Looking Back – What was it like 30-odd years ago?

What it was like before Running Water & Electricity

Looking back on the last 30-odd years I’ve been pondering life in Belize Visitors to Belize Botanic Gardens often ask what it was like here in the days before electricity and running water.  My favorite book growing up was Swiss Family Robinson so a family adventure always had a special appeal to me.

One big difference though was that the Robinson’s were shipwrecked on an island with a ship loaded with supplies.  When they ran out of good stuff – like fine wines, cheese, chocolate, etc, they merely rowed their dinghy out to the ship and brought back what they needed.  For us it was a hard-driven 10 miles to reach San Ignacio in an hour and change  (each-way),  with more riding  around town in order to find the basics.  And there was definitely a shortage of fine wines and cheese!!

If there hadn’t been, we probably wouldn’t be so fond of rice and  beans, tortillas and local rum.

At that time had we known that it would be 8 months before there was running water and electricity, would we still have bought the place?  Or that  suppliers would refuse to deliver anything past the bottom of our famous hill ?  

We have a secret belief that  every mechanic in San Ignacio has a son or daughter with a graduate degree from a fine university.  This is  from replacing quickly worn out  parts on our vehicles.  Parts that I didn’t even know existed, never mind that they needed to be replaced with such frequency.   

(Rattling on) And who needs to sponsor uniforms for a soccer team when you can support a local mechanic?  

In spite of it all, we managed to build our little Jungle Lodge.  Ken died in 2001, the children grew up and left.  I ran the lodge until 2018 when I sold the lodge.  I’m still the “Big Boss” or “BB” to my staff of 8 at Belize Botanic Gardens.

On looking back – would we do it again? You bet!

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