When we arrived at Wahoo, we weren't too sure about staying here. The room was less than ideal and we were the only ones here. I hadn't seen one other woman and it made me nervous. We agreed to stay only because they'd gone to a lot of trouble to bring us here, plus Vera offered to come pick us up if needed. Nathan and I grumbled about our situation for awhile, then decided to spend the night (had no choice, Vera never would've driven out here at night) and see how things went the next day. We barracaded the front door and the sliding glass door to feel more secure. While we were grumbling, the front desk guy knocked on the door and brought us our change from paying for the room...ok, maybe they weren't so bad after all. So, we went to the bar area and enjoyed the fresh air. We ordered a fruit punch which was made from real, fresh fruit and was absolutely delicious. I learned later from Vera they usually put rum in it, so I clarified that it was sans alcohol. The haitian guys hanging out (workers) just sit and watch the tv--usually soccer, sometimes a movie. All was okay.
Nathan had told a snorkel 'tour operator' we'd meet him at 9:30am to snorkel on a coral reef. I was a little leery of getting in a boat with our 2 girls, but decided to try it. It was wonderful. It was the 'captain' and his 'first mate' who rowed us down the beach ways to a coral reef. This boat is so primitive and hand made of whatever wood they could find, but it's sturdy! The oars are the same, worked great, but handmade of whatever was available. Nate and Taylor got in first. I stayed on the boat with a sleeping Charlene. I could hear Taylor's excitement over what she was seeing. The reef does have some color and some fish, but it's not like other reefs we've seen. Still, to an 8-year old who has only snorkeled in the lake, it was exciting. She saw lots of sea urchins, some cute and unusual fish and lots of different corals. Nate came and switched with me, so I could snorkel as well. Taylor then wanted to take off her life jacket and dive down like I do, so we let her. I stayed right by her, showed her how to do it and she did! She didn't dive down real far, but far enough to have to blow out her snorkel. She felt so free w/o her life jacket. The water was so clear and shallow that I wasn't concerned (plus, i was holding her hand most of the time). The captain would then take a stick and smash up some urchins which would bring the fish in to feed. It was neat. There were also some hatians spear fishing and we got to see their string of fish. The fish are small, but it will make a good meal.
They rowed us back to our beach (5 mintues) and we continued haggling (sp?) with the vendors that came out just for us. I had picked out some stuff, but we had to go snorkeling, so they waited for us. Silly us, we didn't bring small change, so one guy said he's bring us our change tomorrow...we'll see. The other guy said we could trust him to go up the street and get change, so we gave him $100 and he came back 2 hours later with our American change. He even left all his goods and his ID with us to prove that he was trustworthy. These are neat people.
One haitian came by with a live crab. I wasn't sure what he wanted, so one older vendor translated that for $12, he would cook it over a fire around the corner and b ring it back for us to eat. We would've if we had any small change. Later on, I was laying out on this floating dock and a boat with 2 guys came over wanting to cook fresh conch with coconut. Again, I couldn't b/c I didn't have any money. Later, he came by and Nathan told him to come back tomorrow and we'll eat his conch, coconut and bananas at 12pm. Hopefully that happens. What an experience.
We played at the beach a little longer before going to eat lunch. We arel still the only people here. Usually missionaries come over for the day, but not today, we have the whole beach/resort to ourselves. I feel more comfortable as I've interacted with some people and I'm starting to recognize faces. Our lunch took probably 2 hours. I think they went out and caught the lobster and fish right then to cook it :) It was delicious, but Taylor's vegetable soup was spicy this time, so I ate that. That is made fresh as well.
By this time it's about 3pm and the clouds are rolling in. N8 and T went back to the beach and Ch. and I went to the room. She fell asleep, so I picked her up and took her down to the beach as well and she napped there. N8 and T played in the sand and made a sand wall and made up stories. Taylor is such a little fish and thoroughly enjoys the beach, the sand and the water. Charlene didn't get in the water this time, but she just let us hold her and she just relaxed listening to the waves crashing softlyon the beach. We came back to the room about 5pm--it gets dusk at 5:30 and dark at 6pm. Our electricity was on, so we all were able to take showers. I took Charlene's hair out of her ponytail and she has a LOT of hair, but just on top of her head! I gave her a shower in cold water and she didn't care at all, I'm sure she's used to that. i washed her hair and she just hugged me and acted like she liked it. I then handed her to N8 and she just cried and cried. Sometimes, she only wants mama to hold her. How sweet.
It had started raining, but we ventured to the bar/restaurant so Taylor could eat. She ordered spaghetti, but all Charlene wanted to do was crawl/walk, so I took her back to the room. I mopped the floor with the towels, but by the time I was done, she was falling asleep, so I got her ready for bed. She fell asleep at 7pm! We had a huge thunderstorm. I have never heard lightning/thunder that loud before--it was scary. The last big crash, T and N8 came running to t the room. He thought it had hit the hut where the bar is. It finally calmed down. I wrote in my journal, T and N8 watched an animal documentary and fell asleep. We were all in bed by 8:45pm.