The world really is an inhospitable place sometimes. Not only is the news coming out of Boston horrible, but we’ve had a few local incidents recently that make me want to keep my family a little closer to home. They’ve both involved children…and not violent crimes for once, but bizarre natural events that may or may not have ended in tragedy in a first-world country.

One of the first things they tell us about here are the snakes. We have a few species of solid poisonous snakes…11 out of the indigenous 56. In February an 11-year-old local girl in a nearby village was bit by a snake while walking to church with her cousin. She went into convulsions and had a heart attack before they could get her home. Then they rushed her to the hospital here in Belmopan where they gave her six vials of anti-venom. But it was already too late and she died the next day. The doctor felt that even though there were no ambulances available to take her to the big hospital in Belize City, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Yesterday a four-year-old boy was killed by a swarm of Africanized honey bees near Orange Walk. He was playing under a tree with his five-year-old brother, and they were both attacked. The older boy is in critical condition, and the father and adult cousin that ran out to help them were both stung but not badly injured. The little one didn’t even make it to the local hospital.

So whether you’re living in a physical jungle or a metaphorical one, there is no guarantee of safety. All you can do is treat each other kindly, work together peacefully, love each other unconditionally, and try to make the world a better place.

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