Friday, July 5, 2013
We had a wonderful opportunity to slip outside our everyday rut to celebrate the 4th of July here in Belize at the US Embassy. This year they wanted to celebrate the artistic contributions of Americans residing here thru painting, music and crafts. I was so pleased to be asked to participate with some of my paintings. Rather than actually sending them we each emailed photos and they were shown in a slideshow at the celebration. Since the embassy is closed on the 4th, the picnic was on the 3rd.
Art & I decided to make the trip count by including other errands. The picnic didn't start until 1pm, so we did some hardware shopping on the way. As it turned out, we were still early, so parked on a side street and walked to the Embassy. Wow, security everywhere. I was surprised to see that they were Belizean, rather than American soldiers. In fact most of the staff seemed to be Belizean, and, as it turned out, it appeared that the majority of the guests were also. We had to present our invitation and then were permitted to enter the courtyard. The picnic was under a lovely, large tent, so sun or rain didn't matter. The weather was perfect. Of course, red,white and blue were everywhere. I've enjoyed living in Belize, but I'm proud to be an American. I didn't realize how much I've missed our country until I heard the National Anthem.
When we first arrived, we went thru a reception line and were introduced to the Ambassador, Mr. Thummalapally and his wife, Barbara. They were extremely gracious and not at all pretentious. I was interested in his name and found that he's originally from India, but came to the US to go to College, where he roomed for a time with President Obama. I've heard that's that how most Ambassadors get their appointments, but, from staff comments, we felt they had a great deal of respect for both of them and that they'd made a definite contribution to Belize. It seemed sad to us that after four years here they'll leave soon to return to the US. I hope that the next ambassador will be as good a representative of the US. Sometimes it seems Americans are viewed as wealthy and arrogant.
Due to the harsh light, the slideshow had to be inside, so I doubt that many folks viewed the work, but I'm still pleased to have been included.
We're pretty quiet folks who don't do a lot of mingling and found that we didn't recognize anyone else, so after enjoying barbecued sandwiches, salads and brownies, we chatted with a few folks and headed for home. It's about an hours drive from Belmopan to Bullet Tree and we like to head up our hill before dark. (As a reminder to anyone who might stumble on my blog, here in Belize sunset is close to 6pm year-round). As we left the Embassy, we were surprised to see that they'd blocked off access to the road and only guests and local residents were allowed near. Seemed unusual to me as we're usually the ones who aren't allowed in. It was a lovely diversion for both of us with a couple of little momentos and a page in my blog.