March 8, 2014


Waterdown Family HANDS Team:

Saturday was a blast! We had a day away from painting and enjoyed a boat ride to Lamanai.  Lots of new and interesting animals to see and ruins to explore and photograph. 

We started off the day by picking up our friend Francisco and heading off to breakfast at Zulma's house. Zulma and Lily had prepared us a delicious breakfast in their home. We  were very thankful to experience the inside of Zulma's home, as it is uncommon for people to host guests inside their actual house. We had traditional foods, but were also happy to be served foods we hadn't seen in a while (cheez-whiz and peanut butter :) ).  It was such a privilege to be invited into Zulma's home. It was definitely a highlight for us. 

Next, we headed off to Orange Walk town to meet someone to lead us to Lamanai. Orange Walk was a bustling, lively town with plenty of shops and stores. We walked around for a bit before meeting our guide, and then headed off to meet our boat. 

Our 90 minute tour down the river included feeding bananas to monkeys (straight from Rebecca's hand!), spying on different birds, and seeing many things on shore. 

When we finally arrived at the Lamanai ruins, we were served lunch and then began our hike through the jungle to see the ruins of the Mayan temples, residential areas, and even a ruin of an old ball court. 

After the boat ride back, we had some time to kill. So we went to Francisco's village. First we saw his home and met his family. Francisco has been working on building a new concrete block home beside his existing wood one. The wood homes do not stand up well to
hurricanes. Francisco has erected all the walls but hasn't been able to move on to the next stage of adding the roof. $2500 is required for this in one lump sum and every time some money is saved it has to go to something else like buying a wheelchair for his special needs son. You see a lot of unfinished buildings all over Belize. After meeting his family, Francisco led us to a store where we could buy machetes!

Next we headed off to Zulma and Lily's church where they were serving a delicious dinner as a fundraiser. The women's group is hoping to go to the States next year to be hosted by a friend of the Pastor's wife. We had a nice conversation with Marlainey, the leader of the
women's bible study group and the pastor's wife. She said fund raisers like the one they were doing builds up relationships among the women. The women in this group have a range of biblical knowledge as some are new to the faith. This can be challenging but also very rewarding. 

After a long day we headed back to the hotel to get some rest from our busy day. We were looking forward to a day of rest and worship with the Belizean Christians. 


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