Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hash and Man-A-Thon

I had an awfully busy and tiring weekend.  After a pretty tame Friday night, I got up to set the Hash on Saturday morning.  If you don't know, the Hash is a "drinking club with a running problem."  Two people (the hares) set a run and the Hashers have to follow the trail.  The reward at the end is beer.  I had already done 3 hashes and yesterday was my turn to set the hash.  I was doing it with an American friend of mine and we decided to set it in  Guanacaste National Park.
To set the hash, you use flour to mark the trail.  A simple drop or glob of flour means you are on the path.  A circle of flour means that there is a "check."  The hashers then have to search around the area to find the trail (the drops of flour).  The fun part is that the hares may set a false trail at the checks - so the hashers will go down the trail a bit only to find an "X" flour telling them they went the wrong way.  We had several false trails on the hash, which is always entertaining to the hares.

After the hash, there is the circle.  There are tons of rules in the hash and a violation of one of those rules can lead to you being charged.  A charge  results in drinking a beer while the others sing a song.  It can seem really silly, but it is a lot of fun.  One of the rules on the hash is that everyone has a "Hash" name.  These names can be (and are) quite crude.

You get your name after you set your first hash - and since I set my first hash yesterday, I was to be christened with my new hash name.  In order to come up with your name, the groups asks you questions.  During my interview session, someone brought out the story about how I made a 7 year old girl cry when I declined her for a visa.  This led to my very unfortunate nickname of "Visa Molester."  (Note - I really debated about whether I wanted to actually put the nickname on the internet, but I decided the Hash is a part of what makes my life in Belize fun - both the good and the bad).  Then, after you get your name, they cover you in beer and flour.  For the record, the two other people named yesterday were christened "Cockspur Squaw" and "Junk in the Trunk."

After a long day yesterday, today was the International Men's Club "Man-A-Thon."  This was a 10 event contest of sports and drinking.  We started off with golf - teams of two playing a best-ball scramble for 2 holes.  The best TIME wins.  It doesn't matter how many strokes, but how long it takes to get it in the hole.  Due mostly to the skills of my partner, we managed to finish in 2nd.  (For all events with partners, we randomly drew teams).  The second event was a 3 legged race.  This was a pure travesty on my part - we didn't even finish.

The third event was darts - teams of 2.  Winner was the quickest to score 150 points.  I managed to finish tied for 2nd in this event as well.  After darts was pool - sink 3 balls in the shortest amount of time.  Despite some awesome strategy, I failed to place.  The fifth event was based on Trivial Pursuit.  Each team had to answer 3 questions.  Fortunately, this was an American edition and I rocked this event.  I finished first and moved into the top 3 overall.

The last 5 events all took place at our housing compound.  We had beer pong for event #6.  While beer pong is always fun - it took a bit long in the middle of a whole other bunch of events.  The next three events were more athletic.  Sink 2 free throws (we had one individual who took 4 minutes 46 seconds to sink 2 shots) in as quick as time as possible (I tied for first).  Knock over a beer can by hitting it with a tennis ball (I sucked at this).  Kick a soccer ball through a goal as quickly as possible when starting 100 yards away (I did okay).  The last event went back to the drinking aspect of the day with a canoe race (teams of 4 slamming beer in order).  My team finished second, which gave me a 3rd place finish for the day.

A lot of people will say that there is nothing to do in Belmopan.  And, in many ways, they are absolutely right. There are only a handful of bars or restaurants.  There are no museums, theatres, sporting events, bowling alleys, movie theaters, casinos, etc.  There are no real tourist attractions of any sort.  Belmopan is not Rome or Paris or even Hermosillo or Brasilia.  But, if you try and are willing to do things outside your comfort zone, there is almost always something to do.

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