Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Last Full Week in Belize......For Now

Last Friday, Lauren and I were judges in a spelling bee at St. Andrews. We were judges for Infant 1 and 2 (grades 1 and 2). It was incredible some of the words that the kids had to spell for that age group, such as antique, though, knee etc. It was impressive what they could spell though. During one of the spelling bees, a funeral procession passed by the school in order for the Anglican students to pay respects to the Anglican church member, a 16 year old boy who passed away from having a car roll over him. It turns out that the boy was a cousin to one of my students and good friends with a few others. When the spelling bee was finished I went back to my classroom in order to find out the hard news of the student's relationship with the boy. It broke my heart to see my students crying, so I missed half of my lunch in order to be with them and talk to them; lets just say that I teared up by seeing the pain they were going through. After we ate lunch, Lauren and I went with Diane and her two daughters to the water park. We had a fun after noon in the water and talking. The girls would swim with Lauren and I and we played games. After a day at the pool, we headed back to get ready for the night. Diane was supposed to go with us that night and her driver was supposed to drive, but something came up with her babysitter.

Instead of having a driver, Lauren and I took a trip, a 2 hour trip starting at 6 p.m. on a bus to Belize City in order to watch Raul play a basketball game. During the beginning of the bus ride, we were having a fun time enjoying the ride with the locals and going on an adventure by ourselves; but after the first hour we were ready to get off of the cold, hard seated bus.

During the bus ride, we seriously stopped every 50 feet on the road in order to drop off or pick up new people. Lauren was smart and decided to take a nap while I stayed awake and was texting one of our good friends in Belize. Some of the messages were so funny that I was probably that annoying passenger that laughed so hard. For example, "Just because you hang out with white people do not mean you are one". I guess you would have to be there and know the whole story to find it hilarious.

We finally made it to Belize City after stopping in Belmopan and every other spot possible. At this point it was 8 p.m. Lauren and I were tired and hungry. Once we got of the $8.00 bus ride, pretty cheap in my opinion, we found a taxi and headed to the basketball court which was located on the ocean and luckily a restaurant was next to it. Raul met us outside and we went in the court to sit with his team before they played. Raul took us to the restaurant next door and Lauren and I were able to eat. Finally we headed back to the court in order to watch the game. The game was amazing. All the players were good and I would say are better then the NBA team. They had several tricks up their sleeves with the ball and passings; it was an intense game. Luckily Raul's team won by 20 points. The game ended at 11 p.m. and Lauren, Raul and I hoped in a taxi back to San Ignacio in order to go to bed. The taxi costed $250, which honestly was not to bad and we enjoyed the ride with the taxi driver and his wife. We stopped a couple times along the way in order to get snacks and drinks. We finally made it back at 2: 30 a.m.

After a long traveling day before, Lauren and I slept in. When we finally woke up we headed to Pops in order to eat a great breakfast. After breakfast, we came back to our dungeon to pack and get ready to go to Placencia for the night with Diane and her family.

They arrived at 1 p.m. to pick us up. Some how seven of us fit comfortably in her husbands big truck. On the ride there, we were playing with Chelsea in the back seat. In Belize people do not wear seat belts or have baby seats for two years and up. She was doing summer saults, tickle fights and making funny faces; it was a very entertaining ride. About 20 minutes outside of Placencia Lauren and I took a nap. Diane woke us up when we reached the destination in order for us to see all of it during the day. When we reached the cabanas, Lauren and I were pleasantly surprised. We had a cabana to ourselves and one for the five of them. The cabanas were right on the ocean and had hammocks hanging on the front porch.     There was a king sized bed and a full sized bed, along with a large bathroom and full sized, supplied kitchen. The family was in the cabana next to us and within 20 minutes the girls were over to play and swim. What really ended up happening with Lauren and I was that we took a two hour nap on the hammocks until 7 p.m. It was really nice to relax. Once we woke up and played a ready, set, go game with the girls we got ready for the fun night ahead with Diane. After all of us took our showers, she snuck over to our place so the girls would not know and we headed out in order to find dinner. We ate at Robert's Grove which was a hotel and outside restaurant right on the sea. It was a buffet style with delicious food and a live band playing. There we ordered drinks and talked. I ordered a Bloody Mary and when I took a sip of it my mouth was on fire. I swear they put the whole bottle of hot sauce in my drink. The buffet consisted of different kinds of salads, sea food, meats, pastas, fruits and desserts. After a stuffing dinner we came to find out that our meal coasted $250.00 which was graciously paid for by Diane. Once we left we explored Placencia.

We tried to go to a club named Eclipse but for some reason it was not open when we got there at 9 p.m. We then headed to the beach to walk the beach walk and ended up running into some of Diane's old friends since she grew up very close to Placencia. They said they were headed to Eclipse. While walking back to our car there was a bus that had the clubs name on it and people were getting in so we tried it again. They were still closed and when the people in the bus were dropped off they were not able to get in. T.Vs etc. were on in the club but I guess they did not open exactly until midnight which is crazy; at this time is was 11:20 p.m. We decided to head back to the cabanas and get a good nights rest.

The next morning we were woken up by the girls tapping on our door and saying our names  at 6:30 a.m. We opened the door for them and went back to sleep. We were then waken up at 7 by the girls again and fell back asleep. Diane came to our hut at 8:30 to see if we were up. She then arrived at 9 with plates of breakfast and juice in her hands for us; we were served in bed. She made toast, eggs and ham; it was delicious besides the ham. After a good breakfast Lauren and I fell back asleep and left the door open. We were woken up at 10 by a Mayan woman selling hand made baskets and jewelry. The items were very pretty and I ended up buying a basket. After that we gave up on sleep and headed to the ocean to play with the girls.

After an hour in the ocean, it was time to shower and pack so we could be out by noon. Diane, the baby and her husband went to visit her mother and we were left to explore Placencia with Chelsea and Chantel. The funny part about that is that while we were helping Chelsea with her homework, Diane forgot to give us Chelsea's shoes so she was shoeless. Grant it she is only five but she weighs and talks like a 10 year old. Between the three of us, we carried Chelsea everywhere because the pavement and sand was very hot. Our first stop was to get ice cream. It was the best ice cream I have ever had. I got mint chocolate chip. The texture and way it was given to us was very different. After relaxing at the ice cream shop we headed to lunch; Diane gave us money for the day. We walked around looked at some shops and ended up at a play ground while waiting for Diane to get back. After three hours they picked us up, at 3:10 p.m. We all got in the air conditioned truck and made several stops along the way back to San Ignacio.

Our first stop was at a futbol headquarter place. Her husband is on the national futbol committee for Belize so he was checking on that. Next after Diane got lunch we made several stops at different gas stations to find butane gas because that is what his truck takes. We ended back up in Dangriga because we came back on a Sunday and most places are closed. After that we drove for about an hour. On the way there we were on a huge mountain and he pulled to the side and put the truck in neutral. The neat thing about it was that we were still moving up the mountain instead of backwards because of some gravitational force they said. After that, the next stop was a restaurant break where we were introduced to some spicy trips. During this whole ride we were playing with the wild Chelsea and baby Eva in the backseat. They are very good sisters and take care of each other. Finally, we made it back to our place where we unpacked, took a shower and headed to the town to get some dinner and hang out with friends. After an exhausting weekend we finally went to bed to get ready for school the next day.

The next day was hot. We trudged to school dreading the day to come, even though we love it at the same time. I ended up teaching a language arts lesson that morning. That night Raul came on the bus and the three of us hung out and got dinner at Andrew's cousins restaurant. I got a delicious pasta plate which I ended up eating all of. It was the slowest place to get our food though. It seriously took an hour. After dinner we all rode back with Andrew to Ontario to drop Raul off.

The next day, Tuesday, was like a Friday because we had Wednesday off. The day went by pretty fast and I ended up teaching a PE lesson to the Standard 1 girls. I had no clue what to do so we played kickball, which they have never heard of before, and quiet as a mouse. Once school was over, we came back and I got ready to go to dinner with Raul in Ontario. We ate authentic mexican food. We had garnaches, panaches or something like that and fried chicken. After we watched t.v. and met up with his cousins to chill with for part of the night, then I headed home.

The next day Lauren and I got dressed to go swimming in the Ontario River where we met up with Raul and his brother.It was funny because the bus we were on was over crowded so we switched buses. When Raul saw our first bus go by he was freaking out on the phone because it did not stop and he kept saying to get off when we were really 1 minute behind on the other bus. We ate lunch at his mom's restaurant and then spent 3 hours in the river since it was 105 degrees outside. Being in the water for that long actually gave me the cold chills which was nice. The river had a natural rapid in which you could swim down so we went down it. The current was kind of strong but it was a lot of fun. While swimming we also saw some Howler Monkeys in the forest right next to the river. After swimming, we headed back, watched some t.v. and got the same food as the night before. Finally we headed home to get ready for another hot school day.

Today was not hot but extremley hot and we did not have the river to cool off in. The kids were acting up because of the heat, which is understandable. Some bullying occured in the class this morning which the teacher stopped. I have never seen so much bullying in my entire then while I am here; it is ridiculous. At lunch, we had a potlock which was catered for all of the teachers. We were celebrating April birthdays and our visit to Belize. The teachers were singing and playing insturments and one made homemade ice cream which was delicious.

After a long lunch, I taught a science class on non-flowering plants. After that there was a parade of students and the school band was playing. The parade was because the Standard 6 students are campaigning to be Principal for a Day and tomorrow is elections. It was fun to watch. I was talking with my teacher and some students. They were teaching me creole, such as Le go da school which means lets go to school. They also are going to teach me how to dance and do the Punta tomorrow during class while playing music. Lets just say I am excited. Tonight so far we went shopping, bought some of those delicious trips and are now tutoring Chelsea. Later we are going to head to dinner and hang out with some friends.

I can not believe that our trip is almost over......for now.