Friday, April 27, 2012
As I sit and watch my laundry spin at the local laundry mat, due to my broken dryer upon our return home. I'm comforted by my calm emotion concerning a broken major appliance. I'm just so thankful I have a major appliance...even if it's broken. Our last weeks in Belize sealed out appreciation of life back home. Belize is a beautiful country with many reasons to go back soon, I already miss the sounds of the symphony of birds every morning, the call of the pelicans when the fisherman have arrived to the dock, the distant sound of our favorite vendor with his "Hot Corn Dokono's.....Da Best!" hollering his arrival. From the Caves (our last blog) our trip was a whirlwind of adventure. I set out at the beginning of this journey ultimately wanting to show my Children a different way of life with the intention of not just talking about the love of a family and the security we find within, but I wanted uncomfortable situations for us. I wanted to show them with their own eyes that although we are uncomfortable...great things arise.. we bond....we have faith in God to teach us and keep us safe and that we are OK..... I got my wish. Our trip from San Ignacio found us on the side of the road with a van that refused to run. Normally, if this happened a person would just call a friend, get it towed and carry on....but in Belize it doesn't work like that. First of all, just a mile behind us, we passed a half naked man waving a machete at us and yelling UN definable noises because we didn't pick him up... .....reallly?? !! We sat idle on the side of the road for only moments wondering what to do. It was Sunday and we were broken down in a Small village along the southern highway in Belize. We had just a hint of fright, wondering if our machete man was going to pop out and chop us up....
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Our trip is fastly approaching our departure and among the many things I am grateful for, is the time we have been able to explore this beautiful country.The places we've been, the people we have met and the adopted humbleness that has fell upon us while here. We are forever changed. Our minds and eyes have reached new levels of openess and our hearts have most definatly softened. You would think that zip lining over the jungle canopy, snorkeling in the carribbean, spending nights in treehouses, touring an iguana sanctuary and hatchery, working at orphanages, floating the river and rope swinging into it, washing dogs at a animal rescue, spearfishing at the barrier reef, jumping into the blue hole, eating termites, touching turantulas, feeding Jaguars, sleeping at the zoo, learning to make tortillas with the locals would ALL be enoungh BUT we wanted to know more about the Mayan culture and not just from the ruins of xuantinitch. We heard there were caves in the Mayan Mountains where the Mayans gave offerings to their Gods and performed Human sacrafice. So we continued our Quest to learn of their culture by visiting what is known as one of the top 10 cave experiences in the World. Actun Tunichil Muknal otherwise known as ATM. National Geographic, discovery channel, man Vs. Wild, Ghoast Hunters International among others have all done varied segments on this extrodianary cave. Our tour guide Oscar picked us up from San Ignacio at 8am. It was a hour long drive along the northern highway and across some of the most uncomfortable terraine we had yet experienced. We had to stop once to move some passengers around for the ride was so turbulant over pot holes, sickness was threatening. Our guide Oscar was silent on the ride and I began to get cross in my thoughts at the lack of information, but soon came to realize that he was so passionate about this cave and the history it beholds, that he was saving his words for our time in the caves. We assembled in a parking lot randomly placed along the jungle floor, we were fitted with helmets, headlamps and a box lunch with a water bottle, we were gruffly told to drink up for whats ahead will drain us of liquids. Tennis shoes and sockes required, we found ourselves squishing behind our guide along a well worn path through the jungle, Crossing through the river 3 times sometimes waist high. At the mouth of the cave, our energy turned into overdrive as the intensity of our guides voice reached a booming level with the much needed and invited information about the caves... AND the obvious ONLY path inside the cave, was to swim through the d
Monday, April 2, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
It is our last day on the beautiful Island of Caye Caulker. We have learned much about the ways and life of the Belizians here. Many similarities of mainland life but because this island thrives on tourism ALONE, there are also many differences . We have developed many friends here on Caye Caulker, some have already headed back home to their lives. (We miss you already Eric and Linda!:-) and others, we have frequented their resturants, purchased their trades( fruit, cakes, tamales, jewelry etc) many are friends we passed everyday on our bikes, Or like Colin and Linda, we have stayed on their property. We have learned that being called "mama" is a form of respect and my children have been aknowledged accordingly as "son" or "girl" noting that we are connected and respected as a family. It's very apparent after a person spends more time and engaging in conversation and service, there is a level we move beyond and we are no longer just "tourists" we have become trusted and our conversations have moved beyond the surface. We have truley gotton to know the hearts of many who live here. We have only been on this island for 16 days but I have witnessed Eli and Ava develop a breakdown of their American ways. In all three of us, Humility has softened the sheild of self..... and I am in awe of the beauty humility holds. What follows is some observations by Eli; Belize and its simplicity; Work in Belize is primarily for food. Us americans are driven by the accumulation of "things" and our "status". If people can't find a job here in Belize, they create one. Many catch fish or make meat pies , they BBQ chicken or make cakes out of their kitchens and sell them in little carts or they simply set up a table outside their homes. Some pick the flowers of their neighbors and sell them to coffee shops, restarants or for the many weddings that happen on the beach. They make money off stuff they find and turn them into Necklaces of shells, bottlecaps or beads. They scrounge coconuts and bag the meat or bottle the coconut water. The average belizian gets paid between $6- $10 bz ($3-$5US) an hour. If they work in construction or are a maid at a hotel, the average rent here on the island is $200bz a month ($100us). Work in the states requires many more licenses, certificates, permits, and limitations. So many hoops to jump through in order to work, not to mention the overwhelming need of Americans to claim their almighty status as if their job ultimatly defines who they are.
Friday, March 16, 2012
In the beginning, we were worried that the rain squalls that had been pounding us all morning would threaten our sailing, snorkeling, and spear fishing adventure. Between the rain bursts, we made our way over to "The Little Kitchen" where our guide, Roy lived and worked. We were anxious to ask him if we would go out today, By his enthusiastic response of " ya man" in his rastifarian accent with braids whipping around his face we knew we had a adventurous day ahead. We were fitted for flippers and ventured off through the trees on a rickety old bridge to the dingy that would zoom us out to the sailboat. The sailboat was a medium size craft that was painted red, yellow, green, and black. The Jib was made out of a thick piece of bamboo and the sail looked as if a bunch of thick sheets were sewn together to make one big Sail. While we were motoring out to the sea, the sun was peaking out of the clouds and eased our thoughts of rain. When we were far enough out of the bay, Roy flipped the motor off and hoisted the sail. We sailed for about 20 minutes out to an area where we were a pool length distance from the barrier reef. The barrier reef here is the second largest reef. It spans 108 miles long with a few channels for passage. Roy explained sharks can come through those passages, but it is rare. We anchored and before we knew it, Roy jumped in with his spear Eli was instructed to follow along close behind him with the "catch bag". The rule for lunch is "Ya eat what ya catch." While Roy and Eli were spear fishing, the rest of us were snorkeling. Santiago, our other guide was keeping watch on "Da" boat. My mom and I stuck together. We saw a green spotted Puffer fish and many other brightly clored fish in all shapes and sizes. By the time we hopped back onto the boat, Roy had caught 3 Yellow Snapper and 2 Conch. We had a total of 7 people on the boat, So we decided to do a little bottom fishing with lines for more grub. It is custom to just take a long piece of fishing line, attach a hook, stick a sardine body piece onto the hook and swing the line around like a ferris wheel and let it go and sink to the bottom. Our first catch was by Roy and the next by me, my fish was HUGE but luckily with my strong muscles, I was able to pull in the big "pogey" the next fish again was by me and it was a monstrous Snapper. Nobody else caught fish but Roy and I. For our late lunch Roy cooked up some white rice and steamed veggies, with no barbecue on the boat, Roy cooked the fish and conch in a big pan and with tomato juice and some water, like a Gumbo. Our lunch was delicious! Roy finished our lunch with some amazing cookies that were chocolate and lemon. After lunch, we sailed over to another snorkeling spot to finish off the day. When we made it back to the island, Immediatly upon our return to the dock, it started to dump rain on us, We quickly learned it had been all day....We found that funny because just a mile away on the Carribian sea, our day had been perfect! -Ava