Although we didn't spend the day together as a family we all had a great time. Les and I entered into the city of Belize. They warned all of us to stay near the port due to the poverty level it was not safe for US citizens to wander around. Especially two women with one being injured and in a wheel chair. We were screaming please victimize us and take all our money.
We walked off the ship, through the shops and straight onto a tour bus.
We both really enjoyed the tour. The lady who lead the tour sounded like the witch woman Tia Dalma from the Pirates of the Caribbean. We enjoyed listening to her Creole accent.
We learned so much about Belize, they call their speed bumps sleeping policeman.
Their dollar is half our dollar.
They send their children to school at the age of 3 and it is mandatory up to the age of 15.
They still spank their students for not turning in home work, chewing gum or smarting off to a teacher.
45% of their population is 18 and under.
They only have 7 traffic lights in the entire country.
The south side of Belize is extremely poor, there is a 12% unemployment rate.
Minimum wage is $1.50 US dollars which would be $3.00 in Belize.
Weekly rate of pay is between 75.00 and 80.00.
Average size family is 4 or 5 children.
Life expectancy is between 70 and 80 years old.
Some houses are built on stilts because part of the city is 1-3 feet below sea level.
Average temperature is 93 degrees and 85% humidity.
They have 2 seasons, the dry season and the wet season. When it is the wet season it can rain for 2 hours and all their streets will be flooded.
Only 10% of the city have air conditioning.
90% of the employment is through tourism.
Here are some pictures of the city. These were taken while riding on a bus so they are not the best.
Following the city tour we were taken to our Air Boat Excursion... this was something neither I nor Les had ever experienced before and it was pretty cool. AGAIN, because Les was injured, we were asked to board the boat first and we were sat in the very front of the boat. We not only had the best view, but our seats sat up quite a bit higher than the rest of the seats so we experienced the full effect of the ride. It was fun.
We were given bird guides to help us identify different birds in the trees and on the water.
Our guide picked a flower off a Lily pad and gave it to Les
The grass grew up through the water and it made us feel like we were going through grass on land.
Les and I rode the bus back to port. We had a gentleman approach us outside the port as we were exiting the bus. He wanted to push Leslie up the ramp into port. We assumed he wanted money, but I purposely did not bring cash with us in order to lessen our risk of being victimized. I continually said no thank you and shook my head no but he continued to push. I held tightly onto Leslie's wheel chair and continued to push her forward. I almost ran over his foot. I was afraid if I let him he might run off with her or something. I felt bad because he clearly needed money.... and a bath. If he were asking me to help with anything else I would have allowed it... but not when it came to the safety of one of my kids. Leslie laughed and made fun of me.. she said "I am not completely helpless mom, what did you think he was going to do?" I didn't know and I wasn't going to allow him the opportunity to show us.
I don't do well in cities or countries where people are homeless and have to do without. I cannot tell you how low I felt riding back to our giant cruise ship with our "all you can eat" dinners. It really put things in perspective for me. I wanted to give them everything I had on me at the time and my heart hurt for them. The only thing I could hold onto was the fact we were providing employment for many, many people by visiting their country. They were so grateful for us being there... I just wish I could have done more. I continually feel God tugging at my heart strings and I know I am called to missions.... I will get there.
Les and I headed back to the ship to get cleaned up for dinner. It was fun to hear about the boys adventure on the Zip Line too.
They started their day a lot like Les and I with a tender across to the port. Followed by a bus ride, however their bus ride was not a cushy tour bus like ours, and they were not driving on paved roads like we were. Their ride was a tad on the bumpy side and it was a 45 minute drive....
He and our parrot Doby share the same room as Nick's Xbox. At times Doby will scream while Nick is playing one of his games and it does not please Nick much. In Doby's defense, if you listened to people shoot one another and run around and scream all day long wouldn't you feel like screaming too?
These were the tiny walk ways they had to walk across way up high... I guess its a good thing I didn't go, not sure I could have handled the height.
I love my
cute blue eyed boys... sorry.. HANDSOME boys. Nick doesn't like to be called "cute"
We were all four exhausted by the time we got back to the ship, especially the boys because they had a rather physical excursion. We showered, napped and wrestled a bit before the Mardi Gras show at 7:00.
It was the last show of the cruise and the crew went all out. Very colorful and fun.
Dinner was awesome as usual...
Nick was tired of the pictures.
We laughed so hard each night at dinner. It was great family bonding, not to mention so much fun!
Nick loved this little lid, Greg would take it and place it on Nicks glass when he wasn't looking... it was a game we played all week long.
Our waiters were at it again this night as well... peacock.
Side view... so glad I am in all of these pictures.
One of our waiters
Our waiters pulled Nick up to dance with them.
Nick, while getting dressed that night, said " I love this outfit." Me: "You typically are not big on what you wear, why do you like this outfit so much?"
Nick: " Because,........ Look at me, I am awesome."
He IS awesome, and we had fun with that line all evening long. :)
The kids met up with friends after dinner and Greg and I attended the adult hypnosis show in the theater. I have never laughed so hard in my life... very entertaining to say the least.
We all fell into bed exhausted and ready for our "Fun Day at Sea" the next day. Lounging around the pool listening to live music and eating all the ice cream one person can consume in one day was just what we needed. :)