Adam and Jackie Feldman were talking hopefully about a “soft opening” this Saturday for their two newest restaurants — the Malaysian/Southeast Asian bistro Rasa and the Latin American cuisine Arepa — in The Truck Stop, the new freight container dining complex north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge.
Soft opening. Good luck with that. Read the rest of this entry »
The Garifuna people of San Pedro, Belize, have a new ambassador for 2015-16. She is Sheila Montero, sponsored by Victoria House. As Miss Garifuna, Sheila will help to tell the story of the rich history and culture of her ancestors to the schools and other groups on the island.
And it is an amazing — and heartbreaking — story to tell. Read the rest of this entry »
Word spread quickly among our friends that the Mayan Islands Resort was holding its grand opening this past Sunday and an invite quickly became the hottest ticket on Ambergris Caye.
To say the opening has been highly anticipated is a bit of a reach — it has been years in the making, after all — but it has been the subject of a great deal of curiosity and speculation.
For example, every time we set off by boat for the back side of the island and pass close by the resort on the tip of the island’s western prong, it is the subject of much resort envy. Read the rest of this entry »
Mary Wells, a Houston real estate agent, and her family came to San Pedro recently in search of a second home. They brought a dozen trash sticks with them to donate to our First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pickup group.
Ironically — and sadly — they chose to take a pass on Belize as their second home. It was, in Mary’s words, just too dirty. Trash everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you ever scan through your digital photo library and stop on an image to wonder “How the hell did that get in there?”
And I’m not talking about naked selfies.
I’m referring to “ghosts.” Images that bear no relationship to the ones before, nor the ones that follow.
For example, suppose you just took 12 photos of a snowy egret in a lovely, colorful, natural setting. And there — right there! — in Frame #7 is a strange . . . well . . . what the heck is that anyway? You don’t know, so you hit delete. End of story.
I’m speaking hypothetically, of course. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are living the expate life, you’ve all been there: Those friends you made for life just announced plans to move to yet another country or back home and, well, it has been terrific. Good bye.
Sure, there is always Facebook.
But, seriously. That hurts, more than a little.
Jerry Jones knows about the little hurts of the comings and goings in Expatland. (I’m not talking about the Jerry Jones of the 2-5 Dallas Cowboys. That is a whole other person and a whole other pain, if you are a Cowboy fan.)
Jones lived in China for seven years where he helped bewildered expats navigate the often perplexing culture. Now he does the same from the states. He is a culture transition coach.
On his blog, The Culture Blend, Jones has just written about that part of the expat life that you rarely hear about before making your big move — the revolving door of friends and community that can keep you off balance if you don’t quickly ground yourself.
“It is a big painful part of the expat experience though,” writes Jones. “Transition that is. Not the expected ones like ‘culture shock,’ bumbling language mistakes and system conversions. We saw those coming from a mile away (1.60934 kilometers). We read books and blogs about those. Some of us even went to seminars and conferences about how to ‘transition well.’ ”
Nobody told us we’d have to be saying goodbye a lot.
And hello. Because planes fly in both directions.
Where Jones lived the bulk of departures seemed to occur in June, but not only then. Here in Belize people come and people go all the time.
That might be good for his business, Jones acknowledged, but not so easy for the expats with boots on the ground.
“If coming and going only impacted June I think it would be manageable,” he writes. “If it was just a matter of saying the inevitable goodbyes, we could wrap our heads around it and brace for the annual Expat Exodus.”
Even trying to nail down where you or your friends fit in the revolving door can be challenging.
Observes Jones: “We are Stayers, Goers and Newbies figuring out life things together. The Stayers don’t stay forever. The Goers don’t go immediately. The Newbies need some time to adjust.”
Jones goes on to offer some decent tips on how to cope with the constant flux.
His key piece of advice: Don’t insulate yourself from the constant expate parade of humanity. Don’t shut yourself off.
Says Jones, “When Stayers stop engaging Newbies (because saying goodbye to Goers is too painful) the clock starts ticking. It is a matter of time before the community will grow up behind them and they will be the ones trying to break in . . . or going. Continued connection is key.“
Jones has much more to say on this topic and he offers two graphs on expat relationships that are both profound and hilarious. Be sure to read his blog post.
Jones writes a lot on the expat life, because that is his job. But it is also clearly his passion. Check out some of his other postings, like the much-needed reality check of The Seven Lies of Living Cross Culturally and if that expat thing just didn’t work out the way you’d hoped, Jones’s Leaving Well: 10 Tips for Repatriating with Dignity is a must-read.
In fact, Jerry Jones’ Culture Blend blog is loaded with good information, whether you are coming or going, or simply staying put. For example, here’s another good one: Staying Well: 10 Tips for Expats Who are Left Behind.
Geeze, this is like a candy jar of good stuff. Dig in and dig deep.
I pulled up to Marbucks coffeehouse here on Ambergris Caye this morning to see one of the owners, Rob Eykelbeysh, being escorted down to the police station.
I asked him what was happening and he smiled and said it is all good.
But it isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »
We totally trashed Halloween this year.
No, I didn’t say we got trashed. I said we trashed Halloween.
As in garbage.
It is a big topic on the island these days because it is a big problem. As one guy would say, “Trash is huuuge!” Read the rest of this entry »
Some days, nothing goes right but everything is OK.
Let’s say that I no longer look at a gorgeous sunrise as a good omen. There are just too many of them and they seem to hold no sway whatsoever on the day’s events.
Like today. Read the rest of this entry »
I can’t help but think that if the big-game hunting dentist Walter Palmer had met his colleague Frank Whipps years ago, Cecil the lion might be alive today, as well as a whole ark full of rare, endangered, docile and beautiful trophy creatures.
Dr. Whipps has that sort of positive influence on the dental community. He’s a guy who gives dentistry a good name, especially here in Belize.