Can you Belize we’re still in Belize? It’s unbelizable!
Oh maya god, what the howler monkeys!
Those were only two of the many puns we dealt with after the tour of the zoo and the ruins. So, day three started off as any other normal Belize day. We woke up and ate a delicious, traditional Belizean meal of pancakes and sausages. After, that is when the day took an insane turn. We packed up, and waited for an hour as the bus took its time getting to the education center. But never fear, we had enjoyable performances by a recently formed girl group in the camp, also know as Intimidation Nation. This group consisted of: Sophie Cassou, Falon Attias, India Attias, Lily Attias, and Alejandra Vivas. Whilst waiting, we were able to take an incredible journey into the forest where we stood up on a raised platform looking out over the beautiful foliage, scanning the area for the elusive jaguar.
After the bus finally made it to the camp, we got on and drove off, far far away from the education center, deeper and deeper into the jungle. We stopped on the side of the road to grab a quick snack of raisin cinnamon bread and cinnamon buns baked over a fire. Driving further into this lush jungle, we somehow managed to find a gas station fully stocked with an array of chips and Arizona ice tea. There, we also stopped to go to the restroom, where it was necessary to pay to get into the bathroom.
Once we got back on the road after this exciting journey, we had more lovely singing from intimidation nation as we looked out over the vast landscape with beautiful mountains and trees.
Four and a half hours later we arrived at Blue Creek. Here, we were immediately greeted by a sea of local Maya children asking if they could please carry our bags. Then, the children assigned themselves a bag while the adult Mayas grabbed heavier ones and we proceeded up the mountain cautiously watching children carrying bags heavier than them. We tipped generously for carrying our all to heavy duffels.
Once we arrived at our new dorms, we stared in awe at the stunning river that lied just in front of our bunks. As we got situated, we all began to change into our bathing suits and were interrupted by our teachers telling us that we had an orientation to listen attentively to.
After orientation concluded, we all dashed to the river, excitedly swimming around after being in the heat. Again, we were interrupted by none other than Jon Mulhern, telling us that in order to certifiably swim, we would tread water for a minute and swim to the other side of the river and back. However, in order to swim to a dangerous part of the river 50 yards away, checked carefully before by Jennifer Biscardi and Jon Mulhern, we needed to swim to the other side and back 5 times. First place in this expedition went to Marco Marsans, followed by Nacho Monreal, and later Dualta Gallaher and Gideon Yektai, and almost the rest of the group as well. Once these tests were done, we were allowed to swim around, jump off the dock, and swing from the rope swing. After getting out, we were told that the water pressure in the shower was less than satisfactory, and therefore it would be wise to wash our hair in the river. However, this soap/shampoo/conditioner would have to be biodegradable. Luckily, Gideon Yektai gladly offered up his supposed biodegradable shampoo, which later turned out to be just organic.
Much later, after an exquisite dinner of rice and chicken as well as orange juice and beans, we embarked on a evening jungle hike equipped with our headlamps, hiking shoes, and very knowledgeable tour guide. During this hike, complete silence was necessary if we had hoped to see anything interesting. We were thankfully able to see tarantulas, stick bugs, wolf spiders, and other fascinating bugs/arachnids. While in the middle of the jungle, our tour guide instructed us to turn off our lights. He then proceeded to tell us about the Duende, 3 feet tall men with no thumbs and backwards feet who tore off thumbs if they were shown and stared at pretty ladies. We then came back to the camp, slightly shaken up and very tired.
This concludes day three. We’ll see you here tomorrow, that is, if we survive the night, after all, the black panthers have been spotted by teachers, and Duende do like attractive people… or maybe that’s the malaria pills talking…
By: Sophie Cassou, founder of intimidation nation (signing autographs upon arrival to the states, and really going through a major ego trip,) Annie Sun, and Emily Austopchuk