HIBISCA - CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE
JULY 20, 2018
I came across the restaurant during a late night run for water while staying on the small Belize island, Caye Caulker. I was barefoot, in my night gown, and had just enough change for my bottle. I stopped when I heard a local musician playing Heart of Gold by Neil Young, one of the songs that makes my toes tingle. I lingered by the front entrance, worried about intruding on their space, when the owner, Darren, came up and offered me a table. He brought me a glass with ice for my water, followed by pico de gallo, and made the remark of, “Us curly heads have to stick together.” I listened to a few more songs, some hand picked by myself, and then slowly made my way to the hostel. The next day I returned for dinner to repay the generosity given to me, only to find they were closed for a wedding rehearsal. Darren invited me to still come in and sit at the bar, where I indulged in a frozen, virgin mojito. After discussing an array of things, mostly kitchen related, and watching the staff bust out 30+ meals all at the same time, the bright idea of asking to bring my camera in for the process of the next service struck. The courage to actually ask such a thing took a little more time. Eventually I did, and the answer was not given without hesitation…Actually I’m not sure he ever said yes; nevertheless, I showed up the next day. We were all awkward. The staff, Darren, and especially me. But I got close, maybe too close, and pushed everyone out their comfort zones. They fed me incredible food and as we spent more time together things became easy, a bit goofy. Then that was it, it was over. With a fully belly and happy heart, I had captured my first live event, and now had a plethora of images to process. I learned and integrated so much from that experience. Everything always has a beginning.
Thank you Hibisca for your acceptance of my intrusion and allowing me into your space. I couldn’t have picked a better or more accommodating restaurant for my first experience. You will remain a highlight of my time in Central America.