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Monday, April 18, 2011

A Memory About Belize

Children in the Village of Hopkins, Belize  Central America

A Memory about Belize:

The cement is hard on my shoes, as I walk about Toronto. There are noises that surround me that make me miss the sand between my toes, the bright sun that shone down upon me, and the stillness of the air around me when I walked on the beach in the village of Hopkins in Belize, Central America.

It seems so long ago, yet it was only two months ago, when I embarked on this journey that took me to a place I yearn to go back to. I miss the village life, where everyone knew one another and there were nods and smiles as you walked the dirt roads throughout the village. By comparison, city life back in Canada is harsh. Noise surrounds you wherever you go. Traffic whizzes by, cars and buses honk their horns, people are lost in their own worlds, with all sorts of technology at their hands, and the friendliness is something you have to actively search for.

As I walk, I cannot help but wonder about days long ago, when our ancestors walked the earth and animals were free to roam around. There were no constraints like there are today. In the village of Hopkins, children ran and played, they had their own games made up; they weren’t fixated on the latest fashions, what was the latest video game or what was the next thing they could purchase. They relied on themselves, a simplicity that has long ago disappeared in our society of today. We have become a society that is obsessed with consuming as much as possible, and not caring what kind of affect it has on those around us.

I miss the impromptu drum session that we had with the Garifuna youth, where everyone gathered, and the children from around the village came and took it all in, while we all laughed, danced and attempted to drum also. I miss the sense of community that surrounded us while we stayed there and I miss my first swim in the ocean while a friend who knew I was scared to swim, stayed by my side and made sure I was okay, and I miss jumping the waves as they came crashing around us, and the laughter when I accidently swallowed sea water and said “I think I have had my quota of salt for the next month or so.”

The cement may be hard on my shoes, as I walk about this city, but there is a smile upon my face, because it’s the memories of Belize and the people I met who made it an opportunity I will never forget.

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