Tag Archives: Life

The Islander: Volume 7

30 Apr
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View of the Atlantic Ocean at Pete’s Pub.  

Day 55.  Aside from the initial slowness I mentioned in my first blog, things are progressing relatively well.  I find myself slowly acclimatizing to life on my own and have come to a few different realizations.  I’ve realized that in my quest to not starve to death and to not eat cereal multiple times a day, I should teach myself to cook.  My cooking skills are evolving at an exponential rate.

cheese sandwich

Oh…while on the topic of food, I’ve also realized that the folks at Fyre Fest, Nochella (whichever you prefer), have varying opinions of “gourmet”.  And you thought we weren’t going to broach that topic.  One of my friends, who shall remain nameless…

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I never said he’d remain faceless….

tried to coax a group of us to go.  For multiple reasons, we declined the request.  But I digress.

I’ve also realized how important quality time is since I’ve moved.  Once you move to another place, you no longer have that luxury of just doing things with friends and family at will, and so you appreciate the time that you do spend together or talk.  One of the persons I speak to with regularity is my dad.

People say that I look exactly like my dad and that we share the same mannerisms etc.  It’s so bad that I walk into places sometimes and people tell me who my father is before I even get a chance to introduce myself.  My dad is responsible for my love of everything aviation.  He would take me to the airport as a young kid and we’d sit right under the approach path for hours watching airplanes land and takeoff.  My mom hated this as she always thought the airplanes would land on top of us but for me, this was exhilarating.  We also would go out on Sundays and fly model airplanes…a practice he still engages in to this day.

My dad is also a character.  He’s funny…but what makes him funny is the fact that he’s dead serious with whatever he’s saying.  For example, about 20 years ago, we were all in the house with the exception being my mother whom was in the backyard gardening when we all heard a loud shriek.  My mother ran inside and stated to my father that there was a snake on the patio outside.  In not so many words and a few expletives that I will spare you from reading on a Sunday, he got the hint that it was his duty to rid the world of this reptile.

This snake was no regular snake however.  The snake must have seen my dad coming with the cutlass and escaped into a crack in the patio.  Now I like to think that I’m fairly smart and reasonable.  Qualities I must get from my mother because my father had the ingenious idea of pouring gas into the crack and lighting a match to place in the crack to kill the snake.

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 I couldn’t make this up if I tried.  In some kind of National Geographic documentary where mother lions protect their cubs from prey, one minute I was there as a kid thinking to myself that this was a terrible idea, the next I was in my mother’s arms watching the house get smaller as we ran away from the house.  We waited for a boom that never came.  Clearly the original fyre festival would have been right on Sapphire Ridge.

There are tons of honorable mentions too.  Last year I called my father to wish him Happy Birthday.  He responded “It’s today?”  Just this morning, he told me he’d call me back because church was going in at 10:00AM.  Never mind the fact that it was 10:11AM.  There were somber moments as well.  I remember when our house flooded and we had water up to my parent’s waist in the house.  That night, I climbed on my dad’s back to get out of the house because the water level was too high for me to stand.  This was obviously after I secured my most prized possession of course:  my Sega Genesis.  Months later, my dad would give me bad advice that would lead to that very Sega blowing up.  I plugged it into an outlet that had a higher voltage than the other outlets which led to my Sega shorting out…I remember the pop and faint burning smell to this day.

This is what I’m up against.  While we have had our share of disagreements over the years, there have been more good times than bad ones.  Christmas was always a fun time in the house.  My dad is a big proponent of science (which is why the whole gasoline and fire thing still perplexes me to this day) and he’d always get toys that made me think.  One time he bought me a robot that I had to assemble.  To this day it still works.  He’s always been a supportive father, always reminding me to push myself further and to make the best of the hand I’ve been dealt.  What else could you really ask for?  Well…aside from a fire extinguisher.

Life’s a Beach.  Enjoy the wave.

 

The Islander: Volume 6

24 Apr

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So… I missed a week.  Don’t get mad.  Look, I even put a pretty scenic picture up to make up for it.  It’s been a rather hectic two weeks for me and while I’ve been meaning to write, I just hadn’t found the time.  But fear not, I have lots to share so let’s start with my most recent weekend and I will work my way backwards in the next post later on this week.

With one of my best friends turning 30 and celebrating by throwing a party that I was invited to told I would die if I didn’t attend, I took the opportunity to head home for the weekend and to catch up with friends and family that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  Cause, you know, more life and what not.

As soon I touched down into Nassau on Friday afternoon, I hadn’t realized how much I had missed home.  Obviously you miss family and friends and the ability to do certain things sometimes, but in some way I guess I had blocked it all out since I had moved. While I’ve been in Marsh Harbour, there are certain people I feel like I know because I see them everywhere.  But this was different…Nassau was so busy!   I almost felt like I was in New York City.  There was traffic…people I hadn’t seen before…it was magical.  There was even more than one street light that I had to stop to.  I hadn’t realized how acclimatized I had gotten to the slowness in Abaco.  Everyone here seemed to be in a rush.

For those of you that don’t know, it’s also election time in the Bahamas which means….

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Sidewalks!!!!!!  You get a sidewalk!  She gets a sidewalk!  Everyone gets a Sidewalk!!!!!

Oh.  Also signs.  Sidewalks, signs, and stripes (road striping).  Not like we wanted to hear about how the parties are going to rid the country of social ills, bring jobs to the economy or anything like that.  We just want some where to run safely clearly.  I digress.  I was happy to be home.  I also caught up with a few strangers during my trip home.

 

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Exhibit A

I hadn’t seen my mom since February due to conflicting travel schedules so I was happy to see her and to spend some time with her.  It was also good to know that she would still make breakfast and do my laundry occasionally.  I was getting concerned that she’d forget or even worse…just not want to do it anymore.  The horror of that thought.  I’m kidding…sort of?  It was nice having a familiar voice around.  She even found time to do that Mom thing where they tell you that you should do something a certain way, you disagree, and then they keep reminding you to do it in random conversation until you give in and just do it.  An Example from yesteryear:

Mom: “Hey I had dinner at this amazing restaurant last night.”

Me: “What’s it called?”

Mom: “Luciano’s.  They had this band playing called Clean your room and wash the car…really cool guys.”

You get the gist.  The rest of the weekend felt like a blur as I caught up with friends and family that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  It was a great feeling just to be able to relax among familiar faces where you aren’t the stranger.  I was also happy that I decided to extend my stay in Nassau an extra day.  With the weather slated to be bad in Nassau and Marsh Harbour, I was in no rush to drown while trying to enplane/deplane.

All too quickly, I was back in the airport heading back to Marsh Harbour.  As much as I enjoy living here, it definitely has made me appreciate home.  As much as I appreciate home however, I’ve taken the stance that home is where my suitcase is and for the time being, that’s here in Abaco.

P.S.  My food processor arrived.  I’ll take a picture in the next post and introduce you guys.  I’m also trying to come up with a name for her so I’d appreciate any opinions.  I have used it and decided to make Jerk Chicken the other day.  I surprised myself.  It was really good…like I would have paid for it.  If this whole aviation thing doesn’t work out…nah…who am I kidding?

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Life’s a beach.  Enjoy the wave.

 

 

The Islander

12 Mar
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On my way!

The last time I was here (and actually left the airport), I was a goofy eleven year old here on a sixth grade class trip to Camp Abaco.  I vaguely remember the trip but funnily enough, while I was packing to move here 18 years later, I found those very photos.  To show you how long ago it was, I remember using one of those disposable Kodak cameras that you had to wind up.  Be that as it may, it’s funny how life has a way of coming full circle.  To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been right?  For those of you that don’t know, I took up a great opportunity to assist with a project here at the airport in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

I’ve been anticipating this move for the last few months for a a variety of different reasons (outside of the obvious ones such as family, friends etc.) but mainly because life in Marsh Harbour occurs at a much slower pace when compared to Nassau.   Now I’m sure some of you from the more developed countries are saying something along the lines of, ‘it’s an island…they’re all slow’.  And to some degree, you’d be right, but let me be the first to assure you, they are two completely different animals.

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Sunrise from my Hotel

Take for instance, the population of the two islands.  Nassau, even though only 21 miles long and 7 miles wide houses just about 70% of the entire population of the Bahamas.  Despite being much larger than Nassau, Abaco’s population is just over 17,000, with about 6,283 of those persons residing in Marsh Harbour.  Well, 6,284.  With such a small population, it helps to explain why the island only has one operable traffic light.  See what I meant about it being much slower?  Who says you don’t learn things from my posts?

Be that as it may, since I’ve been here, everyone has been extremely welcoming.  With any small town, people notice when someone new is in town.  On several occasions, people have come up to me and started a conversation.  Even the police have noticed.  Unbeknownst to me, my rental car didn’t have a front license plate.  Unfortunately, the police noticed this before I did.  Luckily, I didn’t get a ticket and needless to say, I promptly went back and got another rental.  Not exactly my best first impression.  Speaking of first impressions, on my second day here, I also realized that while I had decided to move here, my deodorant decided that it liked the setup in Nassau more.  Apparently Murphy and his laws decided to join me on my trip. Thank God for the hotel gift shop.

Despite those minor setbacks, things have been enjoyable in my first six days.  Marsh Harbour has a true old island feel with a fair amount of city amenities giving the best of both worlds.  The local cuisine has been amazing and because of their locations on the island, the views have been to die for as well.  With an area of just under 650 miles and tons of adjoining cays (Elbow Cay, Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Noname Cay (where you can feed the pigs from piggyville)…just to name a few) there’s lots of exploring for one to do on the weekends and I intend to do just that.

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In Marsh Harbour, your food comes with a view!

So for the next 902 days (give or take…yes I calculated it) while I’ll be residing here, I’ll be working, exploring and blogging.  My intent is to provide you guys with at least weekly content (and I’ll do my best to hold myself accountable) so that you can see how well (or not well) I’m adjusting to island life.  Maybe by the end of it, the Nassuvian may very well become an Abaconian.  Time will tell.

Until then, life’s a beach.  Enjoy the waves.

Daydreams…

19 Aug

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So I’ve been on a bit of a writing hiatus…sue me. I’ve decided to try to get the creative juices flowing again…well at least long enough to write another post.

Remember when you were a little kid, and people would ask you the age old question….”What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I remember being in primary school and having this question posed to me and my other snotty nosed peers.  The answers ranged from the usual to the exotic. Fire Fighter, pilot (yours truly), doctor, bee catcher (pretty sure we made fun of that guy for wanting to be something that stupid).  After much thought, I realized that a lot of the people (myself included) didn’t become what we said we were going to.

Now before you guys start commenting on how stupid I could be to trust anything a bunch of 7 year olds say, my theory isn’t based on that story alone.  Think about your high school and college friends…how many of them are actually doing what they said they would or studied?  Now obviously, there are a plethora of outside factors that influence what actually happens…lack of money, struggling job market, or quite simply don’t want to do it anymore.

So what was my excuse for not becoming a pilot?  Fear.  For awhile, I, Jonathan Hanna was afraid to get on an airplane. Why?  When I was about twelve years old, I was traveling by myself to a tennis tournament on another island, where I was due to play the next day.  I got on board the airplane and everything was normal….right until just after takeoff.  The airplane swayed to the right violently (in my mind anyway) and you could just tell that something didn’t feel right.  The pilot came on and said that we had mechanical issues and would be returning to the airport.  I would later find out that we had an inflight engine shutdown.  Now despite knowing that airplanes are designed to fly on one engine, and all the other safety facts, it was downright scary.  I was on an airplane by myself with no one to turn to. It was the most alone I’ve ever felt in my life. There are a million what ifs that go through your head and for the next few years I was rattled…the thought of flying while still enamoring, was clouded by fear and doubt.  This lasted till I was a good ways through my collegiate career until one day I had had enough.

I decided that the whole thing was silly, I had stopped dreaming because of fear.  It made me wonder how many of us stopped believing in our dreams out of fear or out of doubt?  I decided from that moment, I wouldn’t be afraid anymore, that I’d just go flying and enjoy the experience like I previously had.  To date its been working. I’m currently reliving the dream and trying to figure out ways to try to get my pilots license.

All this to say never give up on your dreams people…sure there will be roadblocks and setbacks, but if you really want to do something you’ll find a way. Remember if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.

The College Years

10 Aug
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Sad about leaving…excited about where I was headed…

 

Ahhh yes, the college years.  I remember it like it was yesterday…mainly in part because I only graduated a year ago.  Where fresh young minds come to achieve higher learning and where inseparable bonds are made not only with people, but with bottles of Advil.  It was 7 years ago this month that I rolled down West University Blvd. (trust me you didn’t want to be on East University…you may or may not have been shot) and arrived at FIT, a small (at the time) tech school in Melbourne, Florida.  At the time of my enrollment, there were about three thousand students at school…campus life was slow to say the least.  I met a great group of friends at FIT and as a result of the boredom, we made our own fun.  So with this blog posting, I’ve decided to compile a small list of short stories of our greatest moments and decided to share it with you. Note: All of these stories are true and factual, there may be some sensationalism, but what’s a good story without it?

The 500 Million-Dollar Idea – Do you guys know that you could be reading the blog of a multi-millionaire right now if it weren’t for my friends?  Read on. While travelling from tennis match to tennis match, my teammates and I would dream up ways to get rich.  8 Hour Bus rides get boring…fast.  There were a few good ideas, okay who am I kidding…they were all terrible.  One day, I dreamt up Twagles (pronounced: tway-gull).  What is a twagle you ask?  It is a bagel in the form of a Twinkie, but with cream cheese inside.  It was my answer to the busy adult, who didn’t have time to sit down and needed breakfast on the run.  What did my friends say you ask?  Oh something to the effect of, “That was the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”  After being berated for five minutes on why a lemonade stand would have made more money than my idea, I figured hell, maybe it was a dumb idea…that is, until I woke up one morning.  Fast forward to my junior year. As I was getting ready for class one morning, I turned on the TV and lo and behold, a commercial comes on, Kraft has come out with this ingenious little treat called a Bagelful.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look for yourself. http://www.ideaconnection.com/open-innovation-success/Open-Innovation-Bagel-fuls-00038.html It was the exact same thing I had thought of 3 YEARS PRIOR.  After doing a bit of research, I found out that sales were through the roof…over $500 Million dollars.    Moral of the story, if you’ve got what you think is a good idea, and your dick-hole friends don’t like it…punch them all in the face.  Your millions can pay for their reconstructive surgery.

The Infamous Chicken Heist of 2006 – One of my best friends from college (we’ll call him Ditz) may or may not have a chicken problem…in the sense that he loves it. One late night after purchasing a barrel of chicken, my friend proceeded to put the remainder in the refrigerator only to awake the next morning to missing chicken!  That morning at practice was a somber one…as I watched my friend explain the tragedy that was his missing chicken, a single tear crept down his cheek.  He was on the brink…teetering on the fine line that is happiness and depression.    Although we have an idea as to who the culprit may be, to date, he hasn’t fessed up about it.  If you or someone you know, has any information leading to the whereabouts of the chicken, or its culprit(s) please contact me immediately.

The Great Grape Debacle – After practice one day, one of my best friends and I would sit for hours on end (at one point people thought we worked there) in the cafeteria and unwind. Well one day, a grape had fallen on the floor, and some random guy slipped on it.  Hilarity ensued.  So we made the following formula…what…we were at a tech school after all:

Grapes  + Floor = Possible Fall

And with that, we began throwing grapes on the floor.  One day, after many unsuccessful attempts, we hit the jackpot.  The poor girl never saw it coming.  It happened in slow motion…her milk was the first to go…as that careened through the air, her Potato pancake flew into the salad bar…she tried to regain her balance but alas, it was too late.  She hit the deck.  Since that day I’ve never touched a grape.

During my tenure at FIT, I had an amazing time and while I’m not proud of all the moments I had (The Great Grape Debacle for instance), they have defined who I am as a person.  Some people tell me I’m too nostalgic and my answer to that is, they’re probably right.   But as I wait on my future, let me hold onto my past…it was some of the best times of my life.

Sidebar, for those who wish to follow the blog, my best friend alerted me to the fact that simply entering your email address isn’t enough.  Apparently, there is a confirmation email that you receive with a link, and only after clicking that link will you get emails when I update the blog.  Who knew?  So thanks goes out to her for providing that tidbit of knowledge…I’ll send you a cookie and a box of pens…(that wasn’t a joke…like…she really likes pens…she steals them…you know all those times in school when you were sure you had just rested your pen down and couldn’t find it?…well I’m not pointing fingers but…)

If you guys like the blog, share it with your friends, family, and let me know what you guys think about it.  Take care guys until next time…signing out.