On Settling In
Returning to the island after a 6 month absence is always an adventure. Things can change quickly here making settling back in a bit more of a challenge. For example: we had suspended our cable service while away. The cable office had moved last spring to the second floor of Plaza Mar, above the grocery store. We were told that we could stop in there on our way home from the airport and have our service reinstated. Sounded so convenient since we would be stopping at the grocery store for essentials on the way home, BUT the office moved while we were away. Thankfully, our friend Lynne, who had picked us up, is also a cable subscriber and knew were the new office was located. So she drove us down to Main street in Coxen Hole only to find that the office was not open on Saturday - or maybe it was only open in the morning. We rarely watch tv so that part didn’t bother us, but we get our internet via cable, and that did bother us.
Monday morning found us back at the cable office where we reactivated our account and, of course, we expected that it would instantly be turned back on. Nope, it would take 3-4 days. Groan. Actually, the cable guy came by late Tuesday afternoon and let us know that we were up and running.
We have in the past had to re-register our cell phones upon every return, which requires a drive to French Harbor to the Claro store and is a minor nuisance. This year we left our phones with friends, Larry and Susan, and had them keep the phones active by using them once in awhile and also, the big factor, adding more saldo (balance) to the phones every 3 months, otherwise the minutes expire and the phone will need to be reregistered which also results in getting a new phone number with the added hassle of letting Roatan friends know the new number. Our strategy worked beautifully; the phones were in good order. I did require an intervention from our young friend, Juan. My Blackberry was receiving 10-12 pop-up messages from Claro everyday, and I was being charged for each one. They were all ads for services that never interested me and annoyed the heck out of me, as well as draining my balance more quickly. Juan called the main office on the mainland and got it stopped. Thank you, Juan!!!!
Our car, which we bought shortly before we left in the spring, had to have the registration renewed in July. Nope, they would not change the renewal date even though we bought the car in March. Friends to the rescue again - Franklin took our old registration to the bank, paid the $200. fee and received the unofficial new registration. Apparently, the bank was out of the correct color of paper needed, and their laminator was broken. They stamped the registration as paid but said a return visit would be necessary, so Don took the paper into a branch of our bank. They had the necessary supplies but were reluctant to print it for us because the renewal had been paid at another bank. Don played dumb, and they finally relented, charging him just a couple of bucks.
The car battery was completely dead. Dennis had charged it a few times, but it finally would not hold the charge. So, we borrowed our old car back from Larry, and went to town for a new battery ($130.). The a/c was also not working, but it is legal to buy cans of freon (or whatever they call it now), so Don was able to recharge the a/c himself. Ahhhhh! Blessed relief! Thankful for a husband who can do all these things. And thankful for all our Roatan friends who made our reentry more pleasant!