A Celebration of Sarah
Posted by Tony & Cheri on June 7, 2007
“In the tropics, people come and they go”. – Jimmy Buffet
It’s fashionable to talk about how travel influences people and how living in a different place and culture can change a person for the better. However we often forget that the rewards of travel can run in both directions and that a visitor to a country can change the landscape as well as how the local people feel and act. On a few very special occasions, a traveler can leave a place better than it was. Our friend Sarah is such a person.
Shortly after moving to Playa we met Sarah. She had moved here only a few months before we did. She came down to take a break from years of school, work, and some personal sadness. A short stay in the sun seemed to be just what she needed. She never left. Playa seduced her. But then again, the love affair was mutual.
There are ex-pats who come here to party until the booze, the money or the locals’ patience is used up. Then they drift away. Not Sarah. She became part of Playa. True enough, our girl loves to party! There is probably no bar top in Playa that has not been danced upon by Sarah as she waved a glass of tequila and shouted “Woo-hoo!” to the world. However Sarah has meant much more to Playa than just one more pretty girl dancing the night away. Sarah became part of life down here for many people.
Sarah has the world’s biggest heart. Anytime there was a person in need or a charity function planned, Sarah jumped in to help with all she has. From the Bloody Chicas to the local fire fighters, to collecting school supplies and clothing for local underprivileged children and unwed mothers, to raising money for ex-pats in need of assistance…Sarah has always been there. After she became a member of the newly established church in Paamul she became one of its biggest supporters. When she went to work at the El Papalote grade school she didn’t just teach children English, she threw herself into events and celebrations and became a member of the families whose children went there and the folks who taught there.
Because of that giving spirit, everyone young and old adores “Sarita.” She became the first crush of Angelito, the seven year old son of our maid Elvira. Actually the whole staff at the Luna Blue fell a little bit in love with Sarah for her warmth, her little thoughtful gifts and that wonderful smile.
Then there are the two of us. Sarah has been part of our life here from the beginning. She raided our closets for Halloween costumes, she created spontaneous events at our house (there’s a barbeque at your place tonight…didn’t I tell you?!); she banged up our car (kids!!!) and she scared the hell out of us by getting sick with dengue and kidney infections (like the time she called at midnight with a 104 degree temperature: “Papa T, I don’t feel very good.”). Life with Sarah has never been dull.
We soon discovered she was a talented artist and put her to work. She designed the unique Luna Blue Hotel & Garden logo which graces our webpage signs and t-shirts. She also painted the favorite places signpost hanging in our garden. We weren’t alone in appreciating Sarah’s talents. Her designs have been seen all over Playa and the internet. You can see some of her work on her web page, www.graphicosdesign.com. She’ll continue to be our own personal grapics designer, even though now everything will have to be done long distance. 😦
And she has taken very good care of us. She has been that special kind of friend who listens and never judges. She was always there to help and work no matter what the project. We never asked Sarah to do anything and had her say no. She is that unique person who always comes through and is always willing to give. She held our hands, dried our tears, and told us we could go on even when we thought we couldn’t. She housesat our animals, baked us incredible goodies and dragged us to the beach, the bar or the party when it all got to be too much.
We really don’t know if we would still be here today in Playa, running a successful hotel, if we hadn’t had Sarah as part of our lives.
Now she is leaving us. No longer will we see that little brown skinned girl heading past the hotel early in the morning on her way to the beach, yelling “I’ll stop by on my way back!” No longer will we walk by her house on the way home from work and have her run out on her tiny balcony saying “Come on up. I have…brownies/tequila/good gossip!”
Sarah has fallen in love and is moving back to the States to be with her guy, Adam. We totally approve. We think he is perfect for her and her for him. After all, we introduced them, thinking what a perfect couple they would make. We know they will be very happy together. And of course we will insist they occasionally come back for a visit (on birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversaries, 4th of July, Flag Day…).
Sarah thinks she is leaving Playa on June 11th. She is wrong. She will forever be part of the heart and soul of Playa del Carmen. Her courage, generosity, and joy of life are now intertwined with this special place and the people who live and visit here. We are all changed for the better for having met her.
Thank you, darling girl, for everything. We love you.
Papa T and Cheri