Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Journals from Belize: 2-4-12 afternoon

Journals From Belize:
2-4-12 afternoon

I felt invigorated and was buzzing with enthusiasm after returning from our brief re-supply in Punta Gorda (PG).  At first I was hesitant to return to the busyness of the “big city”.  I had settled well into “Belize Time” and was enjoying a much more moderate pace.  Although it is less than 20 miles from Laguna Village, PG is worlds away culturally.  As a costal city it has a festive Caribbean character.  However, it possesses a culmination of not so charming qualities as well.  


roadside store

 The narrow streets are ridden with potholes, and lined with vehicles that look unfit for travel.  Garbage can be found in the ocean, along the streets, and in the yards of many of the homes. Tucked discretely behind the colorful houses and businesses on the main routes are unpainted concrete block dwellings surrounded by chain link fences.  Driving past these places reminded me how much more desperate a poor city is than a poor rural community.  The simplicity of village life can be alluring at times.  I would never want to be poor in a city.  

run down bus (PUP is a predominant political party)

PG Ambulance (at repair shop on blocks)

Jono enjoys a hard earned treat
 In PG we stop briefly, and rather chaotically, to buy rain boots, use the internet, and indulge in processed food.  The mission feels successful and rejuvenating which is more than I had hoped or expected.  I have before returned to town on re-supply only to become tragically polluted by consumerism.  The insatiability of man can easily distract from the tranquil focus of a backcountry mission.  This, however, is not the case in PG.  We manage to slip in and out without event, quickly returning to organize our dispatch to the villages.

Western Caribbean
Upon return to Laguna preparations quickly get underway.  Behind me in the T.E.A. guest house I can hear muffled chatter as cash is counted and dispersed.  One by one the each group is called in to be briefed on the logistics of their mission.  Once in the villages we will be largely on our own.  However, our training and preparations in Laguna will aid us in supporting the Community Health Workers in each of the the rural villages once we arrive.  Our training has been general, knowing well that each group will face remarkably different challenges.  Knowing this, I find myself getting antsy.  I am excited and I am ready to leave Laguna and get to work in Aguacate.

off to the village   photo: Ryan Bannan

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