As mid-October rolled around, I decided the relaxed lifestyle wasn’t so bad after all….I was enjoying the volunteering (mainly tutoring at the schools--liked being back teaching--& walking the shelter dogs—they are not exactly “leash trained”, but it was a great workout & a blast, plus social time with friends at breakfast on the beach afterwards!). I was becoming more & more knowledgeable about Ambergris Caye in order to help the guests I was booking for Sunset Beach Resort. And if I took off to travel, I’d have to *plan* that!
|My high school after school group (one camera shy :)|
What kept me on the island?
*I haven’t worn anything but flip flops & sand shoes for three months — although wearing anything on my feet at all made me “dressed up” in comparison to the locals, who often don’t wear shoes (even the national Minister of Tourism & Culture was barefoot at a presentation on a national holiday). Tonight I will put on sneakers and see how I fare.
*The people are also the nicest around: expats (& there are many of them) and locals alike.
|Biking the beach with Iain|
*Biking on the beach! I’ve been a cyclist for many years & at first was annoyed at the road conditions (not all are paved and even those that are leave a bit to be desired), but thought it was better than the sandy beach. But then what’s a beach cruiser for if not to roll along and admire the sea with one eye while watching out for driftwood, dogs & kids with the other? So what if it was the rainy season & that often meant mud/sand splattered legs, clothing, & day pack — little badges of honor!! Loved it & may miss that the most.
|Bad photo, but croc holding will likely not happen again!|
*I learned & got *slightly* less freaked out about critters, and there were many that came closer to me than I might normally have liked: little lizards on the kitchen counter, crab crawling up my screen door, scorpion in my shoe, tarantula by my kitchen table…on the other hand, I willingly went on an educational crocodile boat tour & held a 2 foot croc in my hands! (Plus saw some AMAZING critters while snorkeling the barrier reef, including sea turtles, octopus, rays, not to mention swimming with sharks!)
|Mobile produce store!|
I did make one day trip to the mainland in my three months of island living, the goal being to see the Maya ruin of Lamanai. Incredible structures those guys made! (Of course I watched Mel Gibson’s
|Atop a Maya temple!|
And yes, I am also making strides work-wise! My Ambergris Caye vacation rentals site is long last up & running, yet always a work in progress. I’ve also been able to combine my non-profit background with the accommodation booking work, and have connected both the Belize & Colombia vacation rentals to an organization called Pack for a Purpose (which I wish I had thought to create--what a great idea, combining travel with easily helping the destination community!). Our guests now easily have the opportunity to support a community organization in an impoverished area of Cartagena and the humane society in San Pedro. I am working on more of “meaningful travel” opportunities for the future--there will be more blogging associated with that & the vacation rentals.
|With a few of the great people I met here (& dining right on the beach!)|