Hello there diligent readers that have been greatly disappointed by my lack of blogging as of late! Sorry- Here is your newsflash!
I absolutely cannot believe that it is the month of May right now!!! These past few months have flown by! Soon, I will have been in Belize for a solid year! I am going to organize a gathering of PCVS in Belize to celebrate and reflect on our year in Belize. After weathering the obligatory 6 month depression and panic, I am doing much better. Things have picked up in the village life around here.. We had a "hype" month last month with village council elections. There are two political parties that dominate Belize, the UDP and PUP, red and blue. The current chair lady of our village was running for reelection. She is also my counterpart, or the person that requested to have a Peace Corps Volunteer, with my skill set ( which is?? ) , move to Hummingbird Community. So obviously, I work closely with her and wanted her to win again, which she did. But it was so interesting to see how people got involved with politics and let it cause them so much grief among neighbors and friends. I wont go into too much detail, as we are supposed to remain neutral and not get involved in politics. But it was so neat to watch as a spectator sport.
Then, I have been doing a lot of "bathing inna da riva," mostly because it has been so super hot as of late.... sometimes my room gets down to a humid 91 degrees at night.... it is so uncomfortable, but I deal... I now feel cold when it dips to a chilly 79 degrees. So every weekend, my neighbors will hail me and ask if I want to go bathe to the riva. Of course I agree, because part of integration is saying yes to most every offer from neighbors and friends. So we pile in the back of his pickup truck and roll to the riva! There is nothing I love more than riding in the back of a pickup truck along the Hummingbird Highway. It really is one of the most scenic views ever... So beautiful, lush and green with the Maya mountains hoovering on either side and dense Jungle billowing over either side of the road. This past weekend, we went to the riva 3 times.. and discovered 3 new swimming holes! Mind you, when we go to bathe in the river, we just roll out in our everyday clothes. For example, on Friday, I went to bathe in the river in long jeans and a tee shirt... again, integration.
Then, in March, 38 new Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Belize. It has been great fun getting to know them. They are super bunch of people and I am so happy they have joined in on this great adventure here. It has been nice talking to them as they are still so wide eyed and believing in the whole Kumbaya Theory.
This past week, I had some visitors! Beth and Tristan from Seattle/Bay Area stopped by. I went to school with Beth in Seattle and her and her BF have been travelling through Central America for a few months now. I gave them instructions on how to reach Mile 25 and sure enough, they made it on the bus way to my house! It was so nice to catch up and learn about their travels. The 2 nights they spent in my village also reminded me of how much I have changed and grown since moving to Hummingbird Community. Things that would shock you about where I live, how I live and with whom I live, have become a part of who I am now. I suppose you could say I am completely Jaded. I'm sure I will become more aware of this as more visitors are on the horizon.... Especially with my Mom and Dad!!! Mom and Dad are coming to visit for 3 weeks in July!! - That is a long time, but I am very excited to show them around this amazing country!!! Of course, we will spend time in my village, then I want to take them up north, to some Mayan ruins, out to the Cayes, and down to Toledo to see the deep Mayan villages. It will be a fun month! Then Monika and Libby are coming to visit for 10 days in September!!!!!! Exciting!
I am also planning spending Christmas in the states. This has been something that I have thought a lot about as of late. Especially since some other volunteers have headed back for visits or various reasons. I really am only a 2 hour flight from the states. The plane ticket and flight time home to Seattle is comparable to how much it costs to fly from the East to West coast of the States. My first thoughts were that I don't need to go back to the states while I am in Peace Corps because there are plenty of places I want to travel and see here in Central America. But the truth is, as much as I hate to admit it, I miss some of the conveniences and comforts of Seattle and the first world... There, I said it... I miss the accessibility of everything and access to everything. It is true.. I do know that once I complete my Peace Corps experience, I get to return to that koosh life, if I choose so, but that most of the people I meet and work with here in Belize, will never get to experience it.. which can be a good thing, or a bad thing when it involves missed opportunity and access. I dunno... anyways... I admit it, I miss it. I want some good coffee, I want my hair cut, I want to eat meat again, I want to drink clean water that doesn't make me sick, I want to go to a Movie, I want to feel cold again, I want to see the seasons again, I miss my friends, I miss my family- and all that said and done, I know that after about a week of the land of plenty, I will have had my fill, be sick of it, be reminded of the richness and simplicity of my village life in Belize and long to come back here... I know this, but that doesn't mean I still don't want to go! haha.
Oh- and I am already thinking of staying a third year here... I have to see how that will all work out with returning to finish my MPA, but there are many options for a third year either here in Belize, or in another country in Peace Corps.
More to come