San Antonio: Living in a village & sleeping in a bus
We arrived in our second country: Belize.
From the Mexican Chetumal we took a local bus to Orange Walk Town which is located in the north of Belize. Just a few kilometres after we left Chetumal we expierienced our first border crossing. A bit excited about what will happen and how much fee we will have to pay we were surprised how easy and quick it was to change the countries. After a two hour stop in Orange Walk Town we reached our final destination San Antonio Rio Hondo. It is a small village with 500 inhabitants whereas 200 of them are children. Here, we wanted to spend some time on a farm and get to know the everyday lifie of a typical Belizean village. Our host was a lovely 74 year old American who lives on a house boat on the Rio Hondo. Rod welcomed us on his boat and explained how we will spend the next days. Afterwards we were curious about the place where we will sleep. And there it was: our bus :). A few years ago Rod transformed an unused bus into a library for the village and now he used it for his visitors as he moves the library to another place in the village. In the beginning we had no electricity in the bus which was very adventurous.
Unfortunately we had some rain on the first days of our stay so that we couldn’t do anything in the garden. But instead, we had some very good and interesting talks with Rod and he loved to cook for us healthy and delicious food. Some of the things he used we had never seen or eaten before which was very nice.
He showed us around and the village people were all very friendly to us. We were impressed that this little village has four shops! 🙂
A lot of time we spent on Rod’s house boat and enjoyed the beautiful sorroundings of the rio and the calmness. Lars helped him repairing different things and Liane worked with Rod on his website and redesigned it (www.sanantoniobelize.com). When the weather became better we worked in the garden and planted different vegetables. Every evening we feeded the geese which was very funny because they were always sooo excited about getting their food. One day Rod and Lars installed a solar panel on our bus and suddenly we had light 🙂 That was a really cool moment 🙂
In our leisure time Rod had some nice ideas what to do. We went on a canoe tour on the river, swam in a big cenote, drove to Orange Walk Town or played Hide and Seek with BoB.
One evening we were even invited by José and his family to watch their wedding video. That was so cute! Carmen, José’s wife, also cooked some local ‘Tamales’ for us. This is a corn dough filled with some sauce and chicken and cooked in a banana leaf. Qué rico!
As we already said the surrounding was beautiful besause the village was very green. But then, one day, we realized that the trees are all painted red!? So we asked Rod for the reason and he told us that every political party that has been elected paints the trees with their color. There are the ‘Blues’ and the ‘Reds’ and guess who won ;).
Orange Walk Town is the biggest city in the area of San Antonio and here you get almost everything you need. From here you can also catch all buses to other places nearby or even to Belize City. We liked to spend some time here and to try great local food.
On thing that impressed us a lot in San Antonio was the fact that there were not only four shops but even four churches! Catholic, evangelic, seventh day adventist and mennonite church.
One day we took the bus from Orange Walk Town to Shipyard. Here the ‘Amish’ people live without any electricity or cars. For us it was like looking into a living history book. Big farms, horse buggies, men wearing hats and dungarees and women with hats and long dresses. In Shipyard live around 3,300 Amish which settled here from Canada and the US. They all have white skin and blond hair and it is hard to believe that most of them were born in Belize.
It was a very impressing day to see that within a few kilometres the landscape, religion and way of living changes completely. What a great trip!