We welcomed Jessica and Nick, honeymooners from New Orleans, on New Year’s Eve. They were married in mid-December, and had traveled through Guatemala prior to coming to Belize and coming to stay with us. We weren’t sure what time they were supposed to arrive, so I went out shopping that day and left Tom manning the fort at home – a good thing since they arrived mid-afternoon, and Tom was able to put together a quick tour of Ka’ax Tun for them. They returned from Ka’ax Tun with Julio and his brother Carlos, who joined us for dinner. Tom and I are always fascinated with how groups of people here interact with everybody speaking different languages, and Jessica and Nick, art historians who lived in Rome for three years, added an entirely new twist as they conversed with Julio and Carlos in some mix of Italian and Spanish. We had a good dinner with the whole group speaking a mish-mash of Spanish, English, and Italian – and found that lots of laughter translates no matter what language you’re speaking.
The next morning Nick and Jessica headed down the Georgeville Road to meet Gonzo in Georgeville to go to ATM. That was a funny morning, because it had been raining for most of the week, so none of us were sure that ATM would be open that day. We made arrangements the night before to contact Gonzo via email to let us know the plans, and decided that if ATM was closed, we’d send Jessica and Nick up the road to Caracol. Not knowing until the last minute whether they’d be heading south to Caracol or north to Georgeville to rendezvous with Gonzo, I whipped up a pan of macaroni and cheese and stuck it in the oven in case they were going to Caracol, figuring that if they didn’t need it, we’d have lunches for a couple of days. We checked email shortly after 7AM, and there was the email from Gonzo – ATM was open! BUT since it was New Year’s Day and all the restaurants in town had been open until after midnight the night before, none of the places where Gonzo usually picks up lunch were open – so could I send lunch with Jessica and Nick? Not sure how many people were going to ATM that day, I packed four mac and cheese lunches, out of the oven just in time, and Nick and Jessica headed for Georgeville. As it turned out, Gonzo picked up four last minute guests to go to ATM in addition to Nick and Jessica, and only managed to get bread and cheese from one of the Chinese stores for their lunches. Both Jessica and Gonzo told me later that the mac and cheese lunches were much envied since Gonzo, Jessica, and Nick figured they could divide the four to feed the rest of the group, but after tasting them, those three became very possessive of their lunches and didn’t want to share, so the other four guests got to split the extra to eat with their bread and cheese. Jessica made me laugh when they got back to the farm because she said that she was very proud of herself for staying somewhere that sent the BEST lunches along for the day – and they really enjoyed the cave tour too!
The next morning was still a little rainy, so Nick and Jessica slept in and then relaxed with coffee, fruit, and coffee cake on their porch until late morning. They then took off for the next stage of their trip, across the river to the Macal River Jungle Camp.