October 7, 2009

YAY for the 10-day ultimatum starting and ending when I left for and returned from vacation! What is that you may ask? Oh, just a little threat that the new president (Micheletti) gave the Brazilian Embassy when the old president (Zelaya) secretly returned to Hondu and set up shop there. The current government is demanding that the Brazilian Embassy “hand over” Zelaya to the authorities, but the Brazilian Embassy is contesting that he cannot be harmed as he is on diplomatic ground, a “safe haven” cannot be breached. The 10-day ultimatum was issued two Sundays ago, the day that I left for Utila, and ends…well…TODAY (if I counted right). That’s some irony for you. (All of the above information is based on local and international news articles.)

Before I go on with all the political b…happenings…I want to let you in on one of the BEST vacation spots that I have been yet: Utila, Bay Islands. What a little spot! (And I say that because it really is a little island, about eight or so miles long with about six thousand or so inhabitants.) We arrived on a Sunday to get settled and oriented, spent the following Monday through Wednesday attending classes and being tested on scuba diving knowledge and safety as well as underwater and surface skills tests, and finished out the week on Thursday and Friday diving around the island checking out the many fish, eels, rays, lobsters, turtles (although I personally didn’t get to see one, I still have my memories from Hawaii) and coral. The visibility was average because it was the end of the dive season but the experience was top notch. I am now a certified open water diver who fully plans on taking advantage of that fact in future vacation spots. (Roatan maybe, Dad?) Between all these scuba related activities, there was some definite fun had with the other twelve volunteers that accompanied me to the island. We feasted on amazing seafood (barracuda, king fish, amber jack, snapper, and tuna), hit the local night spots to dance on the docks and under the stars, and took walks and runs next to the gorgeous white sand beaches and light blue ocean water. The people on the island amplified the experience. Most are travelers (mostly divers coming through for months to a year at a time) from England, Australia, and the states. The rest are locals with a rich island accent (not Spanish) who have never been to the mainland and with a pleasant contentment with life. Utila, to me and many of the other volunteers, was not comparable to Honduras in the slightest. For example, I had no pena walking around the island in my bathing suit, and I actually got another favorite nickname from it: Roxy. (It has the brand name on the back of my suit.) The only downside about being on the island was the plague of sand flies that roam the beaches by day and the mosquitoes that roam the land by night. They were VICIOUS, and I am in no way exaggerating! I mean, they were incomparable to anywhere else I have ever been in the world.

I and Bry

The U-T Crew

Me and Kat P

Make sense?

Flyin on the ferry

Utila at day

Our dive instructor: Niv

Troublemakers: Hillary and Me

Cali lovers: Liz and Me

Utila at dusk

Since I have been back to Gracias, I have been welcomed by the ever annoying piropos, further postponements of meetings and/or trainings, and never ending discussion about the political crisis of the country. Needless to say, I miss Utila already.

On a better note, I went back out to Santa Rosa this past Monday to catch the Monday Night Football game on ESPN. (How friggin RAD that they play the game at Zots!!) VIKINGS WON AGAINST THE PACKERS! How ironic that Favre stepped all over the green while reppin the purple?

As I mentioned previously, the 10-day ultimatum ends today. Micheletti attempted to ban constitutional rights last week and was quickly overruled by Congress. The states continue to call for the reinstatement of Zelaya before the November elections. Micheletti refuses to accept the San Jose Accord...(again, all based on news articles)...I wonder what this month is gonna be like…

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