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#459396 - 03/04/13 02:15 PM San Pedro Serendipity
Marty Offline
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

#459426 - 03/04/13 05:35 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
Scuba do Offline
Great account JoAnn, what a wonderful ending..thanks to Mr. Gary and Tropic Air.
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care

#459427 - 03/04/13 05:48 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
iluvbelize Offline

#459429 - 03/04/13 06:10 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
JaHo Offline
Ahhhh. That's the San Pedro we love!

#459433 - 03/04/13 07:40 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
tortuga.chica Offline
this story made me smile on a dreary monday. thanks so much!!
A hug is the shortest distance between friends. ~ Author Unknown

#459447 - 03/04/13 11:08 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: tortuga.chica]
krehfish Offline
Similar situation happened to me last Easter. Got off the Tropic flight, and was waiting for baggage. Dropped my carry-on outside on the corner(pretty sure there was a smoke involved), then the baggage was available. Grabbed a taxi, and off we went. Checked in, got to the room, and ... where's my carry-on? Taxi back to Tropic, and asked. Response "yes Sir, I saw it sitting there so we put it in the locked room". 12 years and the island never ceases to amaze me.
Flyfishing my way through mid-life crisis.

#459460 - 03/05/13 03:34 AM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
Tom Offline
Tropic Air is the greatest ever. When I flew out in their 3 seater with the onset of Hurricane Mitch, my small carry on did not make it. I thought it had gotten lost in all of the caous. However, when I returned on he first flight back to the Island after the hurricane, there was my bag waiting for me. Tropic Air had kept it locked up safe.
Now that is what I call taking care of business and they will always have mine.

#459518 - 03/05/13 05:10 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
Phil Offline
I had a zip pop on a pair of cargo pants pocket that had a clip with $2,500 that fell out on the Tropic sofa at Municipal and I had no clue. I arrived in San Pedro patted the empty pocket and had near heart failure. I went to report it to Check in Desk and Municipal had already found it and were in the process of sending it on and calling SP as they'd just worked out whose it was from who was sitting there. This is not in a wallet just a roll of US$ with no id as to whose it was so it could easily have been kept and is a couple of months plus salary for all but the best paid. I was really impressed surprised and delighted.

#459522 - 03/05/13 05:19 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
The year I bought my Nikon digital camera I was headed for my annual trip to California. When I checked in at the Tropic counter in the old building I sat my camera bag on the floor and forgot it.
Once on the plane I realized what I had done and started to panic. We stopped off in Caye Caulker on the way to the international. Upon landing at BZE a Tropic Air person stood at the bottom of the planes steps holding out my camera bag to me. It had flown direct!
The people here are amazing - I need to stay focused on this.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#459536 - 03/05/13 07:04 PM Re: San Pedro Serendipity [Re: Marty]
Cosmic Cats Offline
This is a great story. We haven't suffered any of the particular misfortunes that are being told here, knock on wood. Still, the outcomes are the kind of thing we've come to assume are "normal" for Belize, and San Pedro in particular.

Since the early moments of our first visit, in 2008, we've always felt there is nowhere else on Earth that could possibly have more friendly, likable people. It's not as if we're naive -- we know that the level unsavory events has increased since then, but our attitude has not changed.

We love the people we meet in Belize, and they, more than all the other wonderful things we visit for, are really the most important reason we keep coming back! Thanks for sharing this, Marty.


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