Spanish Lookout, Belize -Day 4

Sat. morning

Saw one of the big crocodiles in the canal first thing this morning, which is very exciting if you’ve never seen crocodile before! Then Junior stopped by to see if the guys would like a tour. After checking out at the Copa Banana, they all headed into town via the SUV Stephen had rented. Enchiladas for breakfast, and picked up a pineapple for a snack later. At the market, there are many different shelters/stands – besides the numerous food stands, there were even ‘thrift stores’ that sold gently used clothing and shoes. In some of the spots, the seller would simply pull their truck under the shelter and lower the tailgate – the entire back of the truck would be full of some sort of citrus for you to pick from.
Stephen and Grady had a meeting with a computer guy that they had met the day before, so Vaughn and Greg headed to the bus station to pick up a schedule for the country for future reference. Since we don’t use credit cards, Vaughn couldn’t rent a vehicle (they don’t take debit cards), so they would be utilizing the bus system after Stephen and Grady left the following week.
After chatting again with Junior (his favorite place to wait for customers is in front of the bus station), V & G went to meet up with Stephen and Grady. Time for lunch – Greg had some awesome beef chow mien for $3.50USD. Took their lunch to the beach to eat it – there are little tables and cabanas spread out all along the waters edge.
The beach was busy with Belizean families picnicking and swimming – about half a dozen boys (early teen years) had an old fridge out in the water – it was void of it’s door, and they were having the best time climbing on it and trying to sink it; it would roll over so the back was up, and the boys would disappear, diving under and popping back up inside the fridge cavity which was under the water but holding air. After awhile, they would come back top-side and start all over again. One thing that did surprise the guys was the lack of toys they saw and yet the contentedness of the children in Belize. The Belizean kids had great imaginations and would use just about anything as a plaything. Compared to the states, there were very few toys in the stores; even the Walmart in Playa only had one short isle of toys, and one side of that was games. In the stores, they didn’t see any children whining to manipulate their parents into buying them a toy. Greg noticed one little girl pushing a stick that someone had nailed a small wheel to, and she was tickled with her plaything; other kids similarly had homemade ‘toys’.

(picture is of Central Park in Corozal)

Topped off fuel at a Texaco station ($4.70bz/gal.), and headed south for Spanish Lookout where the 4 guys would be staying for the next 5 days or so. The scenery changed from houses dotting the road, to sugar cane fields, then to lush natural vegetation (palms, pines, and bush) and finally, as they approached Spanish Lookout, to cleared farmland. Around Spanish Lookout, there were a lot of cattle (Brahma mix to tolerate the heat) and a few scrawny horses.

Arriving in S.L. around 5, the guys met up with their ‘contact’ John at his house. John’s wife fed them dinner of mini enchiladas, salad, rice milk with cinnamon, and cake – the guys found over time that the Mennonite women are very good cooks! John has 2 young daughters that happen to be just the age of our 2 youngest (girls) and look incredibly like ours. V & G really enjoyed them, but found the girls to be a constant reminder of us at home, and made them more homesick! The older little girl (about 3), was quite a gabber, but our guys couldn’t understand a word that she said – the Mennonites speak mostly low German at home; but do learn English and Spanish also. After dinner, John graciously allowed the guys to use his computer to email their families at home.
John’s wife sews most of her and the girls dresses, and makes many of her own patterns; this seemed to be the same for the other Mennonite women. Fabric is readily available and the guys would later visit stores with extensive sewing supplies (though they didn’t notice any sewing machines).
Homes in Belize are either concrete or wood built. Here in the states we build our homes with attention paid to insulating them well – in Belize the homes are built for ventilation. Wood homes are constructed on stilts which gives the owner a sort of carport underneath for parking vehicles, hanging out clothing when it is raining, storage for items like freezers and outside tools, discourages bugs coming inside, and also helps to keep run-off water out during the rainy season…
In many of the homes, the windows consisted of many small rectangular panes of glass that reminded the guys of large blinds – these could be pivoted open for maximum air flow, and many homes did not have screens. Even in the homes without screens and where doors were left open for ventilation, there were very few if any bugs; this was during the dry season, so maybe it is different during the rainy season.?. There must be some bugs that come inside though – some of the advice the men were given was to always have a few geckos in the house as they eat the spiders, “but you don’t want too many or they make a mess”!
After everyone visited for some time, John took the men over to the apartment that they would be renting from a friend of John’s. The apartment was very nice – clean, neat, comfy beds, and a kitchen continually stocked with fresh fruit and home baked items (the men did NOT lose any weight during their stay in Belize!). It was 74 degrees F at 8pm. At the apartment, the men noticed a loud hum in the bush (Greg said it sounded like helicopters warming up) – ‘it is just the frogs’!

After getting settled in what would serve as their base-camp for the next few days, it was off to bed in preparation for attending services at the Mennonite church in the morning.

Lilla Rose

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  1. $4.70BZ for gas – what a bargin! I filled up yesterday, Premium was 7.70 BZ, and Regular was 7.90 BZ (Yes, Premium is less than Regular until the next delivery of Premium – unlike the gas stations in the state).

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