Published: February 2nd 2010February 2nd 2010
Wow, another week has already gone by somehow, and I don’t know where all the time went. I have now been living in Belmopan for three weeks and every day I get more and more comfortable in it. From waking up extra early on market days to catch the best deals, to running in my neighbourhood, and officially being a regular at ‘ice point’, my favorite little snack shop just up the street, I defiantly feel at home here. Don’t worry mom, I still know where my real home is, but getting to experience living in an entirely new culture is so exciting. Nearly everything is different and backwards from the ways at home from the amazing staple rice and beans, to the slow and haywire bus system, to the dozens of friendly waves you get when walking to the corner store. I am surely loving my time here.
As far as school goes, I am finding it a lot different than classes at good ol’ TRU. The classes are a lot more laid back, but it does get frustrating at times when I can’t understand my teachers accents. During our second week we got either a test, assignment, or lab report to be due for nearly every day this week. Needless to say, a lot of homework was done over this weekend. Last Wednesday after school we went to Sharon’s families farm for a big family dinner, as it was her granddaughters eighth birthday. When we got there we were greeted by Sharon’s mother (aka Granny P) with a beautiful smile on her face saying “welcome home girls!”, even though that was the first time we had been there. The night was filled with the whole family taking turns dancing their traditional Punta dance while the boys played amazing beats on the drums, delicious food (Tortillas, rice, and beans), and a great family-homey vibe. The farm is full of exotic fruit trees, all organically grown, and with dinner we had the pleasure of drinking freshly (about five minutes ago) squeezed orange and lime juice. The lime juice was my favorite! I had a bit of a sleepless night staying there with all the strange noises outside…I guess the beating of the rain on the good old tin roof over my head didn’t help all that much either.
We woke up nice and early on Friday morning to catch the best deals at the market, which happens in the centre of town every Tuesday and Friday. And good deals we got! I managed to score a new dress, shirt, leather wallet, and a homemade, warm meat pie all for about 12 Canadian Dollars. After our one class that day, Mystery, Brito, Danielle and I hopped on a bus bound for Punta Gorda. This town is so incredibly relaxed and laid back that people here don’t even say the whole name of their town, but instead call it PG. We went to this great little town on the beautiful seaside to go to a big Garifuna concert/event. When we stepped inside the building the concert was in, I felt like I was hit with so much culture all at once. Beautiful traditional Garifuna dresses were worn by the performers on stage, and the drums were beaten so fiercely in rhythms that had never before touched my ears. We danced and witnessed an apparent musical genius in the Garifuna culture sing a tune in his eighty-some years of age that put a look of amazement and blessing on every persons face.
The next morning we went for a breakfast of beans, eggs, bacon and the incredible fried jacks. Later on we went to the seaside and spent most of the day jumping of the wharf, swimming in the clear water, and catching some sun! The next morning, however, wasn’t as enjoyable, as we had to wake up at 5:00am to catch a 6 o’clock bus, which we were on for the next five hours. Although the bus system is fairly friendly and very affordable, the continuous stopping to pick up and drop off passengers in front of their houses can make for unnecessarily long trips on not so comfortable seats. The rest of my day today was spent catching up on homework, and tomorrow is the start of another week, which I am expecting will also somehow fly by just as the last few have!