Sunday, July 21, 2013

One village completed!!

Hi Everyone,

   The last week and a half has been a lot of fun. We have completed our survey work in Maya Centre! We only have Golden Stream and Maya Mopan to complete now. The people of Maya Centre were really nice and seemed to enjoy our company.  Maya Centre is located right by the Belize Jaguar Preserve and many of the women in the village make jewelry, bracelets and cravings to sell to tourist.  While working in Maya Centre, Eva and I met missionaries from North Carolina. They were visiting the village to offer free medical exams and treatment to the local villagers. The majority of Maya villages do not have access to medical care or treatment; so many rely on missionaries and government to come to them.

                We started our surveying in Maya Mopan and was served lunch by a local family that Dr. Key has known for a while. The lunch was amazing with handmade tortillas and eggs with calla Lou. We also got to see a mobile clothing store. A man was driving a bus through the village filled with clothing and goods. This is how many of the Maya are getting the clothing that they wear, aside from making their own. Eva and I also got to drink Coconut water from a coconut that a Maya man cut of the tree for us. He cut it down then chopped one side off and we have a refreshing drink. Coconut water is very popular here because it is good for hydration and the stomach. It doesn’t cost anything if you cut it from the tree so it is the cheapest choice.

                I had the great opportunity to sing and play guitar at 3 different events this week. I met a lot of great musicians and had a great time!

                Last night I got to try out Belize’s socialized healthcare. I had an allergic reaction to something I ate and my throat closed up. Dr. Key and Eva took me the clinic in Placencia at 2am to get a shot. I was not charged anything for the visit and the shot had me breathing easy in 15 minutes. I am doing fine now, just a little groggy from the medicine.

Thank you for following me and I am sorry it has taken so long to write again!

Here are a few pics from my travels.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week one is completed

Hi Everyone,

 Sorry it has taken me so long to post again, I have been out and there have been a few storms so I didn’t have internet. I am finally getting used to the humidity here and it doesn’t seem so unbearable. There’s no such thing as dry skin here, it is like a sauna most of the time. I went to the bank the other day and it was air conditioned, Eva and I both rejoiced. I never thought I would get excited about air conditioning but I did.

I went kayaking for the first time and I surprisingly didn’t fall in. During the kayaking I got to see a jellyfish and they are awesome to observe. Since I have been here I have seen 3 scorpions, and killed one baby tarantula. I have seen a few iguanas and crab as well. Belize is very pretty but home to many animals and insects that freak me out. Eva and I decided to try fishing and we caught a few small fish but nothing big enough to eat. We want to catch a big fish before we leave!

Eva and I have met a lot of really nice people here and they are all very friendly. People here do not mind talking and they love the conversation and time. Everything in Belize is done at a relaxed pace, I don’t think we have run into anyone that was stressed or high strung. I am starting to get used to the relaxed pace. Fast food does not exist here and it is almost weird not to see a McDonalds or Burger King around but it is nice to have a break from that as well.

I don’t have any pictures to show you right now but I should have some the next time I post. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!
- Chelsea =]

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Just landed..... and taking it all in.

Hi Everyone,

I made it to Belize! The flight was good and time seemed to pass quickly. I suffered from a bit of culture shock when I first stepped off of the plane. I tried to picture what a third world country was like but it didn't sink in until I saw it. Most of the people here walk everywhere and people are all in the streets. There is one highway that runs throughout Belize and as you drive, you have to watch out for bike riders, pedestrians and stray dogs. I have never seen this many stray dogs in my life. I have found out how much I love my air conditioning and Health Inspected restuarants.

The weather is very humid and hot here, you feel like you just got out of a hot shower all the time. I haven't stopped sweating since I arrived here and cold showers are the greatest thing in the world. I have been to the ocean and I plan to go kayaking tomorrow before we go to the village. I got to see one of the Maya Ruin sites today and it is amazing how they constructed these structures.

The Maya Mountains are very beautiful and everything is a lush green. There are Iguanas that live by where we are staying, I have seen two so far. The majority of locals speak creole and I am working to understand it. It feels weird to be the minority here, when we drive down the people stare. Most that I have talked to have been really nice, I just feel really out of place.

These are just a few of the pictures that I have taken so far.....

Monday, July 1, 2013

Packed and Ready!

Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to post one last time before I left. I leave tomorrow for Belize and probably won't be able to write again for a few days. All my bags are packed and finishing touches have been done. I have been sick the last few days due to allergies and I am hoping once I get there my sinuses will decide to like me again. It has been raining everyday in Belize for the past few weeks. This is their rainy season, so the chances for tropical storms and hurricanes are high. I am anxious to see what Belize has to offer. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all and representing Tarleton State University. 

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th Of July! Stay tuned!

Take Care,
Chelsea :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Introduction - Welcome

Hi Everyone,

 I have decided to use blogger to keep everyone up-to-date with my Belize trip. Provided I have proper internet access I will try to post on here everyday or every other day. I will hopefully be able to post pictures for you all to view and keep you informed. This is my first attempt to blog and I hope you are all patient with me. 

 Those of you that do not know, I will be doing Social Science Research in Belize for 5 weeks. This is the first time Tarleton has ever had students and a Professor do research outside of the United States. I am excited to be working with Dr. Key and fellow student Eva on this project. We will be working with the Maya people in the rural Maya villages in the Stann Creek district of Belize. 

If you create a blogger account, you will be able to comment on my blog and leave me feedback. The account is free and you can sign up using your Facebook account. I look forward to talking with all of you! 

These are maps of where I will be. 

 Thanks for reading and stay tuned!