Well, after a bit of rough traveling I have finally settled into Patchakan, Belize. The two weeks prior to arriving were spent in Peru where I took some Spanish lessons. During my last couple of days I developed a cold that left me feeling very tired. I was convinced I was improving as I flew from Lima to Houston en route to Belize City. Unfortunately, I ate something toxic in Lima, and spent 5 hours on a plane with food poisoning. The ordeal left me extremely dehydrated, and earned me a trip to the ER when we landed. Needless to say I missed my connecting flight. I spent the next to days resting before braving another flight. It was exciting to finally arrive, and the 2 hour drive to Patchakan gave me a chance to see a little of the country.
Belize is a very rural nation with only a few paved “highways”. Police don’t monitor the roads, so speed bumps are placed throughout, making high speeds a dangerous endeavor. Potholes also make conservative driving a requirement. The pace here is much slower in general. People never appear to be in hurry. Although it is an adjustment from the states, it is refreshing. It is especially prominent in the clinic. Healthcare providers in the states are inundated with so many patients (patients who are busy people themselves), that making time to recognize each individual is not done as well as it should. Here, the people seeking care show up at 8 in the morning when the pastor has devotionals, and sometimes have to wait 4 hours to be seen. No one seems to be bothered by the prospect of waiting.
Hopefully I will be able to write a bit more soon. I’m learning a lot about the culture and diversity of people in Belize. But, the internet moves about the same pace as everything else here!