During the week of December 3, all the Peace Corps Belize Volunteers gathered together in Belmopan for a conference where we had the opportunity to share what we are doing in our sites and reconnect. It was great to see people we haven't seen in 3 months and catch up on each other's lives and happenings. It was also a little sad to realize that this whole group will never be together again since the 2nd years are entering the last months of service. They really gave all of us some great tips and have been wonderful resources and it is strange to think that task will turn over to us in just 9 months - time really travels fast.
The conference was held at the George Price Center in Belmopan and of course we stayed at the Garden City Hotel. One of our favorite parts of traveling back to Belmopan is being able to eat at Antonini's. PCVs really overtake the place when we come in because of the delicious chicken burger, chicken salad, burritos, and nachos. They also have amazing coca-cola and fanta floats (some of our faves are coca-cola with coconut pineapple ice cream, orange fanta with raspberry ice cream, and orange fanta with vanilla ice cream - just like a creamsicle). We ate there two nights because not only is the food fantastic, but the prices are right in the Peace Corps budget! Unfortunately, we did not take pictures, but will have to to continue documenting our PC eating experience:)
Bust of George Price in front of the Center
Waiting to start the conference
This Christmas tree was inside the large conference room
A nice view from the conference room
Couldn't resist including this picture of 2 PCV's presenting - does anyone else the resemblance to famous video game characters?
There were many great activities connected to our conference weekend, including a Thanksgiving Dinner for all of us in which each district prepared a different side dish - ours in the Belize District was stuffing, and having Clare as our leader we really made a great vegan-friendly fresh homemade stuffing. (Side note: Ginnie still does not like stuffing, but she worked hard at shredding bread and crumbling pecans for the dish and even tasted it, still not a fan of it, but as stuffings go, this was good) The dinner was really good and it was so fun to just spend time with all of PC/Belize. The dinner was held at the Country Director's house which was a nice place for a party. Afterward, back at the Garden City, the first annual arm wrestling contest commenced. Anthony put himself in the competition and after a good effort, he was taken out in the first round, but we are proud of him for jumping in! Ginnie has no upper body strength and after seeing the girls round, was quite happy she didn't compete. It was fun to watch, though.
Making the stuffing
This is a Thanksgiving Feast!
Anthony put up a good fight in the arm wrestling
Just hanging out
On our second night, a dance party was held at the PC Volunteer Leaders' house and many of us enjoyed a night of dancing to some faves from the states as well as to the punta, of course... The dancing was fun and the whole busy week led to very little sleep, but great moments with our friends.
We are both serving on volunteer committees and had really productive meetings at the end of the conference and are really excited about the upcoming projects that will come from the committees. We are going to find ourselves getting even busier as the new year rolls in, but that is a positive thing and we still have many ideas for our school projects and for other opportunities to volunteer here in the city. As those things pick up, we'll be sure to share them.
Now that we are back in site, we have finished the final week of school and have 3 weeks of holiday break. We are going to take some time to explore parts of Belize we have not yet seen and to travel out of country to see more of Central America - we'll be sure to share our adventures and photos. Since we love to have Christmas celebrations, we will host our first lee gathering this weekend to make holiday treats, listen to Christmas music and enjoy time with our PC friends. Hopefully the holiday season is treating all of our friends and family well - we wish you the best!