Ah, the life of a project addict. I confess, I just can't stop with the projects- so much fun to make the hostel better than ever! This month is a big one: we just bought the neighbour's place to the left of us, expanding to include a one-bedroom casita and one-bedroom cando, adding a new patio area between the two, complete with pergola, so there'll be more great spots to relax. After this, I'm done, I swear :) Well, the solar energy project isn't yet complete, still waiting on the batteries, and we'd love to get our
Ah, the hiccups of life in a developing country. The power was out yesterday from noon until sometime in the middle of the night. To be fair, it's been several years since the power's been out that long, normally we just have a few hours out at a time. Of course, no power means the community water doesn't work. We have a back up tank, but that is now bone dry. Waiting anxiously for the water to return. I'm happy to have a pool for easy bucket filling :)
In a week, we'll be celebrating the 2 year anniversary of the opening of the hostel. It's so fun to see how much we've grown. I love doing new little improvements in make the hostel better- just added some great cushions along the benches on the porch, got a bigger fridge, and a few new hammocks in the yard.
The last month has been pretty busy, lots of great guests who are around for several weeks. We've been getting together for barbecues, and a lot of the gang has been hopping in every afternoon for snorkeling.
Whoops, just realized it's been a few months since my last blog entry- guess blogging isn't my forte! We're working at becoming more green at Roatan Backpackers' Hostel. We have a separate container now in the kitchen for hostel guests to put their soda/beer cans as well as clear plastics, and my son has been taking these to the recycling depot. We've also put down a deposit on installing a solar energy system. This will be for the apartments and our house to start, as it's a pretty huge cost, but hopefully if it works well, then we'll do the main hostel building down the road as well. Guests can help reduce their environmental impact by shutting off fans and lights when they're not there, and being conservative with the amount of water used.
We also took part in the Bay Islands Coastal Clean Up a few weeks ago, and several hostel guests joined in to pick up trash around our neighbourhood and the beach. I'd love to get this going on a more regular basis, so if you'll be staying at the hostel and would like to help clean up Roatan, let me know!
It's been a month and a half since we left the hostel in Ashley's hands and headed up for an extended visit to family and friends in Canada. I miss the warm, wonderful people at the hostel, and hanging out on the hostel porch with everyone. We've got a couple weeks until we're back, and we're looking forward to our return to Roatan and to our hostel home :) Of course, the projects never stop, so next improvements are varnishing the floors, and tiling the kitchen floor.
We've had a good crowd around most of this month. Several of the guys are working on their divemaster course with Barefoot Divers, so they're out diving all day. Another couple guests are volunteering at Clinica Esperanza. Andreu the kitesurfer has also taken charge as hostel chef, and cooked us all up some paella the other night- mmm :) Just a few days to go until our trip: I"m going to miss the hostel and all its happenings, but Ashley's promised to keep me updated while we're away :)
The countdown is on for the boys and I to head up to Canada for a visit. What about the hostel? you ask. No problem, it'll be in the capable hands of Ashley, who arrived a few days ago to learn the ropes and get ready to take the reins when we leave. Ashley will take great care of everyone coming for the summer, but I'm sorry I won't get to meet anyone heading where while we're gone! Lily, our dog, and Cashew our cat will also be around to welcome you.
The last week and a half have been very full at the hostel, and a great crowd of people. We've had travelers from all over, including US, Canada, UK, Wales, Taiwan, Australia, Honduras, and Israel. Nick had the blender going last night, making some terrific pina coladas. Check it out on youtube: http://youtu.be/4b_pN9RdbFI
It's exciting to see a few comments on my blog and know there's actually some people reading it :) I haven't posted in awhile, so I guess I'd better get writing and give my fans some new reading material!
We had a nice celebration for our 1 year anniversary, and another little party a couple weeks later to celebrate semana Santa. It was another busy semana santa, and multi-cultural (a family from Tegus, some Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Americans, a couple from Slovakia (did I spell that correctly?), a French couple. Now things have quieted down again, but I have a group coming in a week so it'll be busy for that.
I"m also starting to work on another apartment, so they'll be more options for people that would like some place private to stay here in Roatan, while still getting the fun hostel atmosphere.
The heat's cranked up a lot the last few weeks, but still nice weather for sleeping.
Almost time for our 1 year anniversary! Our first guest arrived on March 22nd, 2011. It's been so fun and exciting to watch my little business grow. Little accomplishments one step at a time, and I love getting feedback on what can be added (I now have little lockboxes inside the storage compartments in the dorm rooms, so that you can lock away passports and cash, added a few things to the kitchen, etc). In April, the pool was completed, and it's been a source of joy and relaxation for many travelers, and for me :) In October, the upper loft rooms were completed, and have been super-popular, especially for those staying around a month or two.
The best part has been all the great people that have passed through. I used not like facebook very much, but I have to say, it's kind of nice to see what everyone's up to as they head out and onwards to other adventures.
There will definitely be a party to celebrate our anniversary, so hope you're around to come!