MOTHER’S DAY IN BELIZE

MOTHER’S DAY IN BELIZE

Nothing like a beautiful rainbow to celebrate– Photo by Ben Popik for his mother.

I’ve celebrated many Mother’s Days but none quite so interesting as this one, on Ambergris Caye, Belize. My husband and I are here awaiting the birth of our third grandchild, a baby boy. We plan to be here a month, so we hope the little guy gives us another ten days or so to shake off our city jitters and get used to relaxing.

This is the only small bit of Belize I have visited over the past ten years. San Pedro town is a bustling place–nothing fancy but stocked well enough to satisfy the Canadian and U.S. expats who call this small island home for at least part of the year. I had hoped to be able to practice my Intermediate Spanish but, as usual, the different accents and the speed at which the locals talk is challenging. I can catch a word or two but seldom enough to get the sense of what people are talking about. I think it must be similar to what one of my long-gone dogs experienced when he listened to hours of conversation and could pick out only “squirrel” and “walk” for his efforts.

And then there is the challenge of Belizean Creole. I can’t begin to understand the spoken words and even the written ones are difficult enough. For example, a popular slogan for a commercially sold poultry brand is “Dis da wi fi chikin!” It is produced by a Mennonite chicken company. (The Mennonites have a long history in this country, which was formerly a British colony, British Honduras.) In case you haven’t deciphered the slogan, it means “This is our chicken.” Not what I’d call catchy, but you see the slogan everywhere.

But as different as this place is, Mother’s Day is just as big a deal as it is in the U.S.–possibly more so. I am sitting on the patio of our hotel/condo, drinking the strongest “Mother’s Day” rum punch I’ve ever tasted and feeling affection for mothers everywhere. I have never been big on celebrating Mother’s day–except for my own Mom–but that sentiment isn’t shared by many women I know. When I lived in New England, Monday morning exercise class was filled with women who compared notes on what grateful children had done for them the day before–brunches, flowers, surprise visits–and all I had to offer (which I kept to myself) was my boys’ handmade card: “Happy Mother’s Day to Mom and her Good Friend, Jack Daniels.” I love those guys!

HAVE A GOOD WEEK

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