Saturday, April 30, 2016

australia is in the house!

We currently have wonderful guests staying at Paya Bay who came all the way from Australia!

Perth is over 17,000 km away (as the crow flies). Wow, just wow!

Friday, April 29, 2016

unique tropical experience

Dear Davinci,
Paradise ended when we left Paya Bay Resort. Paul and I talked about how different Paya Bay is from the other resorts. Even staying at Infinity Bay [West Bay, Roatan] where they have all the amenities, this resort doesn’t even come close to the unique tropical experience Paya Bay offers to its guests. Thank you for everything you have done. As long time guests, Paul and I truly appreciate your hard work and creativity. Keep up the good vibes as well as your always cheerful spirit. It certainly is contagious!!!
Warmest Regards,
Noemi and Paul
Special guests Noemi and Paul have been repeat clients of our family business since circa 1995. They sent me this note after their most recent stay with us. Their current visit to Roatan is concluding with a three-day stint in West Bay, where Paul will be attending a business conference being held at one of the big resorts on the other, more developed end of the island. It's so nice to get these warm, sincere, unsolicited "pats on the back" from people who have supported my family's enterprise since the very beginning. I'm so grateful for your solidarity, my friends. Namaste.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

life in the bliss syrup

Naturist guests (and new friends!) enjoy blissful late afternoon moments at the Bliss Beach plunge pool before migrating to the Ananda Pavilion for a spiritual sunset experience. Learn more about naturism at Paya.

Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras.

600-mile-long reef discovered at the mouth of the amazon

Oceanographer Patricia Yager has been studying the Amazon River plume—where nearly one-fifth of the world’s river water discharge gushes into the Atlantic Ocean—for the past 15 years. But even with her level of expertise, she was shocked by the discovery of a 600-mile-long reef below the murky waters off Brazil’s northern coastline, stretching from the French Guiana border to Brazil’s Maranhão state. More than 73 species of fish, spiny lobsters, sea stars, 60 species of sponges, and even invertebrate species not yet identified were discovered living along the reef, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances. “‘Astounded’ is really the word,” said Yager, an associate professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia and coauthor of the study. “It’s so muddy there, you just assume that it all ends up resting on the sea floor. There’s no way coral could survive down there, but it’s there.”
- Yahoo News

Wow! Life is nothing if not tenacious. This gives me hope for our much abused and injured planet.

Monday, April 25, 2016

east bliss

This morning it was relatively quiet on Bliss Beach. The guests who were there were enjoying the center and western half of the beach. I took the opportunity to take theses photos of the eastern side, including the Black Iguana beach bar and the beachside plunge pool. Such a beautiful place!

Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

crying purple tears

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your amazing gifts to humanity, Prince! The highest in me bows in deep reverence to the highest in you.
Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life
It means forever and that's a mighty long time

But I'm here to tell you
There's something else
The afterworld

A world of neverending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one,
Dr. Everything'll-Be-Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

'Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You're on your own

fresh herbs

This morning Mom brought fresh herbs and mutton peppers from her garden for use in the restaurant. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

funny stuff

I'm a fan of Hillary, but regardless, I have to admit this Internet meme is very clever, twisted, and funny!

I say, consider this:

If psychotic Donald Trump is going to try to paint Mrs. Clinton as "crazy," perhaps she ought to call his bluff, embrace it, and make this song the theme of her campaign. Just saying.

video: mr. brown coffee

Mr. Brown Coffee, a Taiwanese company that manufactures and markets coffee drinks, produced this slick video that highlights the beauty of Honduran culture, its history, and its coffee producing regions.

let there be art!

This afternoon I delivered to Ruthlen sixteen blank "canvasses" (24-inch marine plywood squares painted white). Ruthlen is a local artist we are engaging to create original art for our rooms. It will be exciting to see the progeny of her creativity!

food for thought

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

alligator head

The "alligator head" rock formation on the west side of Bliss Beach is a particularly magnificent piece of God art in its own right. When the sea is calm, I enjoy swimming alongside it and admiring its massive, rugged, slightly-terrifying beauty.

Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

it's cashew season!

This afternoon Whitney, Steven, and Emily dropped by to sell me roasted cashew seeds. The girls' mom, Ruthlen, is a recently-discovered artist and we are engaging her to create original island art for our rooms.

The faces of angels.

(Hat tip to my friends Lynn and Mike for discovering Ruthlen's impressive talent).

video: elon musk predicts a population implosion

The astonishingly brilliant Mr. Musk is one of my new heroes.

Friday, April 15, 2016

it's completed!

We have installed a gate on the service road that leads to Bliss Beach as part of our effort to address recent issues we've had with interlopers sneaking into the private areas of the resort without properly registering. The pedestrian gate will have a keypad lock so our registered guests can move freely about the property. I chose the gate design and Paya team members Miguel and Francisco did a smashing job bringing it to reality. If you've ever wondered what the Gates of Heaven look like, well... here you go! Have you been "good"? Hahaha!

Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras.


My wonderful parents left no stone unturned, sacrificed, and did without to ensure I received a first-class education. My academic career took me all the way to earning a Master's Degree in Business Administration from a world-renowned American university. Life experience is helping me realize what a priceless gift they (with the assistance of several other key and amazing people along the way) bestowed upon me. The average human body contains 37.2 TRILLION cells. Each of those cells carries in its own personal DNA molecule 50% of our mother's alleles and 50% of our father's alleles. Every single cell in my body is grateful for my parents' selfless altruism and unconditional love. Imagine a beautiful chorus of 37.2 trillion consecutive thank you's! It would take eternity to listen to and enjoy the whole thing. THAT's how grateful I am.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

isery means "what's new" in garífuna

Honduran daily El Heraldo has published photos of Isery, the brand-new, recently inaugurated, ship-shaped nightclub that has now been closed and confiscated by Honduran and U.S. government authorities. Isery means "what's new" in the Garífuna language. Amazing creativity (and deep pockets) are on display here. This enterprise and all the jobs it would have represented for island people are yet another casualty of the infamous U.S. "war on drugs." I'm not sure if demolishing an allegedly cartel-financed business in a country that desperately needs jobs and development is a "good" thing or a "bad" thing. It is what it is. Perhaps, however, certain Americans (see Donald Trump and his ilk, for example) should not get so upset when demoralized Central Americans migrate illegally to North America in search of opportunities and a better future; when, as can be observed in this instance, the U.S. federal government's own controversial policies are destroying job opportunities down here in Banana Land. Just saying.

Photos: El Heraldo (Spanish)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

pronouncement of march 2016

(Originally published 21 March, 2016)

As I write these words, Paya Bay Resort, my family’s small business, is in the midst of what can be accurately described as an existential crisis. Development has started on the east end of Roatan Island, and we are having to wisely confront new threats and opportunities that have appeared as a result of the changing business and demographic landscape that surrounds us. The objective of this pronouncement is to clarify to the general public, and particularly our loyal clients, our position going forward.

One of the biggest issues we are facing at this moment is how to successfully adapt to the fact that a major resort, Diamond Hill, is being constructed right next door to us. When the developer initially approached us, we decided to have a very open-minded and welcoming attitude toward the project. It is still our desire to be “good neighbors” and cooperate harmoniously with the foreign investors that are bringing much needed jobs to this economically-depressed area of our beautiful island. However, as the consequences of having a major project next door to us have begun to affect us and sink in, we have found ourselves scrambling to adapt to the new realities of having a large number of new residents -- and an even larger number of visitors -- in what until now was a quiet, desolate part of the island.

When we initially expressed to the developer that his clients were welcomed to visit our property, dine at our restaurant, and use our facilities, we were engaging in traditional island hospitality, and innocently had no idea of the scale of his project and the sheer number of people this would represent. We also did not properly understand the impact this new influx of people would have on the atmosphere of privacy and exclusivity we had established for our business (one of its most attractive features). We thought the new traffic would be something we could manage and that we would be able to perceive the economic benefits of this increased flow of people on our property while minimizing any downsides. We have now come to the full realization that these initial attitudes and approaches were not only flawed and naive, they have also created a situation that threatens the very existence of Paya Bay Resort as it has become to be known.

Faced with accumulating concerns and complaints from many loyal clients regarding the (micro) demographic changes they were seeing take place at Paya Bay the past eighteen months, we took action. On Friday, 18 March, 2016 we had a meeting with Diamond Hill’s developer to inform him of the situation we were facing with extreme client dissatisfaction because of the the loss of privacy that had resulted from our desire to be open and accommodating to his clients. We explained that our business model is built around primarily serving clients who enjoy naturism and that serving the naturist community requires a high level of privacy in our facilities. Fortunately, the developer was very understanding of our predicament, and in a commendable act of solidarity agreed to respect the status of Bliss Beach as a primarily naturist beach. He agreed, going forward, to inform his clients of the special nature of Bliss Beach and encourage only his clients who are naturists themselves to visit the beach.

He also agreed to make changes to text and graphics on his project’s website that imply that both beaches at Paya are open to the public. He informed us that next season he will be placing beach furniture on the much larger Big Beach that will be for the use of his clients. He suggested that once this option is available for his clients, they will be content and the problem we are currently facing with non-naturists visiting Bliss Beach should be lessened significantly if not eliminated. (Since, by law, all beaches in Honduras are public, only a cooperative agreement like this one would allow us to keep Bliss Beach’s special status as a primarily naturist beach.) We also agreed on an arrangement that would allow us to register visitors to Bliss Beach so that we are able to properly inform them of the protocols and rules that are necessary for a naturist beach to have the high level of privacy that Paya Bay’s clients expect (no photography, for example.)

One takeaway from this very stressful situation has been our realization that given the changes occurring around us, we can no longer ride the fence between the naturist and non-naturist communities as we have been doing up until now with our business. Non-naturists are the majority and we now realize that if we don’t clearly establish our status as a resort that caters primarily to naturists, we will be overrun. The naturist community has stuck by us and supported us for over eight years now. We greatly appreciate your support and having arrived at this juncture where we have to make a choice, we want you to know that WE ARE CHOOSING NATURISM and that WE ARE CHOOSING THE NATURIST COMMUNITY. We humbly ask for your continued support as we get through this crisis, and as we work to achieve our goal to be the best place to enjoy a naturist vacation in the Caribbean.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

article: mass coral bleaching now affecting half of great barrier reef

Two weeks ago, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority reported half the coral in the northern parts of the reef were dead. Hughes said that was consistent with reports from divers north of Port Douglas. Hughes said this was by far the worst bleaching event to have hit the Great Barrier Reef. He said it was three to four times worse than in 1998 or the second great bleaching in 2002. Last year, the Great Barrier Reef narrowly escaped being listed as “in danger” by Unesco, even though environmental groups said it clearly met the criteria. Hughes said the “outstanding universal value” of the reef was now “severely compromised”. Ariane Wilkinson, a lawyer at Environmental Justice Australia, said the bleaching might cause Unesco to reconsider its decision. “[Unesco] weren’t scheduled to examine the reef this year but in light of the terrible bleaching it is entirely possible that they may decide to look at the reef,” she said. “If the World Heritage system is to have any value, it must address the most serious threats to the most iconic examples of world heritage,” she said. “If any site falls into this category, it is the ... Great Barrier Reef.”
- Earth Island Journal

Heartbreaking news. What have we done?

Monday, April 11, 2016

shell beach at sunset

Yesterday, my friend Zulema and I spent late afternoon moments at the chillout station on Shell Beach. The tide was out (more than is typical). I took these photos as we were enjoying the space. It's such an exquisitely beautiful corner of the property.

Paya Bay Resort. Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

video: this is not politics, this is human rights

a native mississippian

I am a native Mississippian, and I currently still live, work, and go to school in the state. I have always had a lot of pride in my state for reasons that many don’t get to hear about due to the backwards politics and history of discrimination within the state. Growing up here was an experience I would not ever wish to change. I had woods to play in all day long, my summers were spent at the river either kayaking or swimming, and I could fish anytime I wanted, thanks to the five-acre lake at my grandmother’s house. Life was good. As I have gotten older and wiser, I have realized that Mississippi is a kind of “Neverland” that hasn't grown into a state to support adults. We are the poorest, most illiterate state in the country and, now that the Governor has signed SB 2681 into law with his buddy Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council present, I can be discriminated against by anyone who cites religion as their reason.
- Democratic Underground 

be present

("Don't ruin your present because of a past that has no future.")

video: nature is speaking: coral reefs

Thursday, April 7, 2016


The things that come most quickly into your life are the things that you BELIEVE in the most. You can only bring to you what you BELIEVE, so you must BELIEVE to receive what you want.
- lessons from The Secret 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ananda sunsets

My sweet dogs, Thelma and Louise, accompanied me up to the Ananda yoga pavilion late this afternoon to inspect work that is being done on a new project near the structure. Sunsets at Ananda are always so awesome!


Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras.