My day began like every other day, me trying to bat traffic and make it in time for my flight from IAH to Belize city. i arrived at about 0715 and was checked in and through security, and at my gate by 0740. I was elated and expectant. I was not sure about what to expect as i had joined the preparations quite late because i could not fathom taking that many days off from rotations. Boarding for BZE began without much ado, but we were a little frightened by the thought of spending one hour on the runway if we were not cleared to leave before 0900, because the President of the US was in the area and was scheduled to fly at 0900; at which time the air space has to be shut down for security reasons. the dread and uncertainty quickly paved way to awe and excitement as we took off for sunny Belize, Central America.
Upon arrival in Belize, i was like a kid in a candy store, camera in hand and curiosity at an all time high, i was however asked by the airport officials to put away my camera as i was not allowed to take pictures, what a dent to my rising excitement. The initial disappointment was further compounded by the almost hour and half wait on the immigration line. The wait was almost forgotten as i was stamped in and let through customs without any questioning or hassle.
Im in Belize, fingers clicking, shutters fluttering, i am drinking in the sights and sounds but the reality of not having time to eat breakfast or being on a non-service flight hits hence our first point of call was a road side canteen which served us rice and beans and chicken in a styrofoam plate. few minutes later, i am excited and ready to hit the road.
We embarked on our journey to the University of Belize(UB) Belmopan where we had a concert scheduled for 1600, in a huge express bus from the bus park in Belize city. the ride was bumpy and thus there were shrieks of dread at bends negotiated at top speed, laughter from jokes shared in love, and great anticipation of the experience ahead. an hour and half later we disembark in Belmopan and had to await our next pickup while we chewed on plantain chips and sipped from Chrystal water bottles. A call made from a strangers phone, a taxi- ride later, we are at UB getting ready for an evening of great worship and fellowship.
The worship experience was unforced, unstaged and undiluted. hands were raised, hearts combined in one accord, voices lifted in sincerity as Christ was lifted up by all and sundry in the room. prayers were made, altar call made, prayer request attended to. The night ended with everyone eating a dinner of rice, beans, coleslaw, chicken and punch.
the drive to our cabins was uneventful after we topped up on gas. we were all satisfied with our living quarters and all made it to the bar to order late night snacks. for me and my roomies, we had chicken wings/strips and fries, others had nachos delicately laced with pico de gallo.
As i pondered upon the events of the day right before bed time, i could not help but pick out similarities between Belize and Nigeria. there were stray dogs every where, the police had checkpoints and were requesting money from motor vehicles, there was a band on the street at 2100.
Day one was great and day 2 was promising to be even greater.