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It is definitely beautiful in Belize

It was a long day getting to Belize. I left my house at 2:00 a.m. My flight left at 6:00 a.m. with a layover in Dallas.

If any of you have flown from Dallas International, you know that you have to take a train from the terminal you land at to the terminal you will be boarding your next flight. No time to spare, or eat. lol

The flight to Belize from Dallas was literally across the Gulf of Mexico

and literally above the clouds.

Once in Belize International Airport, you can feel the temperature change. It was cold back home. It was about 85 Degrees in Belize and VERY humid.

It was rush, rush, to get through customs. There were no incidents and I was able to get through pretty quickly. I sure was glad I had flown internationally before because there were no directions at this airport. And there were signs that no photography was allowed at customs. So no pictures of that. No time either way.

Fr. Aric picked me up at the airport and we drove to the Jesuit Community which is located in the St. Johns College campus where they have a high school and 2 year college run by the Jesuits.

I stayed with Jesuits in their guest rooms.

I didn't take a picture of the campus but I took a picture from my room and the gym is visible. The ocean is just above the trees and visible from the 3rd floor. My room was on the 2nd floor.

They were sharing at dinner that there was an alligator that visited the pond of water that is visible in the picture below.

The Jesuit priest were very welcoming and their hospitality is amazing! Hats off to them for sure. It is great to see such a happy group of men who are excited about the work they are doing with the students as well as with the community.

For example, one of the novices (Priest in formation) is working on developing and expanding a hospice care system to help the dying.

Another priest runs the college and shared what he is doing to help the students.

Another priest is running a Ignatius Spiritual Exercises in the community and is developing a new way to do it so that working people can experience the Exercises without having to go on retreat and leave their homes or jobs.

And the list goes on. There are 9 Jesuits in the Community at this time. They do a lot of work for being only 9 men.

One of the blessings of staying in a community like this is that the blessed sacrament is available 24/7. So yes, every few minutes to spare, I went to spend with Jesus.

In the morning we left Belize City and headed to Nazareth where the sisters live. It's a 4 hour drive. It was great to see a big part of the country. Most of the time we were near the ocean even if we couldn't see it all the time. I was following it on GPS on my phone.

As we arrived in Nazareth, we drove up the beautiful driveway, and by their beautiful Church, on the way to the back of the grounds where the sisters live.

For those of you who know me well... guess what the sisters have on their property?

Yup! A retreat center!!! Wow. How cool is that! And Fr .Aric wants me to have a day of reflection for the catechists in one of the villages. Right up my alley! Loving it already.

We arrived in the afternoon and Fr. Aric had to rush off to do some classes and committee meetings, etc.

The sisters and I hit it off right away. There are 3 sisters here. It's amazing what these 3 women do! They are on the go all the time. Plus they grow chickens and turkeys. They say that the most they have had at one time was 200 chickens.

They currently have about 60 and are working on all stages of growth. They have hens working on hatching 4 dozens of eggs, baby chicks, a few months old chickens, and full grown chickens.

They have also been growing turkeys mixed in with the chickens. I went with Sister Ester to buy 3 - 50 lb bags of feed in the local store.

Then we came home and moved chickens and chicks around to accommodate the new nests for hatching. So I pitched in and swept out the area for the baby chicks.

The church in the convent is beautiful inside. One of the nice things about living in this climate is that they can leave the doors open all day and let the breeze go through the buildings. The church walls are mostly doors. The doors are opened in the morning and closed in the evening.

Another nice thing about staying at a convent is that they have adoration almost every day! Nice!

We have time in Adoration and then pray the Liturgy of the hours before dinner. Everyone pitches in to clean so it goes pretty quickly.

We get up early and are at morning prayer at 5:45 a.m. We leave at 6:00 a.m. to Mass in Punta Gorda about 10 minutes away.

Today they were having municipal elections. They have 2 parties as we do in the states but here they also have a party color. So there are people all over the place wearing either red or blue. You know how that goes on election days.

On the way back from Mass I held my phone to the window as we drove and hit the button multiple times to take pictures of the ocean hoping to at least get a couple that were not blurry as we drove by. I'm was happy to find that most of the pictures came out pretty sharp. I'll share some of them with you below.

Tomorrow I will stay in Punta Gorda after 6:30 a.m. Mass and then leave from there with Fr. Aric to celebrate mass at the schools in 2 of the villages and spend some time with the students and teachers.

I'll try and take pictures while I am there.

I also heard some howler monkeys. LOL they make a very scary sound. They are in the trees close to the convent. We are partly in the jungle. There are all kinds of birds too. There are many sounds coming from the trees.

Plus the sisters have a few guard dogs. Some are mean. Some are friendly. So far I have made friends with 2 of them. I haven't dared to go close to the ones who are known to bite. They are tied up during the day. One gets loose but she's one of the ones I made friends with. I wasn't born yesterday. lol.

The dogs are let loose at night. I can't walk outside after that. It's definitely safe out on the grounds from any intruders that's for sure. I've seen men coming up the driveway that leave once they hear the dogs.

I better post this before it gets too late. Enjoy the ocean pictures.


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