For the past several weeks our closest neighbor has allowed his cows to roam this end of the island to graze as his pastures are dry and there is not sufficient feed to sustain the animals. We have dealt with this in the past by approaching the owner and insisting they round up their animals or chasing them off ourselves. We have run barbed wire across the front of our beach to keep out his cows and horses but this is temporary as the fence posts eventually rot and the barbed wire rusts. Our property is totally fenced off except for the land facing the sea and all we ask is that the owner maintain his fence and gates so the cows will not get out. The owner is not willing to control his cows and even his workers don't bother to round up the animals. My husband had tried, on 3 separate occasions recently to speak to the man and has been rudely brushed off and ignored. We finally had to set a meeting with the judge this Monday.
These same cows have wandered over to Wilmont Bay, on the other side of this end of the island (quite a walk), and destroyed the water line over there and some solar lights. The owner was called and responded on that occasion by sending his men to retrieve his cows. This was unusual but since substantial property was being destroyed he probably thought it was best to react.
It seems the only way people confront each other about problems on this island is through a judge. No one is willing to talk face to face in a civilized manner. If they are approached, rather than calmly listening, taking in the facts and working with the individual to a satisfactory end, they become belligerent and defensive. It seems they have not learned the finer points of discussion and agreement in a "gentlemanly like fashion". The only time Hondurans will complain to others is if it is someone "beneath" them and then they bark orders. If is a third party they simply are sounding off to someone just to vent. If the person they want to approach is their equal, they will not discuss the matter nor even approach them concerning the problem. We have never seen the logic in this for surely it would save time and frustration to try and solve your problems by yourself first.
Anyway, we now have to go to the judge and try and get a solution as these cows are eating my flowers, hibiscus, clover, grass, disturbing my sleep, littering my yard with cow manure (yes, I know it is good fertilizer but my dogs also like to eat it!) and trampling and destroying my various potted plants.
The other activity that is going on in Honduras which is also upsetting is the possible return of Mel. He has managed to bully, cajole, argue his way back into the country. The present President evidentially cannot stand up to him and I believe that Mel's return signals a downward slide for the country. Riots, killing, more corruption (can it get any worse?), lawlessness and possibly a turn to communism/socialism. Ties are being sought with Chavez and the OAS which is not necessarily a good thing for this country. Groups of people who are easily bought/swayed will be out in force rioting, stealing, burning and hurting others just because they can be bought off and seem to enjoy the anonymity of being in a group where they can cover their faces and reek havoc on people. The country will be hurt financially with his return and tourism I am afraid will fall off drastically.
In general, this should not affect the islands much as all the rioting goes on mainly in the Capital. However, to fly into the country, one usually passes through San Pedro Sula. While, for the most part, it is quite safe to fly in there and tourists should not encounter problems, the U.S. Embassy, if any small outbreak happens, will discourage people from coming here. Now, people can fly direct to Roatan and over to the island on another direct flight, if there are enough people to justify the final leg of the flight. Otherwise they must fly Roatan or San Pedro to La Ceiba to Guanaja. Again, not a real problem except that you usually have to spend an extra day and overnight it in one of the cities.
So, we are facing on this island a lot of cow shit and bullshit, neither of which I am happy about.