Maybe it was because it was really warm with no AC.
Maybe it was because I was on the verge of having enough foreign water/food.
Maybe it was because the conscience was not relenting with every snapchat from the deserted crew at home, and Mr Kennell’s pitiful “bring my girlfriend home” row.
Maybe it was because all the previous DAYS (literally) that we’d spent busing on the trip were spent in a Coach that lumbered along and served cold drinks and hot meals.
Or maybe it was just traumatizing. But whatever the reason- whether it’s all or none of the ones listed above- I’m ready to take a break from busing.
We crossed into Belize with no trouble and caught a taxi to the “Belmopan Express”. “Great” I thought “We’ll hammerdown for the capital and be there soon.”
Wrong. Not sure what “Express” means, but we stopped and picked up people 50 times if we stopped once. AND they got off usually about 10 minutes after we picked them up. (Maybe we didn’t actually stop 100 times, but I kinda lost count) Also, the bus boy got off occasionally just to ask if the people wanted a ride. Loud Belizean music pulsated the bus from time to time, and since Belize speaks English- I understood the words. No gain there.
We made the transfer ok. Belize is a clean country “Don’t litter, and Belize will glitter” and the bus stations were orderly and on time. We crowded on to the next bus, but because our body guard/luggage boy stayed out to help put our luggage in, He wasn’t able to get a seat, so he stood in the back of the bus. (We had every intention of traveling light, not sure what happened.)
Anyhow so Mervin was standing in the back of the bus, when the terminal offical came on the bus and said that everyone needed a seat. So Mervin squished onto a seat with 2 other guys. The official came to the back of the bus and chased off the other unfortunate guy who had been standing with Merv, and then said with a very thick Creole accent “c’mon man, you catch the next bus. ” He had to repeat himself about 5 times until we understood him. So I asked if Deb and I needed to get off too- because we were all in this together, and our half of the bus broke into a murmur, with the one outspoken fellow saying “Kick somebody else off the bus, you can’t do that to this man- he got family on the bus!”
So the guy let him slide. We took off in a cloud of dust, and stopped at the first street corner to pick up the other man who’d been asked to leave. So there went that.
I enjoyed my window seat. Belizean houses are different from the rest of Central America. Wooden Houses standing on stilts. Curtains covering the windows, tied back to let the air/daylight in.
We tore through the countryside. Grove after Grove after Grove of Citrus trees. We passed Citrus factories were the air smelled like Orange Juice. We passed lots of Mennonites and Amish- Belizean population has the largest percentage of Anabaptist population in the world (I think it’s 3%)
Then we came to the mountains. I’m not sure what all they do to schoolbuses down there, but they have them running good. We breezed up the mountain like it was nothing, and cannon-balled down the other side. The road didn’t have a yellow line and when we came to a one lane bridge- we slingshotted across it without hesitation. It was a little alarming to be watching out the window and suddenly come upon a ravine. The driver never hit the brakes and we were shifting gears. Hallelujah, we arrived safely.
Placencia was our little touristy spot of our adventure. We rented a cabin with AirBnB and were completely impressed. We enjoyed the breezes from the Carribean Sea, the unique flowers, and culture that the area had to offer. I even enjoyed the mouthy bird that sat out in front of our house and hollered to his friends every morning at sunrise. I wish I could’ve identified him though.
The area brags of the second largest coral reef in the world. It was really fun to explore- the brightly colored fish, the variety of coral- mostly browns and purple, and Deb saw a “sea cow” or a manatee.
All the while, I was trying to get up the nerve for last piece of our puzzle- another bus ride. #22 on the #30for30 is bus across Central America. Woosh- we made it and survived. At the risk of being dramatic, I was feeling worse and worse, and we didn’t have any too much water with us. But we made it, and found a taxi at the terminal who confidently knew where to take us. As soon as he had us and our luggage in his van, he started asking everybody within shouting distance where the road was that we needed. Thankfully someone knew. Soon we were at our final stop.
This place looked like an oasis when we rolled in. The staff was so gracious and we enjoyed meeting “Miss Nancy” (highly recommend this book) A 86 year old New Order Amish lady who has lived in Belize for 51 years. She shared her story with us freely and I was challenged and inspired. Floyd and Miss Marilyn took such great care of us. I decided that maybe I wasn’t going to die after all. (I know, dramatic much?)
They live in a bit of a rough section of town, but Deb and I thought we could go down and talk to children through the gate. We watched them play basketball, and ride their bikes in the street, and felt all secure. Until the one little bundle of energy calmly reached in, unlatched the gate and I’m sure my mouth fell open as no less than 6 children rolled in and took over the courtyard. The girls told us that they “were 4 years old and were COusINS” and the boys ran pellmell around the vans and ran past smacking me on the back of the head and making it rain rocks. It was very exciting. Soon “Brotha Floyd” came and shoo-ed them back out of the gate and things got a bit less chaotic.
As we bid Central America “farewell” and I watched the land get swallowed by clouds, my heart is full. Our travel found a wide range of experiences, but at every stop- we found people who’s heart cry was to serve their Creator. It is so encouraging to know that there are so many Righteous who are seeking His Face.
And that completes that puzzle. We had some pretty unique shaped pieces, but ever.single.one fell into place perfectly, and the finished picture is one that I will talk about for a long time. Thank you, Jesus.
Thanks for all your support and for kindly following along with my tales from our adventure. I’m excited to enjoy things stateside for awhile 🙂