Meet Ralph. Otherwise known as Ralph Lauren. He’s of Mayan decent, father of an adorable little boy, and works at Hidden Valley Resort - 11 days on and 3 days off. Ralph was our tour guide, body guard, teacher, and jaguar defender. He proudly has a PHD. (Pot Hole Dodging) He was not a fan of my Teriyaki Beef Jerky, but liked the dried apple chips in small amounts. Ralph taught us so much about the Mayan culture that he obviously loved and took great pride in. Our first lesson involved the concept of time. He taught us that 4 miles and 45 minutes is a little different in Belize culture than it was in the US culture.
During our excursions, I got to sit up front because I was still suffering from excruciating headaches due to my previous concussion. While we rode along, Ralph and I shared stories of relationships, family, job history, and his own love of Belize. I told him about my blog and its purpose of sharing experiences in letting my guard down to try new things. The next day he told me that he checked it out because he thought I was joking! He stated that he really liked it, which made my day and may have planted a little seed from which the book you now hold followed.
My favorite thing about Ralph was that not only was he well educated, funny, caring, and an excellent tour guide and driver, but Ralph was the most amazing at finding unexpected adventures like when we saw two jaguars trying to mate. Even though our van got stuck in the mud, he made sure we escaped safely and had us laughing the rest of the way to the yoga platform where we were expected next. Brad was nice enough to come looking for us, worried that something terrible had happened, but we were in great hands. So if you ever have a chance to go to Belize, stay at Hidden Valley and make sure to tell Ralph Chasing Stormi says hi!
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!