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Current Location: Continues to be Utila, Honduras. This is day 12 or something.

03.13.07

Cost of Beer in a bar: US$1 if you know where to look, US$1.20 elsewhere.
Song Currently stuck in my head: Satan Gave Me a Taco (Beck, mellow gold era)
Reason this message didn’t get sent yesterday: Internet Cafe was closed when I got here because dinner took a few more hours than I planned.

In the past I’ve always visited areas like this but never had anything to do.  I’d just wander around the beach, the town, lay around in the sun, the shade, but mostly I’d get bored.  Now I’m kind of a diver.  Now when I wander around the beach with nothing to do, it’s because I couldn’t get a seat on a boat for the afternoon two tank reef dive.  It’s considerably cooler for me this way, but then I’m kind of a purposive guy.

I went snorkeling on the reef a few days ago.  It way amazing.  The equipment was of high quality (for US$5 for a 24 hour rental), including dump valves in the snorkel and mask which make a big difference for me.  I think technically I was skin diving, since I was diving below the surface while snorkeling (this time intentionally, as opposed to the only other time I’ve snorkeled, years ago, when the wave action get overtaking me).  Either way, god lives underwater.  I saw schools of several hundred tropical fish, some rather large, some unnaturally luminescent, and some just all-around awe inspiring.  This was at the reef just off of the beach (no boat necessary).  My friends and I (Chris, Espen, Alex and Sophie, all people from my dive class) just decided impromptu to rent some fins and head for the beach and it turns out to be one of my best days in the water to date.

I caught two afternoon dives yesterday, which were my first “fun-dives”, meaning they weren’t part of class.  I’ll have 4 more such dives for free after my advanced class, bringing my total number of dives here to 15 (actually, I eat 2 “dives” if I take one dive at night, which I have every intention of doing, so it will probably be 14 dives).

Other than that I just drift around town, eating fruit-breads (banana and pineapple, mostly), drinking coffee (nescafe through mediocre), browsing the gray market mp3 shop, talking ambient electro with the woman behind the counter, drinking great rum and watching the endless parade of bikini clad girls who likewise drift .  I’ve made a lot of friends here, from travelers to residents, and have been able to introduce Chris to 20 or 30 people in his first two days here.

That’s right, Chris Ryan, friend and ex roomate, finally made his belated arrival Sunday evening.  Now he’s taking his open water diving course and we’ll take the advanced together when he completes it.

Land here is within my price range, and I’m starting to inquire.  Other Chris and I are supposed to rent a golf cart today and survey the island a bit.  Electricity is more expensive here than anywhere else on earth (supposedly true).  It’s all provided by a diesel power plant on the island, so it’s no wonder.  Yet I don’t see anyone here with solar or similar.  There are a few mysteries like this that I need to unravel if I’m seriously thinking about becoming involved here.

I now have access to Chris’s cellphone, so hopefully I can tie up a few loose stateside ends that have been haunting me.  However now I have to deal with Hondutel (I think that says it all).  I avoid phones down here whenever I can because they’re impossible to figure out.  You have to add some arbitrary digits to any call being placed to a cell phone or from a payphone or if your phone is old.  It’s nuts.  My friend Maggie just mentioned that to call other locals from here you have to add a certain digit if their number starts with a 3 and a different one if it starts with a 4.  But the still say “starts with” as though that’s the first number you have to dial.  Starts with.  Starts with.  Say it with me.  I had trouble getting a hold of Jaime and her friends in Mexico because of similar and seemingly arbitrary numeric witchcraft that you can’t find any information about.

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