Sunday, September 15, 2013

Freeways to Flip-Flops by Sonia Marsh

Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island, Sonia Marsh.  Lake Forest, CA: Gutsy Publications, 2012.  e-book, 292 pps.

The Marsh family were living a ritzy life in Orange County, California.  The monetary demands required to keep in pace with consumerism were having an adverse effect on Sonia's husband Duke.  Their oldest boy of three was beginning to get into trouble.  The middle son was very much into "buy, buy, buy."  The youngest was quiet but well-behaved so far.  Sonia and Duke decided to sell their home and move the family to one of the islands in Belize.  They did.

Island living was difficult to get used to.  There were rashes and insect bites, geckos crawling up the walls, shortages of water, and a problem with the educational system beyond elementary school.  The family settled into a compound with three other families of ex-pats and a caretaker family.  Consequently, they did not entirely "go native."  The oldest son straightened up his behavior but the youngest hated living in Belize.  The savings account balance was going down and there was also a problem with getting adequate income to come in.

sapphoq reviews says:  Among some ex-pat circles, Belize is often suggested as "the perfect place" for those who wish out of the United States.  Perhaps not.  Or perhaps the results are better when people strive for assimilation into the neighborhood and the culture rather than staying within a clique of ex-pats.  At any rate, the book was a bit draggy in parts but I stuck with it.  I would have liked to know exactly what kind of geckos were crawling up the walls of their first Belize home.  Kudos to Sonia and Duke for deciding to move rather than dumping their eldest son at WWASPS or a similar agency with a history of abuse.  Freeways to Flip-Flops was not the best ex-pat read but not the worst either.  Recommended to people with kids who are looking to split the U.S.A.

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