Monkey Business

Day 3 of our trip to Belize. We woke up to a breakfast of fresh pineapples, pancakes and eggs. On our way home the day before, we drove up behind a truck full of pineapples. We asked them to pull over so we could buy some from them. In the states, pineapples are at least $3 each. We got eight of them for $5 Belize. So all eight of them cost less than one in the states. Wow.

We went to Trio for VBS. More children showed up on our second day. W took the boys and played soccer with them while Ms. Sue taught the girls. In five minutes he came back for bug spray because his legs were getting eaten up.  Ms. Sue taught on the woman at the well. That was the only day we split the kids up. It didn’t really work out that well and ended up taking up more time. We had some Old Navy flip flops that Max had brought down. We decided to hand them out that day instead of later because we didn’t know how many kids would show up over the next couple of days and didn’t want to run out. It felt good and frustrating at the same time. We could only give one pair to each child but the mothers kept coming up for more. My flesh kept saying “I can’t believe how selfish they’re being” while the Holy Spirit said “show grace, they don’t have much”. It was difficult. I’m a person that likes quiet not chaos. You can imagine that many kids with no way of planning what you’re going to do ahead of time would be chaotic. You would think that as much as I don’t like chaos, that I would plan things ahead of time (in my own life, I mean) and be on time places…ha. I try, really. It was very humbling as well, when handing these kids pencils. They were so excited to get a pencil.

After VBS, while the men worked on the side of the church, Ms. Sue, Micah and myself took Tricia and Ingrid home. Ms. Sue reminds me of my mom in the sense that she likes to explore. Whenever my family would move to a new place, mom wanted to drive around, explore and see where things were, what kind of things there were, etc. When we first moved to Florida, we were about 10 minutes from the beach. So mom and I took our dog and decided to go for a walk and see how long it took to get there. We just went east. We eventually ran into a canal and had to turn back. I’m not sure how that happened. Haha. All that to say, Ms. Sue decided she wanted to explore so with Micah, we drove over to Monkey River. There was a sign for it on the way to dropping the girls off back home. The sign also said it was 6 miles. It felt like 20. There were many pot holes so we had to drive slow. Ms. Sue and I got to talking  and almost didn’t see one of the BIG ones…she put the brakes on but we still hit it kind of hard…Micah popped up out of his seat, almost hitting his head on the ceiling of the van and landed in Ms. Sue’s purse. We laughed for several minutes. We were having conversations about movies. Which ones we liked and which ones not to watch. On a side note: I don’t like sad movies…really don’t. “A Walk to Remember”? Hate it. Titanic? Nope..Anyway, so we’re driving for what feels like forever and finally get to an ending spot. It didn’t say “monkey river” and there was a house and a little dock. A lady came out and talked to us. We found out that it was $35 U.S. per person to take a tour on monkey river. It seemed like a lot but they said it was about a three hour tour (not on the Minnow) up the river and hiking. Something I would’ve enjoyed. I needed to use the restroom and the only place to go was across the river on a taxi. I later found it that it doesn’t cost anything to be ferried across so I should’ve gone when I had the chance! Hind sight is always 20/20 (well, most of the time). We took a side road on the way back. It ended up being a banana plantation (Bro. Jerrel said it was called Mango River). We couldn’t turn around until we got to the processing plant. We got some weird looks from these guys. When we finally got back to Bella Vista the guys were already on the road in Gregorio’s car so we stopped and they got in the van. Since we didn’t actually go up Monkey River, I didn’t get any pictures. But I will say, on the ride out there, that we did not see one tiny animal….at all. Hopefully, I can some pictures next time we’re out there.

After all that, we drove to an area called “the Garage”. That’s where we took most of the pictures of the homes (post about Day 2 Belize). America really is spoiled. I know I said it before and will probably say it again, but it really is an eye opener to be down there.  After driving through there, we went to another banana plantation. Farm #4, which is also the largest one in the area.

We got to see how bananas are processed. Driving by part of the plantation, we saw a man covering the bananas with blue plastic. It helps them to ripen. I didn’t get a picture of it though. Another thing I don’t have a picture of is how the bananas get hauled into the processing part of the plant. They use a mule, which is not an animal, it’s a man. They put all these banana stalks, which look like this:

onto a trolley (basically, just a line system for pulling the bananas). The “mule” has a harness and pulls probably 30 stalks at a time. Difficult work. These guys might make $20 U.S. a day. They come in on the trolley like this:

There’s a guy that goes to each stalk and cuts one banana off to check if it’s in the right stage of ripening or not. Then another person would take the bunches off and throw them in a giant pool of water. It would then go to these women:

They would stand there and cut the large pieces of stalk off (so it would look like what we get in the store). They would also cut off any bananas that had a mark on them. Even a tiny spot. Those bananas would be collected and cut up to use as mulch:

 

After the women cut the stalks and bad bananas off they would throw them in a cleaning solution:

 

 

From there, they boxed them up. If I remember correctly, they didn’t leave for the day until they got 2500 cases packed. Here are several pictures showing how many bananas there were on the farm.

 

As you can see there are hundreds upon hundreds of rows…These pictures don’t do them justice. Also, forgive me if the pictures have been different sizes on each of my new posts. I’ve been experimenting with them different ways.

After going back to the camp, Bro. Jerrel went to teach Pastor School (W went) and I took a nice nap before dinner. Dinner was pork and rice. More of a Creole meal, I believe, but still tasty.

 

 

 

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1 Comment

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One response to “Monkey Business

  1. Janie McCallie

    Keep on bringing the stories. I really enjoy them.

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