People ask a lot of questions about what it was like at duPlooy’s in the days before electricity and running water.
My favorite book growing up was Swiss Family Robinson so a family adventure always appealed to me. The only thing was that the Robinsons, shipwrecked on an island with a ship loaded with supplies, must have had an easier time of it. When they ran out of something – like fine wines,cheese, chocolate and other essential items – they merely rowed their little dinghy out to the ship and brought back what they needed; while we had to drive 10 miles over a rough unpaved road to San Ignacio Town to get supplies and there was a definite shortage of fine wines and cheese!! If there had been, we probably wouldn’t be so fond of tortillas, rice and beans and local rum – all much healthier anyway. See, every cloud does have a silver lining!
At the time, had we known that it would be 8 months before our generator was up and running and water pumping away, would we have still bought the place? Or that suppliers would refuse to deliver anything past the bottom of our famous duPlooy’s Hill?
We have a secret belief that the reason that every mechanic in San Ignacio whose son or daughter has a graduate degree from a fine university has something to do with our constant need for their services replacing vehicle parts like shock absorbers, tie rod ends, u-joints, etc., parts that I for one, didn’t even know that vehicles had, never mind that they needed to be replaced on a regular basis! Who needs to sponsor uniforms for a soccer team when you can support a local mechanic, making him feel like the most important person in your life?
18 months later, the main road was paved and the beastly hill was sort of under control. We were able to get fuels delivered and there was even a telephone of sorts. I say, of sorts, because it was a radio system with about 50 people using it. The signal could not be scrambled so you heard everyone’s conversations. Night times were the best because that was when people made personal calls. No matter what you told the person on the other end of the line about others being able to hear the conversation, people calling from a normal phone just rattled on about their personal lives. We heard some good stuff and all gathered round to listen. We called it “as the River Bends” and it more than made up for the lack of TV and Radio.
Now, 25 years later, life is easy – the fuel truck delivers, even the beer truck delivers and about anything you really need is available. And Belize makes darn good chocolate! And there are choices in paint colors, plumbing fixtures, etc. (This is actually harder for me because I liked it when you just bought what was there and didn’t worry about what wasn’t)
duPlooy’s in 1993 – Ken, Judy, Stephanie, Heather, Patricia, Lorna and Shayla