Forgive me for stealing an excellent idea from my travel blogging idol Alex in Wanderland…. may I present to you, month 1 roundup!
Now, the idea of a roundup is to summarize all my posts from the month into a neat little package of links so I (and you!) can quickly see what’s gone on this month. However, I have failed miserably at keeping this blog updated since I’ve been here, I don’t have much to recap in that sense….but I will let you know what’s been happening in point form to keep things brief, in the spirit of roundup.
– I left Vancouver with a bittersweet goodbye
– I finally, finally FINALLY arrived in Roatan!
– I had a really difficult time getting online but managed to type up a massive post on my iPhone to let everyone know that I was here, having fun, and settling in
– I started to adjust to life here, and got you all some dive porn, and started to feel like this all actually happened. I did it! I moved here! I’m doing my divemaster! Yay!!!!!!! (yes, that’s what it sounds like in my head)
So… that’s not really all that’s gone on since I got here. Here’s the rest:
– I had a string of bad luck start that still seems to be going on. I refuse to believe that this is any kind of sign that I shouldn’t be here! Screw you universe! This is my happy place, please don’t fuck with it. So far I have had a couple unfortunate encounters with some islanders that left me in tears; I was robbed in the bar of about $50, my new local phone I had just bought the day before and put $50 of minutes on, my house keys and my friend’s camera; my legs got absolutely destroyed by sandfly bites…I had people asking me if I was run over by a motorcycle (I just started saying yes because they didn’t believe me that it was from the bugs) and I ended up having to go to the doctor and get a cortisone shot and some prescription cream (upside: zero wait time and total visit including meds was $16); then I got food poisoning; I ended up having to stay out of the water for nearly a week to let my legs heal and missed out on tons of dives; now I am sick with a horrible chest cold and can’t dive again…my schedule for diving courses got wayyyyyyy behind and there is some doubt as to whether I will be able to make the October instructor course or not. Seeing as the next one isn’t until January, that is kind of a big deal because if I can’t get work as an instructor by the end of November, my money will run out and I’ll have to figure something else out. Sometimes the days feel like such a struggle here but I keep reminding myself that I’m living here, I’m not on holidays and bad stuff happens at home too.
– the DM house situation wasn’t really working out for me. It was insanely hot, full of bugs and one of my roommates was particularly slovenly and I couldn’t stand it. I ended up meeting a girl who had a room open in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen so, in typical Rika style, said fuck the budget and moved on in. I may regret this later but for now I am so so so happy with where I am living, I love this place and it thrills me every day to know I am living in paradise in such a beautiful house! I have a king size bed, a two room bathroom that looks out into the jungle and two rooftop decks. I will try to get a video to post. It’s gorgeous! Not to mention my lovely roommate, who shall now be referred to as “Wifey” because that’s what I call her and she’s the cutest Brit ever who cooks me delicious dinners.
– despite all the bumps in the road I managed to complete my EFR and rescue courses and am now a fully fledged divemaster in training! It is going to be a lot of work to squeeze it into a short time frame but I am motivated to make this happen. I am happy with how my diving is progressing and how much I am improving.
– I have now watched two rounds of my fellow DMTs going through snorkel tests (where you go to the bar and your instructor concocts a foul mix of all kind of booze – and if you’re bad, tuna, hot sauce, and whatever else they find around) and you’ve got to chug it through a snorkel and try not to die. After seeing the results of over 10 people do this so far, I am very concerned for mine in a few weeks, especially with how many people I tend to piss off on any given day.
– I am sweating buckets daily and still waiting for the acclimatization to the heat to kick in. My daily mantra is “September is the hottest month.” Dear lord let that be true.
– I am starting to feel more like a local now. I have tabs at bars (bad idea), lots of people to say hello to in the (one) road when I walk down it, and I know where to get keys cut and where you can find almond milk, which baleada lady is the best, and that the store up the road doesn’t open until 6pm on Saturdays because the people who own it are Seventh Day Adventists.
– Despite all that has gone on, I love this little place. I love my life in West End. I love diving. I love all my friends. I love that I do whatever I want, whenever I want. I saw a lady in high heels and office clothes in the sweltering heat the other day, and all I could think was, “I’m so glad I did this.” If nothing else, at least this blog is solid proof that I can always look back on and remind myself that one time, just once, I really really really wanted something, and then I worked my ass off, got it, and enjoyed it.
And now…here you go. Pics. I know what you all really come here for. It’s okay, I understand. The solo dive shots are all me, because I’m a narcissistic jerk/awesome.
Oh honey your legs! I absolutely abhor mosquitoes or any biting bugs. Grrrr…. I hope I don't encounter them in Mexico. I'm happy you're happy despite your minor setbacks. I did wonder how you were robbed. I think that is my biggest fear. Being an expat your saved money is so important to hold onto. It's scary knowing it can be taken from you and you have no way of gaining it back. I'm sorry it happened to ya.