Journals from Belize
Cars that don’t exist in America; this is what catches my eye as I saunter to our Daihatsu Terios parked outside of the Belize International Airport. I am half way through my second Belikin while we wait for our last man Breax Burns to arrive from Durango. His flight seems to be running a little late so we go to check the on its arrival status. “I’ve got opposable thumbs and a frontal cortex,” Randy declares as we continue our conversation about Man’s right to recline and I and I finish the last few sips of my indigenous beverage while walking about the terminal. Clearly I am not in Kansas any more and I like it. Besides, there are palm trees and a warm breeze.
We are minutes from finalizing the assembly of our team. If our last member makes it through customs successfully we will be 11 strong. Jono has spent months recruiting an experienced team of allied health professionals, and I am eager to get to Laguna to meet them, but for now we have time to kill.
While waiting for Breax to arrive from Durango Jono takes us hunting for “number plates” as he calls them with British sensibility. We drive a few minutes beyond the airport in Ladyville to a dilapidated junkyard where a foreboding sign posted out in front of the establishment reads “If we are not open, no focking come here, your life may be in danger, nuff said.” Below are two numbers to call for towing assistance. The handwritten sign is full of comical misspellings, but the meaning is never the less clear, and looking around I am convinced the patrons of the yard are sincere in their message.
I’ve been in the country less than an hour and already I am comfortably uncomfortable. Jono our fearless leader is tall, confident, and fully aware that he looks a bit tourist like in his flowered black button down and sandals. In no time he has found his way into the yard begins sifting through stacks of rusty license plates in search of a keeper. Once found, a quick $10 Belize seals the deal. We march back out to the Terios which is parked out front. It positioned facing the road for rapid retreat if necessary. I consider taking a picture of the sign then make a quick look back at the two men inside the junkyard scowling at us and decide otherwise. After all, my life could be in danger…nuff said.