Quality Family Time
We had the best start to the day yet because we were able to make a proper bowl of oatmeal. We eat oatmeal everyday, even back home, but on the road, sometimes you have to settle for mediocre oatmeal. When we don’t have access to a communal kitchen, we simply boil some water and add it to the oatmeal waiting in a Tupperware container. Pop on the lid, wait a few minutes and voilà. Today I was able to slow simmer that wholesome goodness with raisins, banana, cinnamon and hemp hearts. After breakfast, we all went for a swim off the dock then chatted with Tony and Rosa, the owners of Rubi’s Inn.
Tony and Rosa Rubi have lived on the island their whole lives and raised their two daughters on the island as well. Both of their daughters have moved to the USA and Rosa now has a new grandson who is just six months old. Through a thick island creole accent, Rosa explained how she no longer loves Utila like she used to because she wants to be close to her new grandson and wishes she could have more family time. As Rosa held Asher, she talked about her two home births, raising her kids while Tony worked hard as a fisherman, and saving every penny to buy the hostel. Most of the tourists who visit the island are Americans and through thirty years of conversations with their guests, Tony and Rosa agree that our focus in North America has shifted away from quality family time. She was somber when telling us that her daughter had to go back to work just one month after the birth of her son. Rosa appreciated all of the luxuries in the USA when visiting her daughter for the birth, but does not feel the trade off is worth it. “I much radder hab me simple island life to spend da quality time wit me chilldin, den to work me whole life to buy me a fancy home wit centraul ayr.”
We spent the day exploring some of Utila, finding a bakery that made a mean baleada (a burrito folded in half rather than rolled), and visiting Chepes Beach. Asher loves walking around town in his Stokke Carrier while watching the tuc-tucs speed by, the stray cats and dogs and all of the people stopping to give over sized smiles. Since everyone visits Utila to scuba dive, we were the only three on the beach. The slope into the ocean was gradual so Asher could walk around using his floaty and there was a nice tree providing some shade from the high noon sun. The three of us laid and played for over an hour in the water and we enjoyed watching Asher splash while licking his salty lips and screeching with glee.
Asher was wiped by the time we returned to the room so the two of us laid down for an afternoon nap together. The temperature cooled off nicely for dinner and we went for another stroll around town to pick up some baleadas to go with our vegetable soup from the night before. While we watched the sun set, Asher dangled from a tree in his Jolly Jumper, letting mom and dad have a peaceful romantic meal together. When the mosquitoes came out, Asher wasn’t quite ready to go to bed so we had a family jam session in our room. Alyssa was on the uke, I was stomping and clapping and Asher was on his shaker. When Asher closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep, we were happy to have had a full day of quality family time.