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.

Malaria Monday

Belize San Ignacio, Belize  |  Mar 21, 2011
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3/21/11

Well, its ‘Malaria Monday’ again, and I am coming to grips with how short my time left in Belize is.  Each Monday I am taking an anti-malaria pill and the pill bottle used to be quite full.  But now I see that the bottle is on its last leg, and I am facing the reality of only 1 month left in Belize.  So, since time is short, my stories will be too.

Snake stories- Growing up in a rural area I thought I had heard and experienced some pretty good snake stories… until I heard some of the Bennett’s friends talking about them.  They live in a bit out of town and put all my stories to shame.  The most impressive was the woman who was surprised by one in the shower, but finished cleaning herself and then took care of it.  I did learn a technique to keep snakes away from your house though.  Mr. Bennett said you kill a snake and bury it in front of your home, where the water runs off the roof. 

My battleship watch-  As I got blisters and sunburns from La Ruta Maya, my watch got some water.  This “water resistant” watch, now displays interesting times, such as F 23 and J 19.  While these may be interesting coordinates, they are negatively affecting my punctuality.  (Not like timeliness is a great concern to anyone here.)

Festival of Lights-  The festival was a great success!  The field at Cristo Rey filled with people and enjoyeing the games, food, art, and performances.  Winsom’s goal, to raise money for scholarships for the children, was achieved and it was a fun day.

I got to sit under the craft tent and sell bags and painted rocks the children had made.  It was especially fun because a scrapbook of Winsom Foundation projects was on the same table.  Because of this lots of kids from the village stopped by to see themselves and their friends participating in past festivals, creative projects, and yoga classes.  I could tell the children were proud of their work and postivly effected by their time with the Winsom Foundation.

It was especially fun to watch the huge paper mache sculptures the children had made burn.  These sculptures take many hours to create, but are quite the spectacle at the festival.  After dusk the four sculptures were set a blaze and it was especially fun to see the “Shadow Youths” rocket, which had fireworks hidden inside.

Guatemala-  This weekend Martha and Pablo decided to take a trip to Arenal, which sits on the Belize/Guatemala border.   First Pablo paid $5 BZ  for a half tank of gas (proving 1. how close the Western border is and 2. how crazy expensive gas is here).

The highlight of the village was the football field, which has one pair of goal posts in Guatemala, one in Belize.  We caught part of this international game before walking to the river.  Some houses in the village have running water, but many people depend only on the river.  As we saw, the river is for washing dishes, washing clothes, washing your horse, and washing yourself. 

Crossing the border we saw not a single immigration officer.  So, it was no surprise when Pablo said village and distant road is frequently used for contraband.

We meet a girl who recognized me from the Festival of Lights.  It was surprising to be familiar to someone when I was walking down the road for my first time in a country.  But, the girl explained that she had been one of the performers on stilts the day before.

Utensils-  I was proud to eat my dinner with “lone tortilla” this week.  Meaning, I didn’t use a fork, spoon, or knife, but used a tortilla like the rest of the family.  This shovel system works out pretty well and is a great way to enjoy Martha’s fresh tortillas.

So, I am still enjoying being immersed in the Belizean culture.  Each day is filled with a healthy variety of interactions, activities and adventures.  It is strange when I have to deal with things in the states, such as fall housing, class registration, job interviews and such. It all seems so distant…

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