Guatemala Part 2
01 May 2018 | Guatemala
Rio Dulce, Guatemala
15 39.420,N:88 59.740'W
The lazy hot days of August was starting to take a toll on my mind and body, I couldn't wait to change marina's, I was going stir crazy. September rolled around and we moved Jacob's Ladder to Nana Juana, just across the river about ½ km. So first day new marina to explore new friends to make.
We checked out the place and was pleasantly surprised that they had a nice palapa where we could hang our hammocks and also a lap pool along with a yoga room, I knew the next three months were going to be better for me. There were not a lot of live aboards here, a couple that had been on the dock for 4 yrs, and another one for over a year. Most people had left there boats and headed home for the season, but mid September they started to come back.
Over the summer we had meet two lovely locals from the community who ran Hacha marina, Anna and her sidekick Oscar. They were trying to get cruisers to come by and have a drink, so we started advertising it on the net, having karaoke night and some other little events. The little marina started to come to life and Anna was very happy, Oscar loved to help everyone with there needs if we needed anything he was our goto guy. At the same time we were still volunteering with Pass It On, at one point I was afraid we weren't getting our boat work done.
By mid September we had decided it was time to get the boat ready, we hired our friend Roberto and got JL back in shape, the time was flying by now as I was busy again, lots of laps in the pool, yoga I was feeling like my old self again. We also started doing regular shopping trips with the help of Oscar, people were starting to need hardware stores and provisions for the next season.
By the first of October we had stopped volunteering, our time of departure was coming up really fast only 6 more weeks and so much to do. Maggie and Steve on Blessed had left the San Blas and were headed up our way to connect with us for the trip north to Mexico. In the meantime I was really enjoying Nana Juana, along with Zoe as she was tethered for 2 weeks but we were convinced by others to let her roam and we did, she hardly left the palapa, she loved all the attention of the local cruisers.
On Oct 10th, we headed to Puerto Morolos for our regular shopping bus trip, there were about 12 of us along with our guy Oscar, he didn't seem to be his usual happy self that day, we asked if he was okay, he assured us he was, we knew he was suffering from a terminal disease. I was feeling concerned and so was the captain. On the way back from the trip he asked Andy if he could sit by the window, he was feeling nauseous, he slept most of the way back. When we arrived we had to help him out of the van, I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said yes please help me to the bathroom. I did, then I heard him puking, so I got Andy to check on him he had collapsed and was coughing up blood. I got Anna to call the ambulance, he didn't want to go but we insisted, we said goodbye to him and we assured him that he would be back tomorrow. We got the call that evening, he had passed at 7:30, our little wonderful friend was gone from us forever.
It was a very sad sad time for us all especially the captain and Anna, they had become great friends, we all relied on him for so many things. That night Andy and some of the cruisers gave the family the money to get his body released from the corners office. The next day his family who lived right next door under the bridge notified us that they were having a wake. We were a little surprised as he never mentioned his extended family, he only ever talked about his mom and sister in the states. About 15 of us got together and headed to the wake, at which, to my shock, his father was introduced to us, he looked identical to his son. His friend Jerry a US Marine, told us a bunch of stories of all the good things that Oscar had done for the community, he said if he had not had so many demons from his earlier life he would have been considered a saint, wow who knew. The next day at the funeral, Andy had met his mom and aunt who had flown in from California, she had one request for us. She wanted his crypt to be painted black along with a black cross, she said it was his favorite color, of course the captain said yes not realizing how we would finance this. The funeral was very sad, we all said goodbye to that wonderful little guy, and told him we would see him on the other side, the captain ended up being the only gringo to carry his coffin.
The next day on the net Andy put out a call for donations to help pay for his headstone and paint, we were overwhelmed with the response everyone gave what they could afford, we ended up with over $2300.00 Q, one of his friends donated a piece of granite. So with the money and the granite we got the ball rolling, we had it encased with stainless steel along with the cross on it, the captain and I provided the paint, so on Oct 31, Andy and two of our friends went to the cemetery and got it all done, November 1st is the day of the living in this country, so all the families visit there loved ones. Oscar did know he was dying, he was diagnosed over 2 years ago, although he never complained or talked about, he however had said what he wanted written on his headstone.
We did receive a note from his sister and mom through Anna, they thanked us for everything and said that Oscar was very lucky to have so many friends that loved him.
Halloween was here and there were lots of parties, we started at the Shack, then Mar and on to Backpackers, it was a lot of fun, the captain even took second place for his costume of Caesar. We met the cockpit guys from Canada who were a real hoot. Hope to see those guys again.
It was November 1st only one week to go, and we were headed out, so exciting. We headed down to Morgans Manor to wait for Maggie and Steve to arrive. They got here ahead of schedule and we were very happy to see our old buddy boat. We then headed back to Shell Bay and decided to anchor, oh to be on the hook again was a real joy. Larry on Star Stream wanted to take us out to dinner, so we headed out to the new Dream Catchers restaurant, it was lovely. Then to give us a big send off Larry and Anna threw a going away party at Hacha Marina. The place was packed, lots of hugs and goodbyes we had not realized how many friends we had made here in the last six months. The next morning we had hauled anchor and did a pass by for Anna who was on the dock in tears, we knew we would never forget this place and we are really happy that we made it to this beautiful country.