Today is day 3 of our trip already, which is hard to believe! We traveled with no problems from Columbus to Belize, and no issues from Belize City to the Dangriga airport. We travel within the country on a little airline called "Tropic Air".
We were jockeying for position in the lines at customs, because our Tropic Air flight was supposed to leave at 11am. The customs lady said she could not move us to the front of the line, but if we asked someone if they would let us cut in, that would be okay. So, in my typical shy, backward fashion, I announced to the 20 people in front of us, DO ANY OF YOU HAVE FLIGHTS YOU ARE TRYING TO CATCH? And if not, can we get in front of you??
A very nice woman motioned us in front of her, and I called Rob up from 5 people from the end of the line. We got through the line, said we were staying with friends, and all of a sudden she says "Oh, you are staying with friends? Did you bring any gifts for them?" Assuming she did not mean the package of Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie mix, I said "No, because they know we would have to pay duty on them if we did!" Well, apparently she hadn't heard that one before, and she had a pretty good laugh, and passed us right through!
In typical Caribe fashion, we hurried through customs, tipped a guy $8 to carry our bags 20 feet, then checked in with the very nice people at Tropic Air, who told us the flight was going to be at 11:15, not 11. Good thing, because it was now 5 minutes til, and we had to go stand in another line! This line was for departing flights, which includes not only the in-country flights, but also flights back to the US - usually Miami and Houston. If you are leaving the country, this is also the point where you pay exit fees of $40 each. If you think security lines are long where you are, Belize only has one metal detector, and no big grey tubs to put your shoes, belts, purses, loads of pocket change, and chanel sunglasses in.
We finally got through all of this, skipped over to the Tropic Air desk, and in REALLY REALLY Caribe fashion, were told it would be "oh, 5, 10 minutes." We checked back 15 minutes later, and were told (oh, come on, GUESS!!). Finally, somewhere around noon, our 11am flight took off, and deposited us 12 minutes later in Dangriga for our week of fun in the sun!
We went straight to the church where we are working this week, and dug right in to help. We painted benches, mostly, and cleaned up for the church service for the next day. I spent more time than i care to admit sweeping sand off the concrete floor, but the place did look nice!
We headed back to camp around 5, had a dinner of spaghetti and salad, which was pretty good, took showers, and headed to bed exhausted.
Rob and I came on this trip to celebrate our first anniversary, among other things. He was surprised to find he would be bunking "dorm style" with two pre-teens, and Carl, the missionary's brother. He is adjusting to things much better than I expected, though. He continues to amaze me!! He has forgiven me for packing a pillowcase, but no pillow. What a sweet man!