Sunday, October 19, 2008

Besides the Rain…

We’ve been staying busy with Mark and Don, who arrived a week ago Thursday. They’ve been staying here despite Mark having a house down the road because he fired his caretaker, who wasn’t taking much care of his place, and Mark has felt awkward hanging around his house and watching the caretaker pack up his eight kids and farm animals and get ready to vacate the premises. He’s had a lot of business to take care of while he’s here between straightening out the caretaker situation, doing what he needs to do for the next orange pick, and trying to open a Belize bank account for all of this, but we did manage to have a little fun before the deluge began.

Last Sunday, we went up to Caracol. Mark and Don hadn’t been there before despite multiple trips to Belize. Fortunately we went before the rain started so the road was still passable, and it ended up being a beautiful day. We found that the BDF isn’t requiring Caracol visitors to go with the military convoy, although they do offer an armed escort in your vehicle if you want it. Because we were already cramped in the front of the truck, we declined, but had a brief moment when we second guessed ourselves. When you’re almost to Caracol, you go down a long windy hill with a lot of washouts just before a concrete bridge over the river. As we came down the hill and around the last turn, we saw an old Suburban parked sideways across the road, blocking the bridge. This was the area where a number of robberies happened a few years ago, so Tom and I both, as we found out when we talked later, did an immediate inventory in our heads of what we had that was stealable, and what plan for resistance was practical. Fortunately, the Suburban was just turning around – although that’s a really weird place to turn around – and we just had to squish over to the side of the road so they could head up the hill with everybody in both trucks nodding and waving and smiling. We have no idea what they were doing, but our heart rates were all back to normal by the time we got to Caracol.

We made Don, Mark’s father-in-law, climb Caana. We told him that he didn’t have to climb any of the other temples, but said that he should climb Caana since there’s no way to truly see how big and impressive it is from the ground.

Despite two fake knees, Don made it up and down safely and said it was worth the climb when he got to the top.

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