Wednesday, September 17, 2008
New Friends, New Sites
We have some new neighbors and friends, Colin and Kaleen and their 12 year old daughter, Kelly. They are missionaries who just moved here to establish an alcohol/drug rehab facility (there is none currently and the need is great) and also to build and set-up another orphanage. They have established orphanages in a number of foreign countries over the past 20 years. Very interesting people; we've enjoyed getting to know them.
Colin has made several trips here, making contacts with officials, contractors, church leaders, ex-pats with big hearts, all sorts of people. He's gotten to know the owners and several residents of Infinity Bay, a beautiful, upscale condo development on Tabyana Beach in an area known as West Bay. He suggested we all go there to snorkel Sunday afternoon after church.
What a fantastic place! Just lovely, with an amazing infinity swimming pool running down the center of the place and overlooking the ocean. The best part for me was that the reef is just a short swim out from the beach. The water was crystal clear, the sand snow white, the water warm but not hot. We swam out a little ways and then just drifted over the reef, and then I noticed that the water color deepened to a darker blue as the ocean floor dropped down, probably 20 feet or so. The coral formations formed walls through this channel where lots of big fish swam. Some of them were quite curious and would swim right up to my face, others just nipped the backs of my legs.
We swam back in and joined a group of residents at a large table; Colin made the introductions. One of the residents went and got arm bands for all of us so we could use the pool (otherwise restricted to residents and paying guests). There was a local musician playing the keyboard and singing; several people would get up to dance to the island music from time to time. A buffet was set up under some palm trees. An outdoor bar was busy serving all types of beverages. The service was excellent. We ordered an early dinner later in the afternoon.
Very interesting group of people at our table. One of the couples recently retired from the States, bought a condo and live there 10 months of the year. The wife is a speech therapist formerly from Fenton, MO! Small world. One of the men, Vern, is one of the owners of Infinity Bay and also a master plumber/septic tank wizard. Don said he is one of the foremost experts in the country on designing and building environmentally friendly water and sewage systems. He was quite a character. Don also enjoyed talking to another man about alternative power systems, like wind, solar, etc.
There were a lot of people there and many of them, we were told, were wealthy mainland Hondurans, there for the holiday weekend. This past weekend was the annual celebration of Honduras' Independence from Spain in 1821. There was also a big yearly deep-sea fishing tournament going on, and the winning fisherman and fish had just been announced, at least informally. We were told that the winner was a 700+ pound, 14 foot long Marlin caught by the son of a man sitting at the bar. A lot of people took water taxis or the Infinity Bay boat over to West End for the official announcement. A big street carnival was also set up in West End. Colin and Kaleen wanted to go. We talked about going , but decided to avoid the crowd and go home, being tired from the sun, wind, and water. As we drove home and passed the road to West End, we were amazed at the number of cars parked all along the 2 lane black-topped road
as the police had blocked off the entrance into West End and only permitted foot traffic . A good idea since that road is an unpaved, narrow, sandy dirt road, heavily traveled by tourists and taxis and always crowded, even at non-holiday times.
We all had so much fun, that we decided to make this a regular weekly outing.