Living in paradise is a challenge when it is your job to provide infrastructure to people on vacation. Like any job, there is a lot involved. Above all, we strive to hide the struggle and showcase the end product; ease and relaxation for our guests.

We live in the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Our guests come from the richest countries in the world. No matter how much we try to prepare them for life without all the creature comforts, there are always a few who are shocked by the cold showers and the bugs.

In order to provide electricity, for instance, we need to keep generators in good repair and receive regular shipments of fuel for them. However, we sometimes pull up alongside the weekly freight supply boat to find that they were unable to bring us any fuel.

When supplies do arrive, they are passed from person to person and from boat to boat and then moved to the lodge via wheelbarrow and bicycle. We do our best to walk the tightrope between comfort for the guests and strain on our fragile resources.

As I go about my day, radio at my hip, smiling at guests while hurrying towards the next emergency, this scene from the Wizard of Oz comes to mind:

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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