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September 02, 2003

Pirates, ahoy.

This island is a very strange little place.

The people who call it home are mostly white, and speak English, but with an accent so thick as to render them entirely incomprehensible. Really. I can only understand a word here or there. They say they are the descendents of pirates who once ran amock on the bay islands of Honduras and along much of the country's coastline. Many of them are disdainful of the latin Hondurans who come from the mainland to earn a living from the island's tourist industry.

These neo-pirates race around the streets - there are about three in total on the whole island - in golf buggies or four-wheel motorbikes. The streets are too narrow for cars, and it never gets cold enough to worry about the breeze.

It's as hot as hell, in fact. There are hibiscus trees everywhere and sandflies attack us at night but I cover myself in baby oil, which not only makes me look like a greased up porn star, but traps the little bastards and makes them too sticky to bite. Ingenious.

The water is beautiful and clear and full of fish. I saw lots of bright green parrot fish when I was diving - and a skinny trumpet fish and lots of black and yellow striped sargeant majors. I saw a wrecked fishing boat, too. It was all very pretty. Most people are here for the diving, but I have spent most of my time lying around in hammocks, reading light fiction (devoured an Isabel Allende yesterday - most entertaining) and scoffing pina coladas.

I met up once more with my cousin Brendon here, and we've had several very pleasant evenings chatting, along with his English traveling companion, James, who is soon to be dispatched to Brendon's family property in Binya, which will no doubt be an adventure for him. I'm glad that Brendon turned out to be such excellent company.

I am leaving Utila today, regretfully abandoning my Swiss friend, Julia. She
has been a terrific traveling companion - very frank and funny and enthusastic about everything, including eating, which has been perfect.

It's funny how one day I can be so relaxed and content in a hammock, watching clouds bloom over the horizon and birds sail through the sky, just reading and enjoying the breeze, and the next day I am dying for some action. I could never live on an island like this and yesterday I walked around marveling at all the foreigners who came to spend a month and have been here for nearly a year. How can they stand it? Nothing happens! The place is full of wholesome young Europeans who come from villages in Germany and France and Switzerland - pretty, small, no doubt frightfully dull places. They love nature! They love the outdoors! They have absolutely no conversation! I am sick of trying to talk to them, they are so nice!

I can't wait to get to the city, and will arrive in San Salvador tomorrow, then Mexico City early next week, I hope.

Posted by Sarah on September 2, 2003 10:01 AM
Category: Honduras

Well, the people there may have no conversation, but the fish sound pretty entertaining. Today is the first day of school here in New Haven. I have seen a green-bellied anxious student, a red-billed space cadet, and a flock of denim-clad minnows.

I love learning! I love books!

Wish I were there,

Posted by: Charlotte on September 2, 2003 01:45 PM

hey sarah
me, a nice, lovely swiss girl, i am shocked to read what you write about all these interesting european people in utila..... :-)

Posted by: julia on September 6, 2003 06:36 PM

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