Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom
Mr. Norma spends time on her porch overlooking her rental properties in Cola de Mico.

Mrs. Norma Smiles Remembering Years of Hard Work

At 90 years old, Mrs. Norma has a soft voice and an infectious smile. With black, tight curly hair, she puts on her glasses to check the ledger of rent payers of her cottages. She has nine on her Cola de Mico property.

Mrs. Norma Gloria Bush Hinds was born on March 18, 1930. Mrs. Norma has seven grades of education. Some of schooling came from Jim Rose, an Utila author who taught both at the public and private schools. At 12 she began to study the piano with Annie Lauren, a local music teacher. It took her several years, but Mrs. Norma persevered and became very good.

Her mother was Edith Bush, a home maker. Her father was Lorene Bush, a butcher, who every Friday slaughtered animals for the thousand Utilans that lived on the island. Mrs. Norma remembers her father as being violent and at 12 she moved out of the house to live with her grandmother.

If I had to go to the mainland, I am nervous.

At 18 Mrs. Norma married Will Hinds. Her parents were against the marriage, but Mrs. Norma lived with her grandmother and that allowed her more independence. “He was a big man. He never lost a battle, he used to fight a lot,” “He never cheated. He was always by my side.” says Mrs. Norma remembering her husband.

Mr. Will was a farmer and harvested plantains, chatas and bananas for a living. She would help to balance the home’s finances by baking bread, cakes and buns. Her specialty was coco cake and sweet potato cake. Sometime in the 1990s the couple began building cabins for rent to supplement their income.

Of her nine children, two have died and only one still lives on Utila. Her other six children live in the US. Mrs. Norma has been to the mainland to give birth and for medical treatments, but she dreads the passage. “I am afraid of salt water. If I had to go to the mainland, I am nervous,” says Mrs. Norma. “I don’t like boats and planes.”

Mrs. Norma barely walks as her spine curls from the scoliosis. She takes the occasion ride to “the bush,” Utila’s back country to look around and take a break from the hustle and bustle of Cola de Mico.

She still occasionally plays the piano at the Seventh Day Adventist Church. “I am proud to know that I am serving the Lord,” says Mrs. Gloria. “My conscious in life is clean.”

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