PAULINE & GUY
I would be hard pressed to remember if I have ever spent any two-week period in my life when I have enjoyed so much laughter. Why? Because during this time, I have had the good fortune to be a guest at the Stardust Sanctuary Farm, here in Western Belize. This is the home of my dear friends Guy and Pauline.
Anyone that has had, or will have the opportunity to share time with these two fine individuals can't help but be left with a profound sense of gratitude for having made their acquaintance. That has certainly been my experience, and it's confirmed by a former "Workaway" guest named Sara. (See below).
Left by Workawayer (Sara) for host
Pauline and Guy's place is absolutely beautiful and they are wonderfully gracious hosts. I stayed in the apartment in the Villa (the main community house) and it was impeccably clean with lots of natural light. A lot of essentials like towels, bedding, and even shampoo and soap were provided. When I got there Lily gave me a tour of the property, told me how to use various plants for medicinal purposes, and made me a delicious omlette from eggs she gathered that morning. Lily has lived in the area all her life, so if you have any questions about Belize - she's the one you should ask.
The main community house has a shared kitchen and living space, along with a screened sitting area - which is a fantastic place to share a meal in the evening before a dip in the salt-water pool.
Pauline won't let you do any work you don't feel comfortable doing - but any help is deeply appreciated. There are tons of building projects going on and guests come and go all the time - you'll never be bored! Everyone I met who lived full-time on the property was incredibly friendly and helpful.
One thing I will say: Be prepared for a lot of humidity and scorching hot days. Everyone was sure to remind me to drink plenty of water - you will sweat buckets just sitting down, so be careful. If you need to do any physical work, the best time is to do it early in the morning. The bugs weren't too bad for me unless I was walking around in the taller grass. During the the hottest times of the day, I stayed in the shade or in the pool if there was an overcast. Wear sunscreen! If you're sensitive to sound when you're sleeping, bring ear plugs. You'll be in the jungle - which gets really loud at night due to frogs, insects, howler monkeys, and birds - but that is all part of the experience!
Belize has a terrible telecommunications system, so access to the internet is frustratingly slow, or non-existent. If you need to check your email while you're away, there are a few resorts nearby that have decent internet.
Overall - I had a wonderful experience and highly recommend staying with Pauline and Guy. I left feeling like I had found life-long friends (OK, I didn't even want to leave).
In fact, Sara was so impressed, she has made a return visit. Guy and Pauline seem to have that effect on many individuals. They're fun to be around. But like most good things in life, this current visit will soon come to a close, even though the good memories will be everlasting.
Once again, it's time for The Thoughtful Wanderer to be on his way to the next adventure, but just before I go, here is one final story. Yesterday, as I was bike riding back home from San Antonio, the town that is 1.75 miles from here, I had a thought pop into my mind. That is, I bet that I could travel ten times that distance in Vancouver, or perhaps anywhere else in North America, and in spite of the fact that I would encounter a larger number of people on that hypothetical journey, I sincerely doubt that I would experience even 10% of the smiling, happy faces that I saw on yesterday's bike ride. That tells you everything you need to know about the locals.
living a life of simple acceptance,
The Thoughtful Wanderer