April A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day Eleven – Keepsakes from Belize

Keepsakes. Those items we want to hold onto to remember something from our past. For some people these knick knacks can become priceless. Pieces of our life that we would not trade for anything. I wouldn’t necessarily say I could not live without them, I just like the memories they conjure.

Specifically I am going to share with you some of the keepsakes I brought back from my first international trip. I went on a cruise to the Bahamas within a couple of years of getting married, but I don’t really consider that my first trip as it was so Americanized by way of the cruise.

This past December I travelled with ten others from my local church association for a mission trip to Belize. We went there to deliver shoe box gifts and share our love of God. While there we got to spend time with the people of Belize, specifically the children. Since we placed the boxes directly in the children’s hands we were able to share their excitement directly.

money

The first picture is of the money I used while I was in Belize. There is a $5 and $2 denomination Belize bill. Also, I brought examples of coins to share with my kids and the nieces and nephews. The money of Belize is much different than ours as you can see. Their bills have much more color and are more artistic. Belize was formerly the British Honduras so there is still an influence from Britain in the form of Queen Elizabeth on the bills.

My Belize t-shirt with a map of the country.

My Belize t-shirt with a map of the country.

Another keepsake is a Belize t-shirt I selected from a store called The Art Box. It has a wide array of Belize centric items that visitors can enjoy and purchase to bring home. We spent about an hour one evening toward the end of our trip here and makling a decision what to bring as souvenirs was difficult.

A road map, program from the Blemopan City Chirstmas Tree lighting celebration, receipt from Cahal Pech arcaeological site and bumper sticker from the restaurant we visited on our first day in Belize.

A road map, program from the Belmopan City Christmas Tree lighting celebration, receipt from Cahal Pech archaeological site and bumper sticker from the restaurant we visited on our first day in Belize.

In the picture above you will see a road map of Belize. Thankfully we had the benefit of a husband and wife team that live in country and did all the driving. Included in our first day was a stay at a local restaurant with an Americanized menu which was a welcome surprise for us. The restaurant was named Cheers and the name put me in mind of the famous bar of television legend. Hanging from the rafters in this open air restaurant were t-shirts from all the groups that had preceded us on various trips to Belize. Each had information about the group  the year and the names of those on the various teams.

Later that evening, after we sorted some shoe boxes ny gender and age we traveled into Belmopan, the capital  and joined a couple thousand residents at a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. There was a wide range of ages, but everyone seemed very happy to be there. I commented to others from my group that we would never see so many people at one of these in the United States. On the eighth day of December everyone is in full panic shopping mode.

The small paper on the bottom right is a receipt from the Cahal Pech archaeological site near San Ignacio.  We visited the site on our free day, which was Friday. It was particularly poignant due to the reputed upcoming end of the world due to the Mayan calendar expiring within a week of our visit. Probably the most profound moment during our visit was when our group, led by the tour guide, sung : “This is the Day the Lord has Made” at the top of the multi-level site. I included another photo of this part of our visit.

375 Beside these keepsakes of course I have my memories of the trip. To augment the recall over time I took a couple thousand pictures and have shared mine with the others just as they shared theirs with me. I  hope you enjoyed my K topic in the A to Z challenge.

NOTE: If you are interested in more of my trip to Belize you can search through the category tool. I also have a five part fiction series relating to the Mayan Calendar you might find entertaining.

Enjoy five random A to Z Challenge participants:

Circles Under Streetlights

Second Memory

So I Was Thinking

A Writer Inspired

Blonde Not Dumb

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About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
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6 Responses to April A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day Eleven – Keepsakes from Belize

  1. Keepsakes are great ways of keeping memories alive!

  2. Belize is my dad’s favorite place to visit. He goes at least three times a year to enjoy diving and fishing. I’ve never been there, but it looks like a beautiful place.

  3. Sue says:

    Hi Joe. It’s been a while. Whenever we travel we pick up something local, usually a sculpture for the mantel We have art from Cuba and the far north. In cuba I found these cute little boxes of wood that I thought would be good gifts. but I kept them myself When we recently traveled to Egypt my husband was a very good tourist. We have sculptures and other artifiacts. I ended up purchasing a blouse of 100% cotton – it’s really fine stuff These with the photos is what keeps a trip alive

  4. rinellegrey says:

    Keepsakes are fun! I collected a lot on my first international trip to Japan. Some of it I didn’t really get later (KFC menus in Japanese?), but I couldn’t throw them out. And now I’m glad I didn’t. My daughter is fascinated with Japan, and one of her favourite places to eat is KFC, so she really loved seeing something familiar, yet so different.

    Rinelle Grey

  5. Rosie Amber says:

    HI, I’ve just dropped in from the AtoZ Challenge, I’ve set up a link to this blog on my post today
    http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-nO

  6. zennjennc says:

    great Choice For K. I Enjoyed Reading AboutYourTrip

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