June 6th

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

We had eggs in a nest for breakfast this morning. They are pretty much sunny side up eggs on a slice of bread. I put a lot of salsa on them. They were so good. Of course, we had watermelon juice, yum. During breakfast Cynthia came around and I was able to switch over to the large animal group.  I was very happy about that. We had our first day of class today. We went to a campus that serves as a high school by day and a junior college by night. During the morning, Dr. Kirstin who is German and has a really cool accent, taught us about the teeth and mouth anatomy of a horse. I personally am intrigued by this, ever since I first heard some of it from Mr. Joby Priest and Dr. Clint Loest at NMSU. I think I’m going to do an equine emphasis, with a dental surgery and nutritionist thing in vet school. I don’t know. We will see. For lunch Cora, Delayna, and I packed lunch in a cooler that the lodge owners let us borrow. We all had lunch in the staff area at campus. After lunch, Justin, Dr. Isabelle’s husband took us to some really neat places on campus. We saw some tiny lizards that shoot out of sight as soon as they see you, all in one little area, and above on the branches of some trees, there were these big iguanas. Apparently the caretakers at the school take out cantaloupe for them every once in a while and there are like 30 in that one little area. Justin said we should try to bribe them down one day with the fallen mangoes and figs from trees. We saw this one spider fig tree. It is parasitic and grows off of other trees. As it grows older, it wraps itself around the host and eventually kills the host tree. We saw some clovers, but weren’t able to find a four leaf clover. I got a really pretty flower and put it on my hair. The perfect accessory. After lunch, Dr Kirstin went over the anatomy of a horse. It was a repetition of what I had seen in several classes before so I wasn’t very thrilled hearing about that. But we will have a horseback riding session in about a week and half so that is a plus. Coming back we stopped by at a place called Sweet Ting. Super cute place with super nice people. We were all laughing at this one adorable little boy who just wanted to get everything, but not annoyingly. Delayna and I got a cherry cheesecake for the both of us. Once we got back to the lodge. Cora and I were going to go for a run at the trail the lodge has, but as we tried to follow it, it seemed to only lead you to the middle of the jungle with no way of telling you were to continue. We decided not to do that instead. We did go for a 10 minute jog down and up the roadway to the lodge, but goodness it is so humid it was hard to breath. I’m sure I was holding back Cora because she could have probably kept on going. As it is, when we got back to our room she went straight to a core work-out. As she went in for a rinse off one by one bugs started to appear in our room. I killed one, then another. A couple seconds then another. Soon we were getting attacked by them it seemed. It was so gross. After having a bug massacre in our room we went down to dinner. We had chicken pot pie. It was very, very good. While at dinner the same little flying bugs with the leaf-life wings appeared. We soon had a few in our meals and drinks. Delayna looked at it positively saying we were getting our protein. Coming back up to our room after dinner, (we had put a towel under our door to keep the bugs out) Cora had to spray our room with bug repellent. Our floor was littered with what turned out to be flying termites. Apparently they come after a big rain (we had one last night) and live for one day. Great, now we are going to have tons of dead bugs everywhere by this time tomorrow. Anyway, today Cora and I found out we have the same birthday. Too bad it lands on a test day for us. So I’m debating. I don’t know when I should call over, Carolina’s birthday or father’s day? Lesson for the day-bug repellent around the door and window is an excellent idea when you get a swarm of bugs this big.

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June 5th

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

We went on the Barton Creek tour today. During the drive there we saw some traditional Mennonites in buggies, with long beards. The guide told us that in the village of the non-traditional Mennonites they discovered oil about five years ago, so they now call them money nites because they have the bulk of the country’s money. In the tour we first canoed inside a cave. That was fantastic. I really loved the Mayan stories (much more than the facts like stalagmites and stuff) the tour guide was telling us. He told us about how the tree of life has heaven on its leaves, life on its trunk, and the underworld in the roots. That the Mayan believed the stalagmites were the roots and the cave, the human underworld. These caves became sacred for this reason. Only the head of the tribe could go in, as well as any sacrifices. While in the cave we saw several broken pots that the Mayan intentionally broke to liberate the spirits. We also saw what looked like a mask but turned out to be the skull of an average 10 year old boy who was sacrificed. The younger the person, the purer they are and thus the best sacrifice for the gods, which brings me to the next point. Seeing as I was the youngest in the group. The group along with the tour guide wanted to sacrifice me. J I’m alive right? When we came out of the cave, I loved the land more than when I went in the cave. It seems like the more I see and look at new things and things I’ve already seen, the more I fall in love with this land. We drove for about an hour to Big Rock Falls. The falls are gorgeous. It’s like trickling soft glass. Everyone was getting in and I was just going to sit on a rock, but the tour guide asked me if I wanted he could lead me to shallow water. I did that. We were stepping on the rocks all the way there. All the girls were cheering me on from underneath the falls as they showered. I felt like such a dork. A girl named Katherine who is a lifeguard in Canada came over. She told me she would lead me over to the other girls. I was hesitant at first going into 35-40 feet deep water, but I was never going to get that chance again. I did it. She led me on as I kicked. I made it to the falls but didn’t shower under them. The water there was about 60 feet deep and there was no way I was doing that. All the girls got on a rock on top of the falls (they climbed and climbed and climbed) and they were all diving. Cora dived three times like a pro. Delayna really wanted to go up and do it. She went up, then double guessed it and was up there for an hour and twenty minutes trying to jump. Everyone kept going up encouraging her to do it. Then Roxanne went up and kind of tricked her. They were holding hands and were about to jump in together. Then Roxanne let go and Delayna ended up flying in all alone. The tour guide was as he called it, the paparazzi. He had all our cameras and was taking pictures. Oh yeah, the tour guy is Mayan and he told us that there are still some people who consider the caves sacred and should be limited to the people that go in. That if he asks his grandmother to go in with him, she won’t, because it is the sacred hall. While we were hiking back up he started talking to me in Spanish. I guess to figure out if I spoke it or not. Then he told me one thing. He says he has been studying here for several years and everyday there is something new to be learned. I will be posting lessons from now on. Lesson for the day, there is something new to be learned every day.

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June 4th

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

We had banana pancakes with papaya preserves for breakfast. We then went to town. We were warned of vocal males and we actually did have one person during the tour “picking which girl he liked best.  We then had some free time at the farmers market. It is brilliant. I will definitely do some souvenir shopping there. I think I want to get one of these really cool plaques they were selling for my mom and a CD of local music for me.  At first it felt like everywhere we went, eyes followed us, and they did, but now I have gotten used to it. Both English and Spanish are spoken here. Apparently there is a high rate of HIV here. There are signs everywhere by the government promoting protection. We went to go eat at a restaurant with good food. It was trippy that while our idea of playgrounds in restaurants we think of McDonalds or Burger King play sets, here it is literally monkey bars with swings. When we got back some of the girls decided to go to see some local Maya ruins. Some of us were too tired and stayed behind to relax at the pool. While at the pool I couldn’t help thinking another Jurassic Park movie could totally be filmed here. I had to draw a dino and take a picture of it with the jungle in the background.  Once the girls got back from the ruins, we all went into town for dinner. Our cab drivers were Daniella and her mom. They are the only female cab drivers in the city. My oh my were they funny. The mom told us she recently moved to a farm in the middle of the jungle. When her daughter asked her why, she said it was to make her life-long dream come true. She could walk in her backyard naked. We ate at Ha-na’s. It was very good but the bill was very confusing. They insisted on giving us one bill for all. We had to really work our way through the currency differences and what we each ordered to get the right amount of money for the bill. Coming back to the lodge, only Daniella drove us back. She did three trips to pick us all up. While we waited for her, people from a car started calling our direction. Boy was I relieved when two girls got off and they directed the conversation to some people behind us. The guard for the lodge began talking to me. He is Mayan. I think Pablo was his name. He was telling me about the songs of the day and the night. I heard a monkey. And here, the geckos sound like birds. I also haven’t minded all the bugs, weird. Pablo was saying he likes to hunt and that during the day you can hear the monkies snoring inside the trees. He was naming so many animals that I don’t remember them. He then said that if we ever wanted to learn Mayamopan, he could teach us.

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June 3rd

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Okay. So we get to the Houston airport and we had to take a train. The first plane was really small that even I was surprised it was that small. The second was big and more like what I expected. Houston airport= huge. We get to the Belize airport… size of three houses. And it was weird going trough immigration although fast. Belize is soooooo lush and green. There were wildfires that spontaneously happened then you could see the green start to come out again. Weird. The houses are on wooden beams as a form of protection against roaring waters. The cemetery has tombstones above ground so that the caskets don’t get washed away in heavy rain. You know how over there you may suddenly see a dog beside the street. Over here u suddenly see a horse or cow beside the street. HAHAHAHA. The music is all Jamaican style in my view. The food is great. If you let your towel to dry over night without air hitting it from outside…it might not dry because it is that humid. The lodge owners gave us clothes pins to hang them outside. Can’t tonight though, it’s raining. Workers at the lodge say that clothes could literally grow mold from the humidity here when you are trying to dry them.  Tomorrow we are going to go see the city.

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