Did you know Belize has a national chess club (check out their facebook page)? I didn’t either until I stumbled upon the West Cayo District team training one Saturday afternoon. Being a fan of the game, I asked their coach if I could take a few photos. He said, “sure…would you like to play a game?”. You don’t have to ask me twice. Instantly I was surrounded by kids yelling, “The camera man plays chess! The camera man plays chess!” I settled into a game, and thought I should probably go easy on the young man pictured here. Was I ever wrong. While eating nachos and chatting on the phone he put in me in checkmate after decimating my pieces. No question, he was ready for district championships the next week.
I share these images and stories with you hoping that on your next trip, you might open yourself up to new experiences and meeting new people. I’m guessing you already do. I’ve found that the folks that visit here on a regular basis are pretty open to the world around them. However, if you’re not or you’re a bit shy, just give it try. The lesson here, one that I have tried to share this week, is simple. Whether it is a distant country or a neighboring town, travel isn’t about seeing…its about experiencing. Although there is something to be said for standing alone, in the presence of a grandscape, it’s also just as rewarding to play a game of chess with a total stranger.
Photographer’s Note - Yep, another image from one of my favorites…the Nikon 24mm 1.4g.