The Thing I Regret Most About Our Belize Event Is Not Going

Boy, I Wish I’d Been There

Boy, I wish I’d been there…

Because I wasn’t, friends who were in the room are sending recaps… sharing stories…

I appreciate their efforts to help keep me connected, but, man, I feel like I’m being tortured.

What fun everyone is having.

What am I talking about?

Last week’s annual Live and Invest in Belize Conference.

“After the conference concluded,” wrote longtime friend and Belize expat and developer Phil Hahn, “I traveled to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

“I hardly ever get to Ambergris anymore. My Belize base, as you know, is Cayo.

“But I took the water taxi from Belize City to San Pedro to connect with one of our conference attendees, Jean Claude Mercier.

“Jean Claude was the first person to sign up for the conference. Your French Conference Director Valentine was looking forward to meeting him, a fellow Frenchman.

“Imagine Valentine’s surprise when Jean Claude greeted her with a Texas accent!

“Jean Claude told us that his father was French, his mother Mexican. He was raised in San Antonio. He has worked in foreign exchange for international banks for years and now lives in Singapore.

“He came to Belize looking for a bolt-hole for his daughter. During the conference, he became a Belize Circle Member and, in the end, decided to buy a Carmelita Cottage and a Grand Baymen condo. This gives him and his daughter footholds both on the mainland, in Cayo, and in the Caribbean, on Ambergris Caye.

“Jean Claude is a genuinely reverent family man, very concerned about his family and society and wanting to give back. He asked for direct contact information for Marla’s House of Hope, the children’s home featured at this year’s conference.

“After our meeting in San Pedro, Jean Claude flew back to the States, but his daughter and her friend stayed behind for another day and are accompanying me and my son Wade to Caye Caulker.

“While the youngsters play at the beach, I will meet with another conference attendee, an Alaskan miner… who, by the way, also signed up to become a Belize Circle Member during the conference.

“Prior to the conference,” Phil continued, “Jay and Sabrina Johnson, repeat conference attendees, came to Carmelita for a groundbreaking on their cottage.

“I ran into them on Ambergris, in San Pedro, where they were taking a tour of Grand Baymen. I ran into many other conference attendees in San Pedro, too… all getting out and about to get to know Belize’s Caribbean side.

“I have to tell you… and everyone I’ve spoken with agrees… this was definitely one of the liveliest, most enthusiastic, most fun group of attendees we’ve had at any Belize conference. What a really great bunch of people… ”

Then, a day later, more from Phil as he continued his adventures in the Caribbean…

“I am still on Caye Caulker,” Phil wrote, “and I have to tell you about the day I’m having…

“I’ve been to Caye Caulker before, of course, but today is different. I’m here on business, but it’s hard to think of what I’m doing as business. The scene all around me is just awesome. I can’t think of any other word for it.

“The blue sea, the white sand, the swaying palm trees… it’s all almost too good to be true. But here I am… just another work day!”

I had to stop reading. I was worried that, if I read much more, I’d jump out of my chair, walk out of my office, catch a cab to the airport, and hop on the next plane headed to Belize City.

I can’t make it to Belize today… but soon.

Phil, if you’re reading, heads up. I’ll be in touch with my travel details. Maybe you wouldn’t mind sending someone to the airport to pick me up…

Kathleen Peddicord