Normal 2.0

And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end. — Pico lyer

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Don’t Let Bad News Control Us

As we plan for our upcoming departure from Belize, our thoughts turn to life back home. After a six-month break, it will feel strange going back to the United States. Very strange indeed.

As a foreigner in Belize, we feel as if everyone is (potentially) out to get us. Or, at the very least, curious, wondering what we’re doing here. We do get stared at quite a lot. We feel like we stand out since we are very white people in a very brown country. Also, since we don’t know very many people, we don’t know who we can trust. We’re not overly concerned, but we’d be foolish not to consider our personal safety as we and the kids walk around town.

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Captivated

They’re tucking in for the night, after a long afternoon in the subtropical sun. My children. My greatest love. I’m crazy about these little people.

A Belizean friend invited us today to the pool at the resort where she works, so we went up the hill to have lunch and a swim. We took her two children along with us and had lots of fun playing in the water. We don’t normally go to pools here since all the hotels charge $5 (or more) per person to swim. Too expensive for a family of six. So we relegate pools to “special occasion” category and make heavy use of the rivers.

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The Perfect Life

Our six months of living in Belize will come to an end 30 days from today. I sit here thinking inward thoughts and guarding over my number four, who has a stomach virus. It’s always difficult to watch the littlest ones suffer through an illness. At one point, she cried, “Mama, mama,” and my heart melted.

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Standing Out from the Crowd

Here’s the crowd. Here’s me. Rarely do I feel like I fit in.

Here in Belize, we are one of the few white families in a sea of beautiful brown-skinned people. You haven’t seen someone stand out in the crowd until you’ve seen my daughter – sparkling blue eyes flashing and golden blonde hair flying – running across the school yard. Just about every child in her school has brown hair, brown skin, and brown eyes.

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On Feet and Luxury

I’m pondering wages and cost of living in Belize.

It’s somewhat difficult to dig up what the average laborer in Belize makes. I believe the current minimum wage is $3.30BZ/hour (that’s $1.65US), and will make an average of $6,336BZ/year ($3,168US/year), not counting overtime or bonuses.

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