I picked an Orchid in Belize.
an illustrated book from the pen and lense of
Dr. Peter J. Shield, PhD,ARP
I am not a botanist, however I feel strongly the our creator, whoever he or she may be, was definitely trying to convey something to us when he/she chose to bestow over 100 species of one of the world's most beautiful flowers, the Orchid, on a choice piece of the planet that we now call Belize.
My visit to this exotic destination was filled with Orchids, my favorite flower by the way, but there were several more practical reasons that I chose Orchid Bay as my 'home away from home'.
Having spent over 15 years in the American Resort Development field around the world for brands like Hilton, Marriott, Wyndham; not to mention the Chinese Government, and Belize had always been in my sight. This tiny little country nestled at the foot of Mexico is uniquely the only English speaking nation in Central and South America. I watched as resort after resort sprung up on the surrounding cays and people like Leonardo DiCaprio announced plans to develop an ecological island retreat there. Another contributing factor was my best friend in Las Vegas, our ex Lt. Governor, renowned Neurosurgeon Dr. Lonnie Hammargren just happened to be the Honorary Consul to Belize when we first met. It was through Lonnie that I was to meet and spend some enjoyable hours with the Belize Minister for Tourism and Culture, the Hon. Jose Manuel Heredia during his visit to Las Vegas.
As an archaeologist I was drawn to an area that offered easy access to Mexico where I had yet to explore. I had visited Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras in the mid 90's but had yet to visit the Mayan Pyramids scattered across Mexico and Belize. It was then I discovered Orchid Bay!
I had just finished my book "Malta", detailing the retirement options on the incredible Mediterranean Island of Malta where I did the bulk of my archaeological study and work with Cambridge universities Dr. David Trump in the late 50's and my publishers were anxious to keep me busy. Why not I thought Belize? There followed a chain of events that resulted in an invitation to spend 6 weeks exploring Belize and all its opportunities and attractions as the guest of Ari Khan and his amazing development team at the incredible Orchard Bay Resort.
I am proud to say this book is the result and I am forever indebted to Ari for the invitation.
As has always been my practice in writing an illustrated book, I find it helpful to create a website to house my illustrations and notes for later inclusion – is such a web site.