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May 2010  Issue 89

Happy MayDay

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  


It’s hard to explain or understand, but it seems like April just absolutely flew by, like it was blown through Akumal on the constant wind we experienced.  And, for whatever reason, there was quite a large influx of visitors. 

But life goes on.

Do not forget the other local publications, Sac-Be, The Costal Source for Travel in the Riviera Maya, the PelicanPress of Puerto Aventuras, and the CEA Newsletter


Several stories are passed around to show how the month of May was named.  The most widely accepted explanation is that it was named for Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth.  Her name related to a Latin word that means increase or growth.

Taurus: April 21 – May 21
Gemini   May 22 - June 21

 May Birthstone:  Emerald
May's birthstone is the emerald.  Emerald is the green version of the mineral Beryl.  It was considered to be the talisman of the goddess Venus, and to represent faith, goodness and kindness.  Emeralds vary in color from light to deep green.  It is commonly thought that an emerald's green color derives from the presence of chromium and or vanadium replacing some of the aluminum in the mineral's structure.  The stone can, however, lose its color when heated strongly.  The emerald's name is indirectly derived from the Greek word "smaragdos," a term ambiguously applied to several kinds of green stones.

  May Flower:  Lily of the Valley
The May flower, Lily of the Valley has the botanical name of Convallaria magalis and originated in Europe.  Today it is distributed widely throughout North America and North Asia, but in northern Europe it is still found as commonly as wild flowers.  It is a small, bell shaped flower that gives off a large scent that attracts not only people, but bee's who like to collect the pollen that the flower produces.


Birthdays and Anniversaries
2          Sandra Titze
2          Steve & Heather DePaola Anniversary
4          Dylan Vladimir Chan Tec; 2008, son of Miguel (head waiter) & Imelda
5          Michele Meyer Correa
5          Susan & Macon Gravlee Anniversary
5          Dean & Alison Keegan Anniversary
7          Steve & Ingrid Clouther Anniversary
12        Chris Firth
14        Lucas Kai Schober Thai
16        Dave Bliss
18        Derek Firth
18        Bob & Sherwood Anders Anniversary
20        Jissou VanderElst
21        Monika Titze
27        Creighton Walker
27        Nance & Creighton Walker’s Anniversary
31        Terry Fredette 

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

 Missed March Birthdays
March 27         Lois Radlinsky
March 31         Lance Schober

 Michelle Bliss Celebrates her 40th with Dave and John & Allyson Sheffield at a ‘cook-off’ in Dripping Springs, Texas on April 10th. 





On Monday March 29, the Lol Ha Beach Bar was converted in Vegas Night, as Laura set this up as a fund raiser for the Pablo Bush Romero Scholarship Fund.  The Event included a Spaghetti Buffet, music by DJ Bobby, a raffle, and it was all centered around an evening of Black Jack, with Cheryl, a professional dealer of 16 years, as the main attraction.

Needless to say, this was another fantabulous first-time event hosted at Lol Ha, and it raised $12,130 pesos for the PBR Scholarship Fund, and everybody had a really great time.

Unfortunately, The Akumalian Staff had another engagement and was not here to record the event.  However, photos can be seen on Laura Bush’s Facebook – Vegas Night.


Primero de Mayo is the Mexican national holiday that is equivalent to the U.S. Labor Day.

 May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to any of several public holidays. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labor Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement.  As a day of celebration the holiday has ancient origins, and it can relate to many customs that have survived into modern times.  Many of these customs are due to May Day being a cross-quarter day, meaning that (in the Northern Hemisphere where it is almost exclusively celebrated) it falls approximately halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

May Day has become an international celebration of the social and economic achievements of the labor movement.  Although May Day received its inspiration from the United States, the U.S. Congress designated May 1 as Loyalty Day in 1958 due to the day's appropriation by the Soviet Union.  Alternatively, Labor Day traditionally occurs on the first Monday in September in the United States.  People often use May Day as a day for political protest, such as the million people who demonstrated against far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, or as a day for protest against government actions, such as pro-immigrant rallies across the United States.


The 136th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on May 1, 2010.

The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.  The race is over one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs.  Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg).  The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.  It is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the US and typically draws around 155,000 fans.

Horse racing in Kentucky has a rich history, dating back to 1789 when the first race course was laid out in Lexington.  However, it was almost 100 years later, in 1875, that Churchill Downs officially opened and began its tradition as "Home of the Kentucky Derby."

Once again, Akumal’s Derby festivities will be held at the Lol Ha Beach Bar, and there will be reserved seating for the locals wishing to be “up front and personal” with the 2010 “Run for the Roses”.  The coverage for the 135th Run for the Roses and the Triple Crown on May 1, 2010 begins on NBC Television at 5PM (4PM AT), post time approximately 6PM ET (5PM AT). 

Come early and bet often.
100 pesos for a WIN ticket
50 pesos for PLACE ticket
20 pesos for a SHOW ticket 

And, Happy Hour is extended to 7:30 (thanks Laura), and appetizers and dinner will be available the entire time.  Come early, thirsty, and hungry.  It’s all going to be there at Lol Ha’s Derby Day.


Early Times Mint Julep Cocktail is a ready-to-serve beverage that has been “The Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby” for 20 years.  Each year almost 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby; a feat that requires over 10,000 bottles of Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice.  Try one and you’ll understand why it has been a Kentucky Derby tradition for so long.

The Mint Julep has always been a symbol of Kentucky's rich heritage and hospitality. Perhaps General Simon Bolivar Buckner put it best when he wrote from the South Pacific during World War II: "A Mint Julep is not the product of a formula.  It is a ceremony that must be performed by one possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion."

Many Kentuckians claim that when a Julep is done right, you can hear the angels sing.  One 19th-century jurist is said to have ruled, "Who has not tasted one has lived in vain."  Then again, newspaper editor Henry Watterson's recipe for the perfect Mint Julep is somewhat different, his recipe: "…throw the other ingredients away and drink the whisky - straight."  

Early Times Mint Julep Recipe
2 oz. Early Times
1 tbsp. simple syrup (recipe below)
Mint sprigs
Crushed ice

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-oz. glass, then fill with crushed ice.  Add one tablespoon of simple syrup and one tablespoon of water.  Add 2 ounces Early Times.  Stir gently until glass frosts.  Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, sip and enjoy.

Simple Syrup with Mint Directions:
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

Combine sugar and water.  Boil for 5 minutes without stirring.  Pour mix over a handful of mint leaves, and gently crush the mint with a spoon.  Refrigerate overnight in a closed jar.  Remove mint leaves, but continue to refrigerate.  Stays fresh for several weeks.


            The first week of April was Easter Week, so there was a number of Comings & Goings, but the pace seems to be slowing down as we head into May.

Comings, and Were Here:
            The “Here in April” group:

  • Wally& Jan Kootz were in Aventuras Akumal very early in the month.
  • Lance Schober was down visiting ‘mom’ for his birthday.
  • Dave was a first time visitor to Akumal, also down visiting ‘mom’.
  • Pat & Cheryl Reagan were back in their Casa Maleno in mid-month.
  • Saul & Jackie visited the Pargots at Las Vigas on the Lagoon.
  • Didier Jackson’s daughter came down to visit dad.
  • Bente Palmer made a brief stop at The Reef and got it ‘Regularized’
  • Jim & Jackie Power are back at Jade Bay for an extended stay.
  • Gayle & Paul Rasmussen are also back at Jade Bay for an extended stay.
  • Ran & Joyce Flake have returned to Playa Caribe for a spell.
  • Bob Doebert arrived in Aventuras Akumal on the 27th for 10 days of fishing.
  • Ken & Karen Sutton arrived in Casa Konomi on April 30

 The “Coming in May” group:

  •  Nobody?   You gotta be kidding me.

Didier Jackson left for summer up north, probably Naples, Florida.
Richard & Cami Mazzola have closed up shop and headed back to Colorado for the summer.
Marieke White has gone to Scotland to have her baby, due on May 2nd.
Danielle Knod is in Chicago, where she is scheduled to give birth later in May.
Monika Estrada and Juan Antonio Huerta are in Las Vegas getting married on the 1st.
Annette and Henning Bartsch are heading to Germany for a visit.

 Congratulations and best wishes to Lorinda, Marieke, Dani, and Monika, as well as to the important men in their lives; i.e. Juan, Scott, Jamie, and Juan Antonio.

HST FLY-OVER, MAY 4th & 5th

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is going to be in the early morning sky the first week of May, but the two best opportunities to see it are on May 4th and 5th, albeit early in the morning.  On May 4th it be be overhead at 5:51am going in a WNW - ESE direction, and on the 5th it will be overhead at 5:49am going in the same direction as on the 4th.


            The holiday of Cinco De Mayo (The 5th Of May) commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862.  It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population.  It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

The battle at Puebla in 1862 happened at a violent and chaotic time in Mexico's history. Mexico had finally gained independence from Spain in 1821 after a difficult and bloody struggle, and a number of internal political takeovers and wars, including the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Mexican Civil War of 1858, had ruined the national economy.  During this period of struggle Mexico had accumulated heavy debts to several nations, including Spain, England and France, who were demanding repayment.  Similar debt to the U.S. was previously settled after the Mexican-American War.  France was eager to add to its empire at that time, and used the debt issue to move forward with goals of establishing its own leadership in Mexico.  Realizing France's intent of empire expansion, Spain and England withdrew their support.  When Mexico finally stopped making any loan payments, France took action on it's own to install Napoleon's relative, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as ruler of Mexico.

France invaded at the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz (see map) and began to march toward Mexico City, a distance today of less than 600 miles.  Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to Mexico's cause, and for which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any direct assistance.

Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encountered strong resistance at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe.  Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a small, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men was able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country.  The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebration.

Unfortunately, the victory was short lived.  Upon hearing the bad news, Napoleon had found an excuse to send more troops overseas to try and invade Mexico again, even against the wishes of the French populace.  30,000 more troops and a full year later, the French were eventually able to depose the Mexican army, take over Mexico City and install Maximilian as the ruler of Mexico.

 Maximilian's rule of Mexico was also short lived, from 1864 to 1867.  With the American Civil War now over, the U.S. began to provide more political and military assistance to Mexico to expel the French, after which Maximilian was executed by the Mexicans - today his bullet riddled shirt is on display in the museum at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City.  So despite the eventual French invasion of Mexico City, Cinco de Mayo honors the bravery and victory of General Zaragoza's small, outnumbered militia at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.


The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak in the predawn sky on Tuesday or Wednesday morning – May 5 or 6, 2010 – from roughly two hours to one hour before sunrise.

The shower has a relatively broad maximum but is expected to put out the greatest number of meteors before dawn on May 6.  Unfortunately, the last quarter moon does not bode well for this year’s Eta Aquarid show.  At mid-northern latitudes, 10 to 15 meteors per hour are visible in a dark, moonless sky.  Farther south – like in the southern hemisphere – the meteor numbers increase dramatically.  This is strictly a predawn shower, however, not to take stage this year till after the last quarter moon rises into the sky!  The radiant for this shower appears in the east-southeast at about 4 a.m. and the hour or two before dawn is the best viewing time – in years when the moon is out of the sky.  The broad peak to this shower means that some meteors may fly for few days before and after the optimal date.  Although the most meteors will probably rain down on May 6 before dawn, the last quarter moon will pretty much wash out this year’s Eta Aquarid shower.

The point in the sky from which meteors in annual showers appear to radiate is called the meteor shower radiant.  You don’t have to locate the radiant to watch the Eta Aquarid meteors, but people always ask about them.  Although the Eta Aquarid meteors streak all over the sky, they appear to radiate from the Y-shaped group of stars called the Water Jar.  The Water Jar is part of the constellation Aquarius.

The eta Aquarids are flakes of dust from Halley's Comet, which last visited Earth in 1986.  Although the comet is now far away, beyond the orbit of Uranus, it left behind a stream of dust.  Earth passes through the stream twice a year, in May and October.  In May, we have the eta Aquarid meteor shower, in October the Orionids.  Both are caused by Halley's Comet.

The eta Aquarids are named after a 4th-magnitude star in the constellation Aquarius.  The star has nothing to do with the meteor shower except that, coincidentally, meteors appear to emerge from a point nearby.  Eta Aquarii is 156 light years from Earth and 44 times more luminous than the Sun.


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

It’s time for yet 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 Henderson, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for May.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, but it looks like “coolest”, “neatest”, and “most colorful” might garner a lot of brownie points.

Last month, the “Best Shirt Award” went to Gabriella Herbert in a landslide victory.  See the photos in the April Best Shirt Award Photo Gallery.  


Colorado State University's hurricane forecast team is predicting an above-average season for the Atlantic basin in 2010, which includes all tropical storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.  The forecast calls for 15 named tropical storms, of which eight will become hurricanes.  A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its sustained wind speeds surpass 74 mph.  Of those eight, four are expected to develop into major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) with maximum wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.

Looking at averages that go back to 1950, a typical Atlantic hurricane season sees 10 named storms — six of them hurricanes, with two major.

Current moderate El Nino conditions are expected to transition to neutral conditions by this year's hurricane season.  The dissipating El Nino, along with the expected anomalously warm Atlantic Ocean sea-surface temperatures, will lead to favorable dynamic and thermodynamic conditions for hurricane formation and intensification.

Last month, private forecasting firm AccuWeather predicted that 16 to 18 tropical storms and hurricanes would form in the Atlantic hurricane basin, of which seven will make landfall on U.S. shores.  The federal National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is scheduled to release its hurricane forecast on May 20.

In 2009, the CSU team's April prediction of a near-average season was slightly over-forecast.  They predicted that 12 named storms would form, of which five would become hurricanes. In reality, nine named storms formed, of which three were hurricanes.

The hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.  The first named storm will be Alex, followed by Bonnie and Colin.

Wait a minute.  Why isn’t that third storm to be called Clyde???




 Que Onda Update
           Last month The Akumalian erroneously published the rumor that Que Onda was about to close.  Going to the best source for the correct position on this, Maribel reports, “This is the only real thing, Que Onda has 15 years in Akumal and it will do many more.”

            That is not a rumor, but fact: Que Onda is open for business as usual.

Super Chomak Grocery Bags
Get on the environmental bandwagon with ‘new’ grocery bags at Super Chomak.  Use these bags and eliminate the plastic ones.  They are on sale at Super Chomak.  The small one costs $20 pesos, and the larger one is $25 pesos.

Club Campestre & Golf Akumal
Paul Sánchez Navarro, Centro Ecológico Akumal, reports, “A thirty-six hole golf course (yes, 36!) is being proposed as part of the ‘new’ Akumal.  The developers submitted the project to the Ministry of the Environment a year ago and it was rejected.  Now they have re-submitted the plan – the 39 million dollar Club Campestre & Golf Akumal - for which they will destroy almost 500 hectares of jungle west of Akumal to put in a massive 36-hole golf course, shopping centers, and 6,352 houses (distributed among 1,425 family lots; 79 multi-family lots; 29 mixed use lots, and 26 commercial lots).  The development will spread over two municipalities, multiplying the political and infrastructure problems.

“Water demand will be at least 3,811,200 liters per day, just for the houses; this does not include the golf courses, which will include artificial lakes. The development will draw its freshwater from the municipal well (CAPA), and send its sewage to the Sirenis Hotel plant and another plant. The partially treated sewage will then be used to water the golf course and green areas.  This will contaminate the groundwater with a tremendous excess of nutrients, which can easily cause the suffocation of our coral reef.

“Electricity demand will be 19,056 KWA, and there are no plans to use renewable energy. Not using solar and/or wind energy in a new development in Quintana Roo shows clearly how unsustainable this project is and how outdated its planning.”

            See CEA for additional information and updates.  See REMAX Investment Properties for a brief description of the largest real-estate development in Akumal.

           And, there are other sides to the story.

New Computer Support
        There is a new computer / IT specialist in town, and his name is Richard Fröhning, and he can be reached at and on Skype at Richard Fröhning.  Richard is German, and he has been a certified computer scientist since 1998, and he looks back on more than 20 years of computer technology. He is profficient with Microsoft operating systems, Sun Solaris, SGI Irix, AIX, or HP

You can learn more about Richard’s background, experiences, competencies, and references at Richard’s Web Site.

Richard is currently staying in Mary Henderson’s casita.  Say ‘Hello‘ when you see him at the beach bar.

New Gym
 Another rumor?

Akumal Fishing Tournament
It has been reported that CEA, The Dive Shops, and the fishermen are planning the 2010 Akumal Fishing Tournament for Sunday, May 23rd, but The Staff has not uncovered any concrete evidence for this.



 Catholic Church
Bob Mulgrew reports, “There is going to be a Mass on Sunday, May 2nd at 6:00PM to celebrate the ‘Primera Piedra’!!!  (the laying of the first stone - commencement of the building process).  Everyone is invited, and the congregation wants to send thanks to all who contributed.

“That means that the raffle ticket sales have done well to this point.  Tickets are still on sale, and the car is still on display on the Esplanade in Chemuyil.”


Peak Gym
The Peak Gym has been relocated to Tulum and is now open Monday to Saturday from 7:00am to 9:00pm.  Phoebe says, “The address is at the corner of Kulkulcan and Nicte Ha, across from the athletic field, all the way through Tulum Ave to the church on the right, turn right, right again and Peak Gym is up a couple blocks on the left across from the athletic field entrance.”


 Dolpinaris Riviera Maya
            About 1 mile north of the entrance to Puerto Aventuras is a new dolphin center called Dolphinaris, where you can swim with the dolphins – NO, not another one.

            The experience that Dolphinaris Riviera Maya offers goes beyond just swimming with dolphins, it is as well a learning activity where you will run your fingertips along the sensitive skin of these citizens of the deep blue and will feel the power that hides beneath their gentleness.  Dolphinaris Riviera Maya offers a variety of dolphin swimming programs that vary in duration, catering to people of all ages from young children to the mature adult.

With no waves and no strong currents, Dolphinaris Riviera Maya's controlled and stable atmosphere guarantees a non-stop service that will provide visitors with a wonderful experience regardless of the weather conditions.

Designed by world famous enterprises with 8-years experience, this habitat accomplishes its two main goals: amusement and preservation.  With a 1.5-million-dollar investment they have put into operation a state-of-the-art life support system that changes the water in the pools every two hours.

            See their web site at Dolphinaris to learn more about the other locations, programs, and prices.


 MX307 Construction
            What started out as an overpass over Avenieda Juarez some time ago, has now been expanded into 2.4 miles of construction through Playa del Carmen.

 Where’s the Coin Gone To?
       I always thought of it as a coin, specifically a dime, and it has been moved around various points on MX307 over the years.  Now, with the new construction encompassing where it used to be, on the rotary where you turn into Mall of the Americas, it has been moved once again.  Now, it can be found at the end of the road that goes in front of Maya Centro as the first part of the MX307 bypass.



Last month The Akumalian reported that from April 10, your phone must be registered on the National Register Mobile Phone Users.  See Telcel and get Google to translate the pages to English.  If not registered, the Federal Telecommunications Act provides that, after the legal deadline, the line will be suspended without liability for the service provider.

At the time this was reported, The Staff had been unable to register its cell phone.  However, through some perseverance, fortitude, and luck, the cell phone has been registered.  The easiest way is if you have your Clave Űnica de Registro de Población (CURP) card/number.

Go to Telcel’s Registro Nacional and click on “Contacting Text Messages”.  Then click on “here.”  You’ll be asked to enter your cell phone number and e-mail address.

 Apparently, everyone is supposed to have a CURP card as a form of registration.  These can be obtained at the Civil Registry in Tulum.  This is located in the Municipality building, and there’s a door about half way between where you pay your taxes and the bank.  Bring your FM3/2, Passport, Photograph, and CFE bill, with copies.


Mother's Day is a holiday honoring mothers, celebrated (on various days) in many places  around the world.  Mothers often receive gifts on this day.  Mothers Day is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May in the United States and Canada.

Different countries celebrate Mother's Day on various days of the year because the day has a number of different origins.  One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece.  Mother worship — which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of gods, and (mythology), the wife of Cronus; was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (March 15 to March 18).  The Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.

In the United States, Mother's Day was copied from England by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War with a call to unite women against war.  She wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation.  In the UK, the day now simply celebrates motherhood, and thanks mothers.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.


In Mexico, Mothers Day is celebrated on a fixed day of May 10.  Mothers Day in Mexico is celebrated in a colorful fashion.  Children honor their mothers and thank them for their efforts in bringing them up, and According to a custom in Mexico, sons and daughters make themselves present in the house on the eve of Mothers Day on May 9.

Mothers Day is celebrated with gusto as churches in Mexico organize special mass, and the highpoint of the event is the orchestra, which plays "las mañanitas" and distribution of 'tamales' and 'atole', the traditional early-morning meal to all local mothers.

On Mother's Day, people in Mexico gift flowers and cards to their mothers.  There is also a tradition of giving gifts on Mothers Day.  While the older children buy gifts from the store, the younger ones prepare handmade gifts to honor their mothers.  In several schools, Mothers Day functions are organized where little ones present skits and songs to express their gratitude for their mothers and to entertain them.


The next General Assembly is on Friday, May 14th, at 10:00 AM.  The agenda will largely consist of updates from the committees, especially Security and Environmental.  Details will be sent out before the meeting, and, hopefully, the reports will be posted on the community network before the meeting.  Go to The Akumal Council Community Network where you can find the latest information from the committees, share your concerns on the different forums, add your favorite photographs, and more.

And, check out the web site at Akumal Council Web Site.


On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days.  The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces within one department -- the Department of Defense.  Each of the military leagues and orders was asked to drop sponsorship of its specific service day in order to celebrate the newly announced Armed Forces Day.  The Army, Navy and Air Force leagues adopted the newly formed day.  The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day but supports Armed Forces Day, too.

In a speech announcing the formation of the day, President Truman praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas and said, "It is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace."

In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Mr. Truman stated:

“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality.  It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.

The theme of the first Armed Forces Day was "Teamed for Defense."  It was chosen as a means of expressing the unification of all the military forces under a single department of the government.  Although this was the theme for the day, there were several other purposes for holding Armed Forces Day.  It was a type of "educational program for civilians," one in which there would be an increased awareness of the Armed Forces.  It was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job is performed and the role of the military in civilian life.  It was a day for the military to show "state-of-the-art" equipment to the civilian population they were protecting.  And it was a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows.  In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched pass the President and his party.  In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield.  In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day "under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types."  In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed "battlewagons" of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection.  Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar was exhibited on the ground.  All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.


The Full Flower Moon occurs on Saturday, May 27 at 23:07.  In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time, thus, the name of this moon.  Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.



Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.  There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead". 

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.  It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.  It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established.  Memorial Day is not about division.  It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.  By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.  The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).  It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years.  Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.  At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected.  Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day.  While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.  Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions.  Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.  They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.  In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day.


Last month The Akumalian did a brief report on the Sahara Café based on second hand information from two very reliable sources.  Subsequent to that report, The Akumalian had dinner there with some friends, and for the most part, the previous reports were quite accurate.  The Staff wants to take this opportunity to show some photos to help set the stage for your dining experience, should you venture down to Soliman Bay.

There is a bar/lounge area (1st photo above), and they have Happy Hour from 5 pm to 6 pm.  The restaurant is open from 6 pm to 10 pm.

We arrive just at 6:00 DST, so it was still light, and this allowed us to enjoy the external setting, and have  sufficient interior light to appreciate the exquisite setting and ambiance.  And we learned that the waiter is Alberto, and he used to work at La Buena Vida, so he knows Akumal.

           Sahara Café looks, feels, and sounds fabulous, and be advised that the menu is a bit on the pricey side.



During the month of April, there were a couple of “Events”, but The Akumalian was only in attendance at the “Best Shirt Award”.


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