Monday, June 24, 2024

Letters to the Editor: San Pedro Serendipity


Dear Editor,

I am JoAnn Sullivan, of 8 Mile North @ Blue Reef. What follows is one account of San Pedro Serendipity.
At some time in one’s life, we almost all experience the loss of a purse or luggage while vacationing.

On February 7th, Bill and Pat Blacha and family arrived on the island for a three-week rental stay at my beach house Waba Laru Beya (Garifuna: Our House by the Sea). They were met by me in taxi; 6 people for 3 weeks, plenty of luggage. After 30 minutes on the island they had already become enthralled. Due to such an excess of luggage, some of us walked to the shops while the full taxi followed behind. We proceeded to add groceries and cases of drinks to an already jammed van. From taxi we transferred to private boat charter. Once in the beach house, Bill and Pat mentioned that after a thorough search, Bill’s carry-on bag did not make the trip, a swell start to their vacation. The Blacha’s were accepting, never made one negative comment about San Pedro. They continued to enjoy all of the Jewel’s treasures, Maya archaeological sites, cave tubing, fishing, snorkeling and kite board sailing.

On the evening of their arrival at Waba Laru Beya, it was already dark and Tropic Air was closed. I called the following day asking that the baggage personnel please search the local areas for Mr. Bill’s bag. Having worked for an international air carrier, I also began the backtrack. Perhaps due to personnel vacations, the team at Tropic seemed overwhelmed. Through my insistence, the employee answering telephone stated that he would “try” to contact Tropic Air at Goldson International and call me back. I tried again and again, no luck. The Blacha’s assumed that they’d been robbed within their first 24 hrs. in San Pedro. Bill had placed his credit cards, all of his favorite beach clothes and sadly a large amount of cash, $1,600USD currency, in his carry on.

I continued to put the word out. In the interim Miss Rosie, from Sunrise Realty had been over to my property. On February 22nd, I received a telephone call from Mr. Gary of San Pedro Tropic Air Cargo. Gary stated that after over 2 weeks, the bag had returned to San Pedro Airport from its unknown travels! Gary had been diligently trying to find us and had posted, on Facebook, pictures of my home, the same vacation pictures formerly posted by the Blacha’s. Gary’s post reads, “Does anybody know where this house is?” Yes, Miss Rosie, did indeed know and responded with a post; “I was just there a few days ago…The Blacha’s are living at JoAnn’s house.” Fearing the worst, I asked Gary if he had opened the bag. The answer was, “yes” and it was conducted under the Tropic Air Cargo senior management observation. Gary stated that the bag had been untouched; all contents were intact, including all of the cash! I telephoned Bill and Pat immediately with the wonderful news.

Hats Off! to the honesty and integrity of the many wonderful employees of Tropic Air and the entire island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, who generously give their time, kindness and integrity to making this one of the most magical and memorable vacations for our island’s guests.

Mr. Gary considered the aforementioned his professional duty, saying that he’d been on vacation and apologized for the lengthy delay in locating the bag. He also declined gratuity. But Mr. Bill is a solid six foot four inches, semi retired fireman. Ya don’t say “no”, to Bill. Perhaps due to the many lives Bill has saved over his years of service as a Michigan Fireman, The Great One, made certain that Bill’s carry-on found its way back into his arms.

The entire event was concluded with a Belikin celebration. Naturally!

/s/JoAnn Sullivan
Waba Laru Beya House

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