From May 3rd to May 10th, I left the U.S. for the first time and travel outside to a third world country. I went to Belize and it was an exciting adventure, indeed!
It was all so quick. The decision to go abroad, the payments, the application for a passport, the study abroad applications and forms, packing for the trip, and oh my goodness, just everything. The trip itself went by too quickly. Feels like it was all just a dream.
So on Saturday, May 3rd, I had to leave my house at 5:30 AM to make it on campus at 6 AM, carpooled with my fellow Enactus members, and arrived at the airport at 7 AM.
Took this from my window seat. We're nearing the airport!
It's so beautiful, isn't it? The water is so blue, so clear. The ocean is a sight to see from above.
Here we are at the airport. Really different from Atlanta's, that's for sure. Also, right when I took a single step off the plane, oh my gosh it hits you. SO HOT. H-O-T. Hot. So very hot and humid. It felt like 100 degrees with 90% humidity. Felt like I was thrown into a heated oven and roasted. It was hot everyday while we stayed in Belize. But what could you expect from a country that's right near the equator?
Oh, if you have never been out of the country before, let me warned you. No pictures are allowed in majority of international airports, well, Belize for sure. You're not allowed until you go through Immigration and Customs. We got yelled at by one of the staffs.
Anyways, our first stay was in Belize City. The scenery was really, really different from home. We went on a tour bus and had a quick tour of the city before arriving to our hotel. We stayed at the Chateau Caribbean. The pier was right in front! It was basically our front yard. Beautiful sight.
As we started our walk through town, we passed by the dock.
I think it's an amazing way to travel, travelling by boat. I'm rarely on boats, ships or anything so I think it's so neat.
For our homework that night, we had to go a local supermarket and plan a meal that can feed up to four people with $10 Belize, which is $5 U.S. and price out a salad. Oh, Belize uses U.S. dollars and coins so there's no need to exchange currency. Also, whatever their price is, you divide that by two. For example, $4 Belize is $2 U.S. and $20 Belize is $10 U.S.
Their supermarket is kind of compared to our Walmart to the people there. Well...it was really different. At the front, there's a a security that watches people's bags and purses. You leave your stuff there when you first enter and they watch it for you but is not responsible if your item gets lost or stolen. I also found out from my colleagues that most people, in Belize, minimum wage is $2 an hour, I'm guessing Belize dollars, of course. The security there gets paid $2 Belize an hour and he has a family back home. It's very difficult to make a living...And I had the opportunity to really see that with my own eyes during in my week's stay.
Anyways, it was really difficult to make dinner for our homework. We selected sandwiches and all the ingredients we selected were the cheapest brands and small in packaging. Man, cheese is expensive in Belize! Also, for our salad homework, we tried to get a variety of veggies and colors, but it was difficult. There's not much. For meat, there was a small selection of meat, they were small in sizes and majority of the meat items looked old. You know what I came to realized after doing this homework? How thankful we are in the U.S. We have vegetables all year long, our meat in fresh quality, and an endless supply and variety of food. I'll never look at a supermarket the same way again. I am so grateful, so very grateful and blessed.
After souvenir shopping and homework, we went to have dinner. Geez, we were so very hungry. We ate at the hotel and I had the Sweet and Sour Chicken with fresh pineapples and other veggies and steamed rice. It was so good!
Later that night, we gathered at 7 PM for our class discussion. Oh, Belize is behind 2 hours from Georgia's (Eastern) time. Anyways, it was a long day. Class lasted for about 2 hours. Had cheesecake as my dessert afterwards then headed to bed because tomorrow will be our adventurous day!