Monday, February 28, 2011
After living in Belize for over a year and a half, we have been delighted to have a family visit. I worried and planned for over two months to make it a memorable experience for my brother, Steve and his wonderful wife, Jan, and two of our cousins, Roger and Heather (brother & sister). We all grew up in Washington state, altho' still many miles apart, so visited frequently as kids. Of course, this visit went by way too fast. Belize blessed us by showing them her beauty and warmth. My cousin Roger lives in New York and the rest of the family lives in Oregon. Both coasts have been suffering severe cold, so they were given a warm treat here in the jewel.
The difficult thing about living across country borders is leaving family behind. Not only is it expensive to travel, the customs/immigration bit can get quite tiring, confusing and just plain frustrating. It's not like traveling in country where you could put older children on a plane and meet them at the other end.
Initially, they all flew to Placencia where they stayed at Robert's Grove. I drove down the next day. Art doesn't like the coast and preferred to stay up here with Bailey. Another consideration was that our truck only holds 5 people. After a wonderful 5 day visit in Placencia, we traveled up here to Cayo for the remainder of their stay.
I was overly concerned that they'd find our life here primitive and uncomfortable, but they all seemed to enjoy themselves. They were all such good sports to accept using a composting toilet. They also adjusted to just screens as windows and waking up to the parrots socializing followed by the chachalacas letting the world know where they were. It can get pretty noisy at daylight.
Art & I were so proud of Bailey. He's so social when he knows that someone is family or friend. He'd say his how-do-you-do's and then lie down wait for an invitation for a scratch or a walk. He's wonderful company.
I'm so grateful that they could come down for this visit. My brother and I have been very close and I couldn't love Jan more if she'd been a sister. I communicate via email with our cousin, Roger in New York and have never lost that family connection. He's incredibly smart, talented and generous. I hadn't seen his sister Heather for several years, but we fell right into the family stories and hugs.
I speak about myself in all this, but Art is at the center of all the family stuff. He's such a quiet but charming host and always fits right in with anyone.
It was sad to put them on the shuttle to Belize, but hope they will come back soon. Note: up here we have William who owns a shuttle service. He's interesting and a very good driver. We've found it's much less stressful and actually cheaper to use his service rather than drive to the airport. Gas here is very expensive (currently $10.50bz a gallon) and the trip takes about 2 1/2 hours one way.
I didn't get a tag on the photo so, it's L to R, Jan, Steve, Roger and Heather with Art peeking back at the front.