CTurner's Travel Journals


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


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

Auntie Jos Birthday

Belize San Ignacio, Belize  |  Feb 08, 2011
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 When I woke up I had no idea it was her special day, but so many things have made me think of her today. 

Auntie Joanna is a role model to me and today we celebrate her birthday.  She is a loving mother, a thoughtful Auntie, and a hard worker.  And while she may be in California for her birthday, I am still celebrating here in Belize.   When I woke up I had no idea it was her special day, but so many things have made me think of her today.

It started on the bus to school.  A woman traveling to Belize City sat next to me with her 6-year-old daughter.  They had a big bag of oranges with them to give to their family in the city.  They live on a farm near Spanish Lookout and rose early that morning for a long day of travel.  The woman offered me an orange and we began talking.  She said she grew up in a village called Esperanza and she liked learning but not studying.  Her husband and her moved to their farm many years ago and she enjoys living there very much.  The way she talked and approached things was so much like my aunt that I couldn’t ignore the similarities.  She was easy to talk to, laid back, and pleasantly peaceful.  She even recommended a natural remedy of eucalyptus oil for a friend that is suffering form dust allergies.  Amazing to meet Joanna’s kindred spirit on her birthday. 

Next I went to meet the family I will be working with for one of my ProWorld projects.  The family has four children (from 13 to 19 years) and lives close to where I stay.  In June doctors discovered that the oldest son, Darnell, had a brain tumor.  They flew him to Ohio, and in September the tumor was removed.  When he traveled back to Belize he had lots of fluid in his head and doctors said a shunt would have to be put in.  Miraculously (a work of prayers), the swelling receded without a shunt.  Now, the doctors say Darnell will only have use of one side of his brain, meaning his body will never fully function.  His mother, Miriam, has hope though.  She has seen him wiggle all of his fingers and toes, and while he cannot talk right now, he does listen and even smiles slightly when people come in his room.  Right now he cannot move his arms and legs but his family has started working his limbs to help him recover.  They want to know what else they can do as far a physical therapy to help him build back his muscles.  (Again, reminding me to email my Aunt Joanna, who is a physical therapist and helps patient’s recovery from similar situations.)

Darnell being in bed so long has been hard on the family, but they are still joyful.  Steve (the father), Miriam, and the youngest son were all smiling and inviting when I met them today.   You could see that they are very loving and it is painful to see their son like this.  Right now they only have an old wheelchair that he cannot use because it does not have support for his head.  Before the tumor was discovered I hear he was quite the athlete, and he really enjoyed playing basketball. 

On Friday’s I will go to the family’s house and help however I can.  Whether it be helping Miriam around the house, or Darnell with physical therapy, or the other children.  There are so many reasons I feel this is the right project for me, and I know that God put me here ‘for such a time as this’.  To be honest, I think the whole thing will be hard emotionally, but I want be brave and strong as I start the project this Friday.

Please pray for the project, the family, and most of all for a full recovery for Darnell.  He is only 19 and has so many years in front of him, please pray.

Thank you for your prayers and for reading my ramblings.  Remember, This is the day the Lord has made.  And it is also my Aunt Joanna’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Auntie Anna!

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