It has been raining the last few days on Utila but you have been enjoying it all the same. The rain only seems to come at night or the early morning and the skies are clear by 9am. But with the rain comes respite from the intense Caribbean heat. You have not been sweating as much and you are sleeping soundly eleven hours a night. You are definitely a water baby; loving the lake at the camp, the ocean, bath time and now your new favorite, shower time. Today you loved feeling the rain drip on your head and face. You reached with excitement for the full drops bouncing off the broad leaves. It was nice this morning to Skype with your grandparents back home who are missing you dearly.
A few days ago we noticed a sign advertising an open mic day at Rio Coco Cafe, just a few blocks from our hostel, so we rounded up the Israelis and with the jolly jumper in tow, we thought we would give it a try. Rio Coco Cafe is a not-for-profit business that not only sells fair trade beverages but any profits are donated to build schools on the Miskito Coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. The Miskito people are indigenous to Central America, calling the western coast home long before the arrival of the Spanish and British colonialists. There is also a blend of people of African descent who either escaped slavery or were shipwrecked and washed up on the western coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. Access to basic rights like clean water and education is a growing concern in the Miskito region. Rio Coco Cafe, staffed by friendly and talented volunteers Josiah, Camden and Nick, has built a dozen schools and continues to support the Miskito.
We arrived to Josiah strumming mellow riffs and crooning love songs with a sound similar to Dallas Green or Brett Dennen. Nick joined in on guitar and layered in some tight harmonies. There were not too many musicians who showed up so your mom and I took the stage next. The patrons enjoyed watching you groove in your jolly jumper while your parents tried out some classics. Andrey, one of the Israelis from our hostel has a gifted eye and snapped photos to capture the moment. You were mesmerized by all of the music and loved when your familiar tunes were played. Next, Ofir finger picked a ballad while Andrey reached some soulful falsetto. Another Israeli couple from our hostel, flipped the guitar upside down and performed while Ofir translated the Hebrew into English. Performers received free drinks so we could not resist trying the chocolate peanut butter smoothie. They even poured a little cup for you and you smiled with each sip.
As we walked back to our hostel, we talked about how important it is to be more aware of what business we are supporting on the road and back home. It is unanimous on the island that Rio Coco Cafe serves up the best coffee, lattes, tea and smoothies and they are doing it without profit as the motive. It is often argued that profit is the motive for innovation and “progress” but I bet if the innovators of the world were surveyed, passion and creative problem solving would be the driving force for their success. In 2015, the year of your birth, the average of the top 100 CEOs in Canada earned 190 times more than the average Canadian. That means it would take an average Canadian 190 days to earn what a CEO earns in one day. Surely there is a more just way to distribute profits.
Asher, it seems like your development curve is rising more quickly. Today you pushed yourself up into the sitting position on your own, you now say “mamama, bababa and yayaya”, you began to make a kissing sound with your lips, and when there is an aid in front, you can pull yourself up to stand. As we sat on the dock enjoying the cool breeze with the sailboat mast lights looking like low hanging stars, we talked about what an adventurer you are and how great you have been so far on our trip.