From The Mount School to Belize by Nina Nye

Last year Old Scholars were asked to fill out a contact form to include points of interest in our lives since leaving the Mount. I dutifully did this and promptly forgot about it.  

Imagine my surprise upon receiving an email asking if I might write a few words for the upcoming MOSA newsletter! 

Interestingly, 41 years after leaving the Mount, I find myself once again calling Belize home (as I did during my Mount years) and writing an essay for school. I seem to have come full circle. 

I left the Mount at age 16 in 1977. Ill-equipped academically for University, I entered the work force, where zoo keeping at London Zoo plunged me into a male dominated world – a startling adjustment from the all-girl boarding school I was used to. 

In 1979 My parents were posted to war-ravaged Uganda (the country of my birth) and I was offered the chance to assist with a wildlife survey.  

Acquiring free passage on a cargo flight, I lived initially in Kampala where we listened to endless gunfire at night and lived on army rations. Moving out to the Ruwenzori National Park, I spent the next several months sitting atop a land rover counting wildlife. We had many encounters with Tanzanian military rebels but, while occasionally being threatened at gunpoint, we were generally left alone.

 England, Bermuda, New Zealand, dog grooming and training, horses and apple picking all followed. 

In 1984 I completed the Intensive Cordon Bleu course at Tante Marie School of Cookery, giving me the opportunity to spend 2 winters as a chalet girl in France (free skiing!!) and 2 summers as a personal chef to well-to-do families in the USA.

After 14 years of living in America, married and with 2 children, I became an American citizen. 

At about this time I took my first flying lesson. Thoroughly hooked I continued on, receiving my pilot’s license, instrument rating, and finally my commercial license. 

I flew my young family up the east US coast, flew to friends, and flew over the desert of the Pacific northwest. A hand injury intervened and put a halt to a future in flying……but fortunately I can still fly privately. (I should mention that the injury involved a pumpkin and a knife – I haven’t carved a pumpkin since!).

Running had become a passion but in 2010 an overuse injury requiring surgery and screws in my foot had me sitting on a couch with time to ponder my life. I was once again single and essentially child-free…time for a new adventure. 

For as long as I can remember, the dream of running a B&B had swirled in the back of my mind. Here, apparently, was my chance.  

Opting for a warm climate, English speaking and not too far from my children in the USA, Belize became the obvious choice.  

Over the next 5 years I became educated in the ways of business crooks, real estate crooks and swindlers, learning most importantly, the art of patience.  

Lessons learned and diligence exacted, 2015 found me the proud owner of the newly named and incorporated “Nina’s Place” in Belize

 

Owning and running a business single-handedly is massively challenging, especially in the 3rd world. However, determination, grit, will power (and some would say stubbornness!) will get you to unimaginable places if you give them a chance. 

41 years ago I had failed every class at school and barely squeaked through a couple of CSE exams at the MountI am now the sole proprietor of a 5-star B&B guest house, and self taught successful business woman.  

I ran my 6th NYC marathon last November 2017, something I would never have dreamed of a year ago. So many things one never imagines are possible…and yet?

This came to me the night after the Marathon: 

“When you achieve the impossible, all things become possible” 

There are more adventures ahead, I know. But for now this is good. 

 Find out more about Nina’s Place in Belize.

Would you like to see your story featured on this blog page? Contact Lucy Marsh lmarsh@mountschoolyork.co.uk and let us know you what you’ve been up to since leaving The Mount School! #MadeAtTheMount #WeKnowGirlsCan