Belize City Airport

We have safely arrived in country! Our travel day went pretty smoothly. Knowing that we only had a one-hour layover in Miami, I tried not to freak out when our flight from DC was delayed that long. And I’m glad I didn’t because our connecting flight was also delayed an hour. So not only did we make the flight, but we had time to get something to eat and to change gates without running like mad.

Both the baby and the cat did really well. A was awake until we got onto the runway and were in line to for taxi and takeoff but couldn’t keep his eyes open quite long enough. So he slept through most of his very first flight. He was still pretty good his second flight even though he didn’t sleep. He was a little noisy but didn’t cry. Hopefully the surrounding passengers weren’t too annoyed.

We were met at the airport in Belize City by one of the local guys that works in my department. He got us all sorted out with customs and immigration and even took our paperwork to get our pet permit processed. Too bad we can’t use the diplomatic passport on every trip we take. It definitely expedites things!

After that we were driven an hour to our new home in the town of Belmopan by one of the guys in the motor pool. He had the keys to our house and dropped us in front of the door. The drive out was pretty quiet. Belize is a pretty small country, so there wasn’t much traffic on the road. We probably passed about half a dozen vehicles altogether. The countryside looked a lot like central Florida…lots of low growth and tall grass interspersed with palm trees, vines, thin pines and other random varieties.

Our house is awesome. It’s large and airy with tile floors, big windows, high ceilings and has plenty of room for visitors. Even though it has bars on the windows and doors, it’s still pretty. We’ve already had more than one person comment on the fact that it’s some of the best housing in the Foreign Service and that we shouldn’t expect it to be like this at every post. Good to know.

And so far the people have been wonderfully friendly and welcoming, and we’ve actually been pretty social! We arrived on Tuesday and met our sponsor, his wife and another co-worker our first night. They had stocked our kitchen and even brought us homemade sushi and beer for dinner. Then he took us shopping Wednesday night. Thursday night I joined the girls for Ladies Night by the compound pool. The DCM and the Ambassador’s wife joined us, which was pretty cool. The joy of being at a small post. Friday we had tea and then dinner at our sponsor’s house.

Then today we all drove out with another family to the Banana Bank Lodge and wandered through the bird cages, checked out the jaguar, and watched the kids take short horse rides. After that we all went to a local restaurant with no walls but with a tall thatched roof that sheltered us from the hot sun and had a decent breeze blowing through it. We had margaritas, shrimp ceviche, taquitos and a few other lovely things.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good introduction!