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Monday, January 16, 2012

Behind Bars


We made it to our next destination near San Pedro Columbia and the Machaca Forest Reserve. Our group was reduced by half because now it only consists of the Senior Colloquium class and Business majors. We left the Education group in Succotz and took the internet with us. Right now we’re staying in a small camp in the rainforest. When we arrived it was nighttime and all we could see through the bus windows were dark shadows of hills and trees. When we arrived at the camp we quickly staked out our beds and put up our mosquito nets. The dorm had some strange smell of dill or garlic so we assumed there to be a garden of some kind behind it. We also found out that we cannot flush toilet paper here. I guess that’s typical for places overseas because the pluming isn’t as good. Not one of the easiest places for females to be staying.

Around 8pm our supper was rationed out to us and consisted of beans and a piece of fried chicken. When I tried to go back for more food I’m not sure if the cook understood what I was asking. I offered to help with dishes and rinsed plates for a lady whose name is pronounced Who-stina. I told her a similar sounding American name is Christina. They seem to speak one of the native Mayan languages instead of Spanish.

Before going to bed I tried to find the source of the smell. Behind the cabin was nothing more than a concrete slab and a defined tree line leading to the jungle. I took my mini-maglight and tried identifying the eyes peering back at me from the trees. There were a few low to the ground weasel like animals moving amongst the undergrowth. They were most likely coatimundi. No jaguars.
A man here told us about how a year ago he had found his dog’s head after a jaguar had killed it. It struck me as I went to bed that the bars on the windows weren’t meant to keep people from breaking in like in the states or even in the previous town we had left but to keep wild animals out.
I woke up around 5am and heard the howler monkeys making their troubling sounds. As I was drifting in and out of consciousness, I dreamt there was a male lion outside the window. He couldn’t get in though. I was safe inside…and he was completely out of place in Belize.

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