Traveling with Mr. Price (By Norris Hall)

TRAVELING WITH MR. PRICE

The tour of Belize in the 1970s was undoubtedly the most memorable experience in my career (…) It was hard work as we traveled to every village and settlement of this country. We used just about every available mode of transportation, chief among them was the Premier’s trusted blue Land Rover driven by Jimmy “Loco” Dawson (although that got bogged-down off the beaten path of “proposed” road and required all the mechanical and man-power, including that of the Premier, to get out the muddy mess). We traveled on the backs of mules and on land clearing tractors. We trekked through jungle trails and knee-deep swamps to reach villages like More Tomorrow in the West, up hills and down hills, fording rivers to Jalacte and other Maya villages in the South – Mr. Price always in the lead.

During one of the tours, I had the misfortune to make contact with Poison Ivy, which left my hands swollen for days. Walking through jungle, I experienced body invasion by busy ticks. We traveled through coastal mangrove swamps on a very dark night in a cranky dory form Monkey River to the village of Independence, unable to make too rash a move as we were attacked too many times by too hungry mosquitoes. The one comforting thought that quickened my steps and hastened our arrival at our destination was the prospect of a neat drink of local rum followed by another quick one ‘down the hatch’.

My late night hangouts at the local watering holes after a day’s tour usually resulted in many lectures from Mr. Price that “late nights and early mornings don’t mix’’, and a variation on that theme, with the central theme being the virtues of good and clean living. Penance would be early morning Mass in the community in which we had spent the night, if there was a church or a priest available.

(From the introduction to George and the People -a photo documentary by Norris Hall)



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