Yesterday Don and I played shopkeepers. Our friends, Bob and Debi, who built this shop for an island couple and who man the shop two days a week, are off island on a little vacation. We agreed to fill in for them on Tuesdays while they are gone. This sweet little girl is Jennifer, the niece of the island couple for whom the shop was built. She came and spent the day helping us. She's only 9, but she's a pretty good little salesperson and just a delight. You may be wondering why a 9 year old isn't in school on a Tuesday; this is the last week of her school's two-month winter break . She was happy to have something fun to do and, being an extrovert, loves being around people. The cruisers were quite charmed by her. Plus, she is a fountain of information. Our friend, Kristin, came along to spend the day, and Jennifer was able to tell Kris and the cruisers where to find certain things that they were shopping for.
This is the inside of the shop. It was built to provide an outlet for local artists to sell their work. Most of the money from sales goes to the artists with a small percentage being kept by the shop owners. These small paintings were done by Luma, who painted the beautiful murals on the walls of our church.
I took this picture standing in front of the shop. That is the cruise ship behind the palm trees (you can just see the top 2 or 3 decks of the ship). That's how close the shop is to the pier. It was pretty cloudy all day, so, the sky looks gray behind the ship. We were thankful for the clouds though as the shop faces east and has no shade from the sun.
We met lots of interesting people, mainly Americans and Canadians, a lot of people from Ohio and Michigan. We met farmers from Illinois and Ohio who were glad to escape the cold. We met a couple who live part of the year in Seattle and the other part in Hawaii. Don had quite the conversation with them, discussing the price of electricity. We pay 18 cents per kilowatt hour here on Roatan; (as compared to St. Louis' low 4.5 cent/kwh); in Seattle, the rate is 9 cents/kwh and - get this! - in Hawaii (on the big island), it's 33 cents per kilowatt!! People are always interested in the cost of living here, in hearing our story and why we live here. One of the Ohio farmers said he sure would love to do what we're doing.
It was a pretty slow day for sales. Lots of people looked, many more just walked on by, not too many made a purchase. Our friend, Kristin, had a great day of shopping and found many things for her newly rented house. We bought baleadas from one of the local shops for lunch and coconut ice cream for dessert. Baleadas are handmade flour tortillas filled with mashed beans, a little cheese, choice of meat and sometimes, other things like onions or avocado, and then folded in half. These were pretty plain but also pretty cheap.
It was a slow day for the shop owners, too, who are usually busy giving island tours to the cruisers, so Marco came to relieve us early. We stopped at another shop to pick up some of Kristin's larger purchases and then made our way home, anxious to see if we had a working pump in the well house. We were unable to reach Dennis until this morning, so we weren't sure about the water situation and continued to use it carefully. Everything has been replaced and is working normally, so I've been busy with laundry, dishes and cleaning. It's so good to have plenty of water again.