Saturday, January 30, 2010

tell 'em, Mr. Obama

I'm starting to warm up to this gentleman again. When the political crisis erupted in Honduras last year, the U.S. State Department seemed lost, confused, and misguided. When it counted, however, the Obama administration did the right thing for its Central American ally. That is, the administration (with some crucial arm twisting from Senator Jim DeMint (R, SC) and a few other Republicans) sided with the Honduran people in our historic fight to protect our democracy from Castro-Chavismo. As annoying as Republican politicians can sometimes be, I'm happy and grateful they are around to keep things in balance. Senator John Kerry (D, MA), for example, seemed ready to hand Honduras over to Hugo Chavez on a silver platter. What a piece of work that one is!

photo of the day

A school of blue chromis (Chromis cyaneus) creates a spectacular effect on the reef. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras.

Friday, January 29, 2010

quote of the day

Who are you? You seem like a celebrity or something...

- A cab driver to me today in Miami. Totally out of left field and unexpected.  Hmm... maybe that's what he says to all his clients. Working that tip, baby!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the new president and first lady

New Honduran President Porfirio 'Pepe' Lobo, and First Lady, Rosa Elena, wave to the people attending the ceremony marking the beginning of his administration at the National Stadium today in Tegucigalpa.

Photo: La Prensa.

the man who beat Hugo Chavez and saved Honduran democracy

His Excellency, Roberto Micheletti, Constitutional President of the Republic of Honduras

Today Mr. Micheletti will turn over the reigns of power to President-elect Porfirio Lobo. He leaves the Casa Presidencial as a hero: the savior of our democracy. Thank you, sir, for standing by your democratic convictions and not yielding to those wanting to harm our country. You are a true patriot. The Honduran people will be eternally grateful.

This Associated Press report offers a relatively fair synopsis of recent political events in Honduras.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

wow! wow! wow!

I'm in Miami Beach, FL at the moment and just had the good fortune of watching the 3D version of the movie Avatar. It's an absolutely stunning film with a very important message. It blew me away! It's definitely a must see!

Honduran generals freed of criminal responsibility for Zelaya's removal

General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, Chief of the Joint Staff

Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The president of the Supreme Court (CSJ), Jorge Rivera Aviles, issued a final dismissal, freeing of criminal responsibility the Joint Chiefs of Armed Forces of Honduras (FFAA) accused of abuse of power because of the alleged illegal extradition of former president Manuel Zelaya.

One of the attorneys for the generals, Juan Carlos Sanchez, said the favorable ruling was because in the evidence presented by the defense, the military opted to remove Zelaya out of the country because before, during and after June 28 there were about 950 armed foreigners in the country, representing a danger to the internal security of Honduras.

He also said that "the ruling was determined based on necessity that existed to extradite Mr Manuel Zelaya Rosales of the country because there was sufficient evidence that there could have been a bloody event."

Translated from

These men are heroes of the nationwide effort that began prior to June 28, 2009 to save our democracy from the onslaught by socialist henchman and neighborhood thug, Hugo Chavez.

new president to be sworn in tomorrow

The national stadium is ready for the inauguration ceremony of new Honduran President Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo tomorrow.  Mr. Lobo was elected with the most votes ever received by a presidential candidate in the massively attended November 2009 general elections.

Photo: La Prensa

quote of the day

We have watched with admiration the courage [..] of all Hondurans in this new historical era they are living. This is an example worthy of emulation.

- Milos Alcalay, visiting Honduras for inaugural events as a representative of Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Caracas and a fierce Hugo Chavez opponent and critic.

Source: La Tribuna

awe inspiring

The incredible and dazzling structure of the sun’s corona is visible in this composite photograph taken by astronomers during the July 2009 total solar eclipse.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Few things can match the sense of serenity that one feels in a coconut walk. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This young couple enjoy the Big Beach after riding in on their scooter.  Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras.

photo of the day

A guy gives his girl a massage on Bliss Beach this afternoon. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

interview of President Micheletti (continued)

Part 2 of a fascinating interview El Heraldo conducted with President Micheletti that I'm translating. See also Part 1.

[reporter]: Is it true that Hugo Chávez financed the resistance marches and violence in the country?

[President Micheletti]: I am totally sure.

[reporter]: Is there evidence of that?

[President Micheletti]: The mouth of the same Mr. Zelaya told a few peers, his friends, and then they forwarded it to me that he, not [Zelaya directly], but rather the "notebook commander"* and others received an average of 350 thousand dollars a week. In the most critical moments of the situation there was a huge dollar movement in the country, quantities in millions. I can prove this with facts. In San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa during those days the exchange rate for U.S. dollars declined to 16 Lempiras, 17 Lempiras, when it had previously remained at 19 for the longest time.

*Context Note: This is a reference to a notebook police discovered on Carlos Eduardo Reina's person (he's a Zelaya supporter), as he was entering the Brazilian embassy, with a record of substantial dollar payments he had made to several "resistencia" leaders.

[reporter]: You said that one of the most critical days of the political crisis was the day that former President Zelaya attempted to land at [Tegucigalpa's] Toncontín airport in a Venezuelan plane. Why was that? At any time was an order issued to the armed forces?

[President Micheletti]: No, at no time. I think we were clear. They had invested heavily to buy the will of the people who were there, so that many people gathered. I estimate about 8 thousand or 9 thousand people were there. It had been planned that he [Zelaya]would come.

We did authorize the armed forces to move some army trucks around the airport. He never gave instructions to the armed forces to fire a single shot against Hondurans. They were blanks. The shots they did fire were blank shots.

[reporter]: And was the Air Force given an order against the plane that tried to land illegally and had entered the country illegally?

[President Micheletti]: We raised a Tucano aircraft. A foreign aircraft had entered [our airspace] without permission from Honduras, which was already a crime. Mr. Chávez ordered the pilot to do so. It was invading our sovereignty, therefore, the corresponding calls had been given.

It was not our intention to shoot down the plane, because we already knew that it was going to be a show, as it was. We knew that this man was coming, and was going to star in [the show] in an attempt to cause more deaths in the country and make a scandal.

Logically, you can see that a Tucano is a propeller plane, but he [Zelaya] was in a jet and there was no way [the Tucano] could catch it, but it was a way of saying we intended to defend the homeland. They were abusing our sovereignty and we had to make a decision of this nature, but at no time were orders given to shoot anyone, no orders to attack anyone either.

Translated from El Heraldo

photos: the Chica Rose series

 View of Paya Bay on a misty morning. This was the view from Linda and Steve's balcony.

The Garífunas perform at the Tribal Beach Party. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras.

Photos: Linda Rose.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a modern day hero

President Micheletti draped in the Honduran flag at a farewell and gratitude rally held in his honor today.

I concur 100%

For people who are noble, hardworking, fair and intelligent President Micheletti is a hero. In contrast, for brutes, lazy people, mobsters, the bad, and the angry he is a villain. But Honduras is not Cuba or Venezuela. You can also state your opinion. You know why? Because Honduras is a free country, thank God, and all opinions have worth regardless of who holds them.

- Rebeca (Honduran woman commenting today on El Heraldo's Web site)

quote of the day

The best way to predict your future... is to create it.

- Abraham Lincoln

interview of President Micheletti

Interim Honduran President, Roberto Micheletti, gave an interview to El Heraldo today in which he shared his opinion as well as some insider information about the events leading up to and following June 28, 2009, when Manuel Zelaya was removed from the Honduran presidency. I'm going to translate key excerpts of the interview over the next few days. It is very interesting stuff.

[President Micheletti finalizing answer to previous question]: The facts clearly demonstrated what Mr Zelaya wanted: he wanted to remain in power through an unconstitutional act and take the country into a dictatorship.

[Reporter] You and others made Mr Zelaya see that what he was doing was illegal. What really happened with him? Did he not understand or did he not want understand?

[President Micheletti] I think he had made such extreme commitments  with those people from South America that he could no longer turn back.  On one occasion present at a meeting were [former President Carlos] Flores, [presidential candidate] Elvin Santos and myself; with him [Zelaya] was Patricia Rodas and [Enrique] Flores Lanza; also present was the U.S. ambassador, [Hugo] Llorens, and another man named Simons, who is second after Llorens. We asked, we begged him [Zelaya] on several occasions not to commit the crime of calling a constituent assembly. [Calling a constituent assembly] is a crime. He talked with us but never seemed to understand. There were five such meetings held, I attended three. In the last two [Arturo] Corrales Alvarez attended with the idea of letting him know that there was disagreement [with Zelaya's constitution change project] on the part of a large proportion of the population. He did not listen, he had a plan set up, and things happened the way they happened.

Everyone knows that Zelaya's attitude when he entered the Honduran Air Force base was an act of violence, irresponsible, and I think even abusive in the sense that he went into a military installation. [Air Force] General Prince allowed this man [Zelaya]to enter there almost by compulsion to steal the ballot boxes [for Zelaya's June 28 referendum] that had been confiscated by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and the Prosecutors of the Republic. But it happened, he [Zelaya] starred in this shameful act for the world to see, mounted in the door of a passenger bus along with the people who accompanied him there.

Translated from El Heraldo

thousands bid President Micheletti farewell

Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It was fifteen minutes before 12:00 noon. President Roberto Micheletti Bain, accompanied by his wife, Siomara Giron, and their children, rose to the podium to receive multiple awards that had been prepared by members of the Civic Democratic Union (UCD).

Very soon, thousands of people flocked to Democracy Square to thank the ruler for his work and for helping to maintain the democratic system, peace and freedom in the country.

They carried banners that read messages like "Homage to someone who never gave up," "Thanks for reminding us, President Micheletti, that Hondurans have dignity," and "Thank you, President Micheletti, you are a national pride. "

Raising their placards, thousands chanted "thank you very much, thank you very much, thank you very much!"

Micheletti leaves office as president of the Honduran people, within eight days.

In an emotional speech, Micheletti confirmed that "on 27 January I will take off my coat, take off my tie, but leave on my white shirt, and be one more in the struggle for democracy and freedom in my country."

Translated from El Heraldo
Photo: La Prensa.

love and bliss

Lucky and Foxy share a tender sunset moment. Bliss Beach. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras.

Monday, January 18, 2010

quote of the day

Preachers and televangelists, mullahs and imams, often seem almost to gloat over natural disasters – presenting them as payback for human transgressions, or for ‘making a pact with the devil’. Earthquakes and tsunamis are caused not by ‘sin’ but by tectonic plate movements, and tectonic plates, like everything else in the physical world, are supremely indifferent to human affairs and sadly indifferent to human suffering.


One of my favorite childhood books was "The Emperor Has No Clothes," an interesting story about human nature.  When the Emperor parades around in clothes that are "invisible" no one says anything because everybody thinks that if they cannot see the clothes that they are stupid, ignorant, or insane... or at least others will think that they are.  The farce continues until a child exclaims, "The Emperor has no clothes!"

The hateful, shockingly callous, and supremely ignorant utterances we heard from Pat Robertson this past week regarding the tragedy in Haiti have prompted me to "come out," in a sense, about a belief that has been growing stronger in my mind: We humans must unshackle ourselves from the ignorance-based Bronze Age beliefs promoted by traditional organized religion if we are to rise to the next level of our potential. Humanity needs a software upgrade: Human Consciousness 2.0.

"The Emperor (organized religion in its myriad manifestations) has no clothes!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Latin America swinging to the right?

The deeply embarrassing (for them) defeat of the Castro/Chavez/Lula socialist project in Honduras and now the victory of the right-of-center Sebastian Piñera in Chile seem to indicate that the political pendulum in Latin America has begun an inexorable swing to the right.

If Castro's Cuba (with its restrictions on freedom and economic stagnation) and Chavez's Venezuela (with its economic chaos) represent "the best" the left can offer, the region can certainly use less of this failed approach to government.

photos: the Chica Rose series

View of Bliss Beach from the Zen Path.

Bliss Beach in its full glory.

Photos: Linda Rose. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras. Dec. '09.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hondurans continue to honor President Micheletti

A new boulevard in San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in the country, will be named after the Interim President and Honduran democracy hero.

Photo and source: La Prensa

Haiti: getting worse by the hour

The news out of Haiti seems to be getting worse by the hour.  It's making me sick with sadness. Please do something we all can do: open our wallets so that those on the front line may have the resources to help these poor people through this extremely tragic event.

The official Web site of the American Red Cross is

photos: the Chica Rose series

A nature path at Paya Bay Resort.

Giant bromeliads (a.k.a. "air plants"). Paya Bay is home to at least five species of this interesting family of plants.

Photos: Linda Rose.

Micheletti to Oscar Arias: chill, bitch.

Tegucigalpa. Interim President Roberto Micheletti, called this day for Costa Rican president, Oscar Arias, to have "more respect" for President-elect, Porfirio Lobo Sosa.

Arias criticized Lobo Sosa for his "weakness" by not getting Micheletti to step down before the change of command on Jan. 27 and said he will not come to Honduras for the inauguration ceremony.

Micheletti criticized the statements by the Costa Rican president, noting that decisions taken in the country are sovereign and nobody can intervene or impose anything, he said.

In this sense, the interim president said "I'm very hurt, that man every time he speaks it is to offend my country, we demand more respect for the elected president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, who was elected by a majority of the population."

"That man (Oscar Arias), has no right nor moral authority to speak that way against our people, against our country and our sovereign decisions," he said.

The interim president reiterated that he will not leave office until January 27 because this is what is mandated by the Constitution of the Republic.

Translated from Proceso Digital

This arrogant Costa Rican bastard has a chip on his shoulder for President Micheletti because Mr. Micheletti wisely refused to implement the San Jose "accord" that Arias tried to impose as a "solution" to last year's political crisis. The San Jose Accord required the reinstatement of alleged traitor Manuel Zelaya, something considered a deal-breaker by all Honduran institutions. Besides the reinstatement being a flagrant violation of our Constitution, most Hondurans felt certain that if Zelaya had been reinstated he would immediately (with Chavez's backing) dissolve Congress and the Supreme Court, call for a constituent assembly, and impose a new socialist constitution on Honduras. Absolutely no one (besides perhaps the U.S.) would have intervened to stop this travesty. Certainly not this wimpy-assed Costa Rican "intellectual." We Hondurans knew we had to defend our democracy, our freedom, and our way of life ourselves, by whatever means necessary. If Mr. Arias doesn't agree with how we handled things, tough. He should simply keep his mouth shut. His comments are profoundly insulting.

By the way, Mr. Arias, you Costa Ricans need to drop your annoying little "We're the Swiss of Central America" attitude. Honduras towers over you now. We stood by our convictions, stood up to the World, and WON!  

Lo que no le gusta al Sr. Droopy es que de repente ha visto que aquí en Honduras hay un exceso de bolas. Seguramente algo que hace falta en Costa Rihh-ca.

photo of the day

Pushing my 2 megapixel cellphone camera to its limits, I captured this cool shot of the Garifuna show at last night's Tribal Beach Party. The goal was to capture the reflection of the performers in the plunge pool. Paya Bay Resort, Roatan, Honduras.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

President Micheletti awarded congressional medal

Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The National Congress last night closed its fourth and final session awarding the "Grado de Gran Cruz Extraordinaria Placa de Oro" medal to president Roberto Micheletti.

This recognition was based on his valuable service to the country and his nobility demonstrated during the last six months he spent as head of the executive branch after having replaced Manuel Zelaya, who lost power on 28 June as a result of his constant violations of the law and for trying to repeal the Constitution of the Republic.

Micheletti came to Congress under tight security and was accompanied by his cabinet and members of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Forces.

In his speech, Micheletti appreciated the gesture of the deputies and said he felt at peace for having fulfilled his mission and for having saved the country from the dangerous turn that was being forced on it by Zelaya, who took refuge in the Brazilian embassy, where he called for violence.

He acknowledged that he is delivering to the new government of Porfirio Lobo Sosa a country ravaged and sacked by the Zelaya government.

Haiti: the nightmare republic

The appalling state of the country is a direct result of having offended a quite different celestial authority — the French. France gained the western third of the island of Hispaniola — the territory that is now Haiti — in 1697. It planted sugar and coffee, supported by an unprecedented increase in the importation of African slaves. Economically, the result was a success, but life as a slave was intolerable. Living conditions were squalid, disease was rife, and beatings and abuses were universal. The slaves’ life expectancy was 21 years. After a dramatic slave uprising that shook the western world, and 12 years of war, Haiti finally defeated Napoleon’s forces in 1804 and declared independence. But France demanded reparations: 150m francs, in gold.

For Haiti, this debt did not signify the beginning of freedom, but the end of hope. Even after it was reduced to 60m francs in the 1830s, it was still far more than the war-ravaged country could afford. Haiti was the only country in which the ex-slaves themselves were expected to pay a foreign government for their liberty. By 1900, it was spending 80% of its national budget on repayments. In order to manage the original reparations, further loans were taken out — mostly from the United States, Germany and France. Instead of developing its potential, this deformed state produced a parade of nefarious leaders, most of whom gave up the insurmountable task of trying to fix the country and looted it instead. In 1947, Haiti finally paid off the original reparations, plus interest. Doing so left it destitute, corrupt, disastrously lacking in investment and politically volatile. Haiti was trapped in a downward spiral, from which it is still impossible to escape. It remains hopelessly in debt to this day.


Slavery was/is so wrong. Its legacy will haunt humankind for many more generations. It's extremely difficult to dissipate and neutralize negative energy once it's created. This is particularly true once, as in Haiti, hatred of the oppressor has become ingrained in the DNA of a people. The only option we have now is to direct positive energy in the direction of the people that were so wronged, with the hope that some day, somehow these deep wounds will heal.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the Haiti earthquake

The images and reports starting to come out of Haiti following the earthquake there are heartbreaking. I just read that there may be up to 500,000 people dead. One can only hope these initial estimates are wildly overinflated. Regardless, this is obviously a horrific human tragedy.

A few minutes ago I made a donation to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund on behalf of Paya Bay Resort. I encourage everyone who reads this to also donate to the Red Cross (or your favorite charity). We must all reach out in solidarity to these poor, less-fortunate fellow human beings.

The official Web site of the American Red Cross is

my hero

Don Roberto Micheletti, Constitutional President of Honduras, stood firm in the face of tremendous international pressure (orchestrated by Chavez, his servile ALBA and OAS lackeys, and a few traitorous Hondurans). Mr. Micheletti steadfastly refused to reinstate the sell-out and alleged traitor, Manuel Zelaya, to the Honduran presidency after Zelaya was thrown out on June 28, 2009 for multiple alleged violations of our Constitution and other laws in his failed attempt to remain in power past his term. President Micheletti (with the support of every single democratic institution in Honduras, the armed forces, and the vast majority of the Honduran people) wrested our noble country from the claws of Castro-Chavismo and its bankrupt ideology. This man is a hero. We are so fortunate we had him to lead the defense of our democracy during that critical juncture in our history.

Señor Presidente Micheletti, usted tiene toda mi admiración y respeto. Se dice "No hay pueblo más macho que el pueblo catracho." Esto usted lo comprobó.  Muchísimas, pero muchísimas gracias.

Honduras out of ALBA!

Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  The chapter of Honduras in the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) has closed.

The clock indicated 7:38 PM last night when the National Congress approved denouncing the treaty by which Honduras joined the initiative promoted by Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez.

The main motivation of the Legislature to leave this project was the ideological and military interference of Chavez that came with the agreement, a vision not shared by the majority of deputies.

Translated from El Heraldo

Wow.  The complete and thorough ass kicking of Hugo Chavez by Honduras is now complete. I'm so proud of my country!

Monday, January 11, 2010

photos: the Chica Rose series

Awesome capture of the Big Beach.

A weathered conch shell.  I've always found it amazing that such a humble mollusk (with a brain the size of a pea - if even that big!) makes itself a home that is truly an astonishing feat of civil engineering. Click on this image to enlarge it and see what I'm talking about. The palm frond as a backdrop is perfect.

Photos: Linda Rose.

it's "freezing" in Roatan!

Well... not really, but the mass of Arctic air that caused the record lows in Florida this past weekend has now reached us and is causing a lot of rain and what we islanders call "freezing" weather. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

national team trains

The Honduran national soccer team has begun training for the South Africa World Cup.  They are looking pretty strong and formidable to me.

Photo: El Heraldo

photo of the day

Linda Rose, a guend (repeat guest who has become a friend) from Houston, TX took some awesome photos at Paya while she was here for the holidays. I'll feature some of her photos on the blog over the next few days. Here's a great shot of the bay at sunrise. The mountainous profile in the background is Guanaja, Roatan's sister island. Nice work, Ms. Rose!

let there be light!

One of our first accomplishments of the new year was the installation this past week of lighting on yet another section of the Paya Trail. The goal is for the entire trail to be eventually lit, facilitating romantic evening walks.

The new lights at dusk. Approximately two thirds of this rather long trail now has lighting, from the bungalows area to the top of the Buccaneer Landing stairs.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

garifunas at bliss bar

Sometimes if weather does not permit us to have the Garínagu Tribal Beach party on the beach, we present the Garifuna show at Bliss Bar in the main dining room.

Lordy, lordy! Guests join the show and do the punta with the dancers!

quote of the day

My wife and I stayed with you about a year ago and had an inspiring stay. The dive I made with Davinci at the Morat wall was the best of my life! The freedom and family spirit make your boutique resort one of a kind. Been dreaming of making it back ever since!!

- Jon (client commenting on his stay at Paya Bay Resort)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

quote of the day

From the moment we got off the plane [and were] greeted by Jose, whose first words out of his mouth was "welcome and we are here to make you happy." And make us happy, they all did.

- from TripAdvisor client review of Paya Bay Resort

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

the LHC

...we should ponder what the value of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could be to the human race. If it performs as anticipated, it will be the cutting edge for years to come in a quest that dates to the ancient Greeks and beyond -- to understand what our world is made of, how it came to be and what will become of it. This grand odyssey gives us a chance to rise above the mundane aspects of our lives, and our differences, conflicts and crises, and try to understand where we, as a species, fit in a wondrous universe that seems beyond comprehension, yet is remarkably comprehensible.

- Los Angeles Times

Saturday, January 2, 2010

20 resolutions I like

    1.    More Real Food, Less "Food-like Substances",
    2.    More Fruit and Vegetables, Less Sugar, Wheat and Corn
    3.    More Organic, Less Toxic
    4.    More Chewing, Less Eating
    5.    More Water, Less Soda
    6.    More Recycling, Less Waste
    7.    More Walking, Less Driving
    8.    More Exercising, Less Watching TV
    9.    More Outdoors, Less Indoors
    10.    More Sleep, Less Worry
    11.    More Calm, Less Chaos
    12.    More Being, Less Doing
    13.    More Consciousness, Less Ignorance
    14.    More Smiles, Less Anger
    15.    More Love, Less Hatred
    16.    More Play, Less Serious
    17.    More Letting Go, Less Holding On
    18.    More Forgiving, Less Blaming
    19.    More Generosity, Less Greed
    20.    More Ubuntu, Less Me!

Dr. Frank Lipman

let's strive for more ubuntu in 2010

Ubuntu is about the essence of being human, it is part of the gift that Africa will give the world. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being able to go the extra mile for the sake of others. We believe that a person is a person through another person, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I inexorably dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms and therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in belonging.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

I extend best wishes to everyone for a happy, peaceful, and prosperous 2010.  May the experiences of each day of this year bring you closer to self-fulfillment and increase your understanding of how to live in the Magic of Life.