I met the most interesting man a couple of weeks ago. He happened to be the tour guide on an excursion I signed up for in Belize (yes, I was on a cruise and it was a wonderful week!). The name of the excursion was "Lamanai Mayan Ruins and Riverboat Excursion". It consisted of a one hour bus trip and then a 30 minute speedboat (not exactly what I was picturing when I thought of a "riverboat") ride to the site of 3 Mayan temples in Lamanai along with the excavated ruins of the Mayan king's residence, a sort-of game stadium (the "ball court") and the ruins of a Mayan town where approximately 900 families had lived. You know how much I love ancient archeology, so yes, I was in my glory!
However, almost as intriguing (and maybe even MORE intriguing) was our tour guide. Not only was he full of energy and enthusiasm, but he talked non-stop during the entire bus ride. He was a native of Belize, his name was Elvis Usher, and now I know practically everything you'd ever want to know about Belize. He passed around pictures of everything you could think of - the national bird, the flag, school uniforms, maps, his passport (!!!), you name it. It was fascinating. As an example of how clueless I was, I had had no idea that Belize used to be British Honduras and that it was the only Central American nation that spoke English. Elvis had collected all of the coins of Belize - pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, & dollars ("we don't have a dollar bill!") into clear little envelopes and gave each of us one as a souvenir - he even signed the back of the envelope ("Elvis Usher 2018"). Then he showed us a video of his house - he wanted all of us to know how he lived, and so he walked around with his phone so we could all watch it. All the while, Elvis kept talking and joking and proudly lifting up his country, which he obviously loved very deeply. And we all loved Elvis. He was the most likeable guy in the world. He gave us his personal email address and told us to keep in touch.
When it got to be lunchtime, Elvis told us to forget about the boxed lunches in the description of the excursion. He said he had his friends prepare an authentic Belizian meal for us. Elvis told us he was very religious, just like most of the people of Belize, and he offered a prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. He was a true example of faith and love in action - right there on a cruise ship excursion in Belize. Whoever would have suspected??
So I wanted to share the story of having met such a fascinating and enthusiastic man of faith on my vacation! I've added Elvis to my personal prayer list. And I give thanks for his ability to lift up so many hearts and souls as he does his job every day. I know I was blessed to have made his acquaintance!