barrier reef and ambergris-caye island

Living on Ambergris Caye Island in Belize

Island Life

It was a year and a few months since Paul (my ex) and I made the transition from being frozen in downtown Toronto to living on Ambergris Caye Island in Belize.

Moving to Belize from Canada was a big household adjustment. Thankfully most apartments come to some degree furnished, as we came with only 4 suitcases and 2 carry-on. As a result, our one-bedroom apt in town was only about 1/2 set up for having company. Paul’s sister, Carole was about to be our first and very last-minute arrival. We needed to find something decent to make our humble cot a bit more comfortable. With the state of our shopping, that was easier said than done.

If you are considering living on Ambergris Caye Island, be prepared to take one-stop shopping mostly off your lifestyle abilities list 😀 Also, keep in mind that even the simplest tasks can leave you shaking your head in disbelief at what unfolds during the process. It’s best to welcome those moments with a side of laughter.

A Funny Foam Story

We measured the size we needed for our cot. 30 across x 71 inches long. The first solution that came to mind was to check a local store Sew What. They do custom well-crafted work and I knew they could make something decent. I called owner Kate up Monday and yes she could do something in time but it would cost us $200. They use high-quality foam and special sun-resistant fabric and so it would likely last longer than the cot, but the price was more than we wanted to spend.

Off we went to check a few stores. War Paint store had blow-up mats but the sizing was a bit too big though the price was decent. Next stop Harmouche Hardware. They had a better size blow-up mattress even cheaper and we were set to buy it only they had no pump to blow it up for us. We were going to buy a piece of foam from them but they would not cut it to size – said they had never done that and did not know how.

By this point, not only could I feel the universe smiling at me, but I could also see that Paul had endured enough. So I told him to pick up the laundry, go home and relax, and I would figure it out. (At the time, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment, in downtown San Pedro near the south end of Middle Street.)

Onto Castillo’s Hardware, I go. They had 3-inch foam there and were willing to cut it for me. The guy helping me gets a ladder climbs up to the top of racking to get my foam. He puts it on the floor right in the front area of the store and measures it nicely then he proceeds to start cutting it with his pocketknife.

The first part cut off to make the length right was ok but a bit choppy. Then he proceeded to measure the width and start cutting. A few guys came around offering suggestions and a smaller Exacto knife which did not work. So back to the pocket knife with a different one hacking at it.

Needless to say, the foam looks like it was chewed by a dog as you will see in the picture below.

Another guy that worked there came along and told them they should have been using a big-size Exacto knife. They seemed to feel minorly bad about it and were likely trying to avoid trouble. I was quickly offered home delivery in their truck. The original guy who was helping me rushed it out the door before I had even paid for it.

So off I go walking home thinking the foam (that I now have to fix), will beat me there. Suddenly Simon (from Sunrise Property Management), stops to give me a ride to Pampered Paws, which is 2 doors away from us.

Well, divine timing was definitely at work that day and the universe brought it with a king-size sense of humor. Castillo’s truck pulls up in front of us by my apartment and a bunch of guys are on the flatbed hooting, hollering, and having a good old time.

So I get out of Simon’s cart and walk over to their truck and there is the guy who cut my foam with his pocket knife standing there holding my 2 mangled pieces.

I thanked him and brought it upstairs. I had to laugh at my priceless moment, and the whole experience cost me only $80 BZD.

Another thing I was truly thankful for (not like my pretend politeness over the hacked foam), today’s Ambergris Caye Belize weather – a pleasant 77° F or 25 °C with occasional clouds drifting by.

foam shoppin

If you want to know more about where the country is located, its layout, and culture, then the following article will appeal to you – Where is Belize?


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