The Whitmans are HERE!

Hey y’all!

My family has arrived safely in PG, and we are thoroughly enjoying being together in this crazy and wonderful country of Belize!  My mom and dad, my sister Julie, and brothers Andrew and Brian arrived in PG via a small, Tropic Air plane at 6 PM on Thursday night.  It was so exciting to see them come down the stairs and to hear them agree with me that Belize is, indeed, stiflingly hot!  On our first night, we went to dinner at a place called Asha’s Culture Kitchen, which is located on the water and has a big, back deck where you can look at the sky and see across the Caribbean to Guatemala.  We had a delicious meal and some yummy mixed drinks, and I gave a miniature walking tour of PG.

On Friday, we took a fun boat ride with Estevan, of SHI, to visit the SHI Research Center and help out with some land clearing.  Unfortunately, our boat was a tad temperamental, so the ride took a while, and when we got to the site, there were a MASSIVE number of mosquitoes just waiting to attack!  Julie definitely got the brunt of the damage, but we worked hard anyway, and successfully cleared a plot of land that is slated to become a nursery for trees. Family volunteer activity?  Check.  (Brief, but it happened!).  When we returned from our excursion, we stopped at Joycelyn’s for a lunch of fried snapper with rice and beans.  Everyone was very happy with the lunch, probably due in part to Joycelyn’s cooking and in part to the fact that we were HUNGRY!

In the evening, we went to dinner at a pizza place, which was really yummy and also pretty hysterical to experience.  Hysterical why?  Maybe because Andrew and Brian ordered a buffalo chicken pizza between the two of them and ate the whole thing while tears streamed down Andrew’s face because of the spiciness.  Even my mother, queen of The Ones Who Do Not Waste Food, told them that they didn’t have to finish it because it looked like such a painful experience!  Andrew and Brian pressed on anyway, and we watched with disgusted amusement as they achieved their feat!  After dinner, we went to Bamboo Chicken with Niki, Haley, Jamie, Andrea, and BLAZE! (who is here for the weekend).  The padres didn’t last long because the music was pretty loud, but the rest of us had fun chatting and laughing, and then went out and sat on a dock by the water until we walked back to the bunkhouse and discovered that Blaze had accidentally locked the upstairs door and taken my keys with her.  Sooo after attempting various methods of solving the problem quietly, we ended up banging on the door, which attracted the attention of the police (the bunkhouse is next to the police station), who acknowledged that we were probably not dressed in sundresses with an aim to burglarize the office, and then assisted us in waking up a participant who opened the door for us.  Oopsie daisy!

This morning, my family and I woke up bright and early, stocked up on some fruit at the market, and then met Johnny and Neville, our ship captains, for a day of snorkeling and fun in the water!  First, we caught some fish using fishing line, but no rods.  Julie surprisingly emerged as the prime fisherman of the day!  Once we had our catch, we snorkeled around one of the Snake Cayes, and saw some beautiful starfish which I would love to have photographed…if only I had told my parents to bring me an underwater camera!  After a good bit of snorkeling, we stopped at a small island and set up a charcoal grill.  I seasoned the fish with salt (which was pretty gross, but somewhat empowering), and Brian climbed a tree and shook out some coconuts to drink the coconut water, and we also cooked some potatoes and stuffed them into the fish.  I am pretty impressed with our general island resourcefulness, and I’m pretty sure that Andrew would last through a full season of “Survivor” with relative ease.  Around tree or so, we headed back to PG, and I am now sitting here on the porch while Brian and my mom sleep/read on their hammocks and several lovely ProWorlders veg along with us.  Andrew and Haley are out for a run.  Because they’re cray cray.

Tomorrow is a day of adventure at Blue Creek Cave!  Lots of fun to come!

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