Our Community – Amanda Syme

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 44            December 16, 2004

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Amanda Syme

Ambergris Caye has grown drastically from a little sleepy fishing village to the bustling mecca of the tourism industry in Belize. Every service aimed at providing the absolute best to our visitors is now available in San Pedro Town. Tourists fall in love with "La Isla Bonita," and often they decide to move and become a part of this "Jewel of the Caribbean." Finding a person to help facilitate the move can at times be stressful and tiring but there is one person that makes all real estate transactions easy and fun – Amanda Syme of Sunrise Realty.

     Amanda was born in Lippstadt, Germany on October 4th, 1967. Daughter of Taff and Rose Elliott, Amanda and her sister, Fiona, grew up traveling from destination to destination. Her father was in the British Army, and because of his responsibilities, the family moved back and forth between Germany and England. During her education, Amanda attended a total of 13 different schools.

     Mr. Elliott first came to Belize on assignment. At that time, Amanda was just ten. He fell in love with San Pedro and its natural beauty. He wrote home telling his family of the piece of paradise he had visited.

     Amanda and her family arrived in San Pedro on an extended vacation in 1978. In two years time, the Elliotts had moved to "La Isla Bonita." Amanda attended the San Pedro High School and was President of the Leo's Club, a junior branch of the Lions Club. She majored in the Sciences, studying Chemistry and Biology. In June of 1983, Amanda graduated for San Pedro High.

     Amanda's first job was at Mervyn's Hole in the Wall, and later found employment at Paradise Resort Hotel. Under the management of the McDermotts, Amanda first worked as a bartender but was also trained as a secretary. She learned the basics of business letters, faxes, and accounting. For the next three years, Amanda learned about the responsibilities of a growing business.

     Amanda wed her first husband and the couple was blessed with a lovely daughter, Rosie. Amanda and the baby moved to Florida and the United Kingdom, subsequently. In the United Kingdom, she attended Technical College perfecting her secretarial skills. Unfortunately, her marriage did not work out and Amanda returned to the island.

     Back home, Amanda found a job at Southwind Properties as their secretary. It was a job that she proudly performed for the next two years. Being a single mother, she found it necessary to find an additional part-time job and started working at Jade Garden as a bartender. During this time, Amanda had the pleasure of volunteering her time to the first Sea and Air Festival. "It was a very busy period but watching the show be a great success was very rewarding," she commented.

     In search of more growth, Amanda applied for a manager position at the-soon-to-be-opened Tarzan's Nite Club. She was offered the position and for the following year, worked hard at promoting the discotheque and making it the number one place on the island. However, the nightlife began to take its toll and she decided to look for another job opportunity.

     That opportunity arrived when Amanda started working at Emerald Waters, a business that provided the island with re-filled dive tanks. She also worked at Tropic Air as an assistant in the accounting department. During this time, Amanda met Cal Syme. The couple struck it off and the two started dating.

     On August 31st, 1994, Amanda and Cal visited the Belize Courthouse and the two were wed. Two years later, beautiful Christine was born and Amanda opted to be a stay-at-home mom. The Symes bought their first house and she spent her days taking care of her children and turning their house into a home.

     The late Herman Smith, known archaeologist, approached Amanda and asked her if she was ready to get back into the work field, offering her a job at his wife's real estate agency. After speaking with her husband, Amanda decided to accept the position. "From the start I loved my job. I felt that I had finally found my niche," she exclaimed. Four short years later, Pam Smith decided that she was ready to retire and offered her shares of the company to Amanda. Fearless, she accepted and became co-owner of Sunrise Realty along with partner and friend, Chris Berlin. "I simply adore my job. I meet people of different walks of life, people embarking on a new stage in their lives."

     In January of this year, the Symes were blessed with a new bundle of joy, their son David. They were also overjoyed to break ground on their new home and moved into their house this year, as well.

     In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her three children and loves taking them to the beach. She stated that she has no intentions of leaving San Pedro Town. "Why move? My view is the best, my children are happy and I could not ask for more!" she exclaimed.

     Amanda has found her piece of paradise in Ambergris Caye, has grown, and loved every minute of being on the island. "There is no prejudice here, and if there is, it is not blatant like in other parts of the world. Even though it is a cliché, I think you should treat every day as it were your last. You will live happier that way," she ended. Always willing to lend her help, Amanda Syme has found her niche and loves introducing people to the beautiful corners in "Our Community."

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