I’ve written about my trip to Belize before, but I was dad-sitting today so I had time to scan some pictures.
I wish I had a picture of the airport. They didn’t have terminals, so we had to walk down a staircase straight from the plane and ride a van to the airport. The building had a big balcony and there were tons of people up there, just hanging out and watching the planes land. When we walked off the plane, everyone cheered and waved at us. Very Beatlemania-ish-like.
We had to get like 10 shots and take malaria pills the whole time. However, I couldn’t swallow pills back then. Every morning I had to chew one up and chase it with orange soda. So gnarley. I still have nightmares about this.
We stayed at a boy’s boarding school (YES). The men all stayed in the dorms and the women slept in the teachers’ houses. My mom and I were on a huge screened-in porch with a bunch of other ladies. Don’t tell her I posted this one:
There were actual toucans and monkeys outside: amazing. This was right around the time that the rainforest became trendy and cool, so I was loving this view:
This next picture is more for me – I haven’t seen these grown-ups in almost 2 decades so it kind of makes my brain explode. They were all very funny people and I loved them:
This is the same river that was behind the school, just further down the road. The ferry blew my mind every time we had to cross it.
The current was so strong that one day, we all wore lifejackets and jumped off the ferry. Then we floated downstream for over a mile to this mini zoo by the school, where these people had actual leopards and other crazy animals in their yard. Plus – a monkey IN THE HOUSE. Sooooo kickass. This is also the river I jumped in with the rope swing. Also amazingly kickass.
The grown-ups came to Belize to bring medicine, clothes, and build/paint things. My job was basically to entertain kids while their grown-ups were busy with my grown-ups. Below are the girls who played “Sugar in the Plum” with me. I busted out the classic “Paper Plate and Bean Tamborines”. They loved it. I am in the back row:
My friends and I also decided that the best cure for boredom would be dressing up like clowns and learning magic tricks. You can’t tell from this picture but Roderick had the sweetest Arsinio Hall haircut. I loved him. David has his face painted like William Wallace, which is eerie because his brother would later develop an unhealthy obsession with Braveheart. I am do-si-do-ing.
SIDENOTE: If you ever need someone to stick a giant needle all the way through a balloon without popping it, I’m your gal. I do parties.
One day, we went to Guatemala to shop. This is where I bought my first machete; the leather case says “Belize” on it.
When we crossed the border, we saw actual guerrillas with machine guns and those bullet-suspender thingies. Terrifying. We were told that if we took pictures of them, they would shoot our cameras. I don’t know what was scarier – getting stared down by guerrillas or the gigantic “AIDS KILLS” billboard that hovered over us. This was 1991, after all.
Actually, now that I think about it – “Hey Mom, what’s AIDS?” is probably the most hilarious thing you can yell on a bus full of missionaries. Yes I did.
Our other fun trip was to the island of San Pedro. We snorkled in the Caribbean. To give you an idea of how clear the water was, look for the small black dot in the picture below, on the right:
That is a Manta Ray in the ocean. We took this picture from the plane.
Most of the day was spent on a glass-bottomed boat, way out by the world’s second-largest barrier reef. It was pretty beautiful, except our tour guides forgot to mention three things:
1. There were NURSE SHARKS in the water, just a few yards away from us.
2. Nurse sharks look like normal sharks except they can’t hurt you.
3. Spazzing out while wearing a snorkle is the least productive way to get to safety.
Jessica and I had full-blown panic attacks before the adults got to us. SO not cool. Below: my brother and I in safer waters.
Here are the two astonishingly awful titles I almost used for this entry:
1. “Easy, Breezy, Belize-y”
2. “Don’t Stop Belize-in'”