Leaving Las Olas Resort

6 Feb

Been off line for a few days. Will detail more as I add ‘posts’. Picking up where we left off, the 31st was our last day at the resort. I promised some more pictures of the place so here they are:

View at main building and outdoor dining terrace.

View at main building and outdoor dining terrace.

Exterior view of some of the gardens.

Exterior view of some of the gardens.

The Lobby Desk

The Lobby Desk

Some of the bar area.

Some of the bar area.

One entrance to the restaurant, and part of the outdoor dining area.

One entrance to the restaurant, and part of the outdoor dining area.

Some of the indoor dining room.

Some of the indoor dining room.

"Lending Library", books, videos, games!

“Lending Library”, books, videos, games!

The Exercise Room

The Exercise Room

We found another beach front restaurant, ‘Benny’s Place’, about a quarter mile west of the hotel. It was closed on Tuesday when we saw it, but went back on Wed. afternoon for dinner. Met the owner, Benny of course, who was very friendly and welcoming. There were a few locals at a table talking when we arrived. And after placing our order a truck arrived with some new equipment for the place. Otherwise it was pretty deserted too. There’s another Panamanian ‘tipico’ (typical Panamanian food) place next door, and several A frame thatched roof shade covers for beach users. Not sure but they usually ‘rent’ these out to families who bring their own food/drinks and toys for the beach experience.

Benny's Place. A nearby beach front bar and restaurant.

Benny’s Place. A nearby beach front bar and restaurant.

Benny's Place too!

Benny’s Place too!

Benny's Place toward beach.

Benny’s Place toward beach.

Dinner was nice…shrimp in garlic sauce et al. Tried to get a photo of the sunset, but doesn’t really show the true red sun color.

Last sunset at Las Olas! Doesn't do justice to the actual 'red' sun as it actually was.

Last sunset at Las Olas! Doesn’t do justice to the actual ‘red’ sun as it actually was.

Here’s a picture of the beach for our last walk on the beach, a quick swim, load up and leave for a place near Volcan.

Last morning walk.  Calm sea!

Last morning walk. Calm sea!

Found this ‘story’ the other day and thought it appropriate to include here, as others wonder how we’re doing and adjusting to a ‘different world’:

Walking down the street in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, last week, I watched as a guy tripped on a step that jutted out into the sidewalk. As he recovered his balance before falling, the guy’s immediate reaction, which I heard from across the street, was to ask, “Why would someone put a step there?”.

I have asked myself a lot of those kinds of “why” questions over the 28 years I’ve been traveling around the world. In Mumbai, I wondered why the construction guy I saw on the bamboo scaffolding 20 stories up on the side of a building under construction that I passed wasn’t tethered to the structure in some way. I could guess as to why the scaffolding was bamboo lashed together with rope. Bamboo is strong and readily available in India. Maybe they ran out of rope and so didn’t have any for the construction worker. Who knows.

In Cairo, I wondered why it took five people to change one light bulb in our hotel room. No, that’s not the start of a stand-up routine. No kidding. When we called to inform the front desk that the light bulb was out in our room, they sent up five guys to change it. One guy carried the replacement light bulb in a basket. One guy seemed to be his supervisor. Maybe one of the guys was new and being trained. I can’t imagine what the other two were doing there…

In Panama last year, I wondered why five guys were digging a ditch by hand when a back hoe was sitting right there next to them. I could make some guesses, but any guess only raises more questions. Maybe they ran out of gas for the back hoe. (How could they let that happen?) Maybe the thing had broken down and couldn’t be repaired until new parts arrived on the scene. You could conjecture from now until the end of time and never know or understand why five guys would be digging with shovels rather than using their backhoe.

Returning to the step on the sidewalk on Ambergris Caye, I can imagine the guy who built it asking the guy who tripped on it, “Why wouldn’t I put the step there? That’s where I needed a step.” I’m sure it made sense to him at the time…just like it seemed a reasonable course of action to the Indian construction worker to work 20 stories above street level without a harness or to the management of the hotel in Egypt to send five guys to change a light bulb (seriously, that’s not a joke I found online).

You and I question things like that, but, as we move around the world, we learn to keep the questions to ourselves and not to let them distract us too long. We’ll likely never understand why people do the things they do under different circumstances in different places. And (here’s the important point) we don’t need to. If that bothers you, you may not be cut out to take your life offshore.

It’s hard for us Americans. We want to help. We want to make things better. We want to fix things. And, most of all, we want to understand. We want things to make sense to us.

But, when we begin spending our time in new places overseas, things won’t always make sense to us. And that won’t always be because they’re being handled incorrectly. Often it can be because we aren’t seeing the big picture or because we don’t share the same perspective.

Maybe you’ve heard this story before, but it helps to make the point…

An American goes on vacation to a little fishing village in some undeveloped country. Each day as the American takes his morning jog along the beach, he sees a local fisherman go out for his day’s fishing. After his run, the American goes to a restaurant on the beach for breakfast. He hangs around and, eventually, sees the fisherman return to shore with his catch. The fisherman sells most of his fish to the restaurant owner and heads home with a few fish in a bucket for him and his family.

The American watches this scene again and again, day after day, and wonders why, after selling that early catch to the restaurant, the fisherman doesn’t go back out to fish some more. There’s still a lot of day left. Finally, one day, the American decides to stop the fisherman to give him a business lesson.

Tourist: “Mr. Fisherman, I’ve been watching you for the last week, and I’ve noticed that you don’t go back out for more fish after you come in from your first outing.”

Fisherman: “Yes, I come in when I have enough to sell to the restaurant. I don’t want the fish to spoil.”

Tourist: “Yes, great, but if you went back out after selling your first load of fish, you could make a lot more money each day. Eventually, you could save up enough money to buy a bigger boat with a cold storage to keep your fish on ice so that you could stay out longer and catch even more fish.”

Fisherman: “Yes, but…”

Tourist, interrupting: “And once you were able to bring in bigger catches and even bigger fish in your bigger boat, you could eventually save up and buy a second boat and hire another fisherman to work for you.”

Fisherman: “Yes, but…”

Now the tourist is on a role, getting excited about the prospects: “Then, with a second boat, you’d earn even more money. Eventually, you could have a fleet of boats.”

Fisherman: “Yes, but…”

Tourist: “Wait, I’m getting to the good part now. With a fleet of boats, you would be making enough money to hire a business manager. He could run the business for you, leaving you more time to spend with your family, more time to relax. Doesn’t that sound like something you want to aspire to?”

Fisherman: “Yes, but I like fishing, I catch more food than we can eat, which is why I sell the extra fish to the restaurant. Then I go home and spend every afternoon with my wife and kids, relaxing…”

Watch out for that sidewalk on Ambergris Caye.


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