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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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