Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cultural Day

Today was another fun filled Peace Corps Day.. I have done more in the past 3 days than I did for 3 weeks in Seattle. We woke up and met the bus at 7 am this morning. We had to leave 45 mins late because we were awaiting the arrival of johnnycakes. The best way to describe Johnny cakes are an extra crunchy biscuit with a slab of ham and cheese in the middle. They are not terribly delightful but were welcomed nonetheless. We then loaded into the bus and a van to head west to Benche. Benche is a boarder town with Guatemala. We visited a cultural center and then headed to an open air pavilion at a local high school where we spent the next few hours listening to local Mayan music, watching dance, and learning about the Mayan history. We were also served lunch. The first course was a soup with chicken, onion, lime, spicyness broth. It was delicious and said to be extra great for a hangover. We then had a tamale with peas, chicken, onion, and olives, as well as some spinachie and egg concoction. Dessert was a rice puree pudding. Everything in Belize is served in Stryofoam and produces a lot of waste. The roads and streets are littered with them. It is sad that such a beautiful country is tarnished by images of steaming piles of garbage with flocks of birds finding dinner there. We also had home made Horochata-- rice milk cinnamon drink. After lunch we headed to a mayan ruins. In order to get there, we had to take a ferry across a river. The ferry was wooden and hand cranked across the water along two wires only one car at a time. After that we hiked 1 mile to the ruins where we were met by tour guides. I also saw my first howler monkey in a tree today. They are cute little guys.

Tomorrow I have to do laundry in the sink or in the river…. I think I choose the sink while it is still an option.

I also found out UNOFFICIALLY that I will be living in San Antonio outside of San Ignacio for 5 weeks with a host family learning Spanish starting on Thrusday!!!!! WAHOOO… I have also wanted to learn Spanish and living with a host family will be the best way possible. But, there was a rumor that those who are learning Spanish will have to come in to PC HQ in Belmopan on Tuesdays to have an intensive day of language on top of coming in to Belmopan every Friday to have Core training with the rest of the Volunteers. It took about an hour to get to San Ignacio today by charter bus…. The public transportation here is really slow and unreliable…. So I cant imagine coming in to the city twice a week from San Antonio!! Crazy… But everything in Peace Corps is rumored until it comes out of the mouths of our trainers or country director. They OFFICIALLY tell us where we will be living and what language we will be learning on Wednesday and then drop us off at those sights on Thursday!! Crazy!!!

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