San Ignacio, Belize
My first full day at the lodge started very similar to the past few..breakfast with my Mom, Dave, Aunt Birdie, and Jeanne. We enjoyed an awesome breakfast of “Suzi omelets”(named after the owner’s wife because that is how she makes them for him, packed with veggies and without cheese) with fruit, toast, and the best homemade mango jam I have ever had. This breakfast was a little different than the others because it was our last together before they head back to Placencia..that bitter-sweet moment when the Momma’s boy isn’t going to see his mom for a few months so he gets a little sad while he fights back tears(If I cry of course she will and that can’t happen).
After breakfast, we said our goodbyes and I headed to get ready for my first day of work. I was beyond excited to get right to work and meet the people that I would be working with, as I got down to the office I got a call from Bart(owner/mentor) saying that he wouldn’t be able to make it in today due to poor health. This being said I was a little bummed but he set me up with a project: Figuring out what types of organic produce we can get in the Cayo District(Districts are like American states), categorizing them and explaining the health benefits of each. This may not sound like fun but for me, it is the same type of work I have been doing on my own for the past few months so I was pumped. Along with being assigned this project, he informed me that we had a conference call with the leader of Pro-Organic Belize at 3 PM.
San Ignacio is home to one of the biggest markets in Belize, every Saturday vendors bring in everything from fresh fish & handmade blankets to the most exotic types of fruits the country has to offer. I was informed that I will be front and center at the market every Saturday to spread the word about the Co-op, a system where people can register for weekly shares of organic produce from a guaranteed clean source. We will receive large amounts of fresh organic fruits and vegetables every week and split them into portions fit for each family that registers. Even for you guys who are in the States, check out http://www.localharvest.com to find a CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) Co-op near you.
I am a huge fan of hot tea, today I tried a new kind called Strawberry Ceylon Tea. The aroma that poured out of the cup was like a big bowl of Strawberries, not to mention the awesome taste.
After getting my work done for the day, I went for a run in the neighboring One World Eco Village. This is Bart’s retirement project that is next door to the lodge. I was amazed by the beauty and serenity of the deep rainforest, especially all by myself. I ventured pretty deep into the jungle before I decided to come back. I will be going back tomorrow morning to take pictures and go even deeper. Hopefully I write another blog after this, if not I was eaten by a Jaguar.
After my run I was served an awesome dinner, I had failed to mention to the staff that I am leaning towards plant-based meals so waiting for me was a chicken kabob, Lebanese sweet rice, hummus, zucchini, and pita bread. My phone had died on my run so I was unable to get a picture but the meal was incredible. The thing about meals at Maya Mountain is that even if they have meat, there are more veggies on the plate than meat and it is all clean food. Free-range chickens and organic produce with Himalayan Sea Salt and Crushed Black Pepper.
It was a cool occurrence this evening at dinner because there were four of us guys all sitting along at our respective tables not saying a single word until I brought us all together through conversation. A simple, “Hey where are you from” turned the quiet dinner room into an awesome conversation-filled evening of people from 4 different places all conversing with one another. That is all it takes to meet completely new people that you otherwise would’ve never known to exist.
With one full day of working in the books, I am so excited about tomorrow that I should’ve already been asleep but as my mom used to say before we would go on vacation, “I’M TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP.” This is one of the many joys of doing what you love, Dave(my step-dad) refers to these in his book as “energy building activities” where you enjoy what you are doing so much that it literally creates energy within you. Check out his book on amazon: http://bit.ly/controlyourcareer
Tomorrow is a new day, an opportunity to learn and grow. An opportunity to change someone’s life and maybe even to change the world. That decision is up to you, be the best person you can be and the day after be even better.