Saturday, April 5, 2008

Leaving Utila

Saturday morning – day of departure. Wow, can’t believe it’s time to go back to the states. It’s truly a different world down here, though the islands are very different from the mainland so I’m told. I guess at one time the number of Utilians (English speaking residents) greatly outnumbered those from the mainland that had come here to work. Now there are more Spanish speaking folks from the mainland that have moved here. Marina and I have to make one last trip to town together. I have to return my bicycle and Marina has to drop off her golf cart to have the brakes repaired. There are quite a few good sized hills here believe it or not. There is one on the way back to the Eco Lodge that I have to get off and walk the bicycle up. It’s great going into town as its all downhill and I can get there in no time. It was about a 10 minute ride to see my friends staying out at Slumberland and Round House, but about 25 minutes to come back just because of the uphill walk. Anyway, we’ll walk back and I should have someone picking me and my luggage up on the way to the airport later today around noon – one o’clockish.

Right now just having some coffee and sharing some of my instrumental music with Marina. So I reckon I’ll close for now.

Same day – Saturday – but I’m on the plane now from Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras to Houston, Texas. Susan, Dirk and Cody (Their son who turned 13 yrs old on the island), and Dr. Cathy King and Mike, her anesthesiologist boyfriend, and Daniel the pre-vet student from Portland are all on the same flight. While they all have a long layover in Houston, long enough to warrant a motel room, I’m flying on to Dallas/Ft. Worth where I have my long layover from 10PM tonight to 7AM tomorrow morning. Not really long enough to worry about a motel room. I packed my self-inflating CampRest pad that I’ll just roll out behind the podium at my gate I’ll be leaving out of. I’ll get caught up on this blog and get it posted, complete with pics and hopefully grab a few Z’s. Interestingly enough I’ll hook back up with everyone except Daniel in Seattle for our flight to Spokane.

It was hard leaving Marina and the island today. I just can’t say enough about how Marina made this trip so successful for me. By now I hope she’s found a little surprise gift I left for her in my room. We were in this little Guatemalan shop and she fell in love with a throw pillow cover made in deep chocolate burgundies and similar muted tones. Woven into it was the Honduran bird. Can’t remember what it is, but maybe some sort of parrot. Anyway, Marina I hope you truly enjoy it :>)

My flight back to Roatan was awesome. Troy Bodden, a very wealthy but humble and kind man on the island who I trimmed for arranged for me to fly with his pilot of their Cessna 206 back to Roatan where he would be picking up new guests for the Laguna Beach Resort and Utila Aggressor. How cool was that! Here’s a pick of the pilot and I in route, and also the plane. I took pics all the way to Roatan AND I had my sunglasses this time! How beautiful the water was and you could actually see the Honduran mainland from the air this time. I didn’t realize just how mountainous it was. I’d really love to see the Mayan Ruins some day.

Now on my suitcase I have the World Vets luggage tag that Dr. Cathy gave me. While I was in line at the airport to get checked in, this lady came up to speak with me. We talked about the Spay/Neuter blitz on Utila and my role with Natural Hoof Care while on Utila and who I trimmed for. This same lady came and sat down to speak with me while I was having a Pepsi and some pineapple cake and we discussed horses hoof care further. I happened to have the HighSpeed Barefoot footage DVD in my laptop and took a minute to show her the difference in concussion on the horse with barefoot vs. shod. I did this because she mentioned that he horses we often ridden on concrete pavement. She said there are lots of horses on Roatan; more so than Utila. Roatan is a much larger island too. So.. it looks like maybe Roatan is in my future. Who know where this will take me next. I saw this lady one more time just as I was going through security to go to my gate. She handed me a copy of the “Bay Islands Voice” magazine and commented that I might see someone I know in it. Intrigued, I looked thru the magazine as soon as I could and found an article on just who this lady was that I was visiting with. Her name is Deine Wood Etches, 53 yrs old, and ambassador of the West End (of the island of Roatan), a Roatan island native. Also a 5th generation islander and descendant of one of the first governors of the Bay Islands (Oscar Bodden), there’s that Bodden name again. The article refers to her as West End Pundit, Philosopher and Caregiver. Got to look up what a Pundit is. :>)
Later in the airport I was getting caught up with Dr. Cathy. They got to Roatan much earlier this morning and took a taxi ride around the island. They visited the local vet clinic housing the only vet on the entire island. He would welcome a volunteer group to come down and do a Spay/Neuter blitz. It would be entirely realistic that the group could spay and neuter 200-300 dogs and cats. Looks like Roatan is on the World Vets radar now too. I shared with Dr. Cathy the contact that I’d just made regarding the equine end of things. Trips like these take money though and it’s not inexpensive to get to the Bay Islands. I’ll be attending Cheryl’s Advanced Hoof Care School in July this year, which has to be my focus for the near future.