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Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Bay Islands » Roatán
November 24th 2016
Published: November 24th 2016
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Well, it's Thanksgiving and for the third year in a row I am spending it with family but out of the country. Michael and I have been invited to go to a resort tonight to endure a Thanksgiving buffett with probably mostly Americans, but I think we have picked out a small local place for a fish dinner!

On Monday we wandered the West End including a very small chocolate 'factory' where they roast, blend, mix, and make the chocolate by hand, including even wrapping each individual bar. Talk about small scale entrepreneurs! We then headed out for a late lunch of ballenas (spelled multiple ways) which are flour tortillas, often made fresh when you order, smeared with refried beans and then they add any one of a number of things...eggs, pork, chicken, etc. Trust me, one of these things (usually costing $1.50) is a meal when you add a side of rice and beans and fried plantains (at about 25 cents each).

We then decided to retire to the beach, enjoy a local rum on ice and a Cuban cigar....when....

Michael gets a call from his buddy Shaun wanting to know if he wants go go along
Michael takes on Honduran FutbolMichael takes on Honduran FutbolMichael takes on Honduran Futbol

He's the large gringo in the yellow jersey, obviously
and watch him play soccer with friends--and bring his kit just in case they need another player. The field, or pitch for you futbol fans, is perched on a hillside and entirely fenced in, goals, roof, etc., you get the picture, as a ball lost from the field would roll for miles. It is also privately owned so you pay the guy for an hour at a time and he turns on the lights. The field is about 1/10th the size of a normal field and the teams are usually 5 on 5, tonight they needed Michael. He held his own, even scored a goal at the very end, but let's just say it was a challenge when you are playing against guys who have done this since they could walk. After the game back to the West End for some tacos on the street and a cold beer.

This brings me to another interesting thing. It seems the local restaurants and street vendors have figured out that five dollars is the price point for a dinner meal that gringos will accept. Three tacos, five dollars. Fried fish with plantains and rice and beans, five dollars. The equivalent is 100 Honduran Limpias. Works for me!

On Tuesday we started the day with egg and fresh tuna tacos (getting a theme here....you catch a lot of tuna you eat a lot of tuna) and went with Shaun, Maggie, and Darcy to tour the island. We went to Punta Gorda, a Garifuna village. The Garifuna people settled a number of villages in the Caribbean, they were escaped slaves from the British who put up a pretty good resistance and were not recaptured. We arrived in time to see reinactment of a traditional music and song of thier annual independence celebration. We were going to meet a friend at his lobster processing plant, but that did not pan out and instead led to a great lunch at "la Kosta", a place we only found by asking around as to where we could eat. Chicken and rice, chicken wings, plantains, all good.

on Tuesday night Michael was again drafted to play soccer. Not sure why, after his first game, they thought this was a good idea . But I do have onehere tip, if you are ever asked to play in a soccer game around here, get on the team with the guys who don't wear shoes.

Wednesday breakfast was fresh fruit and then out with Cuny fishing again, plenty of tuna and barracuda, but try as we might no wahoo. That night Michael joined in a game he knows a lot better, poker at a game that Shaun is part of.

Today we are going to visit a school, a report on that in the next blog.

I have always thought that travel does a good job of breaking down your own biased understanding of the world, here were a couple that were shattered over the past few days. First, I noticed a lot of school aged kids out selling bracelets and other trinkets during the day. My first take was to be upset they were not in school. Come to find out that many kids need to do this sort of work to support their families, so what the school system does is run two sessions, one during the day for kids not working, another in the evening for the kids that were helping out their families. Second, when in Punta Gorda I noticed a fair number of men who seemed not to have jobs. In fact, as Maggie pointed out, many Garifians are employed in the shipping industry, both cargo and cruise ships. They work for three months, then get home for a month before setting back off to sea. So of course when they are home they are hanging around the house, doing fix up and just loving being with family.

Here's to keeping your eyes and heart open to the world. And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you up in the states. Sorry about tomorrow, no silly Black Friday here.

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