Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Final Adventure

Our final day in Belize was spent doing one last day of adventure. The rains continued to fall and flooding was happening in parts of the region, so many opted to stay at the resort to catch up on some rest, get some packing done, and do some last minute shopping downtown before we had to leave. A handful of us though couldn’t resist the call to adventure.

Hanna, Amanda, Stepho and I made our way with our guide Johnny to Mountain Pine Ridge, the Rio Frio Caves, and Twin Caves.

While we thought we would be wet the whole day, we were quickly mistaken. After a few short hikes through the rainforest, we ended up going 9 levels into the depths of the “Mayan Underworld”. Some of crevices we had to crawl through left us having to squeeze and twist our way through. A bottle of grease would have helped more than once. It was certainly not a place for anyone claustrophobic. This particular area had not been truly excavated yet, so the remains of many Mayans were most certainly under the ground we walked. Shards of pottery and artifacts were scattered along the way.

The cave also had its share of creepy crawlies...

It was a great adventure!
After a lunch with no flatware, we made chopsticks out of sturdy pieces of elephant grass and then headed back out on our way.
We nearly skipped on of the waterfalls and went back into the caves with a lighter we had found in the van, lit candles, and done an ancient Mayan ceremony with drops of blood let from a sliver of obsidian, but we knew there was more to see. It just gives me something creepy and strange to look forward to going back to. From the caves, we went to the waterfalls. This is where we didn’t get to stay dry anymore.

The rain water coming down from the mountains had left this most pristine and usually calm swimming hole a giant raging gorge of rapids of torrential waterfalls. We got as close as we could… just close enough to feel the mist of the waterfalls crashing upon the rocks blast upon our faces in a fierce mist. Although there were no gorillas, I kept feeling like I was in a scene from the movie Gorillas in the Mist.
Along our way back to the resort, now soaked and cold, we all had to pee and had no toilets along the way. We laughed so hard as the four of us had to squat on the dirt road behind the van and let her rip. Suddenly, there was some additional flooding on the backroads of Belize. On our way back in we stopped at the 5 sisters resort to view another waterfall and get some drinks. Steph O and I split a chocolate milkshake (the worst milkshake I’ve ever had) and we all got to change into some dry clothes. The rest of the drive back to the resort was filled with laughter, a coconut cigar, and a very bumpy road. We were thrilled we had made the choice for adventure over rest. Afterall, once we’re dead we can rest all we want.

After returning home to our resort, we were all able to get cleaned up and begin our farewell ceremony. A beautiful spread of food had been set up for us all… beans and rice, plantains, turkey, stuffing, chicken, and chocolate cake. After getting our fill of food, we had a very touching goodbye ceremony. Each one of us received a certificate that had our name on it, the number of patients we saw, and the villages we had visited. We had a few special gifts that we had put together along with individualized thank you notes for all of our resort and ProBelize staff.

Johnny Belize was also wrapping up his last couple of weeks in Belize before he goes to become the director of Pro Peru, so it was his chance to say his own farewell words to his staff and give them each tokens of his appreciation- special books, a calculator to make some of the office work easier, pictures, and little items to make his colleagues and friends lives a little easier after he left. It was very touching to hear the words that each of us had to say about our experience. It was honoring to know that ProBelize was so positively affected by our hard work and dedication. It was sad to know that we were all going to have to say goodbye and that our lives were all going to profoundly change.

The Rav5 will also be dearly missed...

Steve brought out all of his jewelry that night to our celebration and many of us got some gifts of our own as well. I ended up getting a gorgeous necklace from someone very special to me along our trip as well. A group of native drummers and dancers were going to come out and do a special ceremony and presentation for us that night, but the flood waters had prevented them from being able to travel to where we were located.

Oh, but the night was not over yet. We had access to the van, which took us all out for one last night on the town. A live band was playing at this place called Culture Club. Mostly reggae, salsa, with a very Latin American beat played throughout the night. We danced, we did the salsa, the shook to the meringue, we laughed, and at one point even got to join the band. I took up the congas and added to the percussion, Audrey took up the tambourine, and at one point they even put Amanda, myself, and another friend we had made down there on the microphone to sing some Bob Marley.

A few of us didn’t want to stay out too late that night, so left around 12 or 1am. On our way out, my foot set down on the stairs just at the wrong place, my ankle went out to the side with all my body weight on it, and I fell into the Belizean sewer. My amazing friends pulled me out, carried me to the van, and I my night was officially over. I got carried back to our cabana, took something for the pain, and laid there in bed listening for one last night to the sounds of the jungle as I drifted into my last night of dreams in Belize.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home