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January 2009  Issue 73

Return to Home Page    2008 Index

Happy New Year



2008 is now history, and as we embark on a voyage into 2009, we face new challenges and opportunities as we pursue our personal objectives.  The Akumalian, has been “on-line” for about two years now, and it continues to strive to be better than ever, and it seems to be a good vehicle for communicating various events and meetings to the Akumal community at large.

December was a busy month with numerous “Events” – see EVENTS on the last page – and now it seems like January could also be a busy month as many northern owners flee the wintry north for a week or so of ‘fun in the sun’.  The month, and the year 2009, kicks right off with Robin’s Best Shirt Award tomorrow night at the Lol Ha Beach Bar; see y’all there.


At the start of 2008 The Staff had an ambitious goal of getting the readership up to 1,000, and while it might have been ambitious, The Staff thought and hoped it was achievable.  Unfortunately, the distribution never came close to that goal, so the sights are being lowered for 2009.  In an effort to make The Akumalian interesting and dynamic, The Staff has created a brief Survey which can be found at Reader Survey, and The Staff definitely hopes that you can find a few minutes over the next few days to complete and return.


Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.

It’s time for another “Best Shirt Award”, which is held on the first Friday of each month during Happy Hour at the Lol Ha Beach Bar. 

This award is based on Robin’s penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and his sister, Mary, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for January. 

 The December competition was won by Wendell Day, who became the first 3-time winner, having also won in October 2007 and April 2008.  The photos for the December competition are located at Best Shirt Award.

Click HERE to see a slide show of all 24 winners over the past 2 years.



Capricorn - December 22 - January 19
          Aquarius -  January 20 - February 18

January Birthstone: Garnet
Garnet is a beautiful stone that comes in quite the range of colors.  Large garnet gems, while not approaching diamonds or rubies in price, can make your wallet take a deep breath.  The red garnet is the one used for the January Birthstone.

 January Birthday Flower: Carnation
The carnation, scientifically known as Dianthus caryophyllus, is a historically rich and meaningful flower choice.  With its scientific name dianthus roughly translating to "flower of love" or "flower of the gods", depending on the source, this flower is one that has been revered for centuries.  One of the world's oldest cultivated flowers, the carnation is appreciated for its ruffled appearance, clove-like scent, and extended blooming period.


Birthdays and Anniversaries
1          Kelly Colladarci
3          Arlene Pargot
3          Thierry VanderElst
4          Bob & Diane Mather Anniversary
7          Bill & Oteka Barb Anniversary
8          Diane Mather
8          David Richards
9          Nance Walker
9          Annette Bartsch
13        Mike & Lydia Pontius Anniversary
14        Cami Mazzola
16        Neri, Lucia Crespi´s partner at Lamanai Gallery
17        Tricia Haynes

22        Cheryl Ragan

25        El Moreland
25        Linda Tate
25        Kate Turner
26        Myrna Bush
26        Maribelle
26        Salvador Company
27        Lisa Combs
29        Tom Baxter
30        Richard & Arlene Pargot Anniversary

There must be more than this.  Let’s hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.

Missed December Birthday
December 14, Mike Brier


We just came across a couple of pictures of our fellow Akumalians we wanted to share with you. 

As you might surmise, this first one is a long time Akumalian, but the location definitely is not in Akumal.  One might wonder what Akumalian would do this for a vacation in the wilds of Calgary, Canada.  Answer on last page.




On the other hand, in this photo, Richard & Arlene Pargot are relaxing the morning after Richard attacked the lobster claw in Chatham, Massachusetts last month.  And now, they are probably sitting along side the Spanish Steps in Rome, drinking a glass of champagne as they celebrate Arlene’s birthday on Saturday.

Then again, maybe they are not drinking champagne on the Spanish Steps.  Just checked today’s weather for Rome, Italy, and it is 54 degrees and raining.  The forecast calls for 20 – 50% chance of rain through Sunday, with the temperature running around 1 degree C on Saturday and Sunday and 9 and 12C otherwise.  And, the Sunday forecast calls for “a 20% chance of snow”.

Congratulations, Arlene

Did you know that Rome (41 54N) and Boston (42 21) are just about on the same latitude?


The Quadrantids Meteor Shower is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at their peak.  The shower will peak this year on January 3 & 4, but some meteors can be visible from January 1 - 5.  Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight, in the morning.  Look for meteors radiating from the constellation Bootes.  The first quarter moon will set by midnight, providing a good viewing opportunity.

The Quadrantid (pronounced KWA-dran-tid) meteors provides one of the most intense annual meteor displays, with a brief, sharp maximum lasting but a few hours.  The meteors are named after the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis the Mural or Wall Quadrant (an astronomical instrument), depicted in some 19th-century star atlases roughly midway between the end of the handle of the Big Dipper and the quadrilateral of stars marking the head of the constellation Draco.  The International Astronomical Union phased out Quadrans Muralis in 1922. 

According to the International Meteor Organization, maximum activity this year is expected on 4:50 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Jan. 3.  For those across the western half of the United States and Canada, the radiant will soar high in the eastern sky just prior to the onset of morning twilight.  Over the eastern United States and Canada, the spike of activity is predicted to come after sunrise.

Quadrantid meteors are described as bright and bluish with long silvery trains.  Some years produce a mere handful, but for favorably placed observers, an excellent meteor display may be in the offing; at greatest activity, Quadrantid rates will likely range from 30 to 60 per hour for eastern parts of the U.S. and Canada, to perhaps 60 to 120 per hour for the western United States and Canada.


Three Kings Day, also known as The Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6th, twelve days after Christmas.  It is often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season (the end of the 12 days of Christmas).

Epiphany (Greek for "to manifest" or "to show"), is a Christian feast day which celebrates the "shining forth" or revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ.  Western Christians commemorate the visitation of the Magi to the child Jesus on this day, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles.  Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, his manifestation as the Son of God to the world.  It is also called Theophany ("manifestation of God"), especially by Eastern Christians.

LOS REYES MAGOS - The Christmas season continues unabated in Mexico through Epiphany, which is called Día de los Reyes (Three Kings Day).  Echoing the arrival in Bethlehem of Wise Men bearing gifts for the baby Jesus, children throughout Mexico anxiously await waking up January 6 to find toys and gifts left by the Reyes Magos (Magi).  In some regions it is customary to leave out shoes where treasures may be deposited by the visiting Wise Men.

In the days preceding Día de los Reyes, children write letters to the Magi requesting a toy or gift that they would like.  On the night of January 5th, the figures of the Wise Men are placed in the nativity scene.  Traditionally children would leave out their shoes with a bit of hay in them to feed the animals of the Magi (they are often shown with a camel).  When the children would wake up in the morning their gifts appeared in place of the hay.  Nowadays, like Santa Claus, the Kings tend to place their gifts under the Christmas tree.

 A special treat served one this day is the Rosca de Reyes--a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with jewel-like candied fruits.  Tiny figures of babies are hidden in the dough before baking.  There is much excitement as each partaker cuts his or her own slice, for whoever gets a piece containing a baby is obliged to host another party on or before Candlemas (Día de la Candelaria), February 2, when Mexico's holiday season finally comes to an end.


            The Akumalian is back at the home office in South Akumal, where The Staff is able to get first hand information about the local “Comings and Goings”.  As you can see, there was a lot of activity in December, and while everything for January is not here, it looks like it is going to be a very busy month. 

Sharon & Mike Brier returned (in November) from 2 weeks in Asia (Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia & Tokyo).
Bente Palmer was back in her condo at The Reef for a short visit.
Don Papa was seen around the beach bar.
Pauli & Gayle Rasmussen were back at Jade Bay for awhile.
Terry & Lisa Turner made an appearance in South Akumal.
Olivia was back too.
Annette Bartsch’s father was in town for a month, from Germany
Jack & Ann Kennedy have been in Las Casitas since before Christmas.
Barbara & Tom Miller were in town for awhile in late December
Rachael (Hines), Michael, and the three boys are in Los Primos in South Akumal.
Chuck & Laura have been visiting Gabriella in South Akumal.
Andre, Catherine, and their two daughters were back in Las Casitas.
Jozef Scales recently returned from Kansas, and his band, Planeta Tierra, played on Holbox Island, on the BEACH, in front of the Rasta Palopa on December 24 & 25.
Joyce &, Jock Hornor arrive on January 4th with their 3 sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, visiting with Denny & Diane Mahan.
Hollis Hines and George Palmondon are returning to Los Primos in early January.
Nancy & Crayton Walker are returning in January.
Macon & Susan Gavlee are back in South Akumal on January 17th.
Roger & Denise Burton are returning to North Akumal for a bit this month.
Phil & Lisa Combs are driving down in January: as permanent residents??

Gonzalo Arcila was in Calgary, Canada visiting his son, Ivan, and skiing, over Christmas
Lucy James is up in Washington celebrating Christmas with the family
Richard & Arlene Pargot have gone to Rome, Italy to celebrate Arlene’s birthday
Ryan Fredette is snowboarding on Mt. Abram in Maine right now.
Ryan Fredette is then going to Lake Tahoe to snowboard at Heavenly Mountain in two weeks.


Highway Overpass Connecting Akumal Central and Akumal Pueblo

Work on the vehicular overpass continues to disrupt the traffic flow in and out of Akumal, and it looks like will be months before this project comes to a conclusion.  They are ‘digging’ on the Akumal Central side of MX307, but on the pueblo side they are constructing the ramp. 

Akumal Police Station
The Akumal police station at the Fidecaribe building by the parking lot is slowly becoming a reality, and it is proceeding at a very nice pace.  It won’t be too long before Akumal has a high profile facility for the police and tourist information.  Will the high season be over before this becomes occupied?


Highway Overpass
MX307 at Puerto Aventuras is also getting major construction done.  However, this is much different than in Akumal and Chemuyil.  Here the new overpass is going to part of MX307 vs being a perpendicular overpass, and it seems like it stretches a very long way.

            This is creating MAJOR traffic delays, as the north and south bound sides of MX307 have been narrowed down to one lane!!  The pattern seems to create a long traffic buildup on the south bound side in the morning, and then in the evening “rush hour”, the traffic backs up on the north bound side; on Monday, it was backed up all the way to Barcelo.  It was reported that a trip from Akumal to Playa del Carmen took more than 3 hours (6pm to 9pm) when attempted at that time of the day, mostly due to this construction.

Military Checkpoints
     We currently have a couple of these on the way to Cancun.  The first one is right after Puerto Aventuras, and the backup this creates added to that 3 hour trip to Playa del Carmen.  Again, traffic is restricted to one lane, and passage is very slow.

Toyota Dealership

For those of us who own Toyotas, there is good news in Playa.  A Toyota dealership and service department have opened up on MX307 on the south side of town.

Bowling Alley
A ten-pin bowling alley is being constructed at the back end of the parking lot for Centro Mayo, up near the MMCinemas.  Maybe, the Akumal Bowling Confederation (ABC) can be revised once this establishment is operational.

Highway Re-surfacing
The south bound lane of MX307 is being resurfaced with black asphalt in various spots.  A large section is on the stretch around Calica, and it extends for quite a ways.  Other spots are being done, and the surface around the Akumal stretch is being prepared for re-surfacing.  The new surface makes the drive much quieter, and apparently much safer; they are even putting in the white lines.

Highway Roundabout
This is a bit hard to describe, but a large roundabout – something like the one as you enter Merida – on MX307 as you enter Cancun going towards Avenida Tulum.  It’s located right where the model of the old airport control tower is located; where you turn right to Avenida Bonampak and Hospiten; where you turn left to go to Costco.

New Sam’s Club
There is a new mall with a Sam’s Club and Superama super market on the south bound lane of MX307 as you depart Cancun.  It’s located about a ½ mile after the Mercedes dealership.  Big parking lot.


The Full Wolf Moon is on Tuesday, January 11th at 2:27am AST.

Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the jaguar packs howled hungrily outside Mayan villages.  Thus, the name for January's Full Moon.  Sometimes, it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule.  Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

In case you missed this last month, please be advised that on December 12, 2008, the full moon was closer to the Earth than it has been at any time for the past 15 years.



The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., often called Martin Luther King Day, is a United States holiday marking the birth date of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15.  It is the only United States federal holiday commemorating an African American, and one of only four to commemorate an individual person.

            Martin Luther King Day was founded as a holiday promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations.  After King's death in 1968, Rep. John Conyers introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday, highlighting King's activism on behalf of trade unionists.  Unions did most of the promotion for the holiday throughout the 1970s.  In 1976, trade unionists helped to elect Jimmy Carter, who endorsed the King Day bill.  After that endorsement, union influence in the King holiday campaign declined, and the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public.  The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981.  6 million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 The Nation article as "...the largest petition in favor of an issue in US history."

            Opposition to the bill was led by Senator Jesse Helms, who questioned whether King was important enough to receive such an honor.  He was also critical of King's opposition to the Vietnam War and accused King of having Communist connections.

President Ronald Reagan was also opposed to the holiday.  He relented in his opposition only after Congress passed the King Day Bill with an overwhelming, veto-proof majority (338 to 90 in the House of Representatives and 78 to 22 in the Senate).

At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King.  It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.

On January 17, 2000, for the first time, Martin Luther King Day was officially observed in all 50 U.S. states.  The day is marked by demonstrations for peace, social justice and racial and class equality, as well as a national day of volunteer community service.


The carnation was originally called dianthus by the Greek botanist Theopharastus.  The carnation has been cultivated over 2,000 years.

            The name carnation has two possible origins.  One thought is that the name comes from "coronation" or "corone" since it was used in Greek ceremonial crowns.  Another thought is the name is derived from the Greek carnis meaning flesh, which was the original flower color.

Carnations in general mean fascination, love and good luck.  A white carnation stands for innocence, devotion and pure love.



Robin’s “Best Shirt Award”, was not the only recorded “Event” in December.   

Look at the Photo Gallery Index for:

·        Isabel’s Tree Decorating Party

·        Robin’s Best Shirt Award

·        40th Birthday Party

      ·        Library Fiesta de Navidad

·        Isabel’s Christmas Party

There were other “Events” in December, but they were not recorded by The Akumalian.

 And, the skier at Lake Louis at Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada is Gonzalo Arcila.


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