Do you ever truly take time to be grateful for the smallest of comforts in life? Have you ever sat with pen and paper and made a list of those things you could not live without? Or do you ever feel a sense of being blessed when you think of the excessiveness in your life? Or, have you become numb to what others need simply to survive?

Having been in Corozal, Belize for only two weeks, I have been reminded on numerous occasions that the awareness my of blessings go far beyond being thankful for family, friends, spouse, transportation and lodging.

Our landlady, Connie, explained in detail, on the night we arrived, the nature of trash and its collection the Belizean way. Seems that bagged or loose trash is placed in the cement receptacle that is built flush with the fence with openings on both sides. One opening for the property guests (inside the fence) and the other (outside the fence) for collection. We were also informed not to leave any trash on the porches or property due to the animals and birds interest. And that collection takes place in the middle of the night.

I must admit that I find night collection a bit different. However, if that is the norm, I can acclimate. Funny thing is, I have not heard any trucks in the middle of the night! And, I would think that with the degree of humidity and heat one experiences here in Belize that the trash would have a fragrant aroma! However, this is not the case. So what gives?

Today, for the first time, we were privileged to witness trash collection. Right around 9:30 am, we heard the sound of a big truck, which is normal for our location which has several properties being landscaped. Being curious, I peeked out the window and to my amazement, saw what I believed to be the garbage collectors going down our road. I interrupted hubby’s business day so he, too, could witness the event. The truck made its way down and then began back towards our property.

I must be honest and say that I was a bit astonished by the truck and the collectors. The truck, as you can see, is an older dump truck with handmade wooden sides. No steps or platforms for the collectors. There were four men, one driving, two riding in the cab and one in the bed of the truck with the trash.

When the truck stopped at our property, two men in the cab jumped out leaving the driver in place. One of the collectors got down on his knees and began dragging trash out of our cement receptacle. The second collector hoisted the trash to the third collector who remained in the bed of the truck. When our receptacle was empty, the truck and its workers drove to the next house. None of these men were gloved or masked. Nor were they clothed in protective uniforms. Yet, they were smiling as they went about their work.

In most circumstances, I would have photographed this event. However, I felt it inappropriate. As you can see, the photo of the truck was taken upon their departure. I felt somewhat embarrassed. Was it because of my opinion of their equipment, safety measures and uniforms? Or due to the fact that this type of work seems less than acceptable in my mind?

Or could it simply be an opportunity to count my many blessings, one by one? To be thankful for the simple things in life that are often forgotten. To be thankful for those who do work such as trash collection. And actively express this gratitude to those who are of service.