“Don’t let life get in the way of living. Don’t dream your life. Live your dreams!”
There is only one word to describe the last few days in Omoa…dreamy.
We developed a healthy routine that saw the days pass quickly and our planned three-day coastal stopover blissfully turned into twelve. Most mornings we would start our day with a stroll to the main dock to watch the locals fishing with their homemade rods which were nothing more than plastic water bottles with fishing line wrapped around. We enjoyed the cool breeze and watching the large pelicans dive into the ocean, surely having more success than the dock bound fishermen. After oatmeal, you would fall back to sleep for a morning nap and wake up smiling. We then spent hours riding our bikes to unchartered territory, stopping for quick dips in secluded beaches. We would return for a home-cooked lunch, read and nap then head back out on the bikes. There was almost always no destination in mind so we pedaled leisurely enough to enjoy the breeze and greet the passersby. After dinner, we would hop back on the bikes and head to our favorite smoothie place. Your mom would usually order the pineapple-banana and I would order the strawberry-banana and you would take turns drinking from each of our straws. After all that excitement, fresh air and our nightly family shower, it was not long before you were out like a light dreaming of your next adventure.
While riding our bikes, we passed several remote, unfinished beach homes with empty pools being swallowed by the jungle and discussed the fragility of the human spirit in light of unfulfilled dreams. Who started to build these homes? Why did they stop? How many people are forced to give up on their dreams or have none at all?
One day we crossed over the main road that leads to the border of Guatemala and saw a sign for an Olympic sized swimming pool. Being that it was 30C we thought we would bike the 2km out of town to try to find it. After snaking down dirt roads, we came across a swing bridge so rickety that even remote Himalayan villages would have condemned it years ago. The sign above warned of a 10 person maximum but we would not even share this bridge with half a dozen vegans. Sure enough, this was the route to the pool. We carefully dragged our bikes over the bridge, avoiding the planks that were rotted at the bolts and the completely missing planks, and we breathed a huge sigh when we reached the other side. After all that work, we arrived to a large concrete basin with about six inches of green sludge. One dream down. Seeing as how the water looked more dangerous than the bridge, we decided to stick to swimming in the ocean.
We got a doozy of a storm one night which knocked the power out for the entire day following. Since you rise well before the sun, we had fun singing songs and reading your books with just our headlamps. Determined not to let the weather trap us inside as it rained for the entire day, your mother stripped down to her bathing suit and the two of you splashed through puddles in the large grassy garden near our room. Living the dream.
Asher, if you ever have to write up a personals ad, we know it will definitely include “enjoys long walks on the beach” because every day we would help you walk knee deep up and down the coast. You were so happy that sometimes you would try a brisk jog while flashing your fang, until some unsuspecting waves would catch you off guard. After a quick reassuring glance of approval, you would be back on your feet, determined to catch the setting sun. Another dream realized.
We have enjoyed the brisk wind off of the ocean but it made the bay too wavy to try the complimentary kayaks provided by our hostel. However, the wind died down the day after the rain storm so we took the opportunity to take you on your first ocean kayak ride. Of course, you loved every minute of it and your mom looked extra strong as she glided over the little swells while wearing you in the Stokke. We paddled until we saw a mini bay within the bay and discovered another secluded beach, but this one was calm as glass, crystal clear and only knee deep for a hundred meters off the shore. You absolutely loved playing on this beach since you could walk without having to compete with unpredictable waves and the clear water allowed you to find sticks and shells. Your mother and I were also able to enjoy ourselves and we laid back in the warm water and talked about how much we are loving this adventure, how much we love each other, and how much we love you, our little man. After finding this private gem, we returned every day so you could continue your aquatic discoveries. Another dream realized.
As you lay asleep under the mosquito net, under the fan, in nothing more than your Charlie Banana, we wondered what you were dreaming of then and what you will dream of in the future. Although we realize that some dreams will be swallowed by “life,” we know many of your dreams will be lived.