The hotel on the hill was $25 American a night. It was expensive but had an amazing view, hammocks on the balcony, and hot water. I had not taken a shower in three days.
Still disappointed and confused, I dropped off my laundry and walked down by the beach. It was a bit dark and rainy. I noticed there were three little kids following me; I was not sure why. I turned a corner, and they were still behind me. I finally realized why. I was drinking a Fanta soda in a glass bottle, and they were waiting for me to throw it away so they could dig the bottle out of the trash to recycle it.
I went to have dinner and bumped into a six pack of gringos. The cafe was crowded so I invited them to join me. Three men from Ireland came to help build houses. Two men from England were teaching English to the locals. And the sixth person was a tattooed girl with several facial piercings from the States. Of course, the one that looked like a clown was American.
Conversation was lively but hard to understand with such thick accents. The single guy from Ireland told a story of a woman who came up to him in a club the previous night. She was anxious to introduce him to her daughter. After a few dances, they parted and the mother approached him looking for payment. She was pimping her own daughter.
I enjoyed my time with them but was preoccupied with the thought of whether this would be my last night abroad or not. I walked home and was approached by a woman who asked for about $10 American for "services". I immediately left.
Early the next morning, I took a bus to San Pedro to see if I could catch a flight. I received a call from a municipality who wanted to schedule an interview. The bus driver left me on the side of the road and pointed toward the airport. I put out my thumb and was picked up by the first truck. I booked a ticket to Miami.
I planned to crash at my buddies’ place in Fort Lauderdale, but he was not returning from Miami until the following night. So, I found a cheap hotel in Fort Lauderdale. I was tempted to ask if they had hot water. I was without a car in South Florida and figured if I could navigate my way through four third world countries I could get around on the Broward County bus system. I was wrong. I found my way to a mall to buy a charger for my phone. When she said it would cost $20 I literally asked, "Is that the best you can do?" I was conditioned to Central/South American haggling!
I had made it back to the States and was still disappointed and depressed. I nearly had a meltdown the following day in Deerfield Beach and navigated my way back to the airport to meet my buddy.
The goal of the trip was to spend time with the Moskito Indians and hopefully forget about my life's dramas. I did not meet that goal. I did, however, meet some amazing people. I swam with rays off the coast of Belize, traveled through jungles and mountain villages, and most importantly really connected with many of the locals in regard to their lives, values, cultures, and traditions.
I really feel that when we meet our Maker, (however you define that) He/She/It will ask a series of questions. Did you visit foreign lands? Walk on the Great Wall of China? Learn about other people’s values and culture? Did you try to walk in the shoes of the less fortunate? Did you surf on the coast of Costa Rica? Hopefully Maker does not ask if you maintained employment.
Being there felt good, natural, and warm—until the realities of my life crept back in.
I feel that my purpose or mission is not done here. I will be going back. There are several chapters of my guide book that have not been opened, and several unstamped pages of my passport.
I think I am addicted to this type of travel. I caught the travel bug, and hopefully that was the only thing I caught while I was there.
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