Thank goodness for the weekend; who does not like Saturdays and Sundays. Sundays here are celebrated differently in Belize. This is the one day where people stop cooking and working and celebrate the whole day with their families; the day to relax.
Yesterday (on a Sunday) Lauren and I planned to go to the Mayan ruin Xunantunich. The x in Xunantunich is pronounced as a letter s. Through our stay in Belize, Lauren and I have made some friends. They met us outside of our house at "9 o'clock sharp and were not late". They were willing to go with us to the ruin and luckily they did. It was the first time that we had ever ridden a bus and it was confusing how it worked. The bus was worth the confusion and wait though because it only coasted $1.25. While waiting for the bus we met two tourists. They coincidentally happened to be from Kentucky and just moved to Bowling Green and work at WKU as recruiters! After talking for a while they joined our group and we finally all reached the ruins. Lauren and I have received a two year teaching license in Belize; on Sundays, Belizians get in for free so we showed the guard our certificates seeing if it would work.....and it did; free ruins!!!! On the subject of free things, it just so happened that Mason, one of the friends we made was also a tour guide, so we had a free mini tour of the ruins as well. Xunantunich was not as big as Caracol, but it was amazing and felt as if the ruins were taller and narrower. The climb to the top was a little scary but it was worth the effort and sore legs from the day before. We were able to take some really cool pictures because Mason went back down the ruin to the grassy area. After walking around for a while, we parted with the Kentucky girls we met and Mason, Alex, Lauren and I headed to lunch.
We got our lunches to go and then took a small hike to the Macal River. There we ate our lunch, I applied sunscreen and we swam in the river. The river water was clear and cool. For some reason, I was the only one who the fish kept swarming around and bumping into. After swimming for a while, they showed us a cliff where people jump off of. There are three different levels to the cliff; the lowest one being 30 feet from the water. In order to get to the cliff we had to walk a "trail" that barely existed besides the river and grab onto trees etc. to move about. Lauren and I felt like native Mayans. We were all barefoot walking the non-existent cliff trail and we were all in our bathing suits. We finally reached the cliff, Mason was the first to jump then Lauren. Sadly, I did not jump this time because of the climb to the different levels of the cliff. Next time when we all go, I will work up the nerve to experience this once in a life time activity. After swimming for a couple hours, we headed back to town. Lauren and I (the Americans of course) were talking about how we were hungry again. Mason made a hilarious comment to Lauren about her devouring here chicken burger really fast, " You ate that chicken like WHOA". After calming down from laughing so hard, the boys told us that they play community basketball most nights where they meet their friends and acquaintances at a park. They invited us to go along and we joined them later for the game.
The basketball games here are intense. The teams consist of all ages and sizes. All the players have really neat and tricky moves and can jump really high. I would say they are probably better players than our NBA teams; it was VERY impressive to watch. After the game we headed to a park and made plans for this coming week. Then it was time for bed because of school today.
School went well and quickly for once. Even though it was hot, everyone was well rested from the weekend. I graded papers and helped students with the lessons being taught. When it was lunch time, we headed home in the heat and ate egg plant and vegetable rice along with a salad and carrot cake. After our break we headed back to finish the day. When the bell finally rang, Andre (Dr. Harrison's nephew), Lauren and I headed home. We had to go in town to get groceries and we invited Andre along. The grocery trip also turned into an ice cream trip. While in town we saw a couple of our friends and then headed back home. Now Lauren and I are just waiting for the cool weather to come along and go out again.