Belize and beyond
So as Matthew may already have mentioned, our arrival in Belize was a bit shakey. And by shakey, I mean, never have I before planned something with less effort and consideration. You have to realize, for the most part, I can plan out my entire weekend to the minute, arrange every detail of a day trip, and overwhelm travel partners without effort. “Going with the flow” takes a great deal of mental and physical effort. So when we arrive in Belize and hop on an ever-infamous “chicken bus” down the Western Highway (no joke, they have two highways: the Western Highway and the Southern Highway), we had little planned past “Our host will pick us up from the bus”. I will skip most of the story because I know Matthew has already shared our afternoon in a previous blog post. I WILL tell you however, that I knew we were in trouble when Matthew turns to me as we are literally sitting ON a road (safety first, kids) awaiting our ride, HE turns and tells ME how glad he is that I have been remaining calm through our unplanned and rocky day. (I will pause and let you all laugh at this, because I know you want to). ME? CALM?! This is amazing. Either he is really off his rocker, or all my conscious efforts in patience and grace have been paying off.
(The green countryside of Belize out our bus window; Sarah-Rose is always more patient with food. My new favorite treat: the Belize “fry jack”. Think New Orleans beinget, but without the sugar)
So first, our host during Belize: the moment this guy stepped out of his tiny pick-up, all 5’4″ of him screamed “home made clothes”. Not that there is anything wrong with making your own clothes; my closet (was) full of things made, altered, updated by yours truly. What I more mean to say is, everything about his appearance and first impression encompassed simplicity and hard work. In this moment I realized how very little I knew about this man we would be spending a week with.
(Just the stray iguana our host adopted one day. No big deal)
As a whole, he was fascinating. Fascinating like I wanted to study him. He knew so much about his plants and his seeds (his home business is a seed bank, very cool and interesting to me) and farming, but at the same time did not often do his tasks in the most convenient and efficient ways. He had loads of stories about travels, farming and living with Mormons, Amish, and then Menonite communities, yet some stories I began to question their validity. He honestly and truly still believes the world is flat. And he also does not believe the Holocaust happened the way we all know it did. Needless to say, lunchtime and dinner conversations were never dull.
Combine all of this with a firey French girl who always spoke her mind, and a hilarious Brit who thinks Matthew is his “soulmate”, and we had a great group for the week. Never a boring moment passed at this place. Even weeding out rows in the field was fun (for me, not Matthew’s scene) because we had great company and met two really great people, also on their own adventures. Did I mention that they also played cards? Well, since the house did not have power (Our host built his own home in three days), we played cards by oil lantern every night. Now, my family is really into playing cards. We are talking at LEAST four generations of card players and family fights- I mean, games nights. So this aspect was also really enjoyable for me. We learned a few new games, shared a few as well and had lovely evenings.