Monday, January 30, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Yesterday, we went on our Consular Leadership Day to the waterfalls in the Pine Ridge Mountains.  This is the first time I have really explored this unique part of Belize.  As the name suggests, the area is mountainous (by Belize standards) and there are Pine trees, which you don't really see anywhere else.  Unfortunately, the road in and out is awful, so most people don't get there very often.

The first view of the Five Sisters Falls from the restaurant

A closer view of the upper part of the Falls

The lowest part of the Falls - 290 steps down from where we started.

Me with the local staff.  I could not do my job without them.

Karla and I climbed up the rocks a bit

1000 Foot Falls - can't even see the bottom
The Consular Section

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Over the last few days, Luna had learned how to escape her kennel if I did not lock both the top and the bottom lock on the door.  THIS is what happens when she can't escape - she manages to move the kennel across the room, pull down a box full of tools and then tear apart the box, spreading debris around the room.  We are no longer using this kennel, but instead the hard plastic travel kennel.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bucket List Update

Now that I am down to five months, an update on the Bucket List is required:

  • SCUBA dive with the whale sharks (Planned for May just after the full moon)
  • Caracol Mayan ruins (There was a Caracol Hash planned for next weekend, which was postponed until an as yet unknown date)
  • Lamanai Mayan ruins (Planning to go there with my parents in two weeks)
  • (I should probably also make it to Altun Ha and Cahal Pech, but I won't cry if I don't go to these ruins) (no plans yet)
  • Visit the Toledo district (We do have a Town Hall meeting planned in Punta Gorda this spring.  I may extend that and stay the weekend?)
  • Participate in La Ruta Maya (either as a paddler or a support team member) (I went out on the river with some of the paddlers and determined that I will not actually be doing this as a paddler, but there is a good chance that I will be one of the support crew).
  • Belize zoo (Planned on doing this yesterday with my friend Kevin and his boys, but it rained, so I still haven't done it).
  • St. Herman's Cave (Haven't even made plans)
  • ATM Cave (No concrete plans yet)
  • Visit Cancun or other part of Mexican Riviera (No real plans, but maybe at Easter?)
  • Visit one more Central American country (preferably Costa Rica) (Had thought about doing this for Easter, but was told that CR is not good at Easter.  An A-100 friend may visit here for Easter or we have also talked about Mexico or El Salvador).
  • Turn 30! (Time still moves on).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unexpected Guest

Been feeling a bit under the weather since I got back from the U.S.  I had some mild stomach cramps that kept getting worse each time I would eat or drink anything.  But the pain was mild and intermittent, so I figured it'd go away.  Yesterday, it was a bit worse, so I finally went and saw the nurse who took me to a local doctor.

Turns out I have a parasite.  If you want to gross yourself out, you can google search for images of parasites.  He put me on some medication, which should clear everything up in 3 days or so.  One of the many perks of living in a third world country.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The story I didn't tell

I had an absolutely fantastic Christmas break home with my family.  But, the trip did not start off so well.  After driving an hour from Belmopan to the airport, I went to check in and realized that I had left my passports at home.  Yep, the guy who issues visas and handles passports everyday left his passports (I even have TWO) in his sock drawer.

I immediately called my friend Kevin, who agreed to break into my house, grab my passport and speed toward the airport.  I then spoke with the check-in guy at Continental and explained the situation to him.  He told me that if I could be there with my passport by 12:20 for my 12:33 flight, he'd get me on the plane.

I decided to meet Kevin half way in Hattieville as I could drive back to the airport faster.  Once I got the passport from Kevin, I drove faster than I ever have in Belize.  I broke every traffic rule I know about in Belize and several that I am not entirely sure even exist in Belize.  When I drove past the runway, I could see my plane still on the ground loading passengers.  I made it back to the check-in counter at 12:45 - twelve minutes after the flight was supposed to take off.

I managed to get the guy I talked to before out to the check-in counter and he took pity on me.  Despite the fact that I was 25 minutes later than he told me I could show up and despite the fact that they had already "closed" the flight in the computer, he let me on the flight.  He even escorted me through immigration and security so I could skip the (admittedly short) line.

So, Christmas came early for me - thanks to some overly-helpful Continental employees.

And yes, I know I am an idiot for forgetting the passport.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goals for 2012

Rather than make New Year's resolutions, I prefer to set goals.  Resolutions seem destined to fail, but goals are attainable (hopefully).  I met all of my goals last year.  Hopefully, I can do just as well in 2012.

(In no particular order)
  • Learn German.  Starting next September, I will be a full-time German student.  By the end of 2012, I want to have a decent grasp on the language.
  • Complete my Belize bucket list.
  • Watch at least two sun rises and two sunsets (an annual goal).
  • Tour America on the Ultimate Road Trip.  The route may change, but the goal remains the same - see parts of America that I have never seen before.
  • Buy a house for my parents.  My parents are currently living with my grandparents after losing their home this year.  I have some money saved up, so I am hoping to be able to buy a house that they can then rent from me.
  • Go to at least two football games (at least one Husker game); five baseball games; and three concerts.
  • Remain a non-smoker