Big Hats and a place where everyone knows your name-Day 5

Day 5

We have made it up to Belize City. The drive back was just as wet and beautiful and a lot quicker. One thing I have noticed in Belize is the plumping. Everyone has their own rain catch basin connected to their house. Also most of the houses seem to be connected to open drains that run parallel to the street and out to the sea. Most of the toilets drain to septic tanks. Diane at Nature’s way told us if it is yellow let it mellow. And here at the starfish house we can only dispose of tp in a waste basket (similar to Greece and some parts of Italy). Also the water pressure comes from a pump that doesn’t always work. At Nature’s way I only ever got a dribble and then it was splashing into the wall (eventually I got an empty water bottle that I would fill and used to rinse with.)

Before we got too far out of PG, we stopped at a small Mayan site near the highway. We nearly got stuck on the dirt road on the hill but Elliott made it up there for us. The site is called Nim Li Punit (Big Hat in mayan). It is a small religious site in southern Belize. It is known for its large number of stele. It has the 2nd biggest one is the whole Mayan world (the biggest is in Guatemala) It has a ball court, a plaza with the stele, and a royal court with several burials. I spoke with the guard who was born in Indian Creek down the road. Belize has one archaeological district and it seems to be very differently set up from Italy (such as artifacts can leave the country, most of the site artifacts are stored in Belmopan). UC San Diego has been working there recently ( according to the guard. The museum was really small but nice and it seems as long as Dr. Braswell gets funding he will be continuing excavations in a recently uncovered tomb this summer. One of the interesting questions brought up by Anne was about why we dig graves and it got me thinking about the history of archaeology and I might try to make that a separate post (we will see how I am doing on time).

Lunch was at Cheer’s with a Caribbean twist. I had the local specialty stewed chicken with rice and beans. After that we made it into Belize City and to the Starfish house of hand in hand. We met James who took us on a tour of Belize City to show us the vast difference between the wealthy part of town and the part of town we are building a house in. We also stopped in at Frank Lizama, a woodcarver here. He was the former mayor of Belize City and a cancer survivor. He has really found peace with the world and it was amazing to hear him talk and really inspiring. It was a good thing for the boys to hear.

We then had dinner prepared by Caroline and went to mass at St. Martian de Porres. It was a really energetic mass and amazing to be apart of. There was a lot of singing and people really happy to be there which made the hot hour and a half pass really quickly.

Tomorrow we start building and so I am heading to bed.


About handyatmurlo

I am a Latin teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. I earned my MA at CU Boulder and my BA at UMass Amherst. I have spent my summers working in Italy as an archaeologist at three different sites. One I have worked at for 10 years at Poggio Civitate at Vescovado di Murlo. I have worked at the Villa of Maxentius in Rome for 2 years, before the project ended. I also spent 2 summers at the FSU excavations in Cosa.
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