CTurner's Travel Journals

CTurner

  • 26 years old
  • From California, United States
  • Currently in California, United States

Belize!

A blog of my adventures while studying in San Ignacio, Belize.

A Quick Week of Adventures

Belize San Ignacio, Belize  |  Mar 31, 2011
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 Grandma sponsored the most awesome senior spring break! 

Somehow Carrie’s convinced me, her sister, Elicia, to write her blog while she’s in class today.  I’ve been in Belize for a week now, (thanks to an early graduation gift from my grandmother), and have been loving it.  Let’s just do a quick overview of the days, because there’s been SO MUCH!

Thursday:  Got into Belize City around 3 after traveling for around 18 hours, but luckily my awesome sleeping skills allowed for rest on the plane.  I was traveling with a wheel chair that ProWorld bought for Darnell, and customs ended up being fairly simple in spite of that.  I walked outside a little worried because all I knew was a guy named Miguel would be picking me up and Carrie probably wouldn’t be there… Imagine my surprise to walk out, pushing a wheel chair loaded with a backpack full of stuff for Carrie’s host family and a carryon of my own, to see my little sister!  It was a wonderful welcome.  On the way back to San Ignacio Carrie told me that there was a Galen futbol, (soccer), game that night and while she didn’t think she’d be able to play she really wanted to go to support the team.  So after a quick dinner with the familia off to the stadium we went, they didn’t win, but the coach DID let Carrie play and it was fun to see her playing again.

Friday:  Carrie took me into downtown San Ignacio.  We got sandwiches and juice, (I’m a fan of lime while Carrie favors watermelon), walked around downtown and ate some fresh mango.  After running home to make a card for Darnell, we went to ProWorld and put the finishing touches on the wheel chair and loaded it into the car with some other volunteers.  When we got there Darnell’s younger brother, Stevie, was outside, he didn’t really react to the wheel chair, but led all 7 of us, (understandably a bit overwhelming), into the house.  His mom was very excited to receive such a generous gift and couldn’t stop smiling the whole time we were there.  Seeing Darnell sitting up in the wheelchair was moving for me… I can only begin to imagine how his family was feeling. 

Saturday:  We were early risers, heading on an adventure to southern Belize with Marta and Pablo, Carrie’s host parents.  Riding down some very bumpy roads in the back of a truck we used palm leaves for hats and stopped to see some Mayan ruins, visit their extended family, have lunch, go swimming, and briefly explore the village where Pablo grew up before heading to Punto Gorda to stay the night.

Sunday:  After a delicious breakfast we headed out in search of Crylia’s Chocolate, a family who makes chocolate as the Mayan’s did that Marta had heard about on TV.  We picked up a guy on the way there, (it was on a back road in a village), who turned out to be going to the same place.  There we learned all about what the farmer, Juan, and his family are doing with Sustainable Farming and also the process of making chocolate, luckily eating some freshly ground chocolate was part of this tour.  After leaving there we started heading north until Marta and Pablo dropped Carrie and I off to catch a water taxi to Placencia, a beautifully idyllic town on the Caribbean.  We found a hostel to stay in and headed to the water.  It was WONDERFUL. 

Monday:  We rented bikes and started riding north, Carrie had gotten in touch with a friend of hers that is opening a resort who told us we could hang out and camp on his beach, so we were in!  We spent the morning and early afternoon relaxing and soaking up the sun before riding bikes up to rent kayaks. We battled the wind to paddle to an island, that we had seen from the beach.   When we got back to the beach we were invited to join in on a dinner party of delicious red snapper and some interesting party guests from Japan.  Then we decided to brave the bugs and sleep in hammock’s on the beach.

Tuesday:  We woke up at 5:30 realizing the bugs had won.  We’d already been bitten a ton and decided to head back to Placencia to drop off the bikes and catch the bus home.  It was really to catch a series of 3 buses, but by 1 we were back in San Ignacio taking cold showers and eating a delicious lunch.  Carrie headed off to class and I hung out at the house with the family and reading.  It was crazy hot…

Wednesday:  Carrie was at school all day, and deciding there were better ways to spend my time on spring break I headed to the ProWorld office to hang out for a bit then went downtown with one of the other volunteers, Amy, to window shop.  I was back at the house when Carrie got home and we had a quick dinner, where Marta informed us it had been 105 that day. Then we headed to another futbol game, the team is preparing for nationals in a few weeks and are trying to play as many local teams as possible before then. 

Thursday:  Started with a run and a sneaking into some local Mayan ruins, Cahal Pech, which was much more impressive than the ruins I had seen this weekend.  We headed downtown and set up a tour at Barton Creek, (some cave with Mayan artifacts and drawings that we’ll canoe through), for tomorrow and trying to nail down a ride to the airport for me for Saturday.  Than Carrie took me up to the school at Cristo Rey where she has been volunteering and teaching a Creative Writing class.  It was so neat to see a yet another place and group of people that Carrie has such a passion for.  After visiting the school we headed to some waterfalls with our lunch, (including fresh mango) and enjoyed a leisurely few hours jumping off the rocks, swimming, and chatting in the shade.  Instead of waiting for a van to bring us back to town before Carrie had school we decided to be ambitious and try and catch a ride back in someone’s truck.  We were successful and only had to walk about a half mile of the 5 miles back to town.  Since there was still time before school we decided to go by a new after school program that is happening right down the street from ProWorld.  Then we headed over to Dave’s so Carrie could play a game of speed cribbage while I picked out a book to read on my flight home.  Now I’m sitting at Galen while Carrie is in class… I thought Simpson, (where I go to school), was small, but this place really sets the bar for small schools. 

Overall it’s been quite an adventure so far, and I’ve really enjoyed it.  Belize is so incredibly diverse; I can’t wait to come back.  :)

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