Day 5: Adventures with Ex-lax

Day 5
Today we had onions and peppers in our eggs and tortillas! Spicy.

And I had two more ex-lax. (It’s what the box said, okay?)

Agenda: Mayan Ruins
Problem: my leg
Worse problem: not wanting to tell anyone about my leg

Not the smartest thing: hiking the Cahal Pech ruins all morning with a bruised shin and swollen foot after having taken a double dose of Imodium, and then a double dose of ex-lax.

In my defense: It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

We were on the bus and at the ruins by 9.

First, we walked through a small museum-like area explaining the history of Cahal Pech while we waited for David and Antonia to arrive. Once they joined us, they became personal tour guides and we zipped through Cahal Pech in anticipation of Xunantunich, a much bigger scarier ruin on the other side of the river. We had planned to go there originally, but the river was too high to cross, so we toured Cahal Pech first and received word the river was low enough to vehicles across. We could see Xunantunich from the van way off in the distance and were so excited, but when we arrived, again, the river was too high and we were unable to cross. Instead, we shopped at some little stands near the crossing for gifts and souvenirs.

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Well, the team shopped. I stood in the middle of the beaded bracelets stand and panicked as a cramp seized me, and Becky totally recognized the look on my face. She followed me as I ran (literally, RAN) across the street to this roadside bar yelling, “ban-yo! ban-yo!” The guy behind the counter pointed to the outhouses and yelled after me, “We just opened today! They might not be clean!” (Like I could afford to care.)

The outhouses turned out to be really nice, and I sat at the bar ordering sprite from the nice bar owner, who had just opened for his first day of business. This was the one-liner as we drove away from Xunantunich: Brooke moved! She moved ALL day!

I wish I could say the rest of the day was a breeze, or at least funny, but I had many episodes running off to different outhouses, my leg kept getting bigger and bigger, the back seat of the van made me motion-sick on the roads. By the time we arrived at Antonia’s school, I could barely walk straight. I followed a couple of team members to Antonia’s house to sit down before church, and before I could even open the bathroom door, I burst into tears. It was so unexpected, I even surprised myself. I didn’t have an answer when they asked what was wrong.
I just pointed at my stomach and held up my leg, which no one had really seen since I fell. Antonia told me to lie down, that she knew just the thing, and Suzanne packed some ice and began to massage my ankle. (Our Apostolic action for the day was to see Jesus in someone else. I saw Jesus in Suzanne when she held my dirty, swollen, purple foot in her hand and massaged it! God bless Suzanne.)

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Antonia took, like, 4 golden limes, squeezed them into a glass, and told me to drink all of it. She said that no matter the problem, the acid in the lime juice would clean out my system within two more “movements” and that I would be fine after that. I drank the lime juice (which was actually really good), elevated my leg and slept through church, through the drumming performance, and through all the goodbyes at Santa Familia School. Becky came inside to wake me up at 4 and gave me a gift bag from the students with a snow globe inside that said “Belize” and a wooden bowl. Antonia gave us all headbands, and our team waved a long, sad goodbye to Santa Familia as we drove off down the dirt road. This would be my home, twice. This woman my stand-in monther/sister/friend years down the road.

Dinner was at Lenny and Sandra’s house (the hotel owner and his wife), who also have a small patio restaurant next to their house called Jumanji. Sandra and her daughter, Linda, served us a traditional Belizean dinner with chicken, deer, gibnut, coconut rice, yellow rice, fresh avocado, fried plantain and coleslaw. Dessert was warm banana bread and custard.

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You’ll be happy to know that right before the meal, the lime juice successfully exited my system with whatever was ailing it, and I enjoyed the meal to its fullest. It was a good time of fun and fellowship and drumming. Becky even got a drumming lesson.

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Poor Jasmine, David and Randy, though, seemed to have caught the stomach bug, and I quickly suggested Antonia’s magic lime juice. By the end of the trip, I think 7 of us had experienced the lime juice cocktail, and for life, I will drink a glass of limes if I even THINK I feel a stomach virus coming on.

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