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I'm sweating. That is the constant reality here. I have been sweating since I landed at Belize CIty International Airport (one that looks more like a bus station than an airport). The heat is always present, but the sweating is due to the humidity. We are in the jungle after all.

Orientation week has been an adventure so far, and I didn't expect much else. We've spent much of it getting to know one another (there are 17 students and 5 staff members). We've spent some good time in town yesterday and will do so again today, but our biggest excursion so far was a trip to Black Rock Lodge about a 40 minute drive into the jungle. We hiked upstream along the Macal River and tubed down for about a half hour. On either side was dense jungle which is nothing less than boisterously alive with sound. Birds, monkeys (which I haven't seen yet), and cicadas that screech rather than chirp. I'll include a video of the "falls" that we went over before exiting the river.

Campus is nothing less than a paradise. Aside from the lack of hot water (showers are much better cold here anyway) and machine clothes washers, it is a joy to live in. Here is a link to an album of pics of the campus. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150334380344344.363651.199472899343&type=3
We've spent most of our time in town in San Ignacio, which is across the river from Santa Elena which is closer to campus. Pictures are sure to come as the semester goes on. I figured that I should pay more attention to the locals, who are very friendly and relaxed, than to my camera for a while.

Shalom, friends.

Posted by in_creation 10:04 Archived in Belize

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Dear Justin,

How great to hear from you already.

My closest climate experience to yours was a couple of weeks spent in Trinidad. Hot and humid but with trade winds. I'm glad Connie has no worries about her hair style. Curly works just fine...best, in fact.

And showers of unheated water are refreshing, I remember. The water is probably 70 degrees anyway, right?

What a great experience to learn in an environment where your class size is tiny. I thought the school would be larger...lots of plusses with 17.

I kept Trinity and Gizmo for the weekend so your mother could go to Wildwood to Brian's family's home. She and I went to the zoo, rode her bike while I walked Gizmo behind her, played with the nesting cups in the bathtub twice, went to church in her princess dress, played songs and sang at the piano, played "little red riding hood"...guess what part I played? She is so bright and funny. I'm glad she had you for a big "brudder". We also played Temple Run on iPhone and iPad, racing at her suggestion.

Hope to go to the shore one day this week or next. One of Lisa's cousins is renting a house for a couple of weeks in Ocean City and we may join them.

Thanks for staying in touch.



P.S. Do you have wifi at your school or did you have to go into town to send this out?

by Linda Thompson

Sooooooo good to hear that you're enjoying paradise!!!!!! Wish I was with you :)

We miss you.... xoxoxo

by Gwyneth Thompson

Glad you are settled in, and getting acclimated. Enjoy your adventure, and learn as much as possible. ;-)

<3 Dad.

by Ryan L Stone

It looks gorgeous, Justin! Enjoy your stay!

by Melissa

Have fun. Be safe. Say hi to Sharon Matola...you know her story :-)

by Dad

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