With the pump for the Wolf
family's only water well source along with the battery for their
vintage 1987 Toyota truck stolen outright during the daylight
by the team of those that knew their as well as the local Alcalde’s
every move, the family was collectively demoralized.
Absolutely, the Wolfs realized overnight, the family as well
as their possessions were marked. When the day had dawned they
had believed they were a part of a Belizean community. However,
by the last light of the day, well the Wolfs understood crystal
clear that they were just another bunch of gringos in the crosshairs
of a desperate bunch of Belizeans that could not give a s$&t
about the next day. Indeed, as much as they had wished it to be
other than the truth, Charley and the other Wolfs were indeed
distraught as they faced the prospects of another new year in
Charley had purchased the submersible pump from Benny's in Belize
City, the battery had been purchased elsewhere to match the truck
he had bought duty free in the town of San Ignacio. Aptly the
energizer was placed in the vehicle where the title did not match
up to the vin number. The local district licensing authority for
a few extra dollars registered it anyway. The real sadness to
Ms. Wolf, both valuables were stolen by the two people Charley
Wolf had gainfully employed within days of their arrival from
the nearby village. One man was a "Belizean Mayan",
the other was a "Belizean Coolie".
The times they were a changin' in Belize, thieving was no longer
reserved to the dangerously desperate streets of Belize City.
No, the danger zone was now nationwide, the cultural and social
and economic fiber of a nation was under siege. The locals as
well as the gringos were becoming more and more vulnerable, and
the Wolfs with their growing family were facing up to the realities.
And though a water well and truck battery were not equal to a
home invasion or a family member being assaulted or murdered,
with rising taxes being levied on beer and rum and gasoline and
power, there was an approaching cloud that had Charley questioning
the choices he had made for his family.
Charley and the Wolf family collectively were becoming quite
disillusioned, especially when the first and second yard men that
they had hired upon developing their piece of paradise reportedly
teamed up to steal while the family had departed the village in
search of a hospital for the birth of the fourth member of the
clan. As the village alcade-mayor, who was charged with the task
of securing and financially rewarded to watch the place in Charley's
absence, was watched by those he too trusted as the Wolf's had
day in and day out, the thieves could care less. And so they fell
prey on the valuables during the daylight hours when the trusted
property overseer went to his regular job as an electrician.
And though he was an honest man with a good family, the alcade-mayor
knew all too well just as Charley did, they were all living amongst
a den of smiling thieves. Despite the good folks that tried to
survive in the torrent of hard times in a desperate land where
the average household lives off less than two thousand US dollars
per year, those that had a penache to take advantage of the Wolfs
lingered in the shadows of daily village life. They watched and
waited and seized upon the moments similar to those vultures that
fly overhead and wait until they too are sure that the coast is
The thieves were known simply to lay about the day conversing
and contemplating their moves under the shade of a palapa coolspot,
a cold Beliken here, a sip of the green mini bottles of rum there.
They argued in their haze of drunkenness until they decided they
had the right to Charley's possessions. The Coolie arrived at
the conclusion that he had never been paid for the bed he had
built for Charley. The Maya man equally convinced himself that
Charley still owed him for six days of work at thirty Belize a
In the end, the alcalde-mayor and the police determined that
since Charley produced the signed receipts for the bed construction
and the workmans work completed, that the two men were thieves.
For a thief is a thief is a thief. But for Charley, he knew that
if he and his family were to continue living amongst a group of
thieving wolves, he needed to do the right thing. Therefore upon
return of the stolen goods the charges were dropped, the Coolie
and the Mayan man were released from the one room jail cell. By
days end they were once again lounging about their favorite coolspot,
planning for another day.