Last week’s Monday Morning Memo, Islands of Writers, reminded me of this true story:
I spent New Year’s Day 2008 where the Sea of Cortez washes into the Pacific Ocean. My choice of wardrobe on that day would change the course of a man’s life.
Dale Mapp was born on the Caribbean island of Barbados and had spent his whole life there. Like many Bajans, he worked in the hospitality industry and had built a good career. By 2011 Dale was Assistant General Manager of a 70-room luxury hotel. His girlfriend at the time, who was originally from the British Virgin Islands, was planning to move back to the BVI, about 500 miles away. So Dale had applied for several jobs there. One day he received a call from the owner of Pusser’s West Indies LTD, offering him a job at a resort in the British Virgin Islands.
Dale was genuinely conflicted by this development. It was a great opportunity, but his entire life, and nearly all the people he cared about, were on the island of Barbados. He was hesitant to leave all that behind. So Dale Mapp asked God for an answer.
According to Dale, the voice of God said, “Ask Ralph.”
Dale was confused by this. “Ralph who?” he asked.
The answer, “Ask Ralph Marston.”
Yeah, that’s me. For about five years a friend of Dale’s had been forwarding him messages from my “Daily Motivator” publication. Dale found the messages helpful, but had never before been curious about the writer of those messages. So he Googled me.
A series of images appeared, and he clicked on one. There on his screen was a photo of me and my wife Karen taken on board a ship at Cabo San Lucas. In the photo I was wearing a grey t-shirt with a blue and green image that said in large block letters, “PUSSER’S BRITISH WEST INDIES.”
Dale Mapp had his answer.
He accepted the job offer with Pusser’s and moved to the BVI. When he called me in 2013 to let me know about all this he told me it had been a very good decision. By that time he had an even better job with another BVI resort.
A couple of years ago, Dale opened his own business, the Caribbean’s only floating spa. If you’re ever in the vicinity of Jost Van Dyke, and you’d like to have a massage while gazing through a window in the floor to the coral reef below, get in touch with Dale at his Ocean Spa BVI. But be careful what shirt you decide to wear that day. It could change somebody’s life.
– Ralph Marston
You can read the story the way Dale tells it on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/OceanSpaBVI/posts/872663106551251