homemade chicken noodle soup! Saturday I made chicken stock using a whole chicken and so I will have enough chicken and soup to last me far longer than I can handle. The soup turned out really well, actually-I used carrots, onions, and celery and added mushrooms for the veggies, then I added some shredded chicken and whole wheat noodles, and the "gelantinized" broth and water and let it simmer for over an hour. I'm not a huge fan of soup, but I really want to avoid getting sick (again) and I need the nutrients chicken broth provides-just thinking about how many times a kid sneezes or sniffles right next to me makes me shiver.
hope you were able to watch the video Tyler made from our trip to
Belize-it is so fun to relive the memories and share them with you. We
loved seeing a part of the world we have never seen before and while we
would love to go back, it only reminded me how much of the world we have
yet to explore!
Like I said before, we only packed
backpacks for our trip, simply because we had made few plans and less
hotel reservations. I suitcase with wheels and a carry-on was
just not conducive to trip we had schemed up. As it turns out, our
backpacks went on our laps for the 3 hour bus ride from one side of the
country to the other, so it didn't take long for just having a
backpack to come in handy. It was so fascinating and a cultural
experience in itself to ride the school bus, their only form of public
transportation. We saw the landscape turn from flat and balmy to hilly
and laden with beautiful foliage.
An overriding theme of
the trip was the fascination I/we had with the way Belizeans live. The
road (there is only one paved road and it is the main highway from one
end of the country to the other) we took was speckled with boards built
into box-shaped rooms, constructed on stilts, and functioned as homes
for the people. I say "functioned" because coming from my worldview (you
know, with electricity and running water), I would not deem their
structures more than anything but 4 walls, at best. I also say homes,
not only because these boards barely resembled houses, but we know they
provided (mostly) adequate shelter and a form of comfort and safety to
those calling it home. With the many places we will live over the years,
each building will surely look different, but all will be home to
us. My fascination with this poor country came when I started to feel
sad and sorry for the people and culture of Belize. After meeting many
native Belizeans, if only for a short time, I quickly realized that feeling sorry or pity for these people
would be doing them a great disservice and I would never wish to do
that, whether consciously or subconsciously. So I looked at their way of
life as beautiful and meaningful; simple and full of purpose. They are
proud of their country (although their littered streets reflect an
embarrassing lack of infrastructure and not pride) and what it means to
Central America. They are proud of their heritage, families, and what
they contribute to their nation's future.
in a new city/guesthouse every two days while inland. We immediately
went East to San Ignacio (see map), almost a border town to Guatemala, and
explored the town, two Mayan ruins, and a historic cave. We then
traveled Southwest to Dangriga and stayed overnight, awaiting a trip to
Tobacco Caye (known as a "budget" island)--we were disappointed in
Tobacco Caye, possibly because we were the only tourists but also
because since it was the "off" season, the island must have been "off"
it's game. Littered, dirty and unfriendly are three good words to
describe it. But I tried conch, baracuda, and lobster (that Tyler
caught) for the first time, so it wasn't a complete wash. We then traveled (in a downpour) back
to Dangriga via water taxi and thankfully caught the bus before it left to head back to
"better" civilization. (towards Belmopan, the capital). We had no clue
where we were going to stay that night but had looked up this "Caves Branch" place
in the jungle. We got dropped off at the end of the road and walked for
15 minutes until we came across heaven on earth in jungle form. We got a
good deal for a room (with an upgrade) and of course stayed two nights
before heading back up north to the northern cayes. From Belize City we
took a water taxi to Caye Caulker, which has a reputation for being the
laid-back, backpacker island, which apparently, in our dirty dry-fit
clothes, water hiking boots and backpacks, we fit the profile. We
enjoyed the last four nights on Caye Caulker, relaxing and enjoying the
clear skies and turquoise water.
We loved our Belize vacation and upon further reflection, it was a great place for an "adventure" trip-we really got more out of the beauty of the country by visiting the inland than we would have missed by just staying at the islands, not that visiting the islands isn't worth the trip in itself, because it is.
And a few pictures...in no particular order...
Thanks for enduring the long process of rehashing our trip to Belize. It is fun to relive those memories, not made long ago, but I will be back to our regular scheduled programming before you even notice. Have a great week!