Life in Limbo, Leaving Belize?

Making Jungle Ice Cream Jacquelyn at the MarketKaitlyn DrawingJim with mud Jack at Taco Stand Hodes Place Friday NightLogan watching moviesHaving decided to leave Belize we priced Barton Creek Outpost to sell quickly and put it on the market. We immediately received responses and it looked as though friends of ours were going to buy the Outpost. We put numerous other inquiries on the back burner and waited three weeks for them to come back and say they couldn’t make it happen. It was heartbreaking for our family but Jacquelyn and I had prepared ourselves for the possibility and in the end determined we wanted this place to go to the right people at the right time. Of course we want the right time to be right now, we have made our decision and are ready to move along.

As we are now proceeding with our daily lives in limbo I am filled with a sense of appreciation for many of the little things I have been prone to take for granted. Even our 9 mile dirt road now has a certain charm to it that I had forgotten about. My wife and I were in a small taco stand yesterday waiting for cheap food and I suddenly saw the place in a whole new light. The cheap plastic chairs, the dusty crew of thickly mustachioed workman coming in for cold bottles of coca-cola, the local music my 1 year old son was dancing to, the selection of “shilling chips” hanging in the window and the sweet, slightly mustachioed woman who ran the place trying to figure out how many 3 for a dollar panades we would get for $8.00. I am going to miss it all. As we were on the way home, along our dirt road, my 1 year old riding in my lap as I was driving, the wife and I were a bit melancholy as we passed beautiful Mennonite farms and then groups of Mennonites who greeted our familiar faces with waves and smiles. I will miss many things about Belize but the natural beauty of where I live, the neighboring Mennonites and our close friends top that list.

Two nights ago we went to Hode’s Place to join several of our friends for the regular Friday Night Fun. All of our kids run free in their orange grove and large playground while the adults chat it up and eat rice and beans, chicken fingers and the best garnaches in town.  (I then sneak off with the kids for a giant ice cream cone)  This particular night there was a new couple there, they had been in Belize about 3 months and were considering making a permanent move. I contemplated how we were at the opposite ends of our Belizean adventure.  They had a little experience here already and were getting plenty of input from others so I didn’t engage them much but it made me think about the adventures they had in store for themselves. I might have even been envious until I heard a few comments that reminded me that some of their opinions would soon change and many of their adventures would be hard learned lessons. Good luck guys.

Lying here in my hammock on a Sunday afternoon, overlooking our swimming hole and trying to organize my thoughts into something that makes sense is an activity that I will miss as well. I cannot imagine that the life I go back to will be interesting enough to write about, much less expect someone to read about it. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences. For those of us who live here, especially those who live in the area where we do, daily life can be an adventure. We all pretty much take it for granted and forget that there is a world out there that doesn’t have to drive 30 minutes down a dirt road to get home, they flip a light switch on and get electricity, there aren’t hundreds of deadly snakes living on their property, some people may not have had to talk their way out of being killed by a drunken, machete wielding jungle-moron. Maybe some people haven’t even spent time in a 3rd world jail cell, been on multiple day jungle expeditions or even rode white water on a mahogany, makeshift raft with a wild Mennonite.  What am I going to write about when I go home?

I am hoping it will be the joy of watching my parents with their Grandchildren, fishing with my father in law and my Dad, working with my brother and getting to know my sons, their wives and my Grandchild. In the end, I am choosing that over marathon canoe races across 3rd world countries.  Admittedly, I will miss the adventure.

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About BelizeBritts

Jim and Jacquelyn moved to Belize in 2004 after spending much of their adult lives as US Navy Deep Sea Divers. Jacquelyn specialized in the Navy's Marine Mammal Program handling sea lions and dolphins with the US Navy's Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) as well as conducting underwater repairs on navy ships. Jim was a Navy Chief specializing in underwater repairs to ships and submarines as well as operating a recompression chamber for the treatment of injured divers. They moved to Belize in 2004 from Pine Island, Florida where Jacquelyn is a 4th generation native. Jim is from all over but calls Nashville, Tennessee home. In March 2013 they moved back to Pine Island, FL to spend more time with their family.
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10 Responses to Life in Limbo, Leaving Belize?

  1. Mike says:

    Beautiful written my friend!

  2. I think your children will have the most culture shock when you come back to the states. Hope all goes well.

  3. Good luck to you. I hope someday that you will return to Belize.

  4. Deborah griffith says:

    The usa is not all what its cracked up to be,stay enjoy your adventures.sounds like your going to miss belize before you even leave,then you cant get back what you loved so much

    • BelizeBritts says:

      Deborah you may have missed the most important part of what I said. It is not about the USA vs. Belize. It is about family.

      It stuns me that I get so many comments about how screwed up the US is from people who continue to live there. It is easier to move than you must think.

      • Deborah griffith says:

        I left England 30yrs ago,my parents still live there.Yes you do miss your family but with computers and skype,it brings them closer.As for usa,I have been trying to get out of here,but I got screwed by a american,10yrs later I am still in court case with him.Plus others he screws over,only in america can such things happen.only the criminals win.its okay they dont show for court etc.hopefully one day my nightmare will end.A simpler slower way of life must be better,where you can have time to put family first,not survival.If you have had so many comments about how America has changed,maybe your family might consider joining you.My dream after going to Belize so many times is to move there,but must admit I am getting somewhat concerned on the crime situation.Plus in caye Caulker in the last few weeks,the tourist police beat Ras the tour captain,he only just got out of a coma.thank god.A very nice man. Good luck to you and your family,may you make the wisest choice.I do enjoy your blog by the way.

  5. dear jim & jacqueline, you may or may not remember me, it’s been a few years. i have owned a place in Belize for 12+ yrs. it’s close to MET but on the opposite side of the road next to Agata’s place. Anyway, i still live in Texas & have gone back & forth to Bz all these years, spending a few weeks to months at a time there & spending 6 mo.per year for 3 yrs in a row. ( 2006~2009). I can say with certainty that i know exactly how you feel & i relate deeply to this post & every post you’ve written on this wonderful blog. In Bz, after Mr. Lou died, my neighbor & dearest friend, then John Roberson, then Jerry & Maudine Stevens moved back to the states…each one of those events were heartbreaking & felt like my experience in Bz would never be the same, even though so many others i sincerely cared about were/are still there & thriving. People make such a difference, no matter where you are, especially those that we become so very close to …like family. They made all the difference for me in BeliZe..
    Anytime i am back in Tx , i am happy as my home & family, children & grandchildren are here…but there are no words to descibe how much i always miss Bz.when i am away. I was SO looking forward to coming back to Bz this summer to stay for at least a year …and to come out to see yall & really get to know your family better. i am so saddened by the thought that yall will no longer be there, but i certainly understand. Your family will carry Bz & all your experiences with you for the rest of your lives. We all do what we have to do & i pray for your entire family’s safety, health & happiness. God bless you all , lynda russell, belezet19@yahoo.com

  6. Kevin Rogers says:

    I am sad to know that you will not be there anymore. The best to all of you.

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