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Belize 2009

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Jim Kane memorial mission trip to Belize, February, 2009

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Belize 2009

  1. 1. Belize is located on the Yucatán peninsula. It is bordered by Mexico on the North, and Guatemala on the West and South. Belize is a land of mountains, swamps, and tropical jungles. Most of the people on the main land live primitively in thatched huts. There are very few paved roads…the main highways are shown in red. The rest is all dirt roads Off the coast lies Belize Barrier Reef, the world's second largest barrier reef. The islands, called cays are beautiful and have been made into very touristy tropical destinations. There are numerous Mayan Ruins throughout Belize.
  2. 2. Garifuna Maya Most Belizeans are of mixed ancestry (Maya and Spanish; African and British), with smaller groups of Maya and Garifuna. Garifuna Maya
  3. 3. 1. Tuesday, February 3, 2009 Flew into Belize City 2. Took puddle jumper to Punta Gorda, with stops at Dangriga and Placancia on the way. The flight took about an hour and a half. 3. Stayed in Punta Gorda at night, and rode out to church site (2 hour trip) during the day. 4. San Benito Poite Village is about 3 miles from the Guatemalan border…near the Dem Dats Doin Dot.
  4. 4. My “puddle jumper” Plane Yep, it is a SMALL plane!!! owned by Maya Island Air The “airport” in Punta Gorda Flying over Placencia
  5. 5. The Charlton’s Inn, Punta Gorda
  6. 6. Carol Hunt Valerie Kane
  7. 7. The Village of San Benito Poite. Thatched Huts are what most of the people live in. Some have Solar Panels for minimum electricity. They have no running water, and use gas stoves or wood fires for cooking. They wash their clothes and bathe in the nearby river.
  8. 8. The Pulpit The Current Nazarene Church Here is the inside…unfortunately everyone’s stuff is hanging all over the place. And I thought my old churches pews were uncomfortable!!!
  9. 9. The New Church…with the old one in the background. The new church as seen from the door of the old one.
  10. 10. Walking up to the Bathroom Yep, its for real. Ewwwww!
  11. 11. Wednesday, February 4, 2009 This is where we eat breakfast in the morning. The locals have been brought food and paid to cook it for us. Sister Patrona from Big Falls Village was our cook (Orange Blouse)
  12. 12. Breakfast was Fryjacks (Fried Flour Tortillas…very good) Stew Beans, Spam, and scrambled eggs.
  13. 13. Wednesday Morning. Working on the church laying block
  14. 14. With no power tools available, blocks are painstakingly cut with a machete.
  15. 15. There was only a single hacksaw available to cut all of These were used to tamp down the rebar. the dirt inside the church
  16. 16. Scaffolding was a very shaky experience. It was simply a piece of wood laid on top of stacked blocks. Only the brave ones tried standing on it. I was not among them!
  17. 17. Someone brought us all a snack of sweet corn to enjoy. It was good!
  18. 18. Julian and his little sister, Sylvia. They said their Mom had died, and their father was working. They were supposed to be at school, but skipped so they could hang around and watch us.
  19. 19. Lunch was some kind of Chicken and vegetable stew. It was really good. It was served with fresh corn tortillas.
  20. 20. After lunch there was more work to do.
  21. 21. More working on the church
  22. 22. On the way back to Punta Gorda there was a giant tarantula in the middle of the road. Ron just HAD to go try to play with it. UUGGGHHH!!!
  23. 23. Thursday, February 5, 2009 Its Thursday morning, time for breakfast again.
  24. 24. Abbey did lots of Journaling
  25. 25. Today we are working on pouring the forms.
  26. 26. Today is all about mixing the concrete and carrying it to the men who are pouring the forms.
  27. 27. The Pastor of the Church is working hard on the new building. His name is Martin Tot.
  28. 28. I am not needed at this point, so I walk around the village with Carol and take pictures. Several villagers beckon for us to come inside, and then show us their “handicrafts” they want to sell us. I bought bracelets here from these ladies. Their names are Alsenia and Lucia Makin. The older baby is Lovinia.
  29. 29. Several girls ask us to take their pictures. They love to run up and see themselves on the digital display.
  30. 30. This woman’s name is Elisa Chub. She asked me to take a picture of her beating the rice for her family. Then she showed us a few “handicrafts. Carol bought a purse from her.
  31. 31. This is my friend Lupita, who was visiting from Guatemala. I think the little boy, Matthew is her brother. She only speaks Spanish, and though my Spanish is terrible, she loved me for trying to speak with her. I painted her nails and we hung out together a lot. She showed the other kids her nails, and many girls came and asked me to paint theirs. I gave the nail polish to Lupita when we left. She was so thrilled!
  32. 32. This is a picture of the Catholic Church of the village. I believe they built the school for the village, which is very nice.
  33. 33. While we were wandering around, we were invited in to watch the family make the corn tortillas for our lunch.
  34. 34. Conditions are rather primitive inside the homes, with no real furniture to speak of, and simple cooking fires.
  35. 35. That’s my friend Lupita next to me in the red dress. Carol and I were invited to give it a try. The ladies had a good laugh at our attempt and then fixed them.
  36. 36. Lunchtime was a lot of fun. The kids loved to play with Ron and I painted all the girls fingernails.
  37. 37. Lee, Henry, and Ron with Brother Andre and Ricardo they are from Big Falls Village, helping build the church.
  38. 38. More Village Pictures. They LOVE the camera!
  39. 39. Here is a toddler that I scared away when I took his picture. After running in he came back and peeked at me.
  40. 40. Dogs have a rather rough life in Belize, most are malnourished. They all have pretty much the same features from breeding from the same gene pool for so long.
  41. 41. It’s the end of the day, and we are leaving. We can not go any further on the construction of the church until we get someone who can put on the roof. Its sad to have to go.
  42. 42. Good Bye New Church!
  43. 43. Friday, February 6, 2009 As we leave the hotel, a few villagers have come to show us their “Handicrafts”. Most of us buy a few.
  44. 44. Friday is a gorgeous day as we head out of Punta Gorda. We are all looking forward to a nice time in Placencia. We are packed into the van enjoying the breeze.
  45. 45. What most people come to Belize for…
  46. 46. My post-card-perfect picture
  47. 47. Cool carvings in Placencia
  48. 48. The Cozy Corner Hotel, Where we enjoyed Lunch
  49. 49. Signs in the Garifuna Language at our restaurant in Placencia Village
  50. 50. Placencia is well known for it's very laid-back, no-shoes ambience where locals go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your visit.
  51. 51. Neat places in Placencia Imagine the beach as your front yard
  52. 52. A one mile concrete sidewalk serves as the main street for Placencia Village, around which wooden houses built on stilts rest underneath palms. Constructed over 30 years ago as a means of wheel-barrowing fish around without fighting the sand, Placencia's walkway now has the distinction of being the narrowest street in the world, acording to the quot;Guinness Book of World Records.quot; A number of village accommodations, restaurants/bars, and gift shops are located along the walkway.
  53. 53. Along the 1 mile “street”
  54. 54. Enjoying Italian ice-cream in Placencia Villagers come to sell their “handicrafts” along the sidewalk in Placencia.
  55. 55. Roberts Grove Resort
  56. 56. Jim catches some ZZZ’s during our downtime
  57. 57. Yep, this is the life…ahhhhhhhhhh
  58. 58. Enjoying the beach
  59. 59. Abby and Henry try out the kayak
  60. 60. To my photographers eye, The doors in Placencia have a character all their own.
  61. 61. The photographer in me couldn’t resist taking some pictures of the many flowers.
  62. 62. This is some kind of Orchid…Gorgeous!
  63. 63. This is another Orchid that was growing from a tree. It looks like Angels with wings and fluffy dresses to me.
  64. 64. Don’t forget to try the “cowfoot” soup while you’re here…ummm no thanks. Of course Ron was all for it, and just about everyone else tried it. Not me.
  65. 65. A quaint little gift shop on the 1 mile sidewalk This old couple looked so grumpy I just HAD to take a picture of them. LOL!
  66. 66. Lots of neat little signs in Placencia…and apparently the Hokey Pokey is thata way!
  67. 67. The Cat I rescued in Placencia. She was so thin and pitiful. Ron and I named her “Cleopatra” because we knew she would be beautiful one day. She is now with the Humane Society in Placencia and will be shipped to me when healthy. I can’t wait!
  68. 68. A Beautiful end to Friday
  69. 69. Saturday February 7, 2009 We travel to Banana Bank Lodge in Belmopan to stay Saturday and Sunday Night.
  70. 70. Tikatoo was just a baby in October of 2007 when Jim and I first saw her. Here she was still timid and afraid to leave her cage in 2007
  71. 71. She is big and beautiful now…and NOT afraid at all!
  72. 72. Tika was VERY playful and seemed to love attention.
  73. 73. She was very aggressive, no doubt she would love to take a bite out of all of us. She tried to bite the camera several times.
  74. 74. Sunday February 8, 2009 We began our morning attending services at a Nazarene Church in San Ignacio.
  75. 75. After a nice lunch, we went to see the Mayan ruins of Xunantinich. We had to cross a river to get there.
  76. 76. Our guide was a Mayan himself, and explained everything to us. He was very informative and helpful.
  77. 77. The main temple was HUGE! Its so high you can see into Guatemala from the top. Some of us dared to climb it.
  78. 78. We climbed, and climbed, and climbed….
  79. 79. This is only HALFWAY up!
  80. 80. I made it!!!
  81. 81. Yes, the view was worth it.
  82. 82. They always say “don’t look down…Too Late!!!
  83. 83. Time to head down. Henry looks like he is about to take the plunge…but its just the camera angle.
  84. 84. Cool pictures on the way down
  85. 85. Going down was scarier than going up.
  86. 86. The ancient ball court, where many losers literally “lost” their lives.
  87. 87. It’s a full moon tonight, so we are going to go horseback riding in the jungle by moonlight. How cool!
  88. 88. The horses hate me pretty much immediately for flashing the camera in their eyes. Mine made sure to run me into every tree in the jungle to get me back.
  89. 89. The ride lasts about an hour and ends up at a nice bonfire, where we get to know the other guests, roast marshmallows, sing songs, and tell stories.
  90. 90. What a great ending to another beautiful day.
  91. 91. In the morning we all ride quietly together one last time, as we prepare to say good-bye. Its been an amazing trip, one that brought strangers together as friends, building relationships as well as a church. All of us have been touched and changed in hundreds of ways that we only just have begun to understand. It was a precious time, and a beautiful tribute to my husband. He would be proud to know how much was done to honor his memory. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. Valerie Kane

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