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Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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Sailing!

The publisher of this newspaper was reminiscing, a few weeks ago, about his childhood, about how he used to sail from the cayes to the city, to pick up provisions for their lengthy stays during the summer holidays. It was a beautiful reminder of youth and adventure and experiences that last a lifetime. It made me think of my summers, completely different experiences, but also fun and enduring memories which will never fade. But what I’m trying to get to is not personal, but about the waste of all the resources we have, beautiful natural resources, which we seem oblivious to.

As a grown man, coming home from abroad, it has always bothered and confused me, the fact that there aren’t sailboats out there on the horizon, whether in the city or out at the cayes. If you go to the Barracks or Foreshore, or are sitting on the beaches of our popular cayes, you have to strain your eyes to see a sailboat on the horizon, or anywhere. The only place you see sailboats for real, is at the bridge foot, when fishermen are bringing in their daily catches. We have the second longest barrier reef in the world, we have perfect sailing weather, and yet not enough people are taking advantage of this gift, so generously given to us by Mother Nature. In other countries, some little 2×4 lake or pond, is littered with boats of all shapes and sizes, people enjoying what has been afforded them, with gusto!

As a teenager growing up, I never got the full Belize experience. I never explored this beautiful jewel of ours. The caves, the mountains, the waterfalls, the magnificent Mayan temples, nada. Vacations were at whatever village your family was from, originally, or the cayes. That was it! I had to come back as an adult, a tourist in my own land, to enjoy the splendor and beauty and miracle that Belize is, and has always been. North, south, east and west, there’s so much magnificence and jaw-dropping vistas to take in, to admire, and to respect. I feel a sense of sadness, when I realize that what I was looking for was always right in front of me, not on some foreign soil.

No wonder the gringos and other expats come and never leave! But no!! Some of us left paradise, for something better?

Maybe, if we were taught at a young age to love our native land, taught its history, raw and honest history, we would all appreciate what we had, still have, and would not have squandered as much of it as we have! Some of us were always aware of how special Belize was, and stayed and struggled, and made a life worth living. I envy those people, they, who had that foresight to see gifts that they would be rewarded with. A lot of them struggled for survival, I’m sure, but look around you, it was worth it. I won’t get into how we let most of it get out of local hands; I won’t go negative today. I just want to let you know, you who have young children: Teach them them to love their country and nature and all the gifts that were bestowed upon this blessed plot, this homeland. If you do that, maybe we’ll see more sailboats on the horizon, any time of the year…and that would be a good thing!

Glen

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