This isn't the first time my husband has been distant. Several years ago, Rudy took a job offer in Honduras, Central America. The only difference between that situation and this one is simple; Honduras offered a year, one year only, contract - then home he would be. Arkansas offered a regular, you work for us job. In other words, there is no time frame - it is a permanent job.
Well, anyway, I've got Honduras on my mind....
Winter holidays were upon us. December. School break... I'm telling you, being a teacher has its perks! Me; and the kids. Rudy. Honduras.
Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Honduras.
We took a charter boat to Roatan, one of the Islas de la Bahia.
What. An. Awful. Trip.
For me, anyway! I mean seriously; there I was, hardly-ever-get-sick-can-handle-pretty-much-anything me, up-chucking! Embarrassing! I was so obvious!; sitting in the front of the boat - we wanted the best view possible! - stumbling to the rear every 10 minutes, to one particular bathroom that soon became my good, good friend.
Rudy and the kids? Fine! ...Okay, well, maybe Roberto had an issue of his own.
Two and a half, three hours later, we stepped onto dry land; or rather a wooden dock.
Our rental car was waiting for us curbside. Off to our destination for the next four days, an almost untouched paradise. Almost, because it was under construction. Once we got past stacks of plant-less planters, still needs painting stucco, and an empty not finished by any means man-made pool this is what we saw:
After tossing our packed things onto the huge beds, checked out the wading-pool-sized bathtub, open and closed every single cupboard - stocked full of useful kitcheny-type stuff, and turned on, then off, the big screen TV we ran down the stairs, toes clinching the warm, finely-grained sand, to frolick in the three-layers-of-colored water; clear, turquoise, and caribbean blue; natually filled by the ocean. So creative!
We spent four days enjoying the uninhabited land, on the far side of the island. Seriously, I think we were the only ones there. Well, except for the docked yachts and the rich people inside; and I guess there were some workers around, and a few people who owned move-in ready condos. But, seriously, it was so quiet, like it belonged to us. We just pretended we won the lottery, and splurged in a major way!
Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Roatan.
On the winding road back towards the wooden dock; to our departing boat, we made a quick stop for some Dramamine. The kids and I willingly popped a few. Rudy, "Nope". Lead stomach, I guess.
The anti-sea sick drug did the trick. We all - yay! me - felt good, content; happy even. The boat was bouncing up and down, sailing along. I took it in stride, figuring this is what I missed on the ride out. I watched Brad as he stood outside the door; stood with some tall guys and just seemed to enjoy the water's spray as it lapped his face. His exhilarated expression told a story of its own. Liz and Roberto were playfully being sarcastic with each other, laughing. Rudy talked, but not much. I figured he was eavesdropping on other people's conversations. He was. Good thing he understands the Spanish language.
People were screaming every time the boat lifted its nose in the air. We laughed. We thought it was actually pretty fun. It seemed, to us non-Spanish-speaking foreigners, everyone was having fun on the amusement-park-type ride. It started raining outside; lightly, then progressively harder. I began to notice the faces of the people; at least those nearby enough to observe. The pained looked on their faces said they weren't screaming for the fun-of-it, they were scared. I looked out the door, towards Brad. The ocean was getting out of control. Rudy grabbed Bradford, yanked him inside; sat him next to me. We were no longer laughing, or joking. We were quiet. Rudy began listening to the people, to their panicked concerns. "It's bad." he said. All that we could do was watch people's expression and wait for Rudy to explain what was happening. I stayed calm; calm for the kids.
Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Honduras. Mostly.
Suddenly - "Oh, good, look," one of us said. "Land!" A sigh of relief; until we realized... land sure, but we had returned to the island, to Roatan. Rudy told us that it was too dangerous to charter the boat back to the mainland.
We, again, stepped onto the wooden dock.
Thank goodness Rudy is from Honduras; he speaks the language quite well!
A local helped us find a room for the night. A small, little-tiny-bugs-ugly-shower room. But, hey!, there was no complaining allowed; later, maybe. It was a place to stay for the night; sheltered from the loud, windy, rainy storm.
Our new friend, the local guy, drove us to the airport extremely early the next morning. Unfortunately, flights were delayed due to, you guessed it, the storm. We had to sit in the oh, so small airport for quite a while until our 12-15 seater plane was finally ready for take off, heading toward Honduran soil. It seemed to be a very old plane. Yet, we didn't care; we just wanted to go home. The plane was small, but very LOUD! So LOUD! Water was dripping in some places. All I could do was look at Rudy, widen my eyes, and smirk, either meaning 'what the (bleep)' or 'interesting...' Part of me thought the whole thing was kind of cool; part unsure. I even thought this was the day of our demise, but I chose not to panic. No need to upset the kids. Anyway, my instincts told me we'd be fine, that we'd make it home. Front and center, that thought was put in my mind!
Late in the day, our wobbly old plane landed; we made it back to La Cieba, to an international airport.
The kids and I ate some Wendy's burgers, fries, and downed some shakes while Rudy managed to get us on another flight - to Florida, then onto a second flight - to California.
A must repeat statement is in order... thank goodness he grew up in Honduras. Rudy knew his way around. Got things done. Safely sent his family back home.