Monday, July 2, 2012

Back to Belize

The main road in Hopkins, ending at the Caribbean
"The bus to Punta Gorda has just left" said the taxi driver, hoping that we would be willing to pay the $90 US fee to drive us to Hopkins Village. We had just arrived at the bus depot in Belize City from Ambergris Caye. The traffic was held up and we missed the bus to take us to our next destination. No worries, we climbed unto the next bus headed for Benque, knowing it would stop in Belmopan where we could connect to Dangriga. Belize is such a small country that the bus system is very easy to use, even for us tourists--very inexpensive.

This wasn't my first visit to Belize, I was there in 1984 for my Salem, OR YWAM  DTS outreach. That trip about 30 of us had traveled for ten days from Oregon through California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, down through Mexico to get to Belize. Robin and I weren't married yet, but he heard all about my two month outreach and he had always talked about going back to Belize to visit the places I had stayed at.This June we had two weeks holiday and we decided it was time to visit Belize. I will write about our last three days first. We rode the bus from Belize City to Dangriga and then took a taxi to the Garifuna village of Hopkins. 

Miss Bertie's Library
 Last time I was there we had no electricity, we drank bleached lukewarm water, were eaten by sand flies and well, let me say the bathroom facilities were "primitive." Most of Hopkins has changed, except for the road into the village, it is still unpaved, potholed and rough on the suspension of the vehicle.

 I walked around the village hoping to see something familiar, but I didn't recognize any of the buildings or the people. There are resorts going up just outside the village, there is a school several churches and best of all we found a library. 

The library has 1500 books and a view of the Caribbean Sea
This library was built by a Peace Corps worker called Miss Bertie. After she passed away unexpectedly the library was named after her. I met with a couple of volunteers who open up the library in the afternoons. The children come from school to check out their one book or to look at the books on the shelves. The boys especially like to look at the picture books of animals. I wasn't sure what to expect when visiting this remote Garifuna village by the sea, I did not expect a little library and this was a serendipitous surprise. This is my first post about my trip to Belize, I have more to say and more photos to post.

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