Tuesday, August 11, 2009

UnBELIZEable!! (part uno)

Adam and I have been out of town for the past week & a half...enjoying green jungle, brightly painted buildings, the beautiful Spanish language, snorkling & scuba diving, eating LOTS of rice & beans, sipping on numerous pina coladas, listening to Latin music, hiking Mayan ruins, getting eaten alive by misquitos (well, we didn't really enjoy those), living out of a backpack, wearing swim-shorts & sundresses almost everyday, meeting the most humble people, and soaking up every minute together :) ...we did all those things, and more, in the little country of Belize. The trip had been LONG awaited!!! We had planned to head south this past April, but due to the Swine Flu our trip was postponed...which I was pretty disappointed about at first, but that allowed us to take that roadtrip to Disneyland =)


This was my first time out of the country...I was so stoked!!!
I had some ideas of what of might be like, expectations if you will...but they were all surpassed :) We went with Adam's two brothers (Luke & Ben) and their two wives (Becca & LaCol)...they're all so much fun, we loved being with them!!

* The Gang :) about to head out from the SLC Airport.
Ben & LaCol, Luke & Becca, Adam & Haley *
* i LOVED the painted buildings...and the bright flowers, even in the city :) *
* the entryway of a restaurant we ate at in Cancun *
* mmmmm...enjoying the first of many pina coladas *
* went to walk on the beach after dinner *
* A band playing in an open restaurant right on a street...love it :) *

Our original plan was to drive straight from Cancun Belize (we flew to Cancun because it's MUCH cheaper than flying directly to Belize) but luckily Luke knows someone who has a home south of Cancun, and he let us stay there for the night...so it split our 6 hour drive in half :) And the house was gorgeous!
* i love the blue tile...and the painted sink :) *
* playing our new favorite card came: Golf *
* I found this little guy in the shower!! Adam was brave enough to catch it!...then we gave it the flush, sorry mr. scorpion *
* ready for church *
* We took the awesome family that picked us up at the airport to church...and they really enjoyed it! we love missionary work :) *
* Lunch time! *
* the fresh foods market! some food more fresh than others...yep *
* Washington APPLES above (yep, in Mexico:) AND Adam's BANANA goatee *
* Bicycles are very common in both Mexico & Belize :) for work & for transportation *
* On our way to Chunox (pronounced Shunoosh), Belize...we had to take 2 car-ferries...looked questionable, but they worked just great! *
We arrived in Chunox to see homes of all shapes, sizes, and materials...some were made out of sticks & palm leaves, others out of brick, and some out of stucko/cement...which were painted colors from turqoise & lavender (like the photo below), bright pink, yellow, to sky blue...amazing =)
The house below is not a normal house for Chunox...it's actually in the process of being built as an example of future homes that will be built for a humanitarian project...Domes For The World! It's built right by the home of the man (Craig) that Luke is working with to help the project get rolling in that part of Belize. Honestly, I thought that we were going to actually help build a dome while we were in Belize...but they're still working on the foundation work with the community leaders, and getting land to build on...but the future is looking bright :)
* This is the house that Luke & a coworker own...gorgeous! We stayed there for about half the trip. And i can't forget to mention, they have avacado & coconut trees in their yard. sweet *
* Adam enjoyed the fresh coconut milk *
Next was the FUTBOL (soccer) game! We were driving around the village & stopped to check out this little at-home store...and there were these kids playing soccer outside. The guys offered to play with them, & before we knew it they were playing for winnings ;) First team to score 5 got Choco Ice (popcicle). The young boys (ages of 4-9ish) would yell "VIVE BELICE!" which means "Long live Belize!" and of course our men would shout back "VIVE AMERICA!"
* Adam is on the right, about the kick it to high heaven! *
The young boys were SUCH GOOD sports! Half of them didn't even have shoes...yet they were smiling the whole time...no matter who scored :)
And the winners: BELIZE!!!! The kids won =D
* We bought them their Choco Ice :) and some for ourselves...so refreshing! *
We went back to Craig's house to have dinner :) He has another family living with him because he's in the states most of the time...the sweet mom cooked for us...her name is Diani :)
* She made the best eggs ever!! And cooked some plantaines (a type of banana)...different, but delicious =) *
* In both Mexico & Belize they have soda with EVERY meal...we're talking breakfast, lunch, and dinner...yowza. The occasional bottled water was like the nectar of life!!! haha (but the orange Fanta is pretty darn tasty, and it's always fun to drink out of a glass bottle) *
* We took a drive to a place called Lamanai...where we hiked through jungle to see Mayan ruins... *
* drinking more Fanta on the drive... ;) *
* We stopped for lunch on our way...for some Taco Smileys ;D *
* mmmmm...these tostados were my favorite...and crunchy tortilla with beans, strong grated cheese, and onions *
* And we got some dessert from the little store below :) ...you can't see very well, but we're smooching in the reflection of the left window :) *
To get to Lamanai you have to get in a boat...so we found a tour guide...but he needed to get gas for his boat...so while he went to town, he let us play on his rope swing!!
SO FUN!!!
* Ben *
* me *
* Adam...walkin' on water :) *
* on the boat ride to Lamanai *
* On our ride, we stopped to see what these local fisherman had caught...in their hand-carved canoe...amazing *
* The jungle was unbelievable!...i mean unbelizeable!! haha *
* Me Tarzan...you Jane *
* Climbing one of the main ruins...SO tall...but worth the hike *
* THE VIEW!!! *
* We even saw a Howler Monkey! (he's in the right corner...kinda blurry...sorry *
* Adam is in the middle at the top of the first set of steps :) We were about a football-field length away and he was talking with his voice barely raised, and we could hear him!! They Mayans somehow built it so that the speaker/leader could speak without straining his voice, & all the people could hear...remind anyone of King Benjamin? :) *

And the trip only gets better! I'll be posting the rest of our adventures tomorrow :)

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