I had some hilarious and insightful ways of recounting the consistent inconsistency of water and electricity in the village, but after 2 days of temps in the lower thousands and no electricity or water, I am fresh out of jokes. And by fresh, I mean not fresh at all. Hot and sweaty and miserable. The water is on for a couple of hours in the morning, and a couple of hours at night. But the night water is a crap shoot, because when it comes on, every one in the village rushes to shower or cook dinner or wash dishes, which leaves one drop per 25 minutes in our little faucet. We walk around all night asking each other, “Is there water yet?” and when the water is on, “Is there pressure yet?”
You know me. I love hot weather. I love Belize. I’ve done this before, many times, and weathered fairly well. But for some reason this time I just can’t cool off. Every day they say, “Today is hot Brooke.” And I say, “Yes, and yesterday was hot.” And they say, “But today is extra hot, Brooke. It’s not usually this hot.” And I just nod, thinking every day feels the exact same hot to me, and I just have this god-given need to strip everything off and sit in front of the fan naked. But then there’s the problem of electricity. We’ve had blackouts in the evenings. Which means in addition to no water, there is also no fan. Which is why I haven’t been sleeping, which is why my immunity is down, and I guess, why I can’t keep any food in me. Or maybe it was the street tacos and papaya juice? I don’t know. I am on a solid diet of soup and oats until further notice.
As for my job, every day I learn a little more about patience, waiting and flexibility. Monday was really profitable: meetings were held, trainings were scheduled, plans came together, clients assigned, letters written, learning goals established, the right people answered the phones at the right times, and the day was full of shade and fans and productivity and calls from boyfriends and moms, and tomolitos for dinner. There was lots of smiling and motivation and hope and excitement. Tuesday, however, I stared at a wall. Then walked from empty building to empty building up and down that giant hill. It’s like everyone in the city got together and agreed to disappear. At the end of the day, 6 hours later, the only tangible thing I could recount having been accomplished was a uniform found for a girl who needed to start school Friday. I suppose for that little girl, Tuesday was a good day. For me, no. By the time I realized nothing was happening and no one would be in the office, I had missed the 1 o’clock bus. The next bus was at 4 o’clock. So I sat and walked and sat and walked for 3 hours and then caught the bus home—which, you should know, always adds 4 layers of dust to sweaty skin, which, you already know, may or may not be washed off when those 8 drops of water come at 7:30. You get the idea. They tell me every day, “Life in Belize is hard, Brooke”. Usually I reply with something like, “Yeah, but you have great social capital or Yeah, but the weather is nice, or Yeah but your limes are delicious.” Last night I nodded and said, “Yes. Life in Belize is hard.” Inside I was thinking: that stupid lime tree that gives such delicious limes pricked me and we can’t get the thorn out.
Sigh. Sorry. I guess I’m kind of complainy today. How about some pictures?
(As if on cue. No pictures on my flash drive. They’ll have to be on the next post!) Monday is Independence Day in Belize. They’ve asked me to judge the parade on Friday…