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Trip Start Jun 14, 2004
Trip End Jul 30, 2006

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Flag of Belize  ,
Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Well kids its been a while since ive written and now I feel like so much has happened that I don't know where to begin. I'll try to highlight the most important things:

1. I went home. It was glorious. I ate at The Place, saw friends, caught up with family, swam in the lake, sat on the porch with mom and weezie, taught Aidan how to pound fists, drove the boat around the lake, I DID NOT let my mother give me a pedicure (you've all seen that woman with her hand gesture, would you trust her with a razor?). Sometimes I felt like I had never left and sometimes I felt like I never wanted to leave.

2. the trip from belize and the trip to belize. Both quite memorable. Picture me. Im excited because im going home. I just want everything to go smoothly, but little did I know . . . My taxi driver never showed up in the morning to drive me to the bus station. My neighbor and I end up chasing the bus down in his car, but luckily I make it on and I feel good. I cry in a bank in belize city because they won't let me exchange my money. I miss my connecting flight in Miami because that airport is the devil. The next flight im put on is delayed by two hours and I have to listen to some guy next to me talk about how his dog has doggie health insurance and a cardiologist. After hearing that I thought to myself, "ahh yes, I must be back in the states. Full of ridiculous people with too much disposable income." We have to fly into JFK instead of LaGuardia because LaGuardia has a curfew. Unfortunately we didn't find this out until we were in the air. Thankfully mom and dad were waiting there for me at 1:30am. "let's go home," I say, "I just need to get my bags . . . where are my bags?" Yes, as a last straw on my trip from hell, American Airlines lost my bag and I didn't get it for five days. The glory of traveling.
The way back I flew to Dallas where the southern hospitality was practically dripping it was so heavy. I hear over the loud speaker something about my flight. I give up my seat, hang out in a hotel all night with free food, fly the next day business class and get a $700 travel voucher. Score for the chinay gyal.

3. I almost peed my pants five times, maybe even six, when I flew business class to Belize. Its completely NOT worth the extra five thousand or whatever you have to pay. BUT if its for free, you feel like a Grecian God. Big cushy chairs with cool little tables that swivel in and out, complementary drinks in real glasses, warm nuts, steamy towels, a magnificent lunch of tortellini, salad with kalamata olives and mozz and white wine. I thought that the guy pouring the wine MUST have a crush on me because he kept filling my glass up, but realized that's his JOB. Silly me. As I curled up to watch the movie with my cozy blanket and a slight wine buzz, I thought to myself, I could get used to this.

4. The other day was a said day in the life of Keely Monroe, Peace Corps Volunteer, Cayo district Belize. It all started with Tarah. Tarah has put her two years in and was leaving for good. To demonstrate my gratitude for her friendship and my sorrow concerning her leaving, I decided a few drinks were in order. We went to a place called Rolson's with Matt, a friend of ours, to drink Minchaltas. If you are a person who likes to punish yourself with rancid tasting beverages, then please, indulge yourself in a minchalta the next you happen upon a Mexican restaurant. If you have any sense of the difference between right and wrong, please do not. Beer, tomato juice, lime juice, salt, pepper, chile pepper, & habanero sauce with a salted rim. Who ever thought up that drink clearly had had one too many shots of jose that night. Im full of sadness because Tarah is leaving. Im full of sadness because my mouth is rioting against the putrid drink. We leave the establishment and go to Matt's house, across from my house. I decide to go up on the roof to look at the stars, to ponder such thoughts as World Poverty (the g8 was still on my mind), the immeasurable effect that peace corps has had on my life, and how to warn the world of the nastiness that is a Minchalata. Suddenly I feel as if someone has put a cigarette out on my arm, as I clutch it tightly to my chest and turn to run down the stairs I hear a faint scuttling that puts fear in my blood. I make Matt take care of me, which consisted of putting a topical anesthetic on it. Which did nothing. I stop dead in my tracks. "Is this really happening? Is my tongue really going numb?" As I can start to feel a panic attack rising from my stomach, I abruptly leave matt's house and do the only thing I can think of. Go to bed. 4am I wake up and in my half slumber, feel some how peculiar. Oh yes. My entire face had gone numb, as well as my hands and feet. I throw my sheet aside to get up and pace. I think best when I pace. As soon as my feet touch the ground I start to buckle. Tip of the day: don't try to walk if both your feet are numb. Its not so great. Also, try not to get bitten by a scorpion. Its not so great.

5. The one year anniversary of my arrival in Belize came and went. Craziness.

6. My next travelpod will most likely be from Nicaragua. I will be going there with two other peace corps volunteers for a month to attend a Spanish language school.
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