Rain – Rain – and more Rain

WOW. It started raining yesterday afternoon and it was still raining this morning. My pool is full. Even now in the afternoon, it is still overcast this afternoon and while the rain has slowed, it is still with us.

Today is a great day. I just feel it. Lilliam is very happy. Last night Costa Rica defeated Panama in soccer. For the first minute she wasn’t sure who she was going to root for. By the end of the second minute, her TICA genes kicked in. It was a great game, even though it was played in a tremendous downpour. Panama played well but was defeated 2-1.

Oh, I have to tell you this.Yesterday a good friend of mine came over to the house. I have known Zech since July, 2010 when I met him in the Regional Hospital with a bullet 1/4 from his spine.

He, his Dad, and his wife were on their ship (The Antares), moored off an island near Pedregal, when five men boarded the ship in hopes of finding a fortune in gold coins. Zech’s dad was shot and killed and Zech was shot and left for dead only to be saved by his wife. Her story is HERE.

Were it not for Sugey, Zech would have died on the ship that day. Zech’s dad was Danish and Zech was born in Hawaii and is a U.S. Citizen. I received a call from the U.S. Embassy that a U.S. Citizen had been shot and was in the Regional Hospital. That began our history together.

When I arrived at the hospital, I found this young strapping lad with his wife by his side. He was scared as you would expect (a bullet near his spine that couldn’t be removed) and terror stricken for seeing his dad shot and killed. He knew he was extremely lucky to be alive. The first thing he asked me was if I had a bible I could bring him.

Sugey was about 7 months pregnant, when she got her giant of a husband in the dingy and to the marina for him to be taken to the hospital. An incredible young woman. She delivered their son in October of 2010.

I and Bob Hatting were involved with Zech when he had moved the Antares to Costa Rica and later took it to Panama City, where it stayed until sold.

I have been involved with Zech ever since that time on birthdays, highs and lows. I have pushed Zech to consider taking his family to the U.S. ,where he could get a fresh start and he is currently in the process of doing that. I assisted him in getting his son’s U.S. citizenship registered. They are now just waiting for Sugey’s papers to be completed, so they can move to California, where Zech has family.

He experience working with his dad on the sunken treasure expeditions, will help him in passing the mariner’s license, which will put him back on ether seas that he misses. His plan is to captain some smaller ships and has training lined up for his license.

All of this to say, that for the last five, Zech has been like a son to me. Lilliam and I consider Zech part of our family. Since Zech has been alone, except for his wife and son, I think he has felt like a part of our family as well.

He dropped by the house yesterday and when I opened the door, I saw his smiling face saying “Happy Belated Birthday”. He had two wrapped packages in his hands. He said he had ordered them in time for the birthday, but they had been delayed in transit and they hadn’t come as planned, but he wanted me to know he hadn’t forgotten me.

Zech had spent an enormous amount of time choosing these items because he said it would my last birthday, that he would be here, and he wanted me to have something to remember him by. After the time and experiences we have spent together, there is no way he could be forgotten.

As I opened the gifts, I could see him watching my expression. He knows I am a person that enjoys technology. The first was a small box and I wondered what technology it held.


It is a carbon fiber wallet with RIFD protection for credit cards. Only a person that knows how security conscious I am could have chosen this. An excellent gift and one I will cherish. And yes, every time i see it, I will think of Zech.

The second gift was well thought out too. It was a lap desk that will hold my iPad, cell phone and a wifi keyboard. Lilliam immediately decided that was a joint gift because it can be used while she uses Rosetta Stone on the iPad for her English lessons.

It is amazing how time has flown. When I decided to volunteer as a warden for the U.S. Embassy, I had no idea how much gratification and fulfillment I would have. I have met many interesting people and their families.

Each case has added memories and each case has made me appreciate having the time to actually participate with the Embassy.

10 thoughts on “Rain – Rain – and more Rain

  1. What a fantastic story, Don! You are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in your life…I can see you smiling now!

  2. Yes. There were 5 of them Lilliam went to one of the court hearings.

    The five were convicted and sentenced to 25 yeas each. The maximum sentence.

  3. Hi Don Ray,

    If he needs any tutoring I could probably help some as a sailor, licensed master, and service academy grad.

    Retired 01, so may not be razor sharp on everything.

  4. I will pass it on, but he has spent most of his life treasure hunting on the sea, and thinks passing the required tests shouldn’t be too tough.

  5. You are definitely a special person Don Ray as is your lovely wife. Being warden of David is not just a volunteer effort, it’s your calling. Anyone in need is blessed to have you helping them with whatever problem they are facing. God Bless you.

  6. Great story Don. Thanks for sharing. Many of us have had opportunities to make a difference, that is what life is about in so many ways. Saludos.

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