As I mentioned in last Friday’s post about Wine de Vine wine night I met Susan Carter Manager of Carib Pro. I found her very interesting and asked if she would like a Spotlight on tacogirl – not only did she graciously agree she returned my questions super fast.
What’s your claim to fame?
I doubt that I have a claim to very much in this life! My mother always says my claim to fame is that I’ve been in 19 hurricanes and typhoons, some tropical cyclones, a few major fires, loads of earthquakes, including an 8.2, and have survived without a scratch. So maybe my real claim to fame is that Mother Nature seems to stalk me wherever I go!
How many different places have you lived in the Caribbean [and where]?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited and worked on every island nation in the Caribbean… and I have lived for longer periods in the Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico and Dominica.
What do you find is your biggest challenge living and working in the Caribbean?
If you live and work in the Caribbean long enough, in my case 20 years, most working expats find that they have to continuously develop their skills, experience and knowledge levels so that we can readily flow from one career path to another….this is because the only thing you can count on when working in the Caribbean is that you can’t really count on anything, so you’d better be prepared for a lot of life changes.
What are your thoughts on being socially responsible in today’s work world?
I think that it is an absolute essential responsibility for all of us, ownership in particular. However, with the world in its current state, people and businesses are more inclined to be self-centric as everyone is worrying about their own survival and so it unfortunately goes by the wayside or to the back of the line.
How do you feel personally that living in the Caribbean has changed your life?
Lots of lessons have been learned…..such as, living in the Caribbean has taught me that patience, flexibility and a great sense of humor are indeed golden and well needed in everyday life. I have learned to be more humble and happy as I immersed myself in a very simply lifestyle here. Long ago the Caribbean and its peoples captured my heart through its unique beauty and wonderful, diverse cultures all of which resonated with me on a personal level. I feel that I’ve evolved in to a better person by being part of it.
How many hurricanes have you been through? What are your top tips for a first timer?
Well, as far as hurricanes I’ve been in three; the worst one was definitely Hurricane Hugo! My advice for a first timer, or anyone for that matter, is to always stay calm and don’t panic. Plus to take it seriously and don’t be off at some “hurricane party” on the beach when you should be home battening down the hatches and getting fully prepared.
[adding my 2 cents a write up from Ambergris Daily on Tropic Air Evacuation Tips]
One book or movie you recommend everyone should read or watch? Both if you like.
One book I have just finished is a jewel! It is The Last Resort : A Memoir of Zimbabwe by Doug Rogers. It is a story about Doug’s parents who own are lodge owners there and how they cleverly manage to cope with the horrid political and monetary downturn in that country while trying to keep the lodge afloat by any means possible.
I most enjoy travel memoirs, the classics and books about visionaries – be it a writer, musician, world leader, artist or spiritual leader…it doesn’t really matter. Visionaries often start out in life just like you and me but somewhere along their particular road there is a fork that they chose to take which leads them to their path of individual excellence and achievement. That fork and how they evolve to who they become always fascinates me.
What are 3 things that can always be found in your refrigerator?
Water, fruit (lots of berries of all types), vegetables (especially broccoli and mushrooms).
If you could be doing anything right now what would it be?
To be even more involved with helping the people of Haiti than I currently am … I’ve been a strong supporter of Haiti and its people for many years now and am always looking for ways to be able to do more. I hope to be able to visit there in the near future so that I can assess how I can be of continuing assistance.
What did you like most about Ambergris Caye?
That’s easy. The people….all the locals as well as the expat’s that I met. Everyone is very genuine and very much in love with their island. I just wish that I had had more time to spend there as I never saw the north end of the island nor did I tour the island’s resorts. I’ve worked within the Caribbean’s tourism and hospitality industry for over 20 years… so I really enjoy touring our regional “hospitality products.” That said, I will rave about the wonderful food I had at the restaurants and really loved my evening at Wine de Vine. Hopefully I can return one day soon and take in much more which will allow me the opportunity to write and publish some articles about the very special Ambergris Caye.