My last post sounded somewhat negative and I feel badly about that. It's true that the roads in Belize are horrible, but that's just one piece of this place we now call home. There are so many lovely bits to focus on that make it wonderful. This morning I went to the market in San Ignacio with my dear friend, Diane. Now when you're a tourist, it's fun to go to the market on Saturday to see all the mosh of people and things. It's probably not the most colorful market in Central America, but there's lots to see and great produce to buy. Besides the food stalls that are there every single day of the year, small farmers bring their produce in, along with some Mennonites. You'll find clothing, plastic, videos, food booths, fresh fish and sometimes farmers selling live animals. If I want to just shop for produce, it's nicer to go on Tuesday or Friday when the regular vendors get their produce deliveries and things are freshest. Diane and I like to do our shopping and then stop at Lucy's little place for a cold drink and $2 panada's. Yum and just a lite snack to get us back home.
The true beauty of Belize has to be her people. I'm not talking about the ones in the government offices, or the banks where the slowness and inefficiency can drive you wild. I'm talking about the gentle souls you see walking along the street or riding their bicycle. Yes, they can make you crazy when you're driving your car, but when you actually look at any of these folks, making eye contact and smile, you'll be rewarded with a big smile in return. If we ever leave here we'll miss the fact that almost everyone along our road will wave and smile. We don't really "know" them, but we give folks a ride to the village in the back of the truck when we can. We still don't speak Spanish and many folks don't speak much English, but as long as we're friendly and make an effort, up here in Cayo, we find almost everyone will help.
Yes, even tho' almost everyone has a cell phone and some can use a computer, the houses are simpler and so are most of the people. It's not uncommon to see a man riding to town on his horse and of course there are the Mennonite wagons. In most ways, Belize is about 50 years behind the West, but that's not all bad. Yes, we miss some of the shopping and conveniences of the US, but in many ways, we've been transported back to our childhood when many things were simpler.