Day 9 – Joani
After an entire week of construction and VBS, it all comes to an end…for now at least ;-). We started off our day with cave tubing and let me tell you, it is gorgeous. We had a Belizean buffet for lunch, went to the Quan family farm, and ended our day with Friendships and Brodies.
It seems a little unreal that today is our last full day here in Belize. I think I can say that the hot, sticky weather as well as every single mosquito bite was worth it. Why? Because I went from knowing only three other team members (all from my own church haha) to gaining many lifelong friendships with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I started off this trip with one thing in mind: to see God’s work outside the bubble of my home, but I think it opened my eyes to so much more. Belize is not a third world country, and it most definitely does not lack people with hearts passionate about changing Belize for God. No matter where we are in the world, God is there and God is good.
Today the concrete contractors finally arrived to finish the pavement, the area where the Belize team had so hard worked on. While the concrete was being poured and smoothed, our team was enjoying a day off at Xibalba, where we went cave tubing. On the way there our team picked up our friends from BCE. At around ten in the morning we arrived at Xibalba, later we rented water shoes after being told that we were not allowed to go bare foot, due to safety reasons. Before we could enter the cave we had to trek through parts of the Xibalba’s rivers, 3 in total, and the beautiful rainforest. On the way to the cave our tour guide, Rick, was constantly explaining specific trees and their uses. This surprised me a lot that the tour guide knew so much biology and the uses for the plants. When we finally arrived at the cave we swam a little in the cold but refreshing waters, and then we entered the cave. While inside the cave I had mixed feelings of both amazement and fear of the magnitude of the cave. Amazement from how long the water took to carve out the cavern and paranoia from the never ending cracks in the roof of the cave. Afterwards we ate at a buffet and swam at the Quan farm where we had more time to swim up and down the river.
As the trip comes to an end, I can definitely say that I learned more than I taught or did. I discovered through the conversations between the local believe campers and counselors at VBS, that the people are dedicated to the fullest extent to the changing of Belize’s future and culture; a change from a drug and crime infested society and culture, to a God based culture. As I look back I can also definitely say that God has blessed this trip with protection—no one died and, with diligence, we finished off the construction one day earlier—and joy. PRAISE GOD!!!