Monday, May 5, 2014

Belize: Part Five and Final Post.....For now

 Thursday morning we all rose nice and early to make it to our final destination spot, Caye Caulker Island. We got up at 5:30 (take that rooster!) and ate a quick breakfast. We packed up all our belongings and headed back towards San Ignacio. We were able to stop and meet the Salazar family for a quick good-bye. It was basically a 'jump off the bus and hand over the medication/donations and shed a quick tear' type of good-bye.

We took an hour long boat ride to get out to the island. We got our snorkeling gear and headed out for the coral reef.  The water was beyond beautiful and clear. The blue skies were an added bonus but it was also our worst enemy since we all got burnt to a crisp!
 There is nothing more sexier than snorkeling gear!
 We had a guide that brought us around to show us the reef. He clapped his hands real hard under the water to bring out an eel!! Of course Jason then started doing it and tested how close the eel would get......
 Beautiful schools of fish

 Jason also managed to find every shark in the ocean that day.

 Lobster anyone?
 After swimming around, we got back on the boat to another location to feed the sharks and sting rays. We were in 4-5 ft of water. Enough to tread water or stand, but I just happened to step on one of these guys, thankfully they didn't care.
 Not scary at all.....
 ...especially when your husband keeps going under to pet the shark or pull it's tail.

 Beauty at it's finest
 Standing on the boat, you could see the stingray come from afar to get their daily feeding
 After getting smoked in the hot sun, we headed back to our hotel. It was our day to reflect and relax. There was nothing more beautiful. After spending the week serving others and being closer to God than I have ever been, I was in awe of what was in front of me. I was in a peaceful place with people that I had just met alongside my best friend and yet shared some of the most amazing moments of my life.
 I brought my old camera and my old lens along and yet that was all that was needed. Nothing fancy and no editing required.
 The view from our room. If this island wasn't so hard to get to, I would go back in a heartbeat.
 Snorkeling definitely made us starved!!! We searched the island and asked around and found THE BEST place to get a burrito. It just happened to be the place with the LARGEST burrito. No one is surprised that Jason ate every last bite!
 Our little friend always hanging out at the bottom of the stairs.
 Oh, so I became obsessed with trying to get pictures of the pelicans. It only fit right!? We were on the Praying Pelicans mission. Again, no zoom lens so I just got as close as I could.
 Or at least as close as they would let me.....

 This is our hotel. After sleeping on thin foam mattresses on bunks, it wouldn't have mattered where we stayed. It was a bed and there was air conditioning.....ahhhhhhh.

 A few little treasures to take home. The largest rock is a volcanic rock, incredibly light so it floats. It's the pumice stone that you would see being used in a pedicure.
 We came back together as a group to worship, pray, and share our favorite moments together.
 We went out for dinner and then headed out to peruse town for a bit.
 Jason and I were still trying to find more gifts for the kids. These guys had great suggestions, no?
 We went back to the hotel by 9 and played a brutal game of volleyball. Needless to say, we still used our medical skills that night.....

I got up early enough in the morning to still capture some early early sunlight...and more pelicans

 I loved watching them dive in the water

 If I didn't have to get home to the job, kids, family, friends, yada yada, I would have loved to just stay there for a few more days. It all just went by so fast.
 Or maybe I could take a quick jog to any of these places

 Apparently these are our new adopted children. Welcome to the fam Cam and Andrew! Graham...did you not make the cut in this one!?
 Honestly, those kids from Dexter are just amazing. I'd welcome them to my home at any time. Speaking of, any chance any of you guys want to make the trip over to babysit!?

In all seriousness, this is it. The end of Belize pictures and stories. All good things have to come to an end but hopefully the spark that was lit during the mission continues to burn for a long time. It certainly let me know that my work in missions is just beginning. I honestly hope it is the first trip of many. I wouldn't hesitate to go back with Praying Pelicans anywhere.

I feel changed. We even sang that song 'Happy Day' both with the kids ministry and at the adult church service. Here is the chorus:

Oh, happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

That last line obviously stood out to me. I feel forever changed.

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