The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

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June 2005 Issue 27


This issue is being distributed a little earlier in the month than usual, because The Akumalian is heading to the states on Friday, June 10, and the distribution works better from Akumal.  Plus, it also works as a reminder notice that there is an Akumal Council General Meeting on June 10th.  Then, there are a number of significant dates to plan for.

The RUMORS section is not being continued this month, because enough people thought that, most, if not all, of them were all true.  However, the story on page 9 is a step above "rumor", but it does have a solid source with a lot of truth in it.


            Check out the Akumal Council's web site at for the 2004 Annual Report, and the 2005 Business Plan.  And be advised that the next General Meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 10 at Lol Ha restaurant at 11:00am.  If you are in town, you really should make an effort to attend.


Elation            Butch took a western Caribbean cruise from Galveston, Texas with his brother, sister, and her friend.  They sailed from Galveston on Carnival Cruise Lines' Elation on Sunday, May 22, with stops in Progresso, Cozumel, and Belize, before returning to Galveston on the 29th.

            They arrived in Cozumel at 9:00am on Wednesday, and through earlier arrangements, they came to the Lol Ha Beach Bar for lunch, where Butch's Akumal friends gathered to see him and to wish him a belated birthday (April 10th).  Needless to say, a good time was had by all, especially Butch, who seemed a bit overwhelmed and emotional by the proceedings.

            The Elation was sailing from Cozumel at 6:00pm, so Butch and his family had to leave Akumal at 2:00pm to catch the last ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel.  Bon Voyage.


            Butch brought along a letter from Francys for all of her friends in Akumal.  Here it is. 

Hi, Y'All!

            I’d love to see everyone of you and hug your neck!  I really do miss you.

            Everything was such great fun in Akumal, and all you lovely people are so great.  Surely some of you could stop by to see us sometime.  We are practically on the way to anywhere you go.

            We are making one more stop - Chris' dream of a studio in the woods.  It really is a nice place, but we had to chisel it out of virgin territory to get it, and now we are about there.

            Think about us as Chris and Butch are going to be making stained glass windows again and selling antiques.  When we get a telephone (see below) and an e-mail provider, we’ll let you know.

            Mucho, mucho love to all,

                                    Francys McCasland

 P.S.  Our telephone numbers are:

Chris     - 979-798-4602         Butch    - 979-798-4603         Francys - 979-798-4604



            Noted author Mary Elizabeth Becker, a.k.a. Elaine McCarthy, a.k.a. "Katie’s Mom", has published her second novel and was in town for booking signing at the Akumal Kindergarten on Wednesday, May 25th.

Inspired by Akumal and its people, Mary Elizabeth chose Akumal as the main setting for her novel 'Grandma's Teacup.'  It is the story of two cousins who, as young girls, heard the tale about their grandmother's teacup.  When they are older, it is that story that helps both to face their fears and uncertainties in their search for love and happiness.

The book signing was a charitable event and all proceeds went to the public school Jardin de Ninos "Malintzin", located in Akumal del Oeste (West Akumal).  The Kindergarten, an important part of the community, is in desperate need of school supplies, maintenance, and a covered area for the children to play. 


  • Mosquitoes have teeth.
  • A whale's penis is called a dork.
  • A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
  • The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
  • A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
  • "I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  • 'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.


            If you are left out, please use Letter to the Editor. 

Sherwood & Bob were back for a short visit
Bud & Alice returned from their brief escape to Philadelphia
Gene & Mary Ellen Langan returned for a quiet visit
Hugh has returned for another month long vacation
Paul Rasmusen is back for a very short visit
John & Barbara Kennedy are back in Aventuras Akumal for a short stint
Richard & Arlene are going to be in town for most of July
Paula & Neil Humphrey, along with the girls, are also back for their annual vacation
Lucas Kai Schober Thai arrived on Saturday, May 14, 2005 at 9:45pm (9 days ahead of schedule!), and he weighed 2.9 kg and measured 50cm.  Needless to say, the parents, Hui & Stefan Schober of Restaurante Hechizo in Tulum (on the beach), are very proud and excited.


§         Charlene has been off to the States for awhile

§         Lucy James went off to London and Nice for a short break

§         Bob Mulgrew has been up in Iowa visiting his mother

§         John McCulumn headed north towards Canada again

§         Alice Blanter left for San Francisco, to be with her daughter for awhile

§         Didier went to get his Porsche (shipped to Miami) and then spend time with his son

§         Salvador has returned to Minneapolis with Patricia

§         Nan Armstrong has been in the states for a few weeks

§         Steve & Ingrid headed north to MA to see Ryan for the last three weeks of June

§         Denny & Diane are doing their annual migratory flight to Florida, Georgia, Ohio and other points north and south


            Father's Day, contrary to popular misconception, was not established as a holiday in order to help greeting card manufacturers sell more cards.  In fact when a "father's day" was first proposed there were no Father's Day cards!

Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909.  Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child.  Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington State.  It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.

The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington.  At about the same time in various towns and cities across American other people were beginning to celebrate a "father's day."  In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day.  Finally in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day.

Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all honored on Father's Day.


            Summer begins on June 21, 2:46 A.M. EDT (01:46 A.M. AT), and this is the Summer Solstice.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day and shortest night of the year occur on this date.

Solstice comes from the Latin (sol, sun; sistit, stands).  For several days before and after each solstice, the sun appears to stand still in the sky; that is, its noontime elevation does not seem to change.  At the solstice the sun's apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial equator, about 23 1/2 degree of arc.  At the time of summer solstice, on June 21, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer.

This is also the date for the full moon!!


The Full Strawberry Moon occurs on Tuesday, June 21 at 11:14pm.  The relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June, so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry.  This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe.  However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon.  


Kathy Sonheim and Jim Farrell are getting married on June 21 at 6:30pm on Kapalua Beach, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, and the dinner reception follows at The Cafe Sauvage on 844 Front Street in Lahaina.  Appropriately enough, Kapalua means "Arms Embracing the Sea".  Congratulations from Akumal!!


            June 24th is a major date that Ryan Fredette will be celebrating, because that is the last day of school at his Whitin Middle School in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.  Summer vacation starts late this year, due to all the Snow Days they had in Uxbridge this winter.


            In late May, The Akumalian was in the Akumal Think Tank, The Lol Ha Beach Bar, with the usual eclectic group, when a reference to the Akumal pueblo was required, and at that moment The Akumalian coined, West Akumal, or Akumal del Oeste, for the pueblo.  This fits much better with the current areas of North Akumal, South Akumal and Central Akumal, and it is now the new designation for the suburban area west of the highway.


Francys, Chris and Butch - - - Chris files this report.

A truly unique destination We fell back into our pre-Mexico Galveston routine; i.e. East End block parties, (our old house is on the annual tour of homes again this year) and Friday night drinks at the Tremont House.  Although the Tremont House is an elegant hotel, we'd rather be at Lol Ha, sand, dogs, flies, and all; we miss our life there and our friends in Akumal. 

After a year of 'recovery' from our move back, we finally made the decision to move again, out in the country, to a gorgeous 10 acre piece of land south of Brazoria in Brazoria county, between the San Bernard and the Brazos rivers.  We are in the 'greenest' spot on a topographical map of Texas.

Brazoria is rich in early Texas history.  We are a stone's throw from the original capital of Texas.  As early as 1830, there were wealthy cotton plantations, and in 1850 it was the richest county in Texas.  The last slaves brought to North America in 1840, landed at the mouth of the San Bernard River.  There are hundreds of big old oaks, dripping in Spanish moss.  2/3 of the county is in the 100 year flood plain, so a big part of having to put in everything - electric service, drilling a well, etc. - required grade raising roads. 

As a consequence of moving all that black clay soil around, we got a huge pond.  There are many migratory birds that come here, and in fact Brazoria County has more bird watching societies than anywhere else.  I will put ducks on the pond.  I will build them a floating pavilion for their protection.  There are also plans for a Japanese tea house over looking the pond.  The entire point here, for me, is landscaping.  I am doing a garden dedicated to pigs in a large circle with a monument to pigs in the center.  I am also going to build a studio, and a mausoleum for my beloved cat Taco, who was found in front of the papeleria in Cancun, but who died after we moved back.  I have named the place Pan Garden, and the studio will be Pan Garden Studio.

We are all fine.  There are two more members of the family now, Brenda, and Chigger, both saved from the pound.  They are the new mascots for Pan Garden.  The phone is not in yet.  Butch has been living out there for over a month but only with electricity and water for a week or so.  Our new address is 6306 CR 244, Brazoria, Texas 77422.

We miss Akumal, and we miss our Akumal friends, but now we start a new adventure, and I hope this is the last time I EVER have to pack and move a ton of stuff again.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 Jeff Stine - - -Jeff files this report.

So. . .  There was this guy who was here in January and February, who said he plays Guitar.  Did anybody ever actually hear him play a guitar?  He hung around CEA and Turtle Bay Cafe most days,  knew about 3 words of Spanish.  You know, the guy who had breakfast at the same table every morning and seemed to be writing a novel.  And he hung out with Didier a lot. Lived at Robin and Mary's place for a bit. Then below Bud and Alice. So, where did he go? Seemed like he was here one day and just vanished the next. Wasn't his name Jerry. Or Jeff, or something like that??

And, the answer is . . Jeff (alias Jerry, the guy writing this) decided to head north once again, and traveling light.  He moved pretty quick, once he decided to go.

I'm back in California, living a few steps from the beach, beginning to give guitar lessons again, spending time with my son Mike (23), reconnecting with friends here, and settling into a relationship with a woman I met shortly after returning to California.

            As for my exit.  Akumal was an experiment for me, learning what it is to spend some real time out of the states.  Work with an environmental organization, learn more about Mexico up close and personal, Give up cars in favor of feet, be close to a truly beautiful bay and beach every day,  And to see how all that might affect and change me.

It took about 3 weeks for the vacation fantasy point of view to fade away and begin settling into the place, learning about the reality of being there beyond the beach bar and the sand.  At about the same time, my son was moving back to the San Francisco area.  As time went on, and a few hot sticky days came along, and my sense of saving the world through CEA settled down to realistic proportions, my thoughts kept returning to friends and family in the San Francisco area, and one day I got on the phone, changed my return flight, and headed to the airport to begin another phase of appreciating the area I grew up in.

            I'll be back to Akumal at some point, maybe this winter for a while.

Good luck to all of you, and drop me a note if you're passing through the San Francisco area and want to get together.




            Taxation without representation!  That was the battle cry of the 13 colonies in America who were forced to pay taxes to England's King George III with no representation in Parliament.  As dissatisfaction grew, British troops were sent in to quell any signs of rebellion, and repeated attempts by the colonists to resolve the crisis without war proved fruitless.

The original resolution was introduced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia on June 7, 1776, and called for the Continental Congress to declare the United States free from British rule.

            On June 11, 1776, the colonies' Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, formed a committee with the express purpose of drafting a document that would formally sever their ties with Great Britain.  The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston.  The document was crafted by Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer (nevertheless, a total of 86 changes were made to his draft!)  The final version, the document that we know as the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, although the resolution that led to the writing of the Declaration was actually approved two days earlier.

            The following day, copies of the Declaration of Independence were distributed, and on July 6, The Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the extraordinary document.

On July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia's Independence Square to the ringing of bells and band music. 

All of this had occurred with some of the delegates to the Congress not even present; New York, for example, did not even vote on the resolution until July 9th. 

One year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence Day by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks.

In 1941, Congress declared July 4 a legal Federal holiday.


Did you know that that not a single signature was appended to the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.  While most of the fifty-six names were in place by early August, one signer, Thomas McKean, did not actually sign the Declaration until 1781.

FIELD REPORT - Group Health Insurance for Akumalians

By Diane & Denny Mahan

We have a Group Insurance Policy with the International Health Insurance Company in Denmark.  This was recommended to us by the Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, Texas, as a company that PAYS their claims, with your choice of doctors, hospital, country, etc.  We have had past bad experiences and wanted a reputable company to insure us. 

They have all types of policies and coverage's, and Miguel Ferber from Dallas will be in Akumal visiting soon, so we've twisted his arm and asked him to speak to us on Thursday, June 16th, 2:00 PM at Villa Miramar in North Akumal.  He will answer any questions from people interested in Health Insurance coverage and/or to do a detailed comparison analysis of coverage, between IHI and the current health coverage you might have.

It's important to remember that people insured with IHI, are covered anywhere in the world:  where they are living or where they might be going to live.  With IHI the coverage goes with the person anywhere in the world, no matter the health condition of the policy holder.

Many of you may know Don Brewer who developed cancer and moved back to Oregon.  He is insured with IHI and all of his claims have been paid immediately.  That's a great recommendation.

If you're interested, we'll see you on June 16th!   If you can't make it, but would like some answers, please contact Miguel at tel/fax 713-721-2608, or email

            Here is some additional information on International Health Insurance Danmark a/s.  The web site is .

 Health Insurance for Individuals.  IHI has provided international medical insurance to clients of all nationalities for more than 30 years.  More than 230,000 private and corporate customers in more than 190 countries rely on IHI.  Client benefits 

  • Worldwide cover with complete freedom of choice concerning specialists, hospitals, etc.
  • 24-hour Emergency Service
  • Full cover regardless of your job, leisure interests or sports activities
  • Access to IHI's highly qualified medical consultants for advice or second opinions
  • Preventative health services
  • Access to a broad range of online services, e.g. the possibility of managing your policy online
  • Guaranteed renewal of the policy for life - regardless of your age and state of health



            On Sunday, June 5th, the EGAD (Enlightened Golfers of Akumal District) saw another Solar Halo over the Puerto Aventuras Golf Course, and it was visible for a good length of time. 

"What is a Solar Halo?" I hear you ask.

A halo is a ring of light surrounding the Sun or moon.  Halos form when light from the Sun or moon is refracted by columnar ice crystals associated with thin, high-level clouds (like cirrus or cirrostratus clouds).  The 22-degree (radius) halo, caused by refraction of sunlight through the edges of six-sided ice crystals in high clouds, surrounds the Sun.  Most halos appear as bright white rings but in some instances, the dispersion of light as it passes through ice crystals can cause a halo to have some color, and then it is always colored red on the inside, blue on the outside, as blue light refracts more than red.  

A 22 degree halo develops when light enters one side of a columnar ice crystal and exits through another side.  The light is refracted when it enters the ice crystal and once again when it leaves the ice crystal.  The two refractions bend the light by 22 degrees from its original direction, producing a ring of light observed at 22 degrees from the sun or moon.

FIELD REPORT - The OASIS Taco Stand in Playa del Carmen

By Denny & Diane Mahan

We just want The Akumalian readers to know about an incredible taco place in Playa del Carmen that we discovered. 

Many people know about, and eat at, "Forestal", which is on the west side of the highway, in Playa del Carmen, south about 400 meters from Telabodega, on the same side of the street.  They have very good fish and shrimp tacos.

About a month ago, we decided to try "The Oasis", which is another little taco restaurant, and it is right next to Telebodega.  It is wonderful.  The Oasis is much cleaner, the service is much better, and the food is as good, if not better, as at Forestal.  They make the tacos out of these incredible tortillas that have so much corn in them that they are yellow and very delicious.  The Oasis also has several other items that the Forestal doesn't have, like fish stuffed with seafood and other seafood dishes.  It is very clean, and they have great food and service.  The waiters are very friendly, and you never have to wait.  Give it a try!


            The current Gran Bahia Principe Tulum is formed by two 5-star hotels (Tulum and Akumal) with a total of 1,440 rooms.

Somebody - reportedly Bahia Principe - is installing fencing around the green space behind South Akumal and Akumal Point (the new development between South Akumal and OASIS Akumal), from Hotel OASIS Akumal to Jade Bay.  The roads into South Akumal and Akumal Point have the fence coming down the sides to the CFE power lines, and the roads are not blocked off. 

The rest of the story is second-hand information and not confirmed as fact.


* The fence will only have three strands of wire and not be chain-link, and the wires will NOT be high electricity shock wires.

*  Bahia Principe is going to put a nature trail loop for walkers and bird watchers, and there will be a small entrance palapa on the road into Akumal Point.  The part of the fence that will be parallel to the South Akumal road will be just on the west side of the CFE power lines.

*  Bahia Principe is currently adding 1,000 rooms to the south of the existing property, towards Playa Chemuyil, and this section will probably be referenced as Gran Bahia Principe Chemuyil.

* Bahia Principe is developing the land directly across the highway from this addition, and they will have an 18-hole golf course, house lots around the golf course, and a 500+ room hotel.  Behind the golf course will be an equestrian center with possibly another hotel.

* Bahia Principe is going to cover over the old dump area with plastic, gravel and soil for plantings.

* Bahia Principe is about to close on John McCalumn's property between South Akumal and Jade Bay, and they will build a 75 - 100 room $300+/night boutique hotel and spa, a la' Maroma, there.  There seems to be some question on whether this will be four buildings, each with 25 rooms, or one building with 100 rooms, or even some other variation.  The hotel will be back from the water, in the mangrove/jungle, with a pool and restaurant closer to the water.  They are reportedly interested in buying additional properties on both sides (Jade Bay and South Akumal) of this piece of land.

BTW - last month's issue had a rumor about the additional 2 lanes of the to-be-expanded Highway MEX 307 being where the eastern service road is, and that has been substantiated (not really confirmed) in this Bahia Principe report.


            Saturday, June 11th is the Belmont Stakes, third jewel in the Triple Crown, but this year there is no attempt at the Triple Crown.  What we do have though is Preakness winner, Afleet Alex, the 6-5 favorite, going against the Kentucky Derby winner, Giacomo, who is the second choice at 4-1.  Afleet Alex is attempting to become the 18th horse to complete the Preakness-Belmont double.

            The 1 1/2-mile Belmont will be run without a Triple Crown on the line for the first time in four years and for just the third time in nine.  Post time Saturday is 6:38 p.m. ET.

            Is there going to a Belmont Stakes party at the Lol Ha Beach Bar?  Come one.  Come all.


June 10  Akumal Council General Meeting at Lol Ha

June 11  Belmont Stakes at Lol Ha Beach Bar

June 16  Humma's Birthday

June 16  Miguel Ferber from Dallas visits Miramar to discuss Group Health Insurance

June 18  Ryan, Humma and Bobbo go to see The Blue Man Group in Boston

June 19  Father's Day

June 21  Summer Begins

June 21  Full Moon

June 21  Kathy & Jim get married on Maui

June 24  Last day of school at Uxbridge's Whitin Middle School

July 4  U.S.'s Independence Day

July 7  ABC (Akumal Bowling Confederation) Summer League starts



Tropical Storm Arlene developed Thursday in the northwest Caribbean Sea, edging closer to western Cuba as the Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm.  Arlene had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph after strengthening from a tropical depression that formed Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.  Tropical storms have top sustained winds of 39 mph to 74 mph.

            Arlene was expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico by Friday, and hurricane specialists said interests in the northwestern Caribbean and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, including Louisiana and Florida, should closely monitor the system. 

At 8 a.m. ET Thursday, the storm's center was about 190 miles south-southeast of the western tip of Cuba. It was moving north at about 8 mph, and this motion could bring the storm's center near western Cuba as early as Thursday night, forecasters said.

 Last year, the first named storm of the season was Tropical Storm Alex, which formed Aug. 1.


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