December on Ambergris Caye
The start of the Holiday Season has everyone busier than ever. Events are popping up faster than people can mark their calendars. Planning and boat decorating meetings are happening. People are counting down the days till Christmas, bears are being bought.
Below is a bit of the story of a few amazing ways that Santa has already done early deliveries on both Ambergris Caye and in Belize City.
Help Santa Reach Ambergris Caye Kids
This is year two of the adopt a bear program and there are more locations than ever to get you bear and help give a kid a Happy Christmas; Sandbar Hostel, Wayo’s Beach Bar, , Palapa Bar & Grill, Marbucks Coffee House and Truck Stop (sold out.)
Whether you are in or out of the country, there is a local elf who is willing to make your shopping easy for this great brown bear effort. Facebook Message or call Scott Barkhouse at 620-7480 for new backpacks $60BZD and tablets $120BZD.
There are lots of brown bear pictures circulating on the internet to encourage you to buy a bear. Here is a photo collage from 2015 gift day at the Lions Den. The excitement in the room was amazing. Just watching the kids was so worth it and they greatly appreciated their presents with thank yous to Santa and beaming smiles.
Early Christmas on Ambergris Caye
Tuesday night, the Red Cross was pleased to assist in handing out early presents from The Wheelchair Foundation and a whole bunch of their Californian Elves. San Pedro Belize Red Cross will be sending an official thank you list for press asap. What a great night it was. The Lions Den was the perfect place to host the event and as always they were helpful throughout the night. Earlier that day, another volunteer (and one of my 3 workout partners) Sandie and I also delivered a chair.
Brenda, the Red Cross volunteer who was in charge of this effort on our end and Ramon’s Village Resort both worked with us to get the chair delivered to Karen Brodie. After a recent accident, she was in need of a temporary chair and thanks to the foundation’s generous gift, we were able to help.
Early Christmas in Belize City
Back to the beginning of the week. Monday I was pleased to take one of our blood drive reporters to help cover a most important story – himself.
A friend put tagged me in a post someone had reached out on Facebook to get help find rare 0- for his sister. Dion was willing to donate a pint since he had missed our last drive and Tamara, his boss and co-owner with her husband Ron of San Pedro Sun News Paper were happy to allow him the time to go.
Tropic Air was very helpful with our arrangements and waiting to board us last as Dion sprinted from work. When we arrived at Municipal Airport we both agreed that breakfast was in order first and we chose Kisses and Bites Pastry House for scones, tea and iced coffee. While there, I made contact with Hymie and Ivarine the brother and sister of the woman getting Dion’s rare blood and Adrian at Belize Blood Services to let them know we were on our way.
It did not take us much to find the place because, I had a map and we are both familiar with the city. Had it been someone who was not familiar it would have definitely been more challenging and we cab would be the way to go. Same if someone was coming from Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye by water taxi to donate blood.
It was also helpful that Dion spoke good creole as none of the few people we asked could tell us exactly where the blood bank was. The most common answer was go to the closest landmark building, Social Security and ask there. Sure enough the guy at the security booth was able to direct us down the road through a large metal gate and around the corner to a tiny building.
When we arrived Ivarine was waiting for us and we all went inside and rang the doorbell to notify them we had arrived. It did not take long and Adrian gave me permission to take pics while Dion was donating blood and was willing to look at my map and help me mark the path.
After Dion was finished donating blood, we had to take the receipt across the street to Patricia’s doctor at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Since Ivarine happens to be an accountant there, she was willing to help escort us to do that job and have us meet her sister Patricia who was getting the “Precious Gift of Red” from Dion. It was a special moment in time seeing one of our top rare donors and his recipient side by side – we were all joyous. Her husband arrived just in time to say a heartfelt hello as we were leaving.
We do not always get to meet the people we help and so this trip was a magical early Christmas present for both Dion and myself.