DREAM AWAY Update 05-27-2016


Finally, proof that we are alive! I just sent off an email to a friend, answering just that question: "Are We Well" I keep saying to myself that I will get an update out as soon as I finish last month's log. I just never get the time to finish the log, so no update gets completed either.

I have every day's activities written down, and I take plenty of photos, but it is a familiar problem. I can either write about what I would like to do in an update, or go do it. When I go do it, I am usually too tired to write about it!

We try and keep in mind that we are retired! But is certainly doesn't seem that way ... especially now.

Let me give you a quick update on our activities over these last five months. We have helped some friends get their boat repaired and back into the water. That was pretty much a 3/4 time activity for me from January until the beginning of May. And, they were living with us on DREAM AWAY most of that time, so it was a bit close and chaotic on board. Mixed in with that work, I also helped another friend get his boat fixed enough to go cruising. He had planned on going cruising for a couple of months, but because of many problems, he was very much delayed in leaving. Once he did leave, he ended up returning in about a month, and he had more problems than he had when he left.

Katherine (now back to 'Kitty') and I also do a lot of volunteer work here in the Rio Dulce area. We spend time with the Casa Guatemala orphanage, helping where we can, and we help with another organization called Pass It On.

Kitty spends most of her time working with the Refugio Dulce, which is an old folks home for abandoned seniors.

I spend my time working with the solar projects. I help with the fabricating of the solar systems, checking them out, and then installing them in remote villages that have no electricity.

One of the solar projects on which I worked was a lot of fun. It involved an hour and a half horseback ride up a mountain to get to the village of Se Limones, and of course when the project was completed, the same ride back down the mountain! I did not fit particularly well in a small, wooden Guatemalan saddle, so ended up walking most of the way down, much to the chagrin of my 'guide'. Did I mention there were no stirrups on this saddle. I really felt like I was going to fall off of the horse.

One other thing that has complicated our lives, but this will also settle down in a couple of weeks, is that we are semi-employed again, as marina managers, here at Monkey Bay Marina, where we live.

On our anniversary, April 30, I was getting ready to go take my shower so we could go to a surprise party for a good friend here on the Rio, when the owner of the marina, Karl, came down and wanted to talk to us. That itself is not unusual because he is an alumni of Texas A&M University, like Kitty, so we consider him a friend, and whenever he is here we visit with him.

He wanted to talk to us about our taking over temporary management of Monkey Bay Marina! John, the on site manager, had made a sudden departure for the States, to help an ailing mother. As John was leaving Guatemala, he suggested that Karl ask us to fill in as the on-site managers, while he (John) is away.

Of course, we accepted, both to help Karl and because we consider Monkey Bay Marina our home in Guatemala. He offered us free slip rent, electricity and laundry, as perks, while we are filling in.

We know the resident guardian and his family, so we already have a good relationship with them. We are also friends with the cleaning lady at the marina. So, other than our poor Spanish, it should really be no problem for us. John has been available to us via email at times to help us with any specific questions. And Efrain, the guardian, is also pretty knowledgeable about how things run around here.

Karl got us a new iPhone 5 in which to put the Marina SIM card, and he will be getting us a debit card with which to get cash out of the local bank so we can pay the marina expenses. We will also get to use the marina launcha, which has a Yamaha 75-hp outboard on it.

Needless to say our learning curve the first week was very steep, but we are getting the hang of it. Trying to figure out the email system, the financial system, and the WiFi system is challenging. Email help from John has been a great help, and the patience of everyone involved has also been a great help.

We are hoping to make a trip at the very end of this year. I will be Santa Claus for the Casa Guatemala orphanage, and then, because of the regulations on the cruising permit for DREAM AWAY, we are supposed take DREAM AWAY out of Guatemala, on December 26th, for three months. Our ultimate destination may be Cuba, but if/how we get there is all dependent on the weather!

Our daughter, Judy, Is coming down to the Rio Dulce to visit for two weeks, so we are really looking forward to seeing her, and spending time with her. We will meet her in Guatemala City, and then go on to Antigua, to spend a day and a half there. Kitty and I will go up a day early, so we can meet her at the airport, and then continue on to Antigua.

After our trip to Antigua, we will head back to the Rio Dulce. While we are on DREAM AWAY, we will do some sailing up to Lago Izabal, and probably the other direction to Livingston. Not really sure, but we know it will be wonderful to have the time together.

I hope this short update finds you all well and happy. Do enjoy your summer, and I hope to get more updates out, but no promises!



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