Feb 052024

Many years ago, I joined my siblings and nephew for a holiday at a small island in Belize called Ambergris Caye. My younger sister owned and operated a B&B there. The island had just started to be discovered by tourists. There were no paved roads and most people either walked or got around in golf carts.

One day, looking for adventure, my 8-year-old nephew suggested that we go for a drive in the golf cart right to the tip of the island. I didn’t think the road went to that point but he insisted it did, as his Dad had gone there the day before.

We headed off on our adventure and eventually arrived at a point which seemed to be the end of the road but clearly was not the tip of the island. An area of dirt to our right looked drivable. My nephew insisted that we needed to take that ‘road’. This is where I should have remembered that my brother-in-law was prone to exaggerating his achievements.

Soft bumpy dirt soon turned to mud and the next thing we knew, we were bogged! Full sun with a temperature in the high 30s, no hats or sunnies. There we were, standing in heavy mud trying to work out how we were going to get this cart out. This was before mobile phones, of course.

After several innovative attempts to get the cart free, we resigned ourselves to walking through the deep mud, back to find help. A golf cart rental guy came and picked it us up and we enjoyed watching his golf cart double as a tow truck. Then back to the B&B where we endured a lecture from my sister on how stupid we were and how this might affect her relationship with the cart rental company. What a day it had been!

The lesson of this story may not be what you’d expect. In the end, what I learned was this: Sometimes when you are hot and bothered, stop and think. Is it really that bad or will this, one day, bring laughter? Will it be a memory you cherish, of a challenge shared and overcome?