Happy Christmas everyone! I figured that I’d got out one more blog before Christmas, seeing as how I’ve been extremely dodgy on the blogging recently. The past two months have been full of adventures and fun… with some stressful situations thrown in for fun!
Mostly, I’ve been focused on my teaching chess, visiting villages and other towns for chess-related activities, and adapting to the rather warm “winter” weather here.
I’d rather tell my story in pictures though… more fun for you! Less thinking for me.
This is my current house! I’m renting it from an American man who lives in Alaska most of the year giving whale-watching tours. I totally lucked out in getting this place! He needed someone to watch over it while he’s gone, and he was willing to let me stay here for the Peace Corps price of $300BZ/month (that’s $150US). Yes it is for sale, and yes I would have to move out if it’s sold – but, it IS a bad economy right now, so while I don’t wish him any ill will, I hope I get to stay in the place for a while yet.
BIG bonus! This place comes with a rooster! I’ve named him George. He looks like a George. And while I’m not entirely certain he’s mine, he hangs out enough that I consider him a resident. I’m thinking of training him to attack drunken strangers who come to my yard at odd hours. He looks fierce, doesn’t he? I’m sure with the right corn-motivated methods, we could work out a guard-rooster arrangement!
Sunrise view from my front veranda. It doesn’t really feel like Peace Corps when I get to wake up to this in the mornings! The only downside to living soooo close to the market is that I end up waking up with the villagers when they come into town to set up for market day. Their buses begin arriving between 4:30 and 5am and the bustle doesn’t stop until around 11:30am. The good side, the first pick of the best fresh fruit and vegetables if I manage to get my butt up and dressed by 6am.
Cali and I manning an HIV/AIDS awareness booth during Punta Gorda’s World AIDS Day Event. They offered information on available community resources and free HIV/AIDS (though results are NOT confidential – a HUGE problem in Belize – and a continuing reason for the extremely low numbers of people actually getting tested regularly)
PG held a candle-light vigil to recognize those suffering with HIV/AIDS and to spread the word to stop the discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS. These two boys were so excited to get their own candles, despite their sober looks in the picture… I guess they thought it would look cool – And it does! (One of my favorite pictures.)
I helped out at the Christmas Tournament in Belmopan. We had a Santa and elves!
Me vs. Christmas bear. A tough competitor, that one!
A day after the X-mas Tournament, Ella offered to put me on one of the Cave’s Branch excursions they had that weekend… The Cave Expedition! We tube down a river and into a cave. We alternated between tubing and hiking while we explored this giant cave and viewed ancient Mayan ruins for the entire day!
Tubing into the mouth of the cave…
Hanging out with my tube next to a large stalactite.
And finally, when all of the traveling and adventures were over with, I had a chance to relax and really get into the Christmas spirit…
Erica, Cali, and Christine helping me to decorate my Christmas tree.
The final product! Beautiful!
On that note, I want to wish everyone who can’t be with me right now, and everyone I can’t be with, a very Merry Christmas! My blessings to each and every one of you… Peace and Love my peeps!
To my friends and family,
I miss you lots and lots and LOTS! I wish I could transport myself home for the holidays and relax with some hot cocoa, friends and family around me, and some genuine cold weather! But in lieu of that, we PC folks are getting together for some X-mas eve fun… and I’ll be visiting my host family for some holiday cheers as well! Much love to everyone!
MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS :-)