Monday, January 11, 2010

Unusual Sightings

I knew I should have grabbed my camera as we left to go to French Harbor Saturday morning. Here are some of the sightings from that day:
 First thing we encountered was a police checkpoint at the bottom of our hill in front of Bella Napoli pizza. Fortunately we were turning right, not left, so we avoided it. That wasn't really worthy of a photo, but the next one was.
As we neared Coxen Hole, we saw another roadblock of sorts: a mattress standing on end, blocking the westbound lane of the road. As we passed it, we saw that it was being held up by a man on the opposite side AND there was another man lying on the pavement. Just then, a police car pulled up with a brief "whrrrr" of it's siren, and the man lying on the road sat up with a big grin on his face. We didn't stay to see how that turned out.
Third: another police checkpoint outside the airport, but we weren't stopped. Actually, this is a fairly common occurance, especially outside the airport.
Fourth: In Las Fuertes, kids standing in the middle of the road at both ends of the "business district"  collecting money in large plastic jars bearing a picture of someone. This is not an uncommon way of collecting money for someone in need of surgery or some other type of help. This stretch of road is typically congested with cars and people and this collection just made it more so.
Fifth: (this was a good one) we came up behind a pickup truck whose bed was loaded with police carrying automatic weapons and sitting in the midst of them were two young women who didn't look at all happy. Very curious.

We returned home just ahead of the big storm that was rolling in and thankfully had enough time to unload the car before the rain began. It rained so hard that it actually plugged up our electronic rain gauge, forcing water into the battery compartment, so we're really not sure how much rain fell on Saturday, but since Monday we're showing 6.48 inches recorded rainfall. The storm is blowing out of the NNW at 35+ mph with seas up to 11 feet. We haven't spent much time out on our deck, which faces NW for obvious reasons. The lowest temperature we've seen thus far is 63 degrees and yesterday's high only around 71 or 72 degrees. We're all wearing socks, long sleeves, sweaters. Sounds funny, I know, to all of you in the States battling below zero temps, but that's chilly for the tropics.

We're also experiencing power surges, outages and high voltage readings. Our APC unit was acting up yesterday and when Don checked the voltage, it was running at 138 volts, so we unplugged his PC and the router to avoid damaging the computers.  When the voltage is that high, the pump from the well will not run. Fortunately, with all this rain, there is plenty of water in the rain collection tanks to supply the houses up on our hill.

Rainy day activities: Kris and I spent the afternoon loading some of my music onto her iPod and looking at her pictures from Italy. We now have a film library of over 400 movies and t.v. series seasons on an external hard drive that Rachel and Lance gave us for Christmas, so Don watched Blade Runner. I don't usually like futuristic/sci-fi movies, which is why I opted to help Kris instead. It's also a good time to be running the oven, so Kris made a big batch of granola and I baked muffins.

Someone asked me about Kris and I guess I haven't made it clear who that is. Kris is Kristin, our friend from Montana, whom we met here on Roatan early last year and then visited in Montana in July. She returned to Roatan the same day we did. She didn't yet have a place rented, so we invited her to stay with us while she looks for a suitable place to live.  She's a good cook, so we've been sharing the meal preparations.

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