So if you read my blog you know for several weeks I have been anticipating my first trip to another country as part of an eleven person mission team. As you can imagine there were several new experiences in this adventure and I would like to tell you about them in this post. I have this unusual interest in trying new things or recognizing when there is something new I experience. I hope you find this interesting.
* My first passport stamp – My passport was christened on arrival in Belize City, Belize on Saturday December 8th. I look forward to adding to my collection.
* Riding a school bus for primary transportation – With anywhere from 13 to 50 plus people moving around Cayo and Belize districts the old white bus was the only way to travel.
* Seeing a $500 plus total at the gas pump – We have no reason to complain about a lot of things in America, including the price of fuel. Diesel is $10 plus (Belize or $5 Plus US).
*An iguana in it’s natural habitat – This guy was seen multiple times around a rock formation at the base camp.
*Picking fresh citrus from a tree – Oranges, grapefruits and tangerines.
Hearing a live Mariachi Band – At the feeding center where Ana feeds 40 school children their hot lunch each day we hear her husband, Alfredo’s Mariachi band.
*Seeing an orchid growing naturally – We have two in pots in my wife’s hair salon downstairs. The one at the base camp was about eleven feet tall.Visiting a Mayan Archaeological site – We visited Cahal Pech near San Ignacio on our free day.
Hearing my pastor preach in a foreign country – It was an incredible honor to see the man of God I have become good friends with preach about God’s love while we were in Belize.
Praying the benediction prayer in another country – I love to pray aloud. It is one of the greatest honors for a christian in my estimation and being trusted by the pastor at Double Head Baptist Church from Belize enough to grant me this honor is one of my favorite memories of Belize.
Seeing my first live Tilapia – I have heard of the fish, especially when it became the rage at fast food places and Red Lobster. I actually got to see one pulled from the Aquaculture tank at Hope House.
Eating a fryjack – Miss Rose took such good care of our dietary needs I was afraid no one would believe we were on a mission trip. The fryjacks were one of the biggest hits with our team. I hate I missed taking a photo, I think it was one of the few things I excluded!
Seeing so many stars – okay, this is not a first necessarily, but I saw more stars in the sky in Belize than I believe I ever had here. I think it was because their were so few lights t compete with God’s beautiful cosmos.
Wearing shorts, t-shirts and Crocs in December and still sweating – Virginia gets some warm days, but nothing like we had in Belize.
Sitting in a seaside restaurant while listening to White Christmas – Bing Crosby sounded quite surreal in the background while the eight-some degree blew in from the ocean.
A mother carrying her child in a sling on her back – Yep you read that right. This sling ties to a strap that is worn around the mother’s forehead. It must be comfortable, because the little fellow inside was snoring like an adult. As T. (one of the missionaries living in Belize) said, who wouldn’t sleep after being rocked so much.
The opportunity to see a child enjoy their shoe box – For several years I have had a passion for collecting the “guts” for shoe boxes. My wife considers it an obsession, one I have already begun to pursue for 2013. Never in that time however did I get to see the end result, which was a child enjoying their treasure.
I cannot say I would have imagined any of these things on a bucket list, but I am glad to have the experience of each to add now. The blessing of this trip will stay with me for quite some time I believe. Perhaps it will fuel my desire to be a stronger Christian and disciple of Christ. If so, I will be a better man.