors will be leaving the area and hopefully some of them will return by the end of November. We have enjoyed their company on Saturday at Manati this past year.
It is great to live somewhere which provides us with the ability to meet people from many different countries, professions and various ages. This exposure has provided me with a fountain of knowledge and a better understanding of how others think and live. Plus it sure adds new conversation to our Saturday gatherings!