Luckily I didn’t have any jet leg since it’s only a 2 hour difference between Montreal, Canada and Belize City. Not only was my flight delayed the previous day, but so was my accommodation (another reason why being flexible is important when you are away). The apartment I was supposed to move in was not ready till the next day, luckily I was able to crash for one night at another volunteer’s place.
My first evening in Belize City I did not expect much to occur, due to the fact that it is already dusk by 6:30. The 2 Cuso Volunteers and I along with our country coordinator were treated to a lovely dinner (on behalf of Cuso) at a restaurant that is just by the south side of Belize City – an island called Birds Isle. Truly a neat spot to go and enjoy a Belizean meal! That was my first Belizean dish (coconut rice, beans, coleslaw and fish fillet) with a side of fresh cantaloupe juice. And when I mean fresh, I mean you can taste that cantaloupe as if you were eating it. For desert, a bottle of Belizean beer called Belikin, which was also our celebratory drink.
Before the dinner we had the chance to sit on the Sea Wall and look out onto the city. Listening to the waves as they splashed up the concrete, and being grazed by the sea breeze I looked across the bay and observed the little fishing sail boats bobbing up and down.
Palm trees poking out between the little colourful buildings across the bay, and I remember thinking, what have I gotten myself into? Where will I be mentally, physically and spiritually after the next 9 months here in Belize?