When we were not on the beach and in the water, we found ourselves surrounded by all types of reptiles, insects, mammals, birds, trees, and plants. It was great! The place we stayed at, West Bay Lodge, has five birds, four parrots and one toucan. Haimish and Coco, two of the parrots became our favorites. Every morning they would wake us up and serenade us with "Hola, como esta?" and then either whistle or cough (something they picked up when their owner had bronchitis). I can't stop imitating them. Now who's the parrot?
In addition to the five birds, there were plenty more flying around the property and stopping by the bird feeders to have a drink of water. I'm surprised the cats never pursued them. The cats at West Bay Lodge were more interested in Monkey La Las and stray dogs. Yes, dogs! One day Mama Kitty stared down a dog four times her size and to our surprise, the dog stepped back, turned around and walked away.
The best part of the trip, at least in my opinion, was playing with the monkeys at Gumbalimba Park. I LOVE MONKEYS! Gumbalimba Park is a very pretty park to spend a morning walking around in but the BEST part is that you get to play with the monkeys. The park has four white-faced capuchin monkeys, a howler monkey or two and a spider monkey. The spider monkey was a little scary but the capuchins, ... they were SO cute. The second I went to visit Pico, the six month old male, he jumped on top my head. He stayed there for about half an hour, walking around with me while steeling items out of my purse. I fell in love. His mother, Pancha and three week old Gumba were also adorable, although Pancha gave me the scare of my life when she came charging after me with little Gumba on her back. I thought she was under the impression I was steeling Pico (still on my head) and was coming to reclaim her child. That wasn't it though. Pancha just wanted to play with camera, so she climbed up my leg and onto my arm and took some photographs.
In the meantime, my boyfriend was holding the baby howler monkey when he decided it was his chance to escape. The monkey quickly ran down my boyfriend's six foot long body and off into the jungle. Don't worry, our guide chased him down and brought him back.
Towards the end of our trip, our hosts took us to a crab race and pig roast. The event is held weekly and supports local island schools. There was live music, food, dancing and little hermit crabs finding their way across a wooden floor to cross the finish line first. It was pretty amusing, well everything except the roasted pig wearing sunglasses on its head. I could of done without seeing that.
As I mentioned before, the crab race benefits local island schools. That night I had the opportunity to speak with a local kindergarden teacher. Since I didn't (and still don't) have a sufficient amount of money to donate to the school system, I asked the teacher what items her class and school needed. She answered notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, crayons, ... general school supplies. I promised her that I would do my best to put together a package with some, if not all, of those items. I wrote down the name of the organization working to build and better the teacher's school (Partners in Education on Roatan) and left excited that I would be able to help.
Thinking about what I would send and how much of it , I came up with a few things. I decided that I would donate $2 from every photograph I sell (this applies to photographs taken in Roatan) to purchasing school supplies. In addition to this, I will be accepting items for donation to include in my packages. Items are not limited to school supplies but should be appropriate for young children. Hair accessories, bookmarks, lip gloss, dolls, puppets, puzzles, and anything you can think of that a child would like would be greatly appreciated. I hope to send a package as soon as possible and also hope to continue sending them in the future.
If you are interested in making a donation of any sort (not monetary), please email me at email@example.com.
Otherwise, please help out by purchasing one of the photographs I took in Roatan.
For more information about Partners in Education on Roatan (PIER) please visit http://www.roatanschools.org/
I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip. I promise the next post will be back on track with features, interviews, and interactive posts.