A big yellow school bus picked us up at the Belize City airport. Wilhelm, our driver, took a fifteen-minute detour to show us a mostly boarded up downtown – they have just started putting the pieces together after Hurricane Richard. When we hit the west highway on our way to St. Ignacio, I left my window open and let the humid air race on in. Thick and warm, I welcomed the tropics, and I think, she welcomed me.
We drove up the hill to our resort – which instantly reminded me of some nicer surf accommodations, minus the ocean. We have cabanas with private decks, hammocks, WiFi . . . I am sitting outside now, listening to the town below – music in a distant bar, dogs in the valley, geckos chirping on the patio, city lights below and the warm, thick air holding me tight.
We have a good team. Bonnie Webber, my roommate and scrub nurse, has been working with the global health initiative for years. She has been to every site but Vietnam and will bring such a wealth of experience to our enthusiastic team. I am fortunate to have met her – and know that she will be one of those forever friends.
We ate a great dinner at the hotel restaurant and everyone has called it a night. I just jumped in the pool for a quick night swim under a spectacular starry sky. Wrapped in a towel on the dark pool deck, I watched the fog roll into the valley below. Here, I will call it a day and look forward to the promising sunrise and the gift of a day full of new friends and good work.