BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE PARADISE

Over the past five years, our Village Council has not accomplished any notable feat for the island. Everything is as it was back then, only in dire disrepair. It would seem as if they operate on a philosophy of evasion, which frankly is egotistical on the principle that the bigger and more valuable the tree, the more likely it is to fall victim to the lumberman's axe.

Coming back to Caye Caulker always feels like it still offers me uncomplicated and simple joys like bicycling down main street without worry of running into traffic; taking a dingy out to the reef; fishing and cooking a fresh caught meal; not having to wear shoes or spend too much time dressing up.

I close my eyes trying to store the image of amazing sunrises in the recess of my brain. The image may fade, but its what I feel rather than what I see which leaves the strongest impression.

I can still remember the last time on this island, I cried so hard it bounced off the tile floor, echoed undiminished against the 3 wooden walls and rattled the glass double door leading out to the small porch overlooking my garden and dock. There are bad days.

If I had a dime for everytime I hear this comment: "I would trade my life with yours in a heartbeat". They have tasted paradise with the tip of their tongue. But tasting it is one thing and swallowing it is another.

I have too often seen the anxious and tormented faces of my female friends who are left single to raise kids and for whom it seems life is almost unbearable. Hardly able to carve out a living, they wander aimlessly around the island not knowing how to survive on it or how to get off. Mostly these young foreign women who came here for a week, mesmerized by the local men who we say "have the lyrics". They get caught up in the sun & fun of a holiday romance that made them feel like they have never felt before.

So, immediately they fall in love with the local gigalo who has much experience in how to wine and dine a lonely traveler at the lonely traveler's expense of course. Some of these men make a good survival by just this type of work. Think about it, they get a free hotel nite plus meal plus sex. Its a win, win, win in their minds.

One thing that strikes people odd about Caye Caulker is the fact that here we have more aggressive local men to foreign women as opposed to aggressive local women to foreign men, in the sex barter business.

So they go home, quit their job, sell their houses, return with Caribbean beach weddings in their heads, get pregnant and then are abandoned before the child can reach it's 2nd tri-mester in the womb. Mainly when they find out their love has a wife, ready to beat them senseless, and 8 semi-starving children running like a pack of dogs, wild, around the island.

These girls don't leave, determined to stick it out for whatever reason,and in the end remain alone struggling in a foreign country, with the exception of one or two, who actually get married. I suppose I don't have to make it all doom & gloom.

Locals know this small group of young single foreign mothers as the "Brown Baby Clan" since they tend to stick together tightly for moral support. At their children parties, you can see some of the most beautiful brown babies, some with green eyes and blond afro's.

Here in Belize we differentiate racial mixes by using color codes, "he's a red boy, yellow boy, brown boy, black boy, white boy etc."

I am a "yellow gial" not quite the black/white mix to qualify me as a "brown gial" although I am more brown than yellow. Yellow means I'm mixed (a creole) but without the African influence.

My pa is a gringo - GRINGO -(anyone who is not from Belize).
Pa was born in England & grew up in Canada until he got lost in Belize when he was about 24 & eventually married my mother in the early 1960's & still lives in Belize 50 years later. My ma is Spanish/Mayan and her ancestors had fled the Caste War in Mexico early in the last century.

Big Trouble in Little Paradise. Think well before you chuck it all in and move here! Don't say I didn't warn you. You're on your own, you're over 18!

Comments

This is a great post! It's good to tell it, the troubles...I know more similar other stories from other "paradises".
Anonymous said…
2 words for those women: Birth Control
Anonymous said…
One more short comment: Here some blacks refer to each other as "yella" or "redbone" depending on their underlying pigment. Usually for a white/black mixed person they say "mixed" or sometimes "bright".
Hi catance62,
Thanks for your comments, I was wondering if anyone would figure out my ramblings on this post.
We are all shades of color but still one human race.