Belize Survivor, part 35

As the weeks passed, and the winter rains of northern California continued to fall steadily, close quarters eventually bred short tempers.

“Maybe we should go on another fast," said Max, irritably. "Fasting is so good for you. It's nature's operating table”

"Oh please, not that again," Alexis protested. "Why does everyone in California have to be an extremist when it comes to food?”

"I just think that natural cures are best. That's why God gave us herbs and grasses. You don’t need to be a scientist to be healthy. When I was a kid I had bad tonsillitis regularly. My grandfather, back in England, was a naturopath; he didn't believe in modern medicine, and always said that God doesn't hand out unnecessary body parts, so I never got my tonsils out."

"Still, there's a lot to be said for modern medicine. I’m sure you still took antibiotics every time you had a flare-up, and they’re products of the twentieth century."

"Penicillin is made from bread mold," he argued. "That's natural."

"Okay, never mind," Alexis said, now also irritated. "Sorry I brought it up." She held his gaze for a moment. "I didn't mean to snap at you. The claustrophobia must be getting to me."

"I know what you mean,” said Max, his tone softening. “At least we'll have a piece of land to work on as soon as the rains let up. This land and trailer were a lucky break for us. It might not be much, but it's cheap."

When spring finally arrived in mid-April, they broke ground and began planting snow peas, lettuce, radishes, carrots, broccoli, and cabbage. Max put up an eight-foot fence to keep out the numerous deer, and they made plans to drill for water with the coming of the dry California summer.

"Did you ever read a book called The Magic of Findhorn?" Max called from three rows over, as he shouldered the spade and walked over towards where Alexis was working.

She opened the seed packet carefully and dropped a single kernel into the hole, covering and tamping it gently "No. What's it about?"

“It’s a commune in northern Scotland where they grow huge organic fruits and vegetables. Supposedly, they call on the divas, plant spirits, or sing to them, to bring forth the bounty of the land."

"Sounds like a fairy tale,” Alexis laughed. “Is it supposed to be for real?"

"That's what they say." Max turned over several other shovelfuls of soil to prepare the rest of the row for her. "Why don't you try singing to the seeds while you plant them? Maybe they'll grow better."

"Oh, come on. Give me a break. I'd feel stupid."

"Okay, then sing for me instead. The Zulus always sang while they worked in the fields. I wrote to my parents and told them I'd met an American girl who could sing like an nyoni, like a songbird."

Alexis gave him a winning smile and began to sing softly. A few minutes later he walked over to her, brushed the long hair away from the back of her neck, and kissed her.


"Hmmm?" she said absent-mindedly.

"What would you say to us getting married?"

"What?” she exclaimed, truly surprised. “Why married? We could just live together."

"That's true. But you know I'm only visiting here right now. The U.S. Government thinks I'm a Canadian. If we married, then I could stay."

“Wait a minute. I thought you were a British South African traveling under a British passport."

"I am. But I also have a South African driver's license, a South African passport, Canadian Social Insurance card, and a Canadian driver's license."

"Isn't that slightly illegal? How did you get the Canadian ID?"
As it turned out, Max had taken advantage of a little glitch in the system. He’d found out that Newfoundland didn't have any birth records before 1949, so when he got to Canada, he told the authorities that he was born in St. Johns in 1948, and they’d given him both ID's without question.

"Now you're confusing me. Which passport do you travel on?"

"Always on the British one. A South African passport is very limited as far as which countries you can visit. You see, I was born in 1948 before the Union of South Africa became the Republic of South Africa. And because my father was born in England, I was allowed a choice as to what citizenship I wanted. So I was able to get a British passport issued in England. I also had a South African army reserve card, but I burned it before I left. As soon as I have some good United States identification, I plan to burn my South African passport too."

“I take back the ‘slightly’ part,” she said, “that sounds extremely illegal.”

"Of course, it could get tricky if I were ever searched. But if we were married, I could stay here in the United States – that is, if neither Belize nor Costa Rica works out. But beyond all that, I just always want to have you by my side. I want you to be ntombi eyami, my woman," he said affectionately. "Will you marry me?"

Can’t wait for the next installment? Go to and get your copy now. All “Direct-from-the-Author” purchases are personally signed and inscribed, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Shelter for Abused Women and Children of Naples, FL. Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise is also available at bookstores and online outlets.

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