Dr. Love

Dr. Love is the island's and possibly the world's greatest authority on just about everything. The Doctor answers questions on just about everything except religion and politics. Persons needing additional assistance or counseling should contact the Family Services Division at 02-77451.

You may write to the Doctor at P.O. Box 35, San Pedro Town, Belize, fax 026-2905 or e-mail at sanpdrosun@btl.net

Dear Doctor Love,
Have you been in the Island Supermarket Store lately? They have had the ground in front of the store torn up for two weeks while they put in bricks over the street. The inconvenience is worth it. The street is starting to look terrific and it will never be muddy and filled with potholes. I think that Coconut Drive should be paved with these blocks all the way from the grammar school to Island Supermarket. Who would I go to with a suggestion like this?
/s/ Unsigned

Dear Unsigned,
You must have missed the June 17th edition of the San Pedro Sun. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor told the San Pedro Sun that they are working with the Ministry of Works on a solution and that $!00,000 has been allocated for small projects which the Town Board decided should go towards repairing the streets. A surveyor has already been to the island and two of the options being looked into are using gravel or cobblestones along with installing drainage ditches. The Doctor agrees with you that the paving stones are attractive and make a wonderful alternative to asphalt or mud. The only snag might be if it costs too much and the Town Board cannot afford the extra money needed. Remember that things move slowly in Belize, so you still might want to voice your concern to the Town Board.

Dear Dr. Love,
Hey did you hear about the new soup kitchen in town! Yes it's a very simple concept, it all works on donations. The great thing about it is, you don't even know your donating until after your food is gone!

It's very simple: go to the restaurant of your choice, order something you're really, really hungry for, put it in your golf cart and head home. Now here's the way to donate: stop at a friends, get out, go in, visit for a while and VOILA! You've just made your first donation.

It was so easy, that's how it worked for us. Oh, just a reminder to those who take from one whose been taken - next time you may not feel so well after dinner.
/s/All Souped Out

Dear Souped,
You sound bitter. The Doctor is not certain where you are from but let's assume you are from New York City. Would you drive a convertible into the heart of the Bronx and park it with packages on the seat? If you were from Los Angeles, would you park a convertible anywhere in East L.A. and leave a package in it? How about the South side of Chicago or the Overtown section of Miami? Of course not. Not only would the package be gone but the car would have been stolen or stripped down to the frame. This is the United States we are talking about here, not some Third World country like . . .oh, say like Belize. Of course stealing is wrong. Moses only bought Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai. We are familiar with the ones about stealing, killing, adultery and so forth. The Eleventh Commandment is implied in the first ten. "Thou shalt not do dumb things and if thou doest, thou shall accept the blame." One other thing the Doctor wants to mention. Have you considered that a dog might have taken your food? How about a raccoon? There are dogs on this island that can pick combination locks to get to food and they are only half as smart as the raccoons.

Dear Doctor,
What is up with all of these church groups that come down here in the summer? We just had one last week and now another group has arrived. Don't we have enough churches here already?
/s/ Devout Heathen

Dear Heathen,
Nope. Our philosophy here is that you can never have too many bars or churches. They keep each other in business. The bars provide the sin and the churches do the saving. Then the cycle starts all over again.

Dear Doctor,
I can't understand people on this island when they speak Creole to me. What kind of language is this and why do they use it when this is supposed to be an English-speaking country? Is there a dictionary of Creole that I can buy so I can understand what these people are saying?
/s/ Frenchy

Dear Frenchy,
You can buy a dictionary of any language but you cannot usually buy one for a dialect. According to the encyclopedia, Creole is a dialect originally developed as a means of communication between slaves. Creole dialect is the form of language that develops when speakers of mutually unintelligible languages remain in persistent and long-lasting contact with each other, with one of the contributing languages typically dominant. Jamaican Creole is similar to the American Creole dialect of Louisiana, where elements of African languages are mixed with Spanish, French and English, with English as the dominant language. In the islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia in the U.S., the Creole dialect is slightly different and is called gullah or geechee. In Belize, the Creole dialect is a mixture of African languages, Spanish, English and even some Maya words. There are several stores in Belize City that carry a book with English phrases and the way to pronounce them in Creole.

Dear Doctor Love,
I met a guy in a bar here the other night who lives here and seems to be a secret agent of some sort. He did not actually say he was a secret agent but he hinted around about the kind of traveling he has to do and the people that he has to report to. I finally came to the conclusion that he is just a drunk. He says everyone calls him _ __ and for his cover he ___ ___. Do you know this person? Is he for real?
/s/ Not Impressed

Dear Not Impressed,
Everybody on this island knows him. Your instincts are right. He is just a harmless drunk who has a loose screw. Alcohol acts on the screw just like WD-40 on a rusty bolt. The more alcohol, the looser that screw gets.

Dear Doctor,
Last week you said that the four-story building would go up and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop it. In the same issue of the paper an article said that the owners had decided not to add the fourth story. So you were wrong. Right?
/s/ Faithful Reader

Dear Faithful,
Yes and no. The only ones who could stop the building of the fourth story were the building's owners and they are the ones who stopped it. The Town Board did not. The Central Government did not. The police did not. They stopped it in response to public pressure and only because enough people showed concern in a public meeting. The shame of Belize is that this situation is typical, not something unusual.

Dear Dr. Love,
My children want to go visit with their father for six weeks this summer. The father lives in the U.S and the children have U.S. passports but I have custody of the children in Belize. He has visitation rights and if I want to, I can force him to come here for a visit instead of sending the children to see him. We had a very bitter divorce and he tried to get custody of them and I am worried that he might try to keep them there instead of sending them back after six weeks. I do not have a lot of money and I am afraid that I wouldn't be able to afford to go the U.S. to get them back if he tries to pull something funny. Do you think it is safe to send them?
/s/ Concerned

Dear Concerned,
It should be all right to send them. Before they travel, go to the U.S. Embassy in Belize City and explain the situation to them. Make sure that the consul has all of the details of the children's travel plans and make sure that your husband is aware of all of this. You should have nothing to worry about.

Dr. Love

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