During the years 1963-64, our mother Mary Anne taught high school girls in Belize as part of the Papal Volunteer Corps. She never got to go back before she got sick, though I think she very much wanted to.
That's part of why, when I was planning a trip to Central America in 2011, I chose to visit Belize. I thought it would be a nice pilgrimage-ish detour before getting to the more famous Costa Rica. I turned out have it backwards. Not only did I fall in love with Belize---Cayo, the western district, in particular---but when I got back to Durham, I hadn't even unpacked before I started looking up flights to go back. (I wrote about that journey starting here.) I stayed in the States long enough to put up one play, act in another, and see that Obama got reelected. Now I've been back in San Ignacio, the capital of Cayo, for a month; and will be for two more!
One of the greatest pleasures has been sharing Cayo with my sisters, Clare and Julie, who came to visit for five days. They traced the path I'd originally taken---first landing in Belize City and staying at Belcove, where Haulover Creek laps right under the windows; then taking the bus into Cayo, where I met them at the bus depot just uphill from the Macal River. We had many adventures, of which I'll let them tell tale, if they want :) Above is a picture of Clare and Julie by the Macal at DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge, not far from where I'm living.
Meanwhile, here is the ongoing album of pictures I've taken since being in Belize this time around. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago I was G-chatting with Dad, Belize direct to the Pittsboro library, and he said, "I have to go. I have to play Saint Nicholas at 6pm for Niko and Laxmi." Nicole had already set up a smiling but somewhat sinister figure in the foyer, under which Niko and Laxmi would deposit their shoes.
What happened after that depends on who you ask. Dad says he made it halfway across the walkway before he let out a bloodcurdling yell that echoed against the forest, and then knocked on the house with his walker "for about five minutes" while Pam deposited the candy in the children's shoes.
If you ask Niko, he only said, "Boom!...Boom."
...and Laxmi kept her silence, sucked on her candy, and pondered all these things in her heart.