Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Roatan. Honduras. For My Father

 Before my dad passed away, I asked him where in the world he would like to travel to the most.   He told me he had always wanted to visit an island in the Caribbean.   Saw pictures of how blue the waters were, and thought it would be amazing to see it in person.    Just months before I left on this trip, I was by his side when he passed away. 

Now, here I was standing on a Caribbean Island, looking out over some of the most beautiful waters I have ever seen.    A place where the dark blue waters of the deep ocean, mixed  with shallow waters and white sand, so fine, is  more like a powder.  Together creating a light green color  that is of some other world.  Roatan is a  mecca for diving and snorkeling.    I couldn't help but get emotional.   Wishing my dad had the chance to see this place in person.   

We arrived to Roatan by ferry, which took almost 2 hours, from the town of La Ceiba, Honduras.   Once on the island we travelled by taxi, looking  at different places to stay.  The west end was a more  hip place, with hostels, and a bit cheaper. But taking one glimpse of the west bay beach we decided to stay all three nights on that part of the island.

We found a place, called West Bay Bed and Breakfast.  Only a short walk to the beach.   Glen who owns and runs it moved to Roatan from San Diego.   He made the choice to walk away from a respectful career, because he needed less stress in his life.     

Glen was a psycho therapist, back home.     His job was to council patients in Hospice, who were waiting to die.  He later taught a course at the hospital helping workers council people who are dealing with the depression of death.  

I told him about my father passing away, and how he wished he had travelled to the Caribbean.  Glen told me, that during his time spent with patients who were facing death,  he discovered that people were depressed, not because they were dying,  most eventually accepted it.  What makes them so depressed is coming to the reality that they never did what they dreamed about doing.   For some that was, never traveling and experiencing the world.  For others, it was working all their life and never following their hearts.   Glen  made the decision to follow his heart, to find land, and a beautiful island to start his business. 

On on the second night, we were  at a bar called Beaches, on west Bay,  listening to a band called the West End Players.    The band rocked!  We found out later, the lead singer was named Bryon James, used to tour with Bon Jovi.   Bryon moved back to Roatan after and is living the simple life, playing for small audiences at bars. 

 After the show, we made friends with the drummer, named Konrad who was from Europe.  He told us  he had his own dive shop and dive company.   He invited to take my girlfriend and I out diving.  To show us an amazing dive with Caribbean reef sharks.   One that we would never forget.

He told us about his life and how he came about starting his own dive company.   How he had a bad motorcycle accident, and was so banged up he wasn't sure he would ever get to dive or play the drums again. 

When he got better, he made the decision to start his own company.  He now runs a dive center out of his own house,  with guest houses.  You can stay with him, and dive right from his house.   Look up Condorito Dive Company.    I'll write more about him and our dive in another blog.  I don't have his website in front of me.

On the last day, I walked along west bay beach, the stars were reflecting over the calm ocean.  It was a slow night, not many people were on the beach.  The scene reminded me of the scene in the movie Contact.  Where Jodie Foster gets transported into space.  The aliens read her dreams to help understand her more and a scene that she would be most comfortable in.  

The scene was a beautiful beach, with coconut trees swaying, calm seas reflecting the night sky.    Then her father appears, which she hasn't seen since he died when she was a small child.   They talk for a short while.  Talk about life. 

If someone could have read my dream, at that very moment.  It would be exactly the same setting. Having my father next to me,  on the beach,  together catching up with what I have been doing, and  talking about how beautiful the Caribbean was finally experiencing it together in person.     

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