Santa in Honduras

Christmas feels a bit strange when the weather is 80 and you are looking out across the sparkling blue sea but the Christmas magic came back in full as Lou and I sat in a Baptist Church in Roatan on Christmas night listening to the children’s program. Each child stepping up in their Sunday finest with their nerves in full gear, some had practiced to perfection others drawing a blank in the middle of their performance, the woman’s choir singing out of key and loud enough to be heard on the mainland.  We were excited to see how our little friend Juan would do, dressed in his little black suit and clip-on tie. He did great and it made a unique and memorable Christmas day. Although we both look forward to next year when we will be celebrating Christmas with our girls and a little grand baby Bucy.

We met Juan when he accompanied his uncle to pick us up at the airport, he was my first surprise in Roatan.  Trying out my Spanish I asked him “Quantos anos tiene?” (How old are you?) and he turned around and in the clearest King’s English and said, “Your Spanish is very good.” I just assumed that people would speak Spanish in Roatan just like mainland Honduras. I didn’t know that Roatan was a British colony until the mid 60s so English is the first language for most of the residents.

We started our Honduran journey in a different environment, riding the bus with the locals from San Pedro Sulas to La Ceiba, a three hour bus ride. Our first night was in a really cool little bed and breakfast called Casa Cangregal. Karen, the proprietor, was friendly, helpful and quite a good cook. We wished we had a longer stay when we saw how she had landscaped the river into little swimming pools with a nice massage room beside the upper pool. Our short stay in La Ceiba was nice but too short, we were soon headed to our island paradise.

Juan and his Uncle  Marty took good care of us during the short trip from the airport to our new diggs on the West End of Roatan stopping to load up on provisions. When we arrived we were greeted by Haidai, our guardian island angel. Haidai is one of those people who beam confidence, happiness and an inner beauty. Our condo is just off the water and fully equipped with all the modern convienences, I think we are the very first people to stay. Everything is new and the owners outfitted the condo beautifully.  The town, restaurants and dive shops are all within walking distance. Lou has her little yoga studio anI I have some of the best diving in the world just meters off the coast.

I can’t say that we saw Saint Nick and 12 tiny raindeer anywhere down here but I did see some beautiful lion fish, sea turtles and coral heads about 90 feet down below the surface of the sea. Santa would have loved it!