Any-who, back to the farewells (we’re not calling them goodbyes because with such a connected world, we have email, facebook, phones, and airplanes to keep us together). We visited with our first host family in Armenia Village for a nice lunch and some time to chat and thank them for taking such good care of us when we first arrived in Belize. Maira let me help in the kitchen so I sliced the plantain and patted out some corn tortillas. I can manage the tortillas fine when she makes the dough, but neither Ant nor I has been able to get that perfect combo of masa and water for our corn tortillas. Ant is the master at making whole wheat flour tortillas that are soft and pliable, though! Julissa and Daniel came home from school and we ate with them and the baby, Angel (he is 3, Maira was pregnant with him when we stayed at the house). Angel is quite the problem solver, his sausage (fried hot dog) was too hot, so he got up and held it in front of the fan to cool! Too cute, and he loved that we all laughed, so he was sure to do it with every piece of sausage. We gave some gifts of games and a build-a-bear we made on a trip home and some items for Maira. As we left, Maira said, “I will never forget you, you can always come back here to stay with us.” We both always feel so thankful that she shares so much with us when there is little available to begin with. It reminds us of how important it is to remember basic generosity toward others. We love being in the village and being with Maira and her family – they live so simply (by American standards, but they do have a lot in comparison to the rest of the village) yet they are the happiest and most generous people we have known and we will always love them and consider them our family.
Later we went to St. Luke to see all the staff and students and deliver some teaching supplies we still had at the house. Anthony visited every class and said a brief thank you and wished them all well and let them know he was proud of them and lucky to work with them. We made cards to give to our friends and family and we delivered those and many teachers seemed not quite ready for this to be the time for us to go. It was hard, but good to be able to see everyone one more time. We’ll go back to Trinity to deliver the cards; ginnie began the farewells when we visited the current PCV there but it was just a little too soon for that to be the last visit, plus Ms. Gillett and Ms. Miriam are on long leave and both return just before we go, so we want to see them too.
We were lucky to be able to see Miss Udeen and Ms. Lillith, too. Usually Miss Udeen might be in the states by now, but it so happens her daughter will be here for Christmas, so she is still around. We spent some time reminiscing and catching up on future plans. These women were truly our Belizean mom and auntie and really made us comfortable and integrated into the life of Belize City.
Top Photo: Miss Lillith; Bottom Photo: Miss Udeen
This weekend we made dinner for Mellisa and Dyon one final time before they visit us in the US and we had a nice long evening chatting and hanging out. We also had our annual holiday treats day (a bit early) with the local PCVs and enjoyed spending time with them and wishing them well on their continued time in Belize. It's been fun to clean out the kitchen making good food for good friends.
In our final week, we will get to see all the education volunteers at an in-service training and will wish them well and will say goodbye to the amazing staff who has been our extended family throughout the many stages of our experience in country.
We have been so fortunate to become Belizean residents and Belize will always be our home. Thank you to everyone who has made this experience the best of our lives, we will be in touch and will see you again!
PS - Just for good measure on our final Sunday morning in Belize we were awoken at 5:30am to extremely loud music for about an hour - large speakers aimed right at our bedroom window... oh, Belize! Not to mention we also had our first experience hearing a pig screaming in fear (we have avoided the pig slaughter as "city folk"), that is not a sound you want to hear, it's heart-wrenching and if I did eat pork, that would stop me for certain.