Last night we filled up the bus to go into the nearby town of Punta Gorda to look at shops. It had been pouring rain for most of the day but it stopped just long enough for us to leave for the evening. As we drove into town we could see a black void where to the ocean would be in the darkness. I had wanted to see the ocean since I had smelled it in the air getting off the plane in Belize City. When traveling through Belize we had always been a few miles from seeing it but yet so close. Now it was night time.
We parked the bus next to a clock tower that gave multiple incorrect times on its faces. We left the bus in groups and went around visiting the small shops on the main street. In one of the small grocery shops we somehow acquired an extremely friendly young girl name Shadi that followed us around for the rest of the night. She was fascinated with the girls’ hair colors and was convinced I was a boy even after explaining differently. She spout out a never ending stream of information and hardly ever paused for a breath. Everything from “beware of alligators” to an exercise program meant to strengthen your arms. Her clothes were not well kept and she said her mother didn’t have any money. As we passed some boys on a bike they made snide remarks towards her. She said they were mean but somehow that didn’t stifle her extremely outgoing personality.
We found Dr. Skon a little later and he led us to the ocean. Shadi took this moment to educate us on snails that were at the shore. It was rather dark but still comforting to be by the coast. I’m not sure what it is that makes being landlocked feel so restricting. I could more easily walk away from something on land then to throw myself into the ocean and get away. Maybe being next to the sea makes me feel like I’m on the edge of something. I could free myself from the land world and crossover to the water world. Or maybe just looking at something alive that is so much bigger than me and reaches farther than my ability to see.
Whatever it is, it is comforting.
After a little while we headed back to the bus to leave. Shadi begged that the bus driver bring us back tomorrow. Somehow I think she would probably find us again if we ever went back.