This year has started out with several parties which gave us the opportunity to see people we haven't seen in a long time and exchange views and news!
We began with Roland's Topping Out party, which I reviewed in an earlier blog. Roland and his wife, Rody, were married last year on the island and they both work and live in Cayman. Rody stayed behind after the wedding and Roland returned to spend Christmas and New Years with her and his parents. Some day Roland and Rody will move back to Guanaja to live and raise a family. In the meantime they are building a lovely home up in the hills just for that moment. When that time comes, we will certainly welcome their presence here as so many people, since Mitch, have moved away.
Also, it was a month for birthdays! Among our family and friends, my son, Randy, turned 47; my Grandson, Sean, turned 18; our friend, Joe, got a year older; my ex-boss, Ed, got closer to retirement; and my husband's daughter, Debbi, turned 44.
Of course our friends on the island got older too! Annette Rumm's son, Roland, had a birthday the 14th (I think that is the right date) and his Mom turned 48 on the 23rd of January.
There was a birthday party for Annette Rumm. Unfortunately it was on a Saturday, one day out of 6 that Annette works running Manati Restaurant with her husband, Claus. But, never fear, the weather was wonderful and Annette was her usual smiling self! Plenty of people came to the restaurant to wish her the best, some with presents, and all with an appetite and conversation. Annette and Claus were busy fixing and serving meals but had time, as they always do, to socialize with everyone.
Next, we had a Welcome Party for Sabina. Sabina once lived on the island with her now ex-husband, Hanspico, two daughters and son. After the separation, she returned to Germany to work and live and was later followed by her two daughters who wanted to continue their education. Her son went to live with her for a short while in Germany but then returned to Guanaja as he liked the peace and tranquility of the island compared to the hustle and bustle of a big city. After a 5-6 year absence Sabina returned for 3 weeks. Her daughters, Selyna and Jasmine were already here for a 3-month stay and had been revisiting old friends and their father.
Jasmine threw a party for her mother at the airport and, unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me. It was one of the rare parties which began at dark. Most days we throw parties around noon and everyone heads home at sunset in order to have safe passage on the sea. This time, however, Jasmine had invited some of the island folk who work during the day and, thus, the evening hours were more akin to their schedules.
A small crowd showed up and it was delightful to see Sabina and as always she looked wonderful and was very happy to be back among her old friends and acquaintances. Jasmine, Isabelle and Rody had prepared a lovely feast of common island fare along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages!
And just yesterday, Jan. 29th, we attended a 21st birthday party for this lovely young lady - Jasmine, Sabina's and Hanspico's daughter. Jasmine is a lovely young lady with a personality to match. She has a soft, sweet voice and a beautiful smile for everyone. She was very happy to be back in Guanaja and celebrating her entrance into "adulthood." She and some of her friends made Pallela and cole slaw and brownies and friends brought cornbread, conch soup and carrot cake.
Making the Pallela was quite a feat as a huge amount was required for the number of people that would eventually show up. It was prepared in advance, along with the cole slaw and brownies and the Pallela was reheated on a huge tray over a wood fire where the barbecuing is usually done.
As you can tell by now, food is a big part of all celebrations! When we gather, we seldom do so without having some really good food available!
The party started at 3:00 in the afternoon, but as is the custom of the Hondurans, they usually arrive 4-5 hours after a party begins, especially one in the late afternoon. So, while people were still will arriving at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., some folks had already eaten, visited, given the birthday girl a hug and best wishes and departed for home. Also, as seems to be the custom here, I am sure the party went on until the wee hours of the morning.
So, to all those celebrating birthdays this month and other special occasions, we wish you all the best and say once again, we are happy you are here and if you have to leave, we hope you will be back real soon. I mean, we get hungry between parties!